When you show up for an audition, make sure you understand whether the concert will be recorded in the studio or whether you will need to use your own equipment at home. For those with the personal budget to get a new mic and accessories, check out the audio gear section of our guide to starting a podcast for relevant recommendations. Plus, read WIRED Product Reviewer and Writer Eric Ravenscraft’s thoughts on the popular HyperX Quadcast S.
You don’t need to identify as a frequent gamer to land roles in video games, but you do need to be familiar with the structures of the medium. Schoeffling recommends at least watching others play. “Cadence, energy and speed. It’s different from animation. It’s different from cinema,” she says. Watching long-form Twitch streams or YouTube videos gives you a better idea of how other players approach video games.
What kinds of things do actors who play games in their spare time need to understand about development? Schoeffling says, “I think the most important thing to understand about game development is that it’s a long process. It’s usually not something that happens in a year; it’s something that usually happens in two or three years, sometimes seven.
Do your best to quit Twitter shitposting, however difficult it may be. Schoeffling confirms that players are ignored in the competitive market due to leaking information or airing grievances publicly on social media. Actors will also often be asked to sign nondisclosure agreements. She says: “I think expecting an NDA or expecting you to be essentially under an NDA, even if you haven’t signed one, is great practice. Discretion is extremely important.
Rejection is part of the routine of any rising actor, and Schoeffling encourages people to understand that much of the decision-making process is beyond their control. It is possible to lose roles for reasons that have nothing to do with your demo or pre-reel. For example, you might miss a callback because your voiceprint sounds a bit too close to someone they’ve already chosen. Now stop being so hard on yourself! Seriously.
“Actors will submit hundreds of auditions and hear nothing. The only thing you know is that you’re still auditioning,” says Schoeffling. Don’t show up to an audition waiting for words of affirmation Find trusted people, online or in person, who will encourage you.
As an actor, it’s important to prioritize your mental health. Find casual hobbies or other ways of self-expression so your passion for acting doesn’t become overwhelming. Yes, you can make money acting for video games, but relying on it as your only source of income right off the bat isn’t financially prudent. Schoeffling says, “I know a few actors who decided to have another career besides acting so the pressure wouldn’t be on every audition they had to make a living.” There’s no shame in having a passion for a creative pursuit that doesn’t pay your bills.
Although it’s not always an option, actors from underrepresented backgrounds who come out publicly can attract the attention of casting directors. “If you’re comfortable making sure the outside world knows your background and your identity, those things really help us when we’re looking,” she says. “Yeah, we search actor sites and so on, but we’re also on Instagram.” Look in groups like the List of People of Global Majority voiceovers, color voiceand Queer Voice for more resources created to benefit underrepresented actors.
Protect your work and keep an eye on operating situations. The profession of video game actor is not particularly luxurious, even if it is the career of your dreams. Finding a supportive community can be as crucial as drinking plenty of water and speaking up. Despite the lack of mainstream recognition, Schoeffling is optimistic about the future of the acting industry. She says, “There’s starting to be a lot more respect for games from the entertainment world.”