Ellen McLain, the voice behind the murderous artificial intelligence GLaDOS from the Portal series, and her husband, John Patrick Lowrie, who voices The Sniper from the game Team Fortress 2, are nothing if not adorable.
The celebrity of the characters they portray may not be readily apparent for the minority of Americans who don’t play video games. But the games they have worked on have won multiple British Academy Awards (the UK Academy Awards have a video game category), sold out 10,000-seat stadium esports events in under an hour, and raked in hundreds of millions of dollars annually for at least one of their publishers. Ellen and John, and their decade-spanning body of work, are at the epicenter of the video game voice acting universe. During a recent recording session at a dimly lit Seattle studio, the couple gave me a demonstration of how they work.
Back in November one morning I was sitting out on my patio drinking a tea and talking to my mom. I was updating her on topics we usually discuss in the morning. One of my primary topics was the news that Ellen Mclain, the voice actress of GLaDOS from Portal, was nominated for anaward at the 2011 VGA’s! Me being such a huge Portalfan, my mom is always well informed on these types of things. We were both really excited for Ellen. She was nominated for best performance by a human female.”
First I want to give a quick shout out to Chris Hardwick and his assistant Monica for their quick responses in making this happen quickly and efficently! We had contact with Chris on Thursday afternoon and had all arrangements taken care of for the live show on Friday, nice work!
To put it plainly, The Nerdist podcast is one of the top podcasts in iTunes with a listener base of around 200,000 people. Needless to say, Chris Hardwick knows how to draw a crowd, both online, and in the real world. The show is usually weekly and revolves around the idea of what it really means to be a nerd. Along with Chris as the lead host, the show is usually co-hosted with Jonah Ray and Matt Mira.
Myself, I have co-hosted hundreds of hours of interviewsand shows on my own podcast network, so I feel I can, with a little authority say, The Nerdist is definetely one of the best podcasts out there and deserves it’s spot in the number one rankings!
The Nerdist podcast is actually part of the Nerdist Network which was also formed by Hardwick. At the site, you’ll find a massive amount of stuff that’s bound to cause geeks and nerds alike to nerdgasm on themselves.. whatever that means.
ELLEN AND JOHN SING FOR A LIVE SOLD OUT CROWD
Ellen and her husband(author, actor, and musician) John Patrick Lowrie had a complete blast hanging out at the 9:30 club in Washington DC. They played/sang on stage for a live sold out audience of around 700+ people, Ellen singing lead and John(with banjo in hand) as backup.
Whats more, this wasn’t just your average group of people, these were our people! Nerds, Geeks, whatever you classify yourself as these days, there didn’t seem to be any complaints about the amazing show that was put on Friday night.
As seen in the above video, Ellen sang both “Want You Gone” from Portal 2 and “Still Allive” from Portal 1. The crowd seemed to have loved every minute of it and even joined in on the lyrics for certain parts. Both songs ended with thunderous applauds from all over the club.
THE NERDIST WAY
On top of being an amazing entertainer, Chris has also written a book called “The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life). I have actually picked up a copy myself and I have to say, Chris has a blunt comedic way of explaining the minds of all of us nerds/geeks out there that is almost freaky in the aspect of how close to the mark he understands the thought processes of what makes us lovers of all things geek, tick! I highly recommend it based on what I’ve read so far.
MAGFest is a music and video gaming festival run by fans, for fans. In more verbose terms, it’s an annual event dedicated to the celebration of video games and video game music. Every year offers 24-hour console, arcade, and PC game rooms, live video game cover bands, a vendors area, and guest speakers from the video game industry and fan scene. It also features a “JamSpace” available to all attendees for impromptu music performances. Numerous other events are scheduled each day.
What makes MAGFest unique is that it’s an event run by fans for fans. There are no corporate sponsors, no over-crowded showfloors, and no top-secret-behind-closed-doors showings. MAGFest is built from the ground up to be a party-like atmosphere with focus on community and fan creations, which creates an environment that no other expo or convention can ever recreate.
The Voxy Ladies wrote a nice little post about Ellen’s 2011 VGA win over at VoxyLadies.com. It’s always great to be recognized by fellow voice actors, especially the Voxy ones. Take a moment and have a look around and learn about the Voxy Ladies and all their “exploits?”, if that’s the right word for it.