And Now For Something Completely Machinima

CM Interview with Mark Meer, Voice Actor (Mass Effect)

May 13, 2021 Ricky Grove and Phil Rice Season 4
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
CM Interview with Mark Meer, Voice Actor (Mass Effect)
Chapters
1:53
Mark on his voice acting work at Bioware
4:52
Mark on the thought process of working on Mass Effect
10:50
Mark on the logistics of recording so much dialogue
15:39
Mark on how he prepares for voice acting roles
24:59
What Mark is currently working on
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
CM Interview with Mark Meer, Voice Actor (Mass Effect)
May 13, 2021 Season 4
Ricky Grove and Phil Rice

Mark Meer is a Canadian actor, writer and improvisor, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is known for his role in the Mass Effect trilogy, in which he stars as the voice of the male version of the player character, Commander Shepard. His voice is featured in a number of other games from BioWare Corp., notably the Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age series. Meer stars as the voice of the player character William Mackenzie in The Long Dark from Hinterland Studio, which also features his Mass Effect counterpart, Jennifer Hale.

Music for this episode is Andromeda Soundtrack by lena_orsa from Freesound.org

Links

  • MARK MEER AT IMDB

Mark Meer - IMDb

  • MASS EFFECT LEGENDARY EDITION

https://www.ea.com/games/mass-effect/mass-effect-legendary-edition

  • THE LONG DARK

https://store.steampowered.com/app/305620/The_Long_Dark/

  • STITCH OF FATE PODCAST

https://podbynight.libsyn.com/

  • DUNGEONS & DRAGONS BLACK DICE SOCIETY

https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/events/black-dice-society

  • CAMEO

https://www.cameo.com/markmeer

  • BIOWARE

https://www.bioware.com/



Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Mark Meer is a Canadian actor, writer and improvisor, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is known for his role in the Mass Effect trilogy, in which he stars as the voice of the male version of the player character, Commander Shepard. His voice is featured in a number of other games from BioWare Corp., notably the Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age series. Meer stars as the voice of the player character William Mackenzie in The Long Dark from Hinterland Studio, which also features his Mass Effect counterpart, Jennifer Hale.

Music for this episode is Andromeda Soundtrack by lena_orsa from Freesound.org

Links

  • MARK MEER AT IMDB

Mark Meer - IMDb

  • MASS EFFECT LEGENDARY EDITION

https://www.ea.com/games/mass-effect/mass-effect-legendary-edition

  • THE LONG DARK

https://store.steampowered.com/app/305620/The_Long_Dark/

  • STITCH OF FATE PODCAST

https://podbynight.libsyn.com/

  • DUNGEONS & DRAGONS BLACK DICE SOCIETY

https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/events/black-dice-society

  • CAMEO

https://www.cameo.com/markmeer

  • BIOWARE

https://www.bioware.com/



Damien  0:17  
Welcome to next part of and now for something completely machinima. And we'll be continuing our sci fi Star Wars and space themed month. So previously, we've talked a lot about Star Wars. But that's not the only big sci fi series that's going to be having a good month, Mass Effect legendary edition launches tomorrow. And to celebrate the occasion, I'm joined by Commander Shepard himself, Mark Meer. Welcome. Hello, David,

Mark Meer  0:41  
thank you for having me. And may I say, may the 14th be with you.

Damien  0:47  
Perfect. Thank you. And thank you for coming on the show. And we've known each other for many years. But it's the first time I've actually sat down and interviewed you and got to talk to you about Mass Effect and voice acting.

Mark Meer  1:00  
Yes, that's right. And we met? I think it was at the mcm. Was that the first time that we met? Or wait,

Damien  1:08  
is MC mo Dragon Con? Or it might have been Dragon Con? Yeah,

Mark Meer  1:10  
come to think of it. Yeah.

Damien  1:11  
But I guess so many times.

Mark Meer  1:13  
Yeah, we have we have and actually, I believe Yes, it was in London, I was doing an event. It was sort of a sci fi improv thing. And I was playing a parody of Commander Shepard, David's and you very kindly lent me some Mass Effect armor, because bringing my own over would have been quite quite a hassle for that takes up its own suitcase.

Damien  1:34  
Well, I was more than happy to let you borrow that. And I can watch the show. And it's fantastic. And I kind of wish I'd be able to stay and watch more of it.

