We are three VO Actors:

Ashly Burch: Hey Ash Whatcha Playin?, Tiny Tina - Borderlands 2, Chloe Price - Life is Strange

TJ Storm: (our mocap guru) Colossus - Deadpool, Godzilla - Godzilla, Avatar, Decimus - Halo

Steve Blum: Wolverine, Lex Luthor - Infinite Crisis, Tank Dempsey - COD, Bob - Toonami, World Record for performing in the most number of video games

We're still striking, we're still here and we still believe that Game Performance Matters!

SAG AFTRA has put out three contracts: experimental, indie and AAA, that have now been signed by over a dozen game companies. We still want to create dialogue with the companies that refuse to negotiate. We had an original AMA, but there were still a lot of questions we didn't get to. We're here to talk about our stike, and anything else you guys think up.

ASK US ANYTHING

Proof:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GamePerfMatters/status/823988046617948160

Game Performance Matters Website

Corporate greed has put the brakes on some of your favorite games, hurting everybody on the team, help us tell them that performance matters to you!

EDIT: Since we're getting some questions that we responded to in the first AMA, there's a FAQ here as well: http://www.gameperformancematters.com/faq

EDIT 2: Everyone has to run to auditions, but we will be back with more VA and Mocap performers soon. We'll also check in through the next couple days to make sure we respond to the top voted questions. Please make sure you check out our FAQ at: http://www.gameperformancematters.com/faq

EDIT 3: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

thanks to /u/maddking as our moderator

Comments: 1021 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

Clarketk1204 karma

Fine, I'll say it.

Hey Ash, whatcha playin'?

gameperfmatters969 karma

A: I am playing The Last Guardian, and I love Trico more than life itself.

Lennyoh953 karma

So, Steve, my man. How does it feel to be introducing brand new Dragon Ball material on Toonami again? =]

gameperfmatters1067 karma

S: Just like the good old days. Appreciate you tuning in. Only Toonami!

ACrossOverEpisode537 karma

Ash, how many times do you say 'hella' in an average day?

Seriously though your work as Chloe was awesome. Super excited for Horizon Zero Dawn

gameperfmatters750 karma

A: No joke, it's worked its way into my speech. Chloe has changed me forever.

BoyWithTheCoolName454 karma

Hi guys! I'm really into voice acting for video games, so I'm pretty happy I got to this AMA early!

What was the weirdest thing you've had to say for a role? The one line or lines that really took you a moment to process?

gameperfmatters740 karma

A: Basically every line I had to say for Tiny Tina. S: Having to articulate the thoughts of a landscape made of human feces. T: For a Spiderman game, the girl that was working with us that day was wrapped early, but she ended up having several more scenes. So I had to wrap tape around knees and put blocks of wood under my heels to simulate a woman in a pencil skirt in heels.

DX115FALCON450 karma

This one is for Steve:

I'm a moderator over at /r/CODZombies, and I think there is one question on all of our minds over there.

Do you, personally, hope that Tank Dempsey will return, or is this it for him?

Love your work man!

gameperfmatters471 karma

I always hope... BANG!!! Explodes in a red mist

PhoenixFilms404 karma

Ash: Will we see Tiny Tina in Borderlands 3?

Steve Blum: If you could choose one person to play Spike in a live action Cowboy Bebop, who would it be?

gameperfmatters883 karma

A: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (u/maddking: she literally said, "ascii shrug")

S: Wow. Ummm. I'm not qualified to be a casting agent. But I did meet Keanu Reeves who was very invested in that.

Jbeezy23288 karma

Hey, Ash! How's Papa Burch doing these days?

gameperfmatters565 karma

A: He's good. He continues to exclusively smoke cigars and read romance novels to pass the time.

technicalityNDBO215 karma

What video game character(s) from the 16-bit era and prior would you like to do the voices for?

gameperfmatters387 karma

A: Luca in Chrono Trigger S: I was Dhalsim in Street Fighter so... T: King Koopa

Takkuny194 karma

Hey guys! I've been curious about this. How do you guys work if you're sick? Like if your nose is congested, and you end up sounding nasally all day, what do you?

gameperfmatters290 karma

A: If it's really bad, you have to call it. Because you don't want to mess up your voice OR get anyone else sick! TJ: For mocap, unless we're injured, we have to do it. Mo-cap studios are booked months in advance, there's a lot of money at stake for the companies. I've been injured and still had to perform. S: For fear of contagion, I generally stay home if it's bad. Sometimes I can record from home.

