Hello Everyone!

Both Troy (/u/ThatTroyBaker) and Courtnee (/u/courtneedray) here. Thanks for joining us for our first ever AMA! You know us as Booker and Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, or perhaps some of the other roles in video games, animation and on-camera, and we're here to talk about them all. We will both be appearing as featured guests at the 15,000 person gaming and animation convention called MomoCon, when it takes place May 23rd - 25th in Atlanta Georgia. We hope you will join us! Any MomoCon related questions should be directed at /r/MomoCon.

We want to answer all your questions, but we don't know anything more than you do about Ken Levine, the future of the Bioshock franchise or Irrational Games. They were amazing to work with and we wish them all the best.

With that said lets get this show started!

EDIT: I gotta call it quits for now, guys. But I'll come back later to try to answer more of your questions. Thanks so much for posting, listening and being patient!!! - Troy

EDIT 2: I can no longer see straight...time for a break. I'll try to come back soon and answer more questions! - Courtnee

EDIT 3: There have been a few questions about MomoCon if you are in a game company interested in doing panels at MomoCon please do reach out to [email protected]

Comments: 1706 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

ThatTroyBaker1412 karma

I hope we're doing this right!

christopia861027 karma

Troy, you are fast becoming the go to guy for video game voices, has your life been changed by this much?

ThatTroyBaker1186 karma

I think my life changes with each project. I'm just doing my best to hang on.

ThatTroyBaker831 karma

Trying to get through all these guys! My hands on FIRE! hahaha

turvoor623 karma

For either Mr. Baker or Ms. Dray, do either of you actually play the videogames you voice? Or are you strictly voices?

courtneedray993 karma

The fun of this job is working on something I have a passion for. Is it so awesome to be part of the creative cycle for film and music and videogames because that's what I spend most of my leisure time submersed in already.

Ardress99 karma

What was it like recording music for BioShock? Did singing ability factor into the original casting?

courtneedray232 karma

One day, months after I'd been cast, Ken popped me an email and asked if I could sing at all. To which I responded, "Um yeah, a little bit..." An idea was born.

ellecunningham612 karma

Courtnee- Are you excited that Elizabeth will be a playable character in Burial at Sea episode 2? Did anything change for you knowing that you'd be the one whose eyes we see through this time around?

courtneedray932 karma

SO excited!! I hope you guys are too! It was a lot different recording Liz that way because I wanted to make sure that as gamers you all didn't feel like I was putting emotions or thoughts on you that you didn't agree with. It was important to keep Liz the same, yet accessible on a whole other level. I can't wait to hear what you all think of Burial at Sea Ep 2!

Kriigfrey516 karma

This isn't actually a question, but I want to thank you Troy. Your portrayal of Kanji is what gave me the courage to come out to my family and friends. So yeah, thanks for voicing my favorite character, from my favorite game, and doing all that stuff.

ThatTroyBaker619 karma

Good on ya. Love that could help in any way for you to have courage in anything. Stay true to yourself.

ThatTroyBaker347 karma

I gotta call it quits for now, guys. But I'll come back later to try to answer more of your questions. Thanks so much for posting, listening and being patient!!!



YoungNeil38326 karma

For Troy: I'm a huge fan and I was wondering if there's a game franchise that you've always wanted to be a part of. Also, what's it like going from more serious roles like Joel or Delsin Rowe to the President in Saints Row?

ThatTroyBaker384 karma

Any story that has good characters I'd love to be a part of it. If it challenges me and stretches me, sign me up. It was a great exercise to keep fresh and in the case of SRIV, was a good break of levity.

freefan315 karma

Thanks so much for doing this! I loved Bioshock and thought it had some of the best voice acting I've ever seen out of a video game. The emotion and intensity added an element to the game that made the stakes feel higher and allowed me to really get into the characters.

What do you guys do to prepare for a role and how is the preparation the same and different from acting on stage/camera?

ThatTroyBaker427 karma

Know the character. That's the most important thing. Life isn't scripted and you can't treat a scene differently. Be open, allow yourself to be surprised. Preparation comes from understanding the character and story, but not cementing your performances in choices.

courtneedray420 karma

I literally just let a character wash over me and try not to overthink things because that rigidity makes the performance stilted. Once you know a character well enough having fun with it is the most important thing in order to infuse real life into the performance.

Beignet285 karma

Hi Troy, two questions:

You have fantastic hair. How? And, you have to have seen this coming (and I'll probably ask Neil in his AMA as well): with the success of the recent DLC for The Last of Us, are we getting a Joel-focused DLC in the future?