Mark Meer  1:43  
Yes, it was. We should have mentioned for the listeners. It's, it was a 50 hour long show. It was part of London in private law. And yeah, so much. Appreciate it.

Damien  1:53  
Yeah. So tell me a little bit about yourself. How do you get into voice acting?

Mark Meer  1:59  
Well, as I've said, in other interviews, I got into it the old fashioned way, which is through an audition. And I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor with Bioware. Back when they were doing the old traditional cattle call style auditions where they just had dozens of people come in and do their lines. And, you know, pretty much everyone in town and Edmonton where Bioware is based. And where I'm based as well, I did those auditions and on the strength of that I was cast in boulders gate to for a single line of dialogue in the final cutscene of the game. And that line seemed to go over well with Bioware because they kept hiring me subsequently for pretty much everything they worked on. So I got to work on speaking of Star Wars, the original Knights of the Old Republic that I work with. And of course all their Dungeons and Dragons games Neverwinter Nights in the modern escape games and things like that. Jade Empire and, and then subsequently, of course, Mass Effect and on from there Dragon Age.

Damien  3:01  
Yeah, I remember playing the first Mass Effects. And there's a game that also played as Mel Shepard and I really enjoyed your performances as the character. And I had no idea that you also voice so many alien characters alongside that as well. Yes,

Mark Meer  3:19  
I was I was fortunate enough to to get play a number of roles in the trilogy. And to be honest, when I first got was working on Mass Effect, I started in the very early stages. This is when it was still all concept art and things like that. And I was brought on to essentially do a presentation on what the various alien races would sound like. So what would a typical solarian sound like? What would a typical Krogan sound like things like that. And during that process, I was asked to audition for male Commander Shepard and didn't really hold much hope of landing that role. So perhaps the fact that I didn't have a lot invested, wasn't holding out a lot of hope that might have helped, because I was subsequently informed that you know, I've made it through the callbacks, it's down to you and a few people from LA and I figured for sure one of them is going to get it. But I was very pleasantly surprised to find I had been cast. And in addition to playing Commander Shepard, I got to do what I usually did, which is play a bunch of, you know, antagonists and monsters and things like that.

Damien  4:22  
Yeah. And when I found out that it was you doing these other characters, I was really amazed to spend the time that must go into that. And I was wondering, when you get a sort of alien character or someone that's not necessarily going to sound like your normal speaking voice, how do you create that sound? What What, what goes in what's the thought process in creating the the way they're going to sound and trying to perform that?

Mark Meer  4:52  
Well, in the case of Mass Effect, as I say I was sort of lucky enough to be the one that had kind of originated the sounds or at least put forth The initial suggestions for what they should sound like. And they didn't always necessarily take my suggestions. For example, the solarians pretty much ended up being exactly as I had pitched it, they're sort of the very click to cadence, the higher pitched voice, etc. And some stuff was very obvious like, Well, I think the Krogan should have a deep voice, so you know what progress looks like, if it makes sense that they should have guttural tones, that sort of thing. As I said, not all the suggestions were taken. So in the case of the turians, for example, and this would apply generally, as well, I sort of had the concept art to look at, I could figure out I had background on their culture and things like that. And in a lot of cases, it was because I was, again, mapping out in the very early stages, I was looking at the actual physicality, like the turians, for example, I noticed that they had their their unique facial structure. And so I proposed, well, maybe they should have a sort of clicking sound like, you know, maybe at the end of sentences and things like that. A little similar to how the bolus speech is punctuated by their breathing apparatus. It was that that got overruled. And I think for very good reason, because when I had suggested that garris was not yet in the game as a main character, and once they decided that turian, you know, you were going to have a turian with you a lot a torian, that you're going to be talking with quite a bit, maybe the clicking might get a were on the nerves after a while or so they ultimately decided that turions would just be a straight up filter, which is, which is why you know, turian the sound as they do. So yeah, for the most part, it's not always the case that you're even going to know what the character looks like, you might just have a general idea of their personality and whatnot. But when I have access to art and things like that, then yes, I will tend to incorporate ideas that are based on just the physical structure of, you know, their vocal apparatus, what they look like, what they sound like, again, elements from the culture and whatnot. If you're going in blind, you generally rely on your director. So you might as a voice actor, come up with several different options, and the director will go, Okay, let's focus on that let's we might even take two that we that we like, and two different approaches, let's record the dialogue, both of those ways, and then we'll see what you know, they take it back to Bioware. And see how it works. Again, I was I was in a unique position in that a lot of the times because I was actually in Edmonton, whereby I was based, we weren't doing it this remotely. Sometimes I would have writers like, for example, Mac Walters was in some of my recording sessions, later on when I was doing shepherd. So when we needed a bit of dialogue tweaked, or it's, you know, again, not not changing the plot of the game at all. But just, this sentence might be a little easier to say if we switch this around, or it flows more naturally, if we say it like this, then Mack could just instantly approve it. He was right there. We didn't have to go through a bunch of channels. We had him in the room. We did have to keep a close eye on dialogue changes, of course, because Jennifer Hale and I had to say the same thing. And it worked both ways. So if Jennifer had recorded a particular scene first and they tweaked some dialogue somewhere, we had to make very careful note of that so that I did the same thing. And vice versa. If I change something, we had to make sure that when it came time for Jennifer to record that scene, the dialogue matched up.

