Earlier this year I went to a Burbank recording studio to make my video game debut. The game, Real Heroes: Firefighter, is a Wii title that has you taking the role of a rookie firefighter learning the ropes at a firehouse filled with big personalities. You get to fight all sorts of fires, using the Wiimote to handle the hose, chop down doors with your axe and pry open crushed metal with a hydraulic spreader. But I wouldn’t be one of the heroic firefighters. I would be showing up to play victims.
Before my turn in the recording booth I got to see a real pro at work. Jenette Goldstein – Vasquez from Aliens! – was doing her lines when I arrived. She’s playing one of the firefighters (alongside James Marsters, Jack McGee and Jamie Kennedy), and she just tore through her dialogue with aplomb, delivering different takes on each. And then she did a session of grunts and moans for good measure.
Watching Jenette kill it didn’t really prepare me for how hard it is to stand in that room with the microphone and a sheet of paper and… nothing much else. You’re delivering lines into a vacuum, and you don’t really know how to modulate your performance. I swung wildly back and forth between underacting and overacting (well, mostly I overacted), but eventually the guys at Epicenter Studios got me to deliver some lines they could use.
I play a number of victims, and I really show off my acting chops by even playing different ethnicities. I’m an old Japanese man in one section, a snotty CEO in another and a hapless guy trapped in a car in yet another. I’ve seen some game playthrough, and it looks like fun, but I haven’t seen if any of my characters can be killed yet. Probably so, and if you do buy the game and off me, I expect to see YouTube videos of the carnage. And having heard my voice work in the context of the game, I can tell you that the urge to let me die may be overwhelming.
Real Heroes: Firefighter is in stores right now. You can buy it through CHUD by clicking this link.