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Online gamer Tanner Dean used his own equipment to audition for a part in “Before Crisis: Final Fantasty VII” and will continue to enjoy the convenience of working from home as he records his character, Katana’s, lines and then uploads them to the casting website.

Growing up and living in small, rural Shelby has its advantages and disadvantages but thanks to the internet offering opportunities regardless of where you live what one can do and be a part of has grown immensely. 

Online gaming is something that has grown in popularity over the years, with players competing with and against others from all over the world. Tanner Dean is not only an online gamer, but has recently also become an online character, Katana, in a fan-made, audio drama that will be an English version of a game that has never been localized outside of Japan, “Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII.”

“I learned of the audition via the internet by actually auditioning for a role in a different project by the same team,” said Dean. “I was actually recommended by the casting director to audition for this project since they thought I had a lot of potential in voice acting.”

Dean shared that the audition process involved him writing and performing a mission briefing as one of the characters he was auditioning for. Once he had it written Dean used his own equipment at home to record it and sent it online. He was contacted just a few days later and the casting director wanted him to read his exact lines again, for another character, in a sort of cold, higher pitched voice.

“I did that and was told the next day that I had the part,” smiled Dean. “My character is named Katana, whose story begins when he single-handedly rescues his friend from a kidnapping with nothing but a katana. He’s later imprisoned but is recruited and freed by offering his talent for combat to an intelligence agency for a global electrical power company.”

The game is still in the “construction” phase and Dean, along with the other voicing characters, will be getting their scripts on an episodic basis, via a closed group messaging app. 

“I’ll submit my lines in a much similar fashion to my audition,” said Dean. “Instead of submitting to the casting website, however, I’ll be submitting them to our online group.”

As of yet there isn’t a release date for the game, but Dean is guessing that if things continue to go as they have been most of the episodes will be out before the end of the year. 

“Although, anything could happen!”

According to Dean, the game series has a bit of something for everyone, offering everything from intense action sequences, to romantic sub-plots, to emotional journeys of self-discovery. Embarking on this journey has also brought some self discovery to Dean, who also is a coach for the Coyote Speech and Drama team.

“Working with the kids was a huge reminder of how much I enjoy different performance mediums,” said Dean. “I won’t get paid for this particular project, but I’ve already made some great connections to talent scouts and others who might have much larger opportunities in the future.”

The experience as a whole has been a positive one and allowed Dean the opportunity to share his acting talents with those he might not have been able to before, all from the comfort of home.

“It’s been a unique experience to be able to continue to act while doing essentially all my work from home,” concluded Dean. “I would absolutely do it again!”

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