Damien  8:35  
Makes perfect sense. And I imagine it must have been a lot of work to make sure that both you and Jennifer's dialogue did actually match each other. As far as the words go. I know that it was a

Mark Meer  8:46  
lot of work with it. But thankfully, it wasn't work that I was responsible for. You know, we had a we had a large team behind us a lot of people keeping track again, our directors, I worked with Shawna Perry on the first game and Caroline Livingstone on two and three and fabulous directors, they, they were the ones that helped give context and keep track of things. Ultimately, they could tell me because we were doing this out of sequence, they be able to go Okay, this is happening at this point in the story. Do you remember that scene that we did before? This one follows that? And so yeah, we I'd say Jennifer and I both heavily relied on our directors for that.

Damien  9:27  
Well, I think it does help to have a good director. And yeah,

Mark Meer  9:32  
so in. In Caroline's case, particularly Caroline is also an actor, and we've worked together in Sage productions and stuff before so she's fantastic in terms of being able to relate to other actors and be able to give us directions that that we would understand.

Damien  9:49  
Makes a lot of sense as well. I mean, having the active performance as a director helps. Kind of like yeah, you under the director will then understand what the actor has to do rather than just Being the director and not really understanding.

Mark Meer  10:04  
And as a matter of fact, do you remember Jenkins from the original Mass Effect?

Damien  10:08  
Yes, yes. One of the

Mark Meer  10:10  
first casualties? Yes. The actor who plays him Josh Dean, who also I've done a fair bit of stage work with. He's in LA now. And he actually does a fair bit of voice direction. Currently. I know I've not been directed by Josh personally, but I know that he would be great at it, because he's a good actor.

Damien  10:32  
Well, hopefully one day, you'll get the chance to be directed by him.

Mark Meer  10:36  
Yes, we'll see. So I do look forward for any opportunity, I have to improvise with him because he was in my temperature.

Damien  10:45  
Yeah, as you know, you do enjoy the improv as well?

Mark Meer  10:48  
Oh, yes, of course.

Damien  10:50  
So, my understanding this, by way of this technology were someone who's already recorded the dialogue with the game, that those recordings are available to everyone recording after that, so you can hear it when you're performing. Keep talking a bit more about that. And how helpful is it to have that kind of system,

Mark Meer  11:13  
it is immensely helpful. Because you're not, you're not acting in a vacuum you have, if you are the first person to lay down the tracks for that scene, then, obviously, you don't have anyone else's recording, but you're to a certain extent, setting the tone. If you're going after people have recorded, then you've got their performances in your headset while you're performing. And that's, that's much more helpful than then just trying to stitch it all together with everyone, again, acting in a vacuum. I was, again, fortunate enough to have Keith David's performance, for example, available to me, when we recorded a lot of the Anderson scenes, particularly the Anderson death scene. And that's just amazed. That's just having, again, keep David's voice in your headset while you're while you're performing the scene that your characters are in together, immensely helpful.

Damien  12:04  
I can imagine and he's, he's got such a great voice as well. As well as actors where no matter what role he's playing in, you just always enjoy it. What is his performance, whatever he's doing?

Mark Meer  12:16  
Exactly, you know. And so the system they have, it's a proprietary system, known as beta. And apparently the acronym actually is b a d, e. r, but they weren't able to copyright it under that name, because someone else seems to own the copyright on that name. I'm not sure.

