Meet the Actor – FedoraAndRapier

When TESV chose to go with a new Argonian voice type, it seemed to best fit with the Shadowscale motif.  Dark, sinister, and smooth as Tennessee Whiskey.  It’s an awesome voice, but it seemed mismatched with the abundance of vanilla Argonians who were more likely to pour you a drink than spill your blood.  While FedoraAndRapier’s voice embodies all of that cold lizard smoothness, there’s also a bit of compassion in his timbre, and it’s that which made him perfect for everyone’s favorite vampire hunter, Among the Hist.

If only I could clone him and utilize his voice talents again, the mod would be enhanced and wars would cease and children would never go hungry.  Unfortunately, while his busy schedule has prevented this utopia from becoming a reality, he did find time to do this interview, and I thank him.

Introduce yourself. You know, name, location, belly button type, whether you snore in your sleep.
Certainly! My name is Øystein and I’m a 21 years old student and aspiring actor from Norway, and on the internet I often go by the alias “FedoraAndRapier.”

I’m the proud owner of a standard issue navel that thankfully don’t need much emptying. I do not snore when I sleep, but I’ve heard it runs in my family (through two thick walls actually). I also have it from good sources that I talk in my sleep, though they rarely tell me what I’m saying. Must be something I don’t want to hear!

Talk about your acting experience, if any, and what got you into voice acting.
I’ve been practicing drama and theatre for the last five-six years now, but I already showed great interest in acting as a little kid; always wanting to be the center of attention and loving the sound of my own voice. I took drama and theatre classes through high school, did one year of theatre at a folk high school (a Nordic thingy) and I’m now studying drama and theatre at a university. Add to that a vast amount of productions (both amateur and through school) and you get some very busy and grueling moments. By the end of December I’ll be done with my sixth theatre-production this year alone.

Voice acting holds a special place in my heart however. I grew up with a lot of cartoons and Disney movies (dubbed to Norwegian), and I would spend a lot of time remembering the lines and recite them whenever I pleased.

It’s funny, because we grow up with this huge gallery of wonderful and inspiring characters, brought to life by someone whose name and face we rarely bother to take note of. My huge respect for the field is what pushed me to try myself as an amateur voice actor while in high school, doing fandubs and such. It’d be a dream come true to make a living out of this, but it remains to see if it is meant to be (10 points for rhyme).

How did you find the mod? Was Among the Hist your first choice for a role?
I have had fairly little time to voice act these last two years, so when finding this wonderful project on VAA I didn’t intend to audition for anything. I realized however that the opportunity of playing Skyrim while ALSO be listening to the sound of my own voice was too good to miss.

I was actually looking for an Argonian to voice, since they are my favorite race in the game and I love to strain my vocal chords. Seeing as A-T-H was the only male lizard available I pounced for him. I also auditioned for the part of the hedonistic Dravos, but he was unfortunately taken.

Discuss Among the Hist. What you think about him as a character? Do you share any similarities to the character? Any differences?
Among-The-Hist is a solemn, sombre and deeply conflicted character worthy of his own novel. I also find him to be extremely brave, charming, very funny at times and I absolutely dig the hell out of him.

He presented a dual challenge for me; both in getting the right amount of gravel and solemness in my voice to sell the part of a virtuous Argonian, while simultaneously getting into the head of a mind so vastly different from my own. He’s a man on a mission, guided firmly by his religion and principles. To me this was difficult to relate to, but it was rewarding to try and experience and express it.

The doubts he harbors when we meet him were much easier to relate to, and it made him much more human (or Argonian). He is actually willing to question his code and choices who has guided him his entire life, a quality we don’t often find in people as devout as him.

What’s your opinion on vampires?
Not my favorite monster, but I can’t say I dislike them either. Ironically, I’ve starred as a vampire in the Sims 2 machinima “Venin Abyss”. Judging by some fan reactions I seem to have become the Robert Pattinson of Sims machinima, be that for good or worse.

Is it true about jellyfish stings and urinating on them? Would the same trick work for a vampire bite?
A quick google search will reveal that there is little proof of urine actually healing jelly-stings, but who knows. Maybe the thought of someone relieving themselves on you makes the pain tolerable in comparison.

I doubt it’d work on vampire bites though, seeing as jellies sting the surface of the skin while vampires usually punctures the jugular. Peeing into the wound doesn’t seem like the most productive thing to do at the time.