And I'm currently playing Infinite right now, and am thoroughly enjoying it, thanks to the BOTH of you!

courtneedray515 karma

Troy really does have fantastic hair. I tried to get his secrets while we were working on Infinite, but to no avail.

pigeonlord212 karma

This one's for Troy. You voiced the main character in two of the biggest games of 2013, how do you feel about all this fame?

ThatTroyBaker468 karma

Fame isn't my goal. Only that hopefully people respect the work. If i can disappear behind the role, then I've done my job.

newboy97209 karma

Heey!! What was the process of choosing you for the roles of Booker and Elizabeth? Did you do a normal audition among other actors or did they ask you for it?

ThatTroyBaker402 karma

We actually auditioned with each other. Ken was looking for chemistry and a connection between the characters, not just who was the best individually. The infamous "yelling video" that proliferated YouTube was actually Courtnee's "callback". she's a trooper. haha

newboy97137 karma

Thanks for your reply! That was a very emotional clip, it really showed your dedication for the roles.

And another question here:

At that phase of the auditions that you mentioned, when looking for chemistry, did you think that Booker and Elizabeth would have a romantic relationship? And when did you discover the REAL relationship between the two?

courtneedray482 karma

I definitely thought a romantic relationship was in the works. Much, much later when I found out the truth...um, it was pretty gross. I'm still recovering a bit from that.

courtneedray230 karma

The audition process was interesting because after being cast Ken told me that when he first heard my callback he didn't think I was Liz. Only after being hounded by others and hearing my tape again did it click for him. I'll never let him live that one down :)

losttranslati0n192 karma

What did you guys think when you first read the ending to infinite?

ThatTroyBaker543 karma

::head shake::

"ok. say that again…slower." hahaha

courtneedray423 karma

I remember looking at Troy, then looking at Ken, then down at the ground, then back at Troy. I felt like my head had exploded.

ChainsawInMyAss169 karma

What do you guys think about the massive amount of porn oriented around Elizabeth and Booker?

courtneedray332 karma

I think that talking about it on "Up at Noon" was the biggest mistake I ever made. If I could only reach into another dimension and become the Courtnee Draper that never said that...

ucieaters33163 karma

How long did it take for you two to perfect the version of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" that we got in the game?

courtneedray269 karma

Honestly, what you see in the credits was our first, maybe second run though. It was one of the moments where things just clicked and you could feel the energy vibrating and filling the room. Pretty spectacular thing.

KakkaCarrotCake152 karma

What was it like taking on the role of the joker in Origins, after Mark Hamill's performance?

ThatTroyBaker243 karma

Terrifying! I just honed in on who The Joker was, allowed myself the freedom to fail and tried to give the respect the character and story deserved. The fans have been incredibly kind.

soleedus128 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA -- I'm a huge fan of both of you.

  1. How has BioShock Infinite affected your careers as a voice actors, especially future prospects?

  2. Have you played/completed BioShock Infinite? If so, what did you think?

courtneedray266 karma

BioShock Infinite has busted wide open my passion for videogames and the gaming community. I'm eating up as much as I can, as fast as I can. Very much looking forward to working on games in the future and revealing the ones I've been lucky enough to record since Infinite!

I have played the game, but damn that final battle! Still working my way through that one.

Naggers123301 karma

Have you ever thought of going to a games convention and just shouting 'Booker, catch!' at random people?

Edit: It'd be an awesome way to get rid of rubbish without going to the bin. 'Booker, catch!' *Throws empty Starbucks cup at someone

courtneedray322 karma

Hmmm...you may have just given me quite the inspiration. If I get thrown out by security can I pin it on you?

cpres109 karma


ThatTroyBaker216 karma

hahaha. it was tough. But i love being thrown off. When you're surrounded by great people like that and when you're wearing spandex with shiny balls on it, you left "not looking like an idiot" behind you a WHILE ago.

TryTheHumus108 karma

For both ya: is the casting process for voice-over work that much different than film/tv/etc.? How do directors decide who's best for the role?

courtneedray224 karma

I think the casting process is drastically different. For voice over work I'm not limited (or burdened) by my physical body. I can whip out the voice of a Brit, an old lady, a little boy, or a power-wielding badass like Liz. For film and television your look is just as important (or unfortunately even more important) than your acting chops. Being a female in my 20's, this is the bane of my existence.