Damien  12:38  
I can't imagine. I can't imagine. Yes, Jose, just cut this out. Just read in the next question. You already answered that when I was asking about the different characters and voices. So when you're recording two characters that talk to each other? So let's see Commander Shepard and of watcher? Do you tend to do all of one captors dialogue in a row? And then come back and do the other one? Or do you alternate between the two? So you got the flow of the conversation?

Mark Meer  13:13  
No, it's uh, we generally record all the dialogue for one character, usually it would be Shepherd first. In fact, the rule of thumb was any Shepherd dialogue would get done first, the day, and then they've watched are a prime example. They're a little more rough on the vocal apparatus than Shepherd is. So they would tend to save any virtue lines they needed for the end of the day, or even the end of the week. So that I would have you know, when I mean, the next day, I'm not still damaged, printed. And speaking of work, so because the abortion in particular is just me screeching at the top of my lungs with a mouth half full of water in the booth. So that's, yeah, that that could be difficult that we were going back and forth. But of course, we're still using the same system. So once I've recorded my shepherd wines, I could then go back and do so for example, there's that scene in the Citadel DLC, where you have not only Commander Shepard and orcia, but also blasto. Who I also like, because I do the voices of all the hammer. So we would record shepherds lines first. Then when I went back to do say, Blastoise lines, I would have shepherds line my own lines as Shepherd play back to me and so we were able to get that flow. And then I would finally do the Borgia at the end, and then I would have both blasto and shepherds.

Damien  14:33  
makes another sense.

Mark Meer  14:34  
And yeah, it was pretty seamless. Like there wasn't like a lot of Okay, recording shepherds, lions. Now, hold on while we put all this together. Our engineers were great at just like okay, well we've got all that and now just play back and you know, it was it was I'm sure there was more to it, but it seemed like oh, all they did was press a button and suddenly I had my shepherd lines as I was recording blasto with abortion.

Damien  14:56  
Yeah, I can imagine that be really useful. Having that and helps get the performance better, right? And get the whole tone of the conversation from the other characters, regardless of whether your voice. I mean, if you've heard your own performance, you kind of got an idea of how you sound like but when you get the other actors who you weren't in the recording booth with, you get them there as well. So when you're preparing for a role, besides the script, what other material Do you find helpful? I mean, obviously, you need the scripts, because otherwise, you don't know what to say. But yeah, what else do you like to know about the characters? And?

Mark Meer  15:39  
Well, generally, some biographical details are nice. The fact that we were doing this over the course of many years meant that we were probably familiar with our characters going in. But when we and of course, Commander Shepard has a unique situation. In that if you're playing an NPC, you basically like okay, well, here's what they're like, here's what their personality is like. And here's their background. But with Commander Shepard, you don't necessarily know what their personality is like, or what their background is like, because there's so many choices. Commander Shepard could have been born on Earth and in been raised as a as an orphan on the streets and part of the criminal gang. Or you could be a spacer, whose parents are like high ranking military members. So there is no canon Shepherd per se. So you know, you don't really know what i given players Shepard is going to be like that said, we always tried to establish what is the core of Shepherd what what do all shepherds have in common, and this would be that they are highly decorated military officer who is used to giving commands under pressure so that that's something that whether you're a paragon, or Renegade, this is the bedrock that Shepard has built. As far as what sort of information like a will. Sometimes speaking at machinima, sometimes we would have animatics if it was a particular, particularly action heavy scene. If there was you, you needed to know about spatial relationships and things like that, most of the time, all we were doing was record it, you know, all I saw was the script. But on occasion, they would have a, an animatic, some sometimes more advanced than others, depending on where in the, in the game process, we were, like, sometimes it was literally like, this blue block is shepherd and this you know, these red blocks are just taking cigarette. Okay, so now there are about 30 feet away from you. So you're gonna have to raise your boys, and then you walk in closer. So now you're at a more intimate, conversational level. But sometimes it was things like, okay, so you say this line of dialogue, and then there's this explosion, and then Shepherd is jumping and falling and saying this line as they're in midair, that sort of thing. I do recall for some of the very early ones on Mass Effect one, we did have the early character art for Shepherd that was just up on the wall inside the booth. And this was, of course, the, the default bale checkers, the the mark, the Mark vanderloo version, because of course, for those who don't know, the default male Shepherd is actually based on a real person. He is a Dutch model named Mark vanderloo. And so he did build emotions are the facial capture anyway? And I'm not sure yeah, I don't think he'd actually did a lot of the motion capture, because they actually brought in actual soldiers to do like a lot of the the kind of stuff and the writing and things like that. But that the face that you think of as typical male Shepherd is actually a real person. And so we had Yeah, we had that, you know, it wasn't just a picture of Mark Vander Blue, it was a picture of commander Shepherd, you know, in the armor. But, yeah, for some of the early sessions, that was just sort of in my field of view. So it's like, Okay, I'm that guy, you know? Yeah. Yeah. And again, that wasn't necessarily going to be the case, because you can make your Shepherd look like whatever you want it.