Hand_some_Badger176 karma

Ashly, Bae or Bay?

gameperfmatters346 karma

A: I can rewind time, so I choose both.

PolarMay171 karma

Hi all! Steve - you are my favourite VA of all time, I always wondered tho, have you trained your voice to be this epic or is it your natural voice? And if you do train your voice, how do you do it?

gameperfmatters373 karma

S: It's the only thing I know how to do. I'm terrible at brain surgery.

postExistence168 karma

Ashly, Steve, TJ, what were your most painful and strenuous experiences behind the mic for game va work?

gameperfmatters393 karma

S: Passing out while screaming during a Spider Man audition. Then they recorded it, and passed it around to other directors who played it for me at other sessions.

A: I was on a game where there was a lot of screaming, and while I was trying to maintain my voice the director was talking shit about other actors who wanted to tap out. I felt pressured to maintain and not ask for breaks.

T: Voice: Doing two action games in a row on the same day, and at the end of the day, actually spitting blood. And I was unable to speak above a whisper for 4 days. Mocap: Common days for "navs" (when you're playing the main character and all his possible movements) means that you spend the entire day running in squatted position, or on your knuckles, or in some uncomfortable twisted position while performing sometimes in combat gear. Show Business!

Kheapathic167 karma

Hey Ash, what caused your brother to lose his mind and go crazy?

gameperfmatters162 karma

A: He was always that way.

ViolentValentine166 karma

Hey Ashly. As you might have heard Nik Shriner and Hannah Telle gather together from time to time to play Life Is Strange. Any chances you will be joining them eventually?

gameperfmatters192 karma

A: I would love to. All the times they have in the past, I've had scheduling conflicts, but hopefully one day.

Trifax151 karma

Hi guys, mod from /r/VoiceActing here, and personally a huge fan of the CoD zombies series and your work as Tank, Steve.

Can each of you talk about how you acquired your first agent? What were you looking for in representation? Also, what classes do you attend/who do you coach with to stay on top of your game? I know the training never stops, even at your guys' level of work, so if you have recommendations you'd like to drop on classes or coaches, please do!

Thanks for talking with us, and being great educators for the on-going strike. Cheers!

gameperfmatters221 karma

S: I slept with her. And her husband. For realistic path go to Iwanttobeavoiceactor.com

A: I had the most roundabout way. I was writing at valve for a second and a person from Nickelodeon said, "You should put her in cartoons she's a voice actor." And then when I came down to LA that I did a general audition at nickelodeon and then the casting director did me a huge solid and recommended me to some agencies.

T: My first VO job was playing my own agent, pitching myself as being awesome for various jobs. I got my first 15-20 films off of that, including a movie called 'Once Upon a Time in China 6' with Jet Li and Sammo Hung.

Reaper7412139 karma

Is there anything we can do to help you and other VA's?

gameperfmatters227 karma

ALL: Absolutely! 1.) Visit SAG-AFTRA’s website (sagaftra.org/interactive). Get informed. 2.) Vote with your dollars. Be aware of what games the corporate 11 are releasing. Look at games put out by other publishers. 3.) Dispel misinformation with facts. For example, we’re not asking for royalties, they’re bonuses, which is an important distinction. 4.) On social media, talk about the performances you love in games, and use hashtag #PerformanceMatters.

thirtyoutoftwenty137 karma

I know Ash showed up in that Goblin-based special for Tabletop Day, but what does everyone think about Critical Role and the possibility of guesting on it?

gameperfmatters154 karma

S: Critical Role is badass, but I am not yet qualified. Starting my first game this week. A: I will always come back for Critical Role under any circumstances. T: Matt came to our D&D game right before he started the show, and I love what he's doing. I'm an old-school player, and I'd love to be on his show.

AnimalHeroFirstClass124 karma

Why do you think Jesus Christ 64 had no sequels?

gameperfmatters415 karma

A: We're all still waiting for the second coming.

will-dearborn98 karma

Ashly, is that your voice I hear as Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn?

gameperfmatters140 karma

A: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But seriously, NDA. Looks cool tho!

edit: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

damianmgarci84 karma

Hey Steve, big fan of your work, so I hope you see this question. What needs to be done exactly so the strike can end?

gameperfmatters145 karma

S: Management would agree to pay actors fairly, respect their safety, and let our reps know what we're working on. There's already some companies (indies and AAA) that have agreed to those terms, so really it's just up to the game corps to come to the table.

col-fancypants70 karma

This one is for Steve, Whats it like knowing at least 2 generations of kids have grown up learning about excellent anime thanks to Tom?

gameperfmatters103 karma

S: I hope I didn't screw them up psychologically. I've been apologizing to parents for 10 years.

amw2687059 karma

Hey Ash, what was the first game you played that made you actively think of the constructs of a game?

gameperfmatters147 karma

A: Metal Gear Solid, because it forces you to think of it as a game. Particularly the Mantis fight.

