I had the opportunity to attend a union workshop recently, and the casting director stated something so simple about how to do better video game auditions, it made me wonder why I hadn’t shared this with you before. And I know it’s going to make a few of you (Graydon. Brian. Jennifer.) very, very happy.
One comment I get a lot from technically-challenged friends and colleagues is how facile I am with technology. Believe me, there are tech dudes and dudettes out there that know a lot more about this stuff than I do, but I do know my way around a web property and my various devices.
That only came from the infamous “10,000 hours of practice” that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in The Outliers, a Book Worth Reading. So, for me, it’s lots of exposure and interaction with tech that makes me expert at it. Same thing with studio equipment, same thing with coaching and teaching.
And so, my lovely friends and clients, the key to doing better videogame auditions is simple:
Play more videogames.
I’m not talking about Angry Birds 2 or Solitaire – I’m talking about RPG’s, MMORPGs, FPSs, and the rest – the things you’re auditioning for if you’re auditioning for video games.
And if you don’t know what all those letters are about, then your first homework is to look them up.
Your next homework is to get a Playstation, XBOX or Wii, and don’t just use them to watch Blu Ray DVD’s – use them to play video games. And not the simple stuff, but the kind of games that you want to be cast in. Games with story lines and characters and arcs and editions and playable levels. The kind that will pay you, as a VO practitioner, serious money.
This is not about goofing off – it’s about getting to know the titles, the platforms, the genres, the styles of VO required, the character archetypes (and how you and your brand stack up against those archetypes), even the damage it can do to your voice, and to get a really good listen as to what the best in the business are doing.
When Blindlight’s Timothy Cubbison mentioned that, it was a great reminder how knowing the world of videogames is no different than knowing the world of commercials (by watching TV and listening to radio), audiobooks (by going to Audible and ACX and downloading and listening to a few) or narration (by watching The History Channel for something other than Pawn Stars or Ice Road Truckers) is for their categories.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go put in a few rounds of gun play on Call of Duty, just to hear how the characters sound and the skill of the actors.
And I suggest you do the same.
What kind of immersion have you done in an area of voice over to get yourself more familiar with what’s expected of you in the audition? Let us know in the comments below.
Hope this helps.