Damien  19:00  
Yeah. But it's still kind of helpful just to have the image of, you know, I assume you had the the armor and everything on so you got an idea of, even if the face was gonna be different. He knew how he's going to be dressed.

Mark Meer  19:11  
Yes, exactly.

Damien  19:13  
Yeah, yeah. 

Mark Meer  19:14  
bearing and things like that, you know? Yeah.

Damien  19:17  
So with a game like, Mass Effect, it's not one linear story, you get lots of branching elements. So you have a conversation and you get the player can make Shepard react, angry or happy or whatever. So it takes the conversation in different directions. So what's it like when you your recording conversation, and you know, you have to take in all these different directions, easy to keep track of all of that or so?

Mark Meer  19:45  
Well, again, we relied heavily on our directors for that. And generally, the way the scripts are set up is that you would do one branch of dialogue first, so you'd sort of go Okay, here's the Paragon track and then we're going to go through and we're going to do that and follow that through to And then we would go back to the top of the scene. Here's the renegade travel, record that and do that through. And then there are some lines of dialogue that, of course, are shared by both. And that was actually a tricky bit, because we had to assume that people aren't going to play pure Renegade or pure Paragon. So, in a sense, like, you couldn't have wild emotional swings, because somebody might be going, I'm gonna say, the Paragon line now and now I'm gonna go for the renegade option. And if they're, they were two distinct from each other, it would sound like Shepard was having wild emotional swings in the chorus of a single scene. And of course, there was some, there were some that were shared, you know, like it just usually inquiry Alliance or things like that, that are shared between both reads. So you have to be able to stitch those all together seamlessly. And again, that's that's what we relied heavily on the directors for.

Damien  20:56  
Well, I think you are very successful with that. Because I played in the game as many times and I never felt like any of the conversations the the shepherds was suddenly changing his mood to something different from what I expected. And you're right I didn't play it. Pure Paragon or pure Renegade I kind of the first time I went through that show, I thought how would I react in this situation? If this is me there so I was kind of curious if I would get the the renegade or Paragon option because I did the same thing with the night civil Republic. I thought like if I play myself am I going to end up with on the light side on the dark side? That's when massacre I'm going to try the same thing just to see how it turned out. Luckily, I was more Paragon relegate

Mark Meer  21:43  
renegades got some good into offline. Let's face it.

Unknown Speaker  21:46  
It does

Mark Meer  21:47  
occasionally want to just throw someone out a window or?

Damien  21:51  
Yeah, and it's very satisfying to do that when especially if they've been really aggravating.

Mark Meer  21:56  
Yes. And I believe the tide lane. Death is like a renegade interrupt as well. The

Damien  22:05  
even most people, even if they're going to Renegade, go to the renegade option, just for that. That one time.

Mark Meer  22:11  
Yeah, you got it. You Really Got it. Yeah, it's, well, it's good to know that, that that worked out because in the process, of course, we're recording dialogue. But occasionally we'll have re records or it's like pickups and things like that. And early in the first game. That's what that's what our re records were, it was like, we got to redo that scene. You had need to flatten the emotion out in that scene, because otherwise it will sound like you're just ping ponging back and forth between intense rage and extreme calm. So yeah.

Damien  22:46  
So my sex, obviously a very cinematic game, with all the some in game cutscenes in the conversations and the way that they're shown to be like, it's like watching a movie, but you can affect the way it plays out. Not just I don't just mean the running around and shooting things, just the actual conversations and things. And that's something that's very important to the machinima communities. We were doing this in video games. So to see a video game, doing what we were doing as a hobby, but to do it to tell the story of the game that that meant a lot to us own. A lot of the missionary community got very excited. And I know that quite a few of our members did actually join Bioware to work on subsequent games.

