Hi this is Kaili Vernoff. I am an actress in New York City and I am going to be answering some questions for you guys today. So um, here we go!
Q: What’s voice acting like for video games? Such as Red Dead Redemption 2.
A: Oh great question. For RDR2 we actually didn’t do voice acting we did what’s called performance capture. Which means that we wore motion capture suits and we shot it on a sound stage like you’d shoot a film. I worked on it for 4 1/2 years.
Q: What do you prefer to do? Work in the game industry, television or cinema?
A: Oh, this is a hard one because I really like it all. Um, I’m going to say film, because there’s something about the relationship between the actor and a director in film that’s very different from television. Um, and I love that collaboration
Q: If you were to choose another specialization, what would it be?
A: Um, this is really easy. I’m not good at anything else, this is it for me. I’m an actress. I’m stuck with it.
Q: How did you first break into the acting industry?
A: Um, how did I break in? Well, I got my degree in theatre from Boston University, and an agent came and saw me in Twelfth Night there and we started working together in New York. But my first big job was a soap opera. Another World, which I did for a year.
Q: Do you have any book or TV recommendations?
A: Um, so we just watched the Queen’s Gambit on Netflix staring Anya Taylor-Joy who is someone I know. I worked with her on Thoroughbreds and I adore her. And I read a memoir called Stray by Stephanie Danler that is excellent.
Q: What tips do you have for people who want to write for Rockstar, Ubisoft, etc?
A: I can’t answer this, but I know who can, Mary Kenny is an amazing writer for Spider Man: Miles Morales and The Walking Dead final season and I interviewed her and you can hear it on Monday for The Let’s Play Podcast. She’s amazing.
Q: Is there any app or way that can help practice dubbing?
A: Um, not that I know of and that’s a fantastic idea. Um, dubbing is a skill. And I’m pretty good at it, but that would be a great app idea. I say go for it.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice that a director has given you?
A: I wanted something profound here but the only thing I can think of is, I was shooting Grey’s Anatomy and my character was crying and so I was like digging through my purse looking for a tissue or my phone or whatever and very realistic, and the director said “yeah, that’s great but I can’t see your face at all, because you’re staring at your purse, so”.
Q: If and when an eventual Red Dead Redemption 3 comes out, would you want to explore the gang’s beginnings?
A: I mean if I was in charge of the world, yeah. I wanna see Susan and Dutch together in happy days. Don’t you?
Q: What is like to be a woman in your industry? Any advice for women wanting to follow in your steps?
A: It’s a fabulous time to be a woman in this industry. When I started out they said if you’re not famous by 35, just quit cause you’ll only play grandmas. But you know what? Once I turned 40 the really interesting stuff started coming and I think that’s expanding.
Q: How are you? Really?
A: Thank you so much for asking. I’m good. When I’m done answering your questions I am going to put the lights on the Christmas tree because that’s my job in the family and then my little family and I will decorate the tree and listen to Christmas music and that’s one of my favourite things to do all year, so.
Q: Any voice acting tips on keeping your voice consistent?
A: Great question and this is especially um pertinent to commercial work as they’re changing the copy, you have to keep your reads consistent. You have to learn to love listening to your own voice. Or at least be used to it. Once you know what you sound like, you can adjust.
Q: What did you dream to become when you were a kid?
A: Very brief interlude where I fantasied about being a veterinarian and other than that, acting. Always acting.
Q: What would you say is the most fun thing about your job?
A: The people I’ve gotten to meet. Absolutely! And especially on Red Dead Redemption 2. My cast are just the greatest gang of outlaws you can hope for.
Q: Are there any moments in a performance of yours that you’re particularly proud of?
A: I don’t get enough time with these little story things to answer this. But I can tell you that when it happens, I know it. It’s this moment where you just feel authentic and real and connected and it’s rare and special and it’s why we keep going.
Q: What’s it like voice acting for a video game? Do you ever play the games you act for?
A: We have played some Red Dead in my house and it’s pretty fun to go antagonize Susan. Or even greet Susan but let’s face it, antagonizing her is really fun.
Q: How has COVID made obstacles in your line of work or created new unexpected opportunities?
A: I miss casting directors, I miss just jumping on the subway and heading to a casting office and getting in front of them and working together to create an effecting audition for a character I wanna play. Uh, just doing it in my apartment ain’t the same.
Q: Any habits that you acquired over the past months that you plan to keep doing?
A: Yes, walking around the reservoir in Central Park. I used to do that sometimes but I’ve been doing it every day since COVID and uh, I think I’ve taken Central Park for granted cause I live so close so I will keep that up.
Q: As a film and television actress, what’s the one thing you miss the most about being on set?
A: Literally all of it. From sitting in my trailer and working on lines to walking over to catering with the PAs to that electric moment just before they say “action”, all of it. I miss it all.
Q: What advice do you have for those interested in TV industry jobs?
A: Don’t wait for someone to hire you to do what you love. Find a way to get involved. Even if it’s not the exact job you’re looking for, find a way to participate in the field that you love. One thing leads to another and be easy to work with, kind, helpful.
Q: What is your favourite part of the acting process?
A: Literally every acting job, it’s the collaboration. It’s working with other actors and meeting eye to eye and coming up with something great, taking direction from the director. Literally just the collaboration is the magic. It’s the best part.
Q: Are you planning to do VA for roles outside of videos games?
A: I don’t know if voice acting is different from acting. And I didn’t do voice acting on Red Dead Redemption 2. But I’ve done a lot of commercial voice over and I love that work. So, yeah, it’s all acting.
Well, thank you all for your fabulous questions. It is time to decorate my tree so Happy Holidays to all of you and I can’t wait to see the film. Bye!