Clutch0858 karma

Hey Team,

With the advent of new media, and the decline of traditional media, there seems to be subconscious fear building within the union community. What would you say is the biggest obstacle between traditional media and new media in regards to fair wages, unions, work protection, etc?

gameperfmatters177 karma

T: I'll take this because mocap and VR (which is rising quickly), and are combining, need to be addressed in the areas of wages, credit and safety, large issues in the current negotiations. For example, I've been Iron Man in Civil War, but I'm not credited because of the nature of the industry.

brittanydawnmack54 karma

Ashly!

Are you a soprano or an alto? And can we sing a duet together? Pleeeeease

gameperfmatters107 karma

A: I think I'm still a soprano. My voice has dropped. And I'm singing right now! Sing with me! "Somewhere Out There!"

Madjaq53 karma

What is the video game strike about? What are you guys trying to get?

gameperfmatters81 karma

Consensus: There's a culture of exploitation in the Game Industry. This goes for VA, but also and especially Devs, programmers, etc. (in fact you can find where the programmers and Devs had a similar issue with Atari in the 80s on our website, and yet here we are fighting the same fight 20 years later). We're looking for Safety for our actors and Mocap actors, we looking for transparency so that we can negotiate fairly and prepare for our roles, we're looking for compensation that's in line with every other contract we work under.

You can visit our FAQ to see more: http://www.gameperformancematters.com/faq

gameperfmatters75 karma

ALL: In short, fair compensation, safety and transparency are the issues at hand. Check out http://www.gameperformancematters.com/ for all the details, including a new FAQ.

Gobtarsmasha44 karma

Hello Steve! Huge fan since you flexed vocal powers in Dawn of War series. Do you play any Tabletop games or Pen and Paper RPGs?

gameperfmatters71 karma

S: Nope. I'm about to do my first one.

TheRealKaveman42 karma

To Steve, or anyone with knowledge of the matter,

How might I go about obtaining the scripts for the English dub of Cowboy Bebop? It's for a fan project I'm working on, so if it's not possible due to legal stuff, totally understandable.

gameperfmatters66 karma

S: I think we have some on my website. Go to www.steveblumvoices.com.

hotrox_mh38 karma

Corporate greed has put the brakes on some of your favorite games, hurting everybody on the team, help us tell them that performance matters to you!

Alternatively:

Voice actor greed has put the brakes on some of your favorite games, hurting everybody on the team, help us tell them that performance matters to you!

I am not against voice actors, and am very much against corporations (for the most part), but I do think it's a bit disingenuous to paint this as only one side is greedy here. Both groups want more money, and just because the corporations currently have more of it doesn't mean they are inherently the bad guys. Of course I also can't actually read the website at the moment, so I guess my question is: tl;dr?

gameperfmatters24 karma

T: Performance bonuses based on a shared prosperity model. When a game sells 2,000,000 unit,s give an actor $200. It's not going to break the bank. Less than 20 games crossed the threshold last year, and almost all of them use union actors. We at least want to negotiate, which the companies refuse to do. An insider said the best quote from the the game corps during the last negotiation was, "We aren't interested in problems that have solutions."

GillsGT38 karma

Why should voice actors get all these perks before say the developers?

gameperfmatters67 karma

http://www.gameperformancematters.com/faq

S: I haven't met an actor yet who doesn't support developers organizing. It's a shop in need of a steward.

VorAtreides36 karma

Hey Steve,

Do you get to play any games much? If so, Do you have a favorite genre? :)

gameperfmatters94 karma

S: I don't play games. But I have a brand new PS4 sitting in my house in shrink wrap for a year and a half.

TwingTwang34 karma

Hey Ash, what are some of your favorite books ever?

gameperfmatters82 karma

A: It's a bit morbid, but I'm reading a book called "Stiff" by Mary Roach. Anything by Douglas Adams. I've read a lot of David Foster Wallace's essays and non-fiction books.

ootman9629 karma

Hey Steve how was working with Logic on his album? Also, if you have played any zombies maps which is your favorite?

gameperfmatters35 karma

S: So much fun. Love that dude. He's my brother now. A MONSTER talent I'm not a gamer, so can't comment on the second part.