Mark Meer  23:32  
Which is always, which is like when you when you see that like, again, I've I've met people if I were who were like, yes, they were fans first, and then they made it their career. So that's, that's always very gratifying.

Damien  23:45  
Yeah, and I love the masoumeh community, very excited to see the legendary edition because some of our friends worked on these scenes. And so we're excited to see how they've been updated with all the visual enhancements that are coming.

Mark Meer  23:59  
Yes. I've seen, you know, obviously, what whatever what else has seen just in the last week, they've, they've dropped some of the little sneak peeks at what we can look forward to.

Damien  24:11  
I've been looking at what's in those very closely and getting very excited. And looking forward to the game. So yeah, that's the next question is, when can we actually look forward to playing that?

Mark Meer  24:24  
dirt to blame the legendary edition?

Unknown Speaker  24:26  
Yeah,

Mark Meer  24:26  
I bought that well as my greeting off the top. May the 14th be with you? May 14 is what I am told is the general release, which is tomorrow for anyone listening on launch day.

Damien  24:40  
When this podcast comes out,

Mark Meer  24:42  
oh, I was going to say Wait, no, it's April. That's when we're recording this through the magic of internet time travel.

Damien  24:51  
So do you have any other upcoming projects or other projects you'd like to talk about? what you're working on at the moment? Oh sure.

Mark Meer  24:59  
In the realm with video games, of course, work continues on the long dark witch stars, both myself and Jennifer Hale, the female Commander Shepard, and it was great to actually get to work with Jennifer on this game, because in this one, we play a divorced couple. So we're not playing the same person, which means we can actually have scenes together. Set that's really fun. It's a very challenging survival sin post apocalyptic survival Sim, but it is unique in that everything looks lovely and beautiful. And there's a lot of natural beauty, there's a very painterly style to the graphics. It's essentially a post apocalyptic, post apocalyptic world where a geomagnetic event has knocked out all power on earth, so there's no electricity anymore. And my character is a bush pilot, who is in the air above northern Canada, when this happened, crashed subsequently, and Jennifer's character was in the plane with me as well, because she's a doctor, and I was taking her to an isolated community. So the game is largely it. Well, it's been described as player versus Canada, because what you're trying to do is not freeze to death or starve to death or be eaten by a wolf, because the electromagnetic event has also somehow altered the animal's brain chemistry. So there are a lot more aggressive predators are a lot more aggressive than they would tend to be in nature. So yeah, you there is a plot that you can follow. But there's also a sandbox version where the point is just simply survive as long as you possibly can. And there's no tutorial, per se, there's no HUD map or anything like that, you essentially find yourself in the wilderness, and then you have to find what you need to survive. First, you're going to start by scavenging your plane crash. And then from there, it's like cabins and isolated communities and things like that, that you try to find. It's, as I say, very challenging. I died so many times in the first few minutes of that game, including one point where I walked into my campfire, not knowing that you could actually do that, and ended up with third degree burns, and then just, you know, had a fairly miserable death. There's lots of ways to die in the long dark is what I'm saying. And that is released episodically. It's sort of like the old telltale Walking Dead games. So we have been doing work up, I think I've allowed to say that essentially, work continues on that game. And I couldn't give you specific release dates on when the new episodes are going to drop. But we we continue to work on that even in the pandemic. And speaking of the pandemic, and it's actually afforded me the opportunity to do a lot more streaming of role playing games than I normally would. And so I've got a couple of projects currently on the go, one of which is a podcast called stitch of fate, a podcast by night, and that's a vampire, the masquerade actual play podcast. We drop new episodes of that every Friday at 11am. Eastern time. And we were actually very fortunate to receive three awards in the audio verse awards recently, including Best New improvised production. So that's going quite well. We have a Patreon for that and all that and you can find new episodes pretty much anywhere you would find a podcast on all major platforms as they say. And the other thing that I've started more recently, at the time of this recording is an official Dungeons and Dragons stream. This is called the Black dice society. So it's a dungeon dragons actual play stream. And as I say, it's official, so it's on the dungeons and dragons, YouTube and Twitch channels every Thursday right before critical role, which is a very prime time slot. And that is, our Dungeon Master is Mr. B Dave Walters, for those who watch streaming games will know his work quite well.