ThatTroyBaker161 karma

I treat it the same. There are some aesthetic limitations in film that aren't present in games, but to me it's more about not treating auditions as a chance to prove you can act, but rather simply showing the director/producers what the character looks like.

kojane107 karma

Do yous ever use a character voice when you are out in everyday life?

courtneedray387 karma

What comes as a talent in acting can look utterly insane in real life. The other day I was in a store, walking around pulling out all sorts of crazy voices while browsing. Half practicing, half goofing off, totally oblivious to social conventions. When I approached the lady at the counter she looked frightened and said, "Wow, you sure talk to yourself in a lot of different voices."

layna0395 karma

So... Uhm assuming I'm not too late for this (that would just suck);

Is there ever a sense of surrealism to turn something on that you've done and be like "Hey that's me!" Either in a video game or in any other roles?

ThatTroyBaker180 karma

Every. Damn. Time.

courtneedray160 karma

Once I saw what a badass Liz was, I totally fan-girled over her. I couldn't believe how cool it was that I got to play her voice.

momocon83 karma

For anyone looking for more information on MomoCon, please check out the information page http://www.momocon.com/momocon-2014-important-information/

Or our subreddit /r/MomoCon.

Also a big thanks to both Troy and Courtnee for agreeing to do this!

FurrrSure81 karma

Courtnee; What's next? Any voice acting? Acting?

courtneedray145 karma

All acting, all day, every day...until I'm too frail to understand what I'm doing. As soon as I can reveal my next projects I'll be yelling them from the internet mountain tops!

Ali_Parker1755 karma

What's your favorite childhood memory?

courtneedray154 karma

Well, my first memory is of swimming around in a hot tub wearing floaties at my third birthday and watching my first puppy, Sasha, run around like a maniac. That's probably my favorite memory. I loved both that dog and those plastic life-saving devices (they made my biceps look huge).

Rapture11780 karma

Will either of you two be attending PAX EAST in Boston this year? Would love to meet both of you in person!

courtneedray134 karma

I would love to attend Pax again! Such a fantastic fanbase and the city of Boston has my heart and soul. You got connections?

courtneedray78 karma

I can no longer see straight...time for a break. I'll try to come back soon and answer more questions!

NickyTheNewt73 karma

Troy - what were the main differences in preparing for Booker in BioShock Infinite, Joel in The Last Of Us, and The Joker in Arkham Origins? Congrats on such a big year, by the way, you've easily become one of the few voice actors that will make me interested in a game just because you're in it.

Courtnee - do you have any new voice acting projects coming up? I read somewhere that you wanted to retire or something like that, and I thought that would be an absolute travesty since you were balls-bustingly incredible as Elizabeth in Infinite. And what were the main differences for your voice acting between the original Infinite and the Burial at Sea episodes?

courtneedray120 karma

I do have new voice acting projects but they've made me give up my freedom to speak, or sacrifice my frist born child. It's tough out here in La La Land.

Although I got some practice at my retirement voice when playing Nanny (old Liz), I decided to reach back through the dimensions and try this acting thing anew. Unfortunately you all are stuck with me for awhile!

The main difference between voicing original Infinite and Burial is that Burial Liz is smoky, Burial Liz is vampy, and Liz is bloodthirsty. Just another day at the office...

Ali_Parker1772 karma

What is your favorite color?

ThatTroyBaker434 karma



ThE_CoMpOsR65 karma

For Troy: How did you prepare for the role of Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid V? Your take on the character sounds almost exactly like a mix of Josh Keaton and Patric Zimmerman, Ocelot's previous voice-over actors.

ThatTroyBaker110 karma

it comes from having great direction. Kojima-san is a master and Kris Zimmerman is in love with the franchise and keeps us honest.

crashthecharr63 karma

Hi guys, thanks for doing this AmA.

How much, if any at all, input do you guys get in the final script, is any of it improv if youre familiar with the character, or are people quite strict on what they want?

courtneedray115 karma

It really depends on the project and who you're working with. Some people (like Ken) are not only super open to your input, but they encourage it. That's what makes for a really fantastic collaboration because you have all these creative forces just bouncing off one another and the art keeps evolving as a result. It's like astrophysics...for actors.

Toddle555 karma

To Troy: How do you get your hair like that???? To Courtnee: Are you going to make a music album? You have a great voice.

courtneedray148 karma

I would love to make a music album! It's been on my mind (and bucket list) for many years. But...where could I find a wonderfully talented, strikingly handsome guitar player?

chino_Eze2650 karma

Mr.Baker: My brother and I call you "the next Nolan North" are you ok with that?