SilverCastedDildos29 karma

Hey Ash,

What's your favorite Say Anything song? Are you going to see them in April? Also what other music are you into?

gameperfmatters62 karma

A: I haven't listened to them in so long, but my fav was 'Alive with the Glory of Love'. These days I'm listening to Anderson Paak, and feverishly listening to Haim on repeat, waiting for their next album.

Atcha4626 karma

I read some where that only a couple of games qualified for bonuses last year. If very few games are qualifying for the bonuses, what's the point of have them when only a handful of actors will benefit from the bonuses? Even then the maximum is around 3k.

Also, if a voice actor has one line in a game, does that actor qualify for bonuses? If so why do you think that actor deserves bonuses?

gameperfmatters72 karma

ALL: There isn't an actor that has just one line in a game. It never happens. Most actors will do one or two lines for myriad characters, or multiple lines for one character. Either way, their contribution is substantial. And, yes, only the blockbuster games would qualify for our proposed structure, because those are the games that turn a profit and where most union actors are found. And they employ hundreds of actors in many cases. Also, that $3000 (at max) for the working actor can make all the difference in being able to support themselves and continue their profession. It's small, but not insignificant.

MrFlemz22 karma

Cats or dogs?

gameperfmatters39 karma

A: Are you trying to get me killed? S: Why not both? Let's crossbreed! T: Both!

ivansayoray13 karma

Hey Ash, huge fan!

To everyone: Hardest character to voice act?

gameperfmatters49 karma

A: Chloe was the most emotionally challenging (but rewarding for that reason), but apart from that, I had to scream a bunch in "Call of Duty," so that was difficult.

TheKingofHearts12 karma

Out of all contributors to video game development, do you guys feel like there's a certain amount of expendibility behind voice acting work? I.e., not much job security?

gameperfmatters30 karma

T: I would say there's more job security. It's a specialized skill set. And as games become more cinematic, performance matters more and more.

Complex710 karma

Steve how has your perception of Tank Dempsey changed over the years?

gameperfmatters42 karma

S: I've grown to love him more as a brother than just a zombie-splattering muscle head.

ErnestScaredStupid9 karma

What's your favorite Nic Cage performance, and why?

gameperfmatters31 karma

S: I kinda liked him in "City of Angels." I'm ashamed to say that.

A: "Bangkok Dangerous."

T: "The Rock"! The first time I did extra work was with Nic Cage. We had a great conversation. I had no idea who he was at the time.

rod_kimble9 karma

First of all, welcome to you all, and thanks for being immensely talented!

Creatively, how much flexibility do you often have on projects? Are you able to improvise, or is much of it just the director/writer's exact vision?

Has auditioning gotten easier or about the same over time?

gameperfmatters17 karma

S: I control everything! #altfacts

T: Definitely a collaborative effort in mocap bc the character is brought to life by the actor or stuntman, and that is a great way for the artist and director to work together. For example, in Deadpool, Tim Miller had a super clear vision of what he wanted for Colossus. But we still found even more once we were on the performance floor. Auditioning is always hard.

A: Depends on writers/directors, some are literalists, some others allow things that are more impromptu for the character. Auditioning has gotten easier for me as I've worked more, and I've grown in confidence as a performer. Auditioning isn't giving them what they want, but rather presenting your best interpretation of the character.

LittleWhiteDragon9 karma

Steve I love your voice! You've been in so many of my favorite anime series! Are you currently working any new anime projects?

gameperfmatters18 karma

S: Not new ones. Continuing with Naruto, but most of it is being done in Texas.

Shardtheumbreon8 karma

Hey steve :). would you ever consider coming back to christchurch armageddon in new zealand? would be great to meet you again. :)

gameperfmatters10 karma

S: Absolutely! Packing now.

liamquane7 karma

Mr. Storm, can I ask what was it like working with Gareth Edwards on Godzilla? Will you be back for the second?

gameperfmatters20 karma

T: Perfect example. I never came face to face with Gareth until we met at a Rogue One screening and he was surprised and congratulated me on my performance. But I worked with Garret Warren that we shot for the movie.

postExistence6 karma

Steve, if somehow the Cowboy Bebop live-action film was approved for production, what advice would you give to Spike's actor? (My two candidates: Benedict Cumberbatch for resemblance, Keanu Reeves for the martial arts and weapons skills)

Also, if we ever met, I would introduce myself in my Guilmon voice.

