Erin’s mighty (but kind) personality graces the VitaPlayer website as we interview one of the industry’s most prominent actresses!
I have wanted to do this interview for a long, long time. Erin is one of the people behind the gaming industry’s curtain that I admire the most, not only for her work, but for her ethics. So obviously, I made some school-boy mistakes. Bear with me on this one, though, because I think we can all learn from the mistakes I made. And of course, from Erin’s wise words!
Without further ado, I give you Erin Fitzgerald!
1. First off, thank you so much for your time! I know you’ve loved reaching out to your audiences since you were 3 (we’ve all become little Proudfoots since then!). Can you please tell us more about the competitive Diver from British Columbia, who also happened to have voiced a gazillion (I’ve checked, that’s a real term) characters on Vita and beyond?
I was a Pre-competitive Diver in Nepean Ontario. But born in B.C. I have lived in America since 2000. I am an ECKist and spend a lot of my free time getting the word out about public service workshops on Dreams and Spiritual Experiences. I have a dog and a cat and my dogs best friend is over most days… so 2 dogs and a cat. I don’t have kids but am a terrific Auntie!
2. Early in your career, you did commercials for beer, a beverage you don’t enjoy. Have you voiced characters that you didn’t like? Someone who, if were introduced to during a dinner party, you’d run away from them faster than Noire runs from public displays of affection?
I don’t like the term ‘voiced’ because that’s not what I do. I act. I have played characters that I have disagreed with. Once was a one woman show I did, and the character was super messed up and I had judgements about her perspective on the world. It was a great experience as an actor because I had to learn to love her perspectives in order to play them honestly and make her a real person. I am now very comfortable being uncomfortable with a character and his/her choices. I have learned to embrace them to make that character unique.
“I don’t like the term ‘voiced’ because that’s not what I do. I act.”
– Erin on “voice acting”.
3. You’ve spoken out before in favor of some controversial games you’ve worked on: Dragon’s Crown and Skullgirls come to mind. The issue of what some people call “oversexualizing design” has had an impact, I feel, on public opinion regarding your work, and you as a person. Being a fan of those games, and even more so of the Neptunia series (in which you play Noire), I’m really interested in hearing your side of the story, as both a woman, and a woman in the videogames industry. So, in a roundabout way, my question is two-fold:
a) Do you feel like big breasted, or sensual characters have a misogynistic message for (or effect on) the audience?, and
b) Do you think the design of these characters is a representation of latent misogyny within the videogame industry?
Misogyny, like racism, is all over the entertainment industry. As a woman in the industry I have to deal with it every day. It’s a part of wanting to do what I do for a living. The only way to lessen it is to have more women a part of the creation process. From the design, programming, and writing aspects to producing, and directing. That’s the only way it will really change.
About Big Breasted characters, it’s always about the story writing and less about the design, IMO. I wrote a blog about my feelings on it which can be found HERE.
“There is a big difference between big-breasted and sensual. Just because a character is designed with one doesn’t mean she has the other.”
– Erin on big breasted characters.
4. You moved to Los Angeles at (what was then) the peak of your career (for love, no less!), only to feel like you were not “worth it”. As a content creator, I think a lot of us struggle with the big question of whether “we’re good enough”. Do you have any practical advice for people who want to take up a career in a creative field, but are constantly told (by their own minds, or by their surroundings) that they (or the career path they’ve chosen) aren’t good enough?
Personal development materials!!! Read inspiring stories from successful people! All humans are having this experience. I highly recommend The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson or Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Or anything that helps you to rewire the negative thinking about yourself.
5. Now, moving on from personal questions, I’d like to talk about games. Obviously, Chie (from Persona 4 Golden), will go down in history as the Marmite-est role of your career, but also as one of the most acclaimed. However, you don’t shy away from roles in smaller games: you’ve just signed on to act in “Antimony”, a relatively small production. What determines whether you’ll play a character in a game (or TV show)?
How I feel about the story and the characters in that story. Also, if I believe in the creator and whether or not I want to help them out in building their dream. I have no idea if a project i’m working on will end up a success. Both Skullgirls and League of Legends were unknown small projects that have gotten hugely popular. I don’t make decisions based on what I think will be popular. I make decisions based on who I want to work with and If I think I will grow as an actor.
”Misogyny, like racism, is all over the entertainment industry.”
– Erin on social inequality.
6. Being the huge fan that I am of the Neptunia series, I’d love to talk to you about it! First off, the humor in it: A lot of people take the whole “console wars” thing very seriously. How do you feel about the premise and the execution of the Neptunia series? What are your thought on the “console wars” as a phenomenon?
Genius! and i’m super plussed because I am a playstation girl myself. So Noire has the best one!
7. Noire: In a game about the videogames industry, you play the character representing Sony. But Noire (like most of the Neptunia characters) is more than a pretty face: she’s strong (and strong-willed!), but with a heart of gold beneath the emotional armor. Do you feel like you can connect to those personality traits?
Don’t forget how hard working and dedicated she is. She will work her ass off until something is just right. She is constantly pushing herself to be better and to improve her skills. So yah, I really connect to that. I put work above most things in my life except my Spiritual journey. Luckily I have a man who respects that and loves me for it.
See Erin and Greg Miller talk about a ton of stuff. Great interview!
8. You recently tweeted that Alexandra Drennan (from The Talos Principle) was your best work to date. I know that what I’m about to ask you is akin to asking me my favorite type of sushi, but: can you give us a few characters that you’ve loved portraying? Let’s call it: “The Essential Erin Fitzgerald Collection”. The “If you haven’t played them, you should Compilation”, if you will.
Yes! Yrel from WoW. Chie. Parasoul. Sorceress from Dragon’s Crown. Zen Master from Fat Princess Adventures. Genocide Jack from Dangan Ronpa another Episode. Erica from Catherine. Quark from Zero Escape. Bullet from Blazblue. and of course Noire / Blackheart. Cartoons: Raven Queen from EAH. May Kanker and Nazz from EEnE.
9. 2016 is well under way now, and Vita (which of course has no games, wink wink), is stronger than ever. Which of your Vita roles from this year do you recommend, and why?
I have no idea what is released and what is not. I can’t keep track of what I am permitted to talk about and what I’m not. so I will shy away from this question so I don’t get in trouble. Ask Greg Miller… he’ll be able to answer. Know that I still play Dragon’s Crown and P4: Dancing all night on my Vita… but they aren’t 2016.
10. Finally, anything you’d like to say to fans of your work (specially on Vita)?
YAYYYYY VIIIITAAAA!!!!!!!!! I love playstation!
“I still play Dragon’s Crown and P4: Dancing all night on my Vita.”
– Erin on games.
Thank you so much, Erin, for taking the time to talk to our audience!