Ms.Draper: Are you going to be in more videogames in the future?

Thanks for the AMA have a great day!

ThatTroyBaker119 karma

No one, especially me, will ever replace Nolan. #LongLiveTheKing

AegonVandelay47 karma

For Troy:

1) Any Persona games on the horizon?

2) Can you tease any upcoming projects?

And most importantly:

3) Why do you keep leaving your phone / tablet around Travis?

Also get bent.

ThatTroyBaker94 karma

not that i know of.

inFamous Second Son is coming out March 21st!!

RIGHT?! You'd think I'd learned by now!


WannabeNatalie43 karma

For Troy: Your voice acting is amazing! You make me reconsider games that I might not have played, like the upcoming Infamous game. Your portrayal of Booker and Joel was unforgettable.

Which of your roles have proven more challenging than the rest?

Also, (This is unrelated to your voice acting work.) you are crazy hot!

For Courtnee: You were amazing as Elizabeth. I wish you were in more titles!

Do you have any other upcoming projects that we can know about?

courtneedray86 karma

Thanks for the compliment! I do have more titles coming out but I've taken an oath on my life to bite my tongue. As soon as I'm released from my prison of silence I'll be spreading the news all over social media like Sinatra in "New York, New York."

DaLateDentArthurDent41 karma

Hi guys, I'm a massive fan of Bioshock Infinite. Finished it on release day at 3 in the morning and sat gasping for about an hour. You were absolutely perfect.

I have two questions :)

1: What advice would you give anyone who wants to get into voice acting? Where would they start? What kind of showreel should they make?

2: Troy, I recently started playing The Last of Us and I'm completely captivated, you play the role of the weathered and devastated father so well solely by using your voice. How hard was it to get into the role of Joel?

ThatTroyBaker54 karma

"Getting into the character" was a constantly evolving process. Understanding the character came first. Then understanding why he made the decisions he did throughout the entire game taught me about the character. It was almost like reenacting the past real-time, if that makes any sense. We spent a lot of time understanding choices, because at the core of the game, that's what the story is about.

SaltyMcSwallow40 karma

Three questions. First. Will the Circle be Unbroken is without a doubt the best song on the Bioshock Infinite OST. How much work went into getting your rendition of the old hymn to sound that damn good? Whose idea was it to include the easter egg with the guitar and the scared child?

Second. (Spoilers maybe?) Obviously you already know how it ends, but have you ever actually played through the game? Bird or Cage? Do you draw first or do you get stabbed in the hand?

Third. What is/was your favorite line or verbal exchange between Booker and Elizabeth that got cut from the finished game?

Btw, thanks for doing this, your fans really appreciate it.

courtneedray63 karma

I remember Ken talking to us about the "easter egg moment" and he wasn't sure if it was going to work. Troy and I thought it'd be so awesome and a really cool thing to do. When we recording the song it was sort of off the cuff and the scene during the credits was our first or second take.

Kknowsbest37 karma

What was your first reaction after reading the ending of bioshock infinite?

courtneedray104 karma


RossPeterson30 karma

Hello! This is for Troy: What was it like working on Mass Effect 3?

ThatTroyBaker58 karma

It was over too quickly. I was fancying/nerding out the entire time.

DanishxAssassin29 karma

Question for Courtnee. Are you pursuing any other voicework now? During your appearance at PAX, you mentioned you were obtaining a law degree instead of continuing your acting career.

courtneedray73 karma

I am actively pursuing other voiceover work. I've become completely enamored with it - especially games - and I couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Insanity-Shoebox26 karma


ThatTroyBaker84 karma

Focus on the acting. The voice will come.

lystara25 karma

Courtnee: any chance your returning to acting? After such a strong positive response from bioshock.

courtneedray58 karma

Oh yeah, I'm in it to win it. BioShock awakened something in me that I never should have shut the door on.

i_eversaw24 karma

For both Troy and Courtnee, how did your first ever VO gig go and what character did you play?

courtneedray53 karma

My very first voiceover gig was for "Tangled" - then called "Rapunzel Unbraided." I worked on it for like four or five years, through many artistic changes and story revisions. It was a fantastic experience and I learned a LOT. Working with Glen Keane was a dream come true.

Patriscuit23 karma

Did you two have any random pranks on each other when recording for Infinite?

ThatTroyBaker67 karma

my acting could be considered a prank. ;-)

Ali_Parker1721 karma

If you could go back in time, what year would you want to go to?