We've also got Cypher tear and DJ Knight, Becca Scott, sage Ryan or Abraham myself. It's a great cast and ravenloft is one of my very favorite settings for Dungeons and Dragons. So I was very pleased to get to be involved in this I also I think, yeah, the cats out of the bag now so I can actually say I also get to play one of the Dark Lords of Raven loft aslin Rex, who is the Lich King of Darko on and so I played him in in full Lich moon silicone mask make up the Hobbit and Jason Carl, the storyteller of La by night a very popular Vampire the Masquerade stream, plays Strub on Zara which who is essentially ravenloft Dracula so it's it's really fun to get to those scenes because aslin and strahd hate each other with bright and burning passion. So essentially it's it's Jason as a vampire and me as a legend us just being catty to each other for over a zoom call. That's usually how we end up the shows. We, we pre record that stuff because obviously the the makeup takes a while. But those and those sessions are just completely improvised, like we, we just turn on the camera and then we snipe at each other for for a while.

Well, you know, we'll introduce elements of plot as well, but it's mostly sniping. It's mostly sniping, and a lot of fun. So yes, that is the black dice society. And that's every Thursday on Thursday afternoons at 4pm, Pacific 7pm. Eastern, on the dungeons and dragons, YouTube and Twitch.

Damien  30:34  
So our listeners, as soon as you finish listening to our podcast, go and check out that because it's the same day.

Mark Meer  30:41  
Oh, yeah, that's right. This, this will be released on a Thursday.

Damien  30:44  
Yeah, it does sound like you have a lot of fun. Especially when the Lich and being a assume more of a villain. role.

Mark Meer  30:53  
Yes, although my my character because I'm, I'm very fortunate in that I get to play a very powerful NPC villain. I'm not privy to all the details of the plot. So it's not really cheating. It's again, just using what I know of as when Rex but I also have a PC. I've got a player in the group as well, who is brother Uriah macabre. And he's best described as if you've ever seen the old Disney cartoon version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He's He's a robot crane, essentially. Okay, yeah. terrified of everything. So probably unfortunate that he lives in ravenloft.

Damien  31:29  
Yeah, that's not really the best place to live if you're scared of everything.

Mark Meer  31:33  
Yes. Yeah, one of the native born Raven laughters. In the group, they've, there are characters from fate room from the Forgotten Realms who have been brought to ravenloft by the mists as as traditional. But there are a few of us who are like, Oh, no, we live in this place of darkness and terror and in monsters.

Damien  31:53  
To our listeners, you'll find links to all the shows that Mark has just talked about in the show notes, so you can check them all out. We'll also talk about the long dark game. And you find a link to that again in the shownotes. So I've got one last cheeky question, if I may. Yeah. Is there any chance? The podcast you get an endorsement from Commander Shepard?

Mark Meer  32:18  
Oh, yes, of course. You can book me on cameo for that. No, of course, I'll give you one. But I should mentioned that I am available on cameo for all your Mass Effect catchphrase related needs. So we've been up there. But what would you like Damien, what can I What can I do for you?

Damien  32:32  
  Well, first of all, I will. I'll put a link to your cameo in in the show notes as well,

Mark Meer  32:37  
What's up, David? Thank you.

Damien  32:40  
Okay. I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite podcast on the Citadel.

Mark Meer  32:45  
I thought it might be something like that. All right. I'm Commander Shepard. And this is my favorite podcast on the Citadel.

Damien  32:54  
Perfect, thank you very much.

Mark Meer  32:55  
No worries, my great pleasure.

Damien  32:58  
So yeah, thank you, Mark, for joining us. From really looking forward to playing legendary addition tomorrow, making sure I wrap up all my projects, so that I can just sit back and play and not worry that I'm not getting anything else. Because those games do tend to consume my life a little bit. I got the first game. The first Christmas is released. And I did nothing for 10 days except play through it twice. So I'm doing the same thing again. Well,

Mark Meer  33:26  
I mean, I say the Alliance thanks you for your service.

Damien  33:30  
Thank you very much. So may the force be with you 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Mark on his voice acting work at Bioware
Mark on the thought process of working on Mass Effect
Mark on the logistics of recording so much dialogue
Mark on how he prepares for voice acting roles
What Mark is currently working on