A vampire, a werewolf, and Among the Hist walk into a bar. I don’t have a joke here, but who comes out alive and why?
Among-The-Hist naturally, all thanks to his tactical skills! It’s all about starting a fight between the vamp and the were, leaving ATH free to take out the weary survivor. I’m not sure how ATH would spark a conflict, but I’m sure it entails him dressing up in drag.

Did you follow Ralof or Hadvar? Did you join the Stormcloaks or the Imperials?
I followed Ralof, but only because the Imperials dropped cooler swords. Also they tried to execute me. Still haven’t taken a side yet, but I’m really not liking the “Skyrim for Nords” BS the Stormcloaks are boasting.

If you’ve played the mod, do you have a favorite character outside the ones you’ve voiced, and why? If you haven’t played the mod, why are you such a horrible person?
I only tried the mod recently, so I’m obviously not a great guy ;) I was trekking over to Windhelm with Among-The-Hist following behind me, when I met Morviah Hlaalu just outside the gate. Was really captivated by the strength displayed despite her story of tragedy. Definitely a woman to admire.
I was also charmed up to High Hrothgar by Wander-Lust at the docks. These two were both played by Lila Paws, right? Terrific actress ^^

Haven’t spent enough time with the mod to find a favorite yet, but I’m getting there. :P

What type of character do you typically role play?
I often play the dashing and wise-cracking hero with a heart of gold, but I love rolling characters that are extremely arrogant and cynical, while also being charming and passionate as hell. These guys will save the world just because it conveniently fits into their schedule of snarking and flirting.
I tend to go for melee classes with one handed sword or dual wield so I can get up close and personal.

In fantasy RPGs I love to play dwarves or beast races like argonians, and I try and avoid playing humans at all cost. It’s more fun to see the world through the eyes of a different culture or creature. I doubt I would’ve showed so much distaste for the Stormcloaks if I hadn’t seen my fellow Argonians being treated as second class citizens.

If you could have one dragon shout and use it in the real world, what would it be and why?
Blowing people away with Unrelenting Force sounds fun, but I doubt that “Fus-Ro-Dah“ would make a good argument in court.  Aura whisper sounds much more useful to me as you can never be sure that you’re totally alone. Locating the party in an unfamiliar neighborhood will be much simpler too; just follow the red cluster of light.  Would however be scary to see how many things are actually living in my room with me at night. :S

Do you wear a Fedora in real life? Do you own a Rapier? Or does it mean rapier wit?
I wear fedoras on special occasions and I like to think they suit me. Have a wonderful dark-brown one I inherited from my granddad.  I do not own a rapier, nor do I fence, so let’s go with rapier wit.

You have 2 arrows and diplomatic immunity. In front of you is Nazeem and the guy who works for Belethor, at the general goods store. What do you do?
Ask them to hold my arrows while I think of a clever answer.

What other projects are you working on? Mods, fiction, acting, etc. Where else can people hear your talents?
I’m wrapped up in theatre right now and as such I’m doing very few projects at the moment, so this mod is the best bet for people who wants to hear my voice before Christmas (unless you happen to live in Trondheim). I have a youtube channel that hasn’t been updated in three years that you can check out, though I wouldn’t recommend it. Also there is Venin Abyss which I mentioned earlier.
There are a couple of short films I’m in, but they are in Norwegian. :)

How does a Skyrim bee survive in a jar?
I don’t think it survives as much as it dies very slowly. I don’t see any breathing holes in that jar.

What kind of mic do you use and what difficulties did you run into making your recording environment?
I use two microphones. One is a M3 condenser microphone from Røde Microphones, which I used for this mod. I used Pro Tools to record here. The other is the small Apogee MiC USB microphone, which I use with simpler programs like audacity.  My biggest difficulties involve finding a place to record where people ain’t stomping around. Doesn’t help that I have paperthin walls where I live. When they all finally shut up the hard part’s over.

What sort of character type, mod or elsewhere, would you like to voice/play next?
As an actor you can’t get picky, and I’d accept any role given. In this case however I’d maybe want to voice a character with a different mindset than Among-The-Hist. I love playing comedic and over-emotional roles, but I also have tons of fun voicing villains and monsters. A comedic and over-emotional villain that happens to be a monster, perhaps?