ThatTroyBaker45 karma

Whoof. Tough question.

Mediaval, Gold Rush Days, Turn of the century.

ChocolatePain21 karma

First of all, you're hot.

Secondly, do you still get requests to sing Excalibur?

ThatTroyBaker55 karma

I'll punch you.


SuPeRfLyKiD319 karma


"The Jersey" was one of my favorite shows to watch while growing up. Do you have any fun stories from behind the scenes of what it was like working with some of the athletes and do you keep in touch with any of the castmates from the show?

courtneedray10 karma

Working on that show was a blast. We got to meet so many amazingly talented athletes every week which was a gift in itself. Having Clint Mathis take care of me when I was sick, Randy Johnson brought me french toast when I was hungry, and many many other awesome moments. But the best times were the episodes with food fights...mainly cause we didn't have to clean up the ness or get yelled at by our parents.

LukesInstinct19 karma

This one's for you, Troy. Is there any game character at all that you really wish you could have a crack at voicing that you haven't already?

ThatTroyBaker32 karma

No. I would hate to be the one that screwed it up! ha ha

littlegirl123415 karma

Do you guys get to play the games that you act for. What is it like hearing your voice in a game?

ThatTroyBaker33 karma

I'm a huge gamer and it's always a wonderful surprise to see the result of how what we did, after it passes through so many hands to finally become the finished product.

courtneedray19 karma

We definitely get to play the games we act in - it'd be a crime not to experience the end result! Hearing my voice doesn't really feel strange to me. Most of the time I'm tuning it out and focusing on all the other aspects of the game and story that are going on.

flaminhotcheeto15 karma

Courtnee you helped me grow into a man with your role on "the Jersey" thank you for that.

courtneedray28 karma

Wow. That's more than I did for most boyfriends. I want to frame this comment.

ALinkToTheReddit14 karma

First off, I love both of you and your work, Courtnee, thank you for such an amazing role as Elizabeth. Troy, you have all of my thanks, you are such a phenomenal actor, no one can out beat you, I also thank you for being a true inspiration to me personally. You have inspired me to pursue a career in voice acting. I literally cannot thank you enough. Your simple reading of the Killing Joke inspired me to choose it as my piece for a my schools forensics meets. So that starts off my question, what inspired you two to go into this career? What event in your life drew you to this field?

ThatTroyBaker40 karma

Batman:TAS had a huge influence on me. I remember meeting Jess Harnell, Rob Paulson and Tres McNeil at an Animaniacs signing in like '96 and it was the first time I had ever met someone who was a voice of a character that I loved! It was surreal and I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue. But always be open to your dreams looking differently than what you first want them to be. Always be open.

JaronK14 karma

How much do you know about the characters while you're recording? Are you given a whole backstory, or at least a "here's what's going on in this scene" breakdown, or is it just "here's the lines, make it work"?

ThatTroyBaker35 karma

Much of the story was still being written, but Ken had a clear vision and knew where he wanted it to go. We would approach the story in pieces and Ken would give us as much information as he thought was necessary to execute it. Sometimes that was a lot, others he kept us in the dark with some details.

EmergentBehavior12 karma

Hey Troy. Quick question: what music do you listen to? And any plans on performing in South Florida?

ThatTroyBaker16 karma

I'm all over the map, both musically and geographically. I believe we have something coming up in SF soon!

clydefrog8912 karma

Troy, you dont have to do this...you know that right?

ThatTroyBaker23 karma

After all we've been though? Everything I've done? It can't be for nothing...

ladystarstorm11 karma

On an ACTUAL serious note, and this is for both of you - is it ever too late to try to get involved in the biz? I've always been passionate about singing and using my voice in general. I've done some fandubbing/casual VA stuff online, and it's something I've always had an interest in pursuing further, but at 28 I feel like it's a bit too late to start attempting anything ambitious. What are your thoughts?

ThatTroyBaker15 karma

Never too late. Be open. I just found out that Steve Blum didn't really "get started" til he was 40. #mindblown

ThatTroyBaker10 karma

15 minutes left. We may have to come back to get through all of these!

Kknowsbest10 karma

Where is the strangest place that somebody asked you for an autograph?

courtneedray11 karma

In a bathroom and on someone's underwear. Separate occasions...although together would've been quite epic.

Kknowsbest9 karma

What phrase from Bioshock Infinite do fans ask you to say to them the most?

courtneedray17 karma

Booker catch!