Voice Acting is an Art Form: Cam Clarke (Liquid Snake) Interview
Cam Clarke is most famous to many a gamer as Metal Gear Solid’s Liquid Snake, although he has voiced many characters over the years. His role as Liquid was a very memorable one, I was therefore delighted when he agreed to answer my questions for Console Obsession.
CO: When did you decide that you wanted to do voice acting as a job?
It wasn’t so much a decision as it was me trying to have a (continued) career in acting. And in trying everything, I checked out voice overs and it just clicked.
CO: Apart from maybe your sanity, what else does it take to bring to life a dastardly character like Metal Gear Solid’s Liquid Snake?
Just looking inside myself for the selfish, frightened part of me that we all have to some degree and magnifying it to a psychotic level (for me, not that hard to do!)
CO: Many people think of Liquid as one of the most memorable of enemies in gaming history. Obviously your important role of voicing the character contributes greatly to this, how does this feel?
It tickles me to no end! I’m thrilled that people enjoyed the performance so much.
CO: Do you prefer voicing a villain or a hero? Or does it just depend on the character or your mood?
I think villains are much more fun to play. That is, of course, if they’re well written..
CO: Perhaps a hard question, but which of the many game characters that you’ve voiced have you enjoyed voicing the most? Is there any that, for some reason, you didn‘t enjoy doing?
I would have to say Liquid, but the Blood Elf was a very close second. If there was a role I didn’t enjoy it wasn’t because of the character, it would’ve been because there was a lot of yelling/screaming. You rip your throat out and some times my voice has left me for days at a time because of it.…
CO: Are you always happy with your vocal performances?
Since, as many fans out there know, that I don’t play games, (sorry!) I haven’t heard a lot of my work in its finished form. But for the most part, I’m pleased. Now how’s that for ego??
CO: Is there any voice that your flexible vocal cords have struggled with?
No, because of something i learned early on, in my first animation workshop, ( taught by Michael Bell who was/is an amazing voice talent) never audition for something using a voice that you cant sustain. If you book the job, and your pipes can’t keep it up, not only have you killed your voice but you’ve alienated a client.
CO: Have you ever turned down a role for any reason?
CO: Have you ever shared the recording booth with other voice artists?
In animation, all the time. games are always done one actor at a time. The only time I did work with another performer was in the initial recordings with David Hayter in MGS.
CO: Are there any unique methods you use to prepare for a role?
I would like to tell you that there’s all kinds of prep work I do but that’d be a lie. All I actually do to prepare is bring a very fertile imagination…
CO: Is your job heaven, hell or in between?
Heaven. Sometimes it’s hard on your voice, but I’m the luckiest guy in the world to get to go to work and pretend I’m everything from a 500 year old wizard to a handsome, buff super hero, not to mention the lions, turtles and bears (oh my!) i’ve played. And I could show up in my P.J.s if I really wanted to.
CO: Do you audition for all your roles?
95% of the time, yes.
CO: What’s the best advice you can give budding voice actors?
If its at all possible to get hired by some SAG job coming through your town, and get your union card, you’ll be miles ahead of the game. Then, take classes from working professionals. if you don’t live in a place where there are such folks, pack your bags and head to the big city.
Console Obsession thanks Cam “Liquid Snake” Clarke for taking the time to answer our questions.