Good luck you guys, it's not going to be easy.

gameperfmatters19 karma

S: I'd have them consult with Watanabe-san before every action and reaction.

alexweitzman6 karma

Here's a question mostly for TJ: since motion-capture has a lot more in common with doing theatre, with its full-body engagement, what kind of warm-ups do you do before sessions? Physical, vocal, etc.

gameperfmatters12 karma

T: A lot of motion capture actors are part actor, part athlete, so we train as if we're in both worlds. Since the stage is usually well air-conditioned, we have to warm up quite a bit before we begin. Running, skipping, jumping are all common things, as well as some vocal exercises if we're speaking.

yagathai3 karma

Hey Ash what was up with Kevin Sorbo not showing up on Muzzled and was that whole production as shady as it seemed? I know you weren't in charge -- I'm just wondering if you had any insight.

gameperfmatters20 karma

A: I don't know how that particular sausage was made, but my experience with everyone was awesome.

essidus3 karma

Voice acting to me is always one of the most important parts of a good game, and you three are some of the very best. Sorry if I bombard you with questions! Is it difficult doing line reads when you often don't have anyone to read against? Has there been a role that stands out to you, either as fun, or challenging, or just plain ol' weird? What is your dream character to be the voice for, in gaming or otherwise?

gameperfmatters7 karma

T: 1. Reading against nothing is the standard. Usually you have the recording of the other actor though. All motion capture is performing without ANYTHING. There is an entire environment that you can't see. Usually the director is describing it to you. You become your best version of a child's imagination and do your thing. A: 2. Chloe, was challenging, but I was the Quacho queen in the World of Final Fantasy and it was fun playing a skittish tiny British Woman. S: 3. I don't think in terms of dream character. I'm so grateful I've been able to dupe them into letting me play.

Hxc03303 karma

As a union electrician myself who has seen how hard it is to gain ground, what is being done for voice actors to get these rights?

gameperfmatters3 karma

ALL: First off, hello fellow union sibling! We continue to reach out to all levels of the game community to dispel misinformation and find common ground. There are many companies, developers and fans that understand where we're coming from (and some companies that are already coming on board to contracts with our terms), and we just need to get that thinking to permeate these game corps we're striking against.

ALTHiR2 karma

Have you ever visited Finland or any other country in the north? If not, why?

gameperfmatters5 karma

Steve: Is there a Con there? TJ: No, not yet, but I want to!

liamquane2 karma

HI EVERYONE!!!! Can I ask, what is the best thing a director can do for you on set or in the booth? Thanks :~)

gameperfmatters3 karma

All: communicate clearly.

MegaMasterX1 karma

T/S/A: What's your favorite, most memorable role and what did you like and dislike about it?

gameperfmatters14 karma

S: Their like children, I can't choose. Hmmm... Spike from Cowboy Bebop has probably changed my life more than any other role.

T: Dood, I'm Godzilla and Colossus, that's f***ing bananas!

A: Copying steve, it's really hard to choose. Chloe from life is strange was the most challenging as a performer and therefore the most enriching. I miss playing her.

ksvr1 karma

HeyAsh is brilliant. Are any of you involved with the next Saint's Row?

gameperfmatters3 karma

A: NDA

Shardtheumbreon1 karma

Hey ash. if you could have any character as a vault hunter for bl3 if it gets confirmed, who would it be? also is it true loader bot best character in tales from the borderlands?

gameperfmatters7 karma

A: Ellie for sure!

Anodesu1 karma

Hello you three! Thank you so much for this!

Ash: I'm not rightly certain, but you started out with acting first, right? How was the transition to voice acting for you?

Steve:

TJ: How does one get in to MoCap exactly? Does it branch from stunts or acting? A bit of both? How taxing is it for you?

Steve: I actually started off with not Bebop, but Champloo to get seriously introduced to you as an actor (Still up there as one of my top animated shows). Do you ever do work in Canada for voice work? If so, are the unions different up here in regards to the Performance Matters standards you are currently fighting for down south? Are they worse?

gameperfmatters4 karma

T: It was different before when it was still the wild west. But now it tends to behave much as the rest of the acting industry with agents, managers, etc. That said, many of us still bring in talented ourselves aside from the casting process. And we meet new talent through mocap vaults (which is a school for Mocap training).

TragicLoss0 karma

What advice can you give women (like me) who are in (or want to get into) the gaming industry?

gameperfmatters12 karma

A: Getting involved with online communities of other women that work in the industry (or are trying) and going to conventions and connecting with people is a start. There's still not enough female representation on the developer side. I know there's a lot of difficulties in breaking through and then staying supported once you're in. Seek out a mentor to guide you through the process, but also know you're not the only one facing these difficulties and striving for this.