Rachael Messer, Voice of Anne
Rachael studied voice work, voice acting, and stage work in college. She graduated with a B.F.A in Theatre Performance.
Rachael has voice acted in numerous anime, cartoons, video games, radio plays, and commercials. She has voiced over 100 different video game characters. Some of her roles include Comba in Warframe, Rebecca Lansing in System Shock, and Dire Wolf Tyra in Paladins, in addition to over 100 different other games.
1. How did you get involved with the development of Forgotton Anne?
I had been working in video games and a few anime. I'd done about 200 video games roles before Forgotton Anne. I got in my bachelor's degree in theater performance and had been working in the industry for a few years. I was contacted by one of the team members of Forgotton Anne via my website, actually. They sent me some information on the game and Anne and I was immediately very interested in the game! I auditioned with a few lines from the script they sent me and after a few emails back and forth, tweaking and working on the voice and delivery, I was delighted to hear I had gotten the part!
2. Can you tell us a bit about the characters you play in Forgotton Anne, and how you approached the roles?
I play both Anne and Tink who are very different characters and at times, complete opposites.
For Anne, I could see a lot of myself in her and ended up imbuing a lot of my personality with her. She was someone I could empathize and connect with. I think you need both as an actor playing the part, and in a games protagonist. If a player doesn't like the main character, they can often end up not caring what happens to them and then lose interest and investment in the game.
I don't know whether it was the writing or her character creation, but I really resonated with her and she seemed to be a character who took on a life of her own. Part of this may have been because I was voicing her and therefore was able to see all the different choices the player could make in the game. But there were times I found myself very proud of her, others, disappointed.
I think the amount of choices really give the players the same kind of ability. The ability to create a character similar to oneself. It immerses you into the game even more so because many of the choices made are yours.
Tink was quite different. She is almost the literal manifestation of anger that came from being forgotten and abandoned. Or rather, the anger that evolved from the pain of being forgotten and discarded. Which, without spoilers, is something you realize is a choice. The contrast, depending on the paths you've chosen with Anne, between the two characters when they meet make a powerful scene.
3. What do you think of Forgotton Anne and the project?
I'm very proud and honored to have been a part of Forgotton Anne. There's something rather unique about it. The story and the world created are not only incredibly imaginative and different, but something not done much before. It's a fresh concept and that itself is inspiring and exciting to work on.
I also love characters who have deep and real reasonings for things, long characters arcs and development, and an interesting story. But what's so interesting about Forgotton Anne is, while set in a fantasy world, there are a lot of real messages that can be taken in from the story. There are so many vast situations and emotions that I think almost every player will find themselves relating to some part of this game.
I think what's taken in will also vary from player to player. For me, the scenes I found most interesting were a reflection of things I'd gone through, worries I had, or emotions I had really felt before. I can't speak for everyone, but for myself, the scene between Anne and Tink seemed to represent the optimist and the pessimist inside everyone at one time or another. Tink is that voice that tells us not to try, that we will fail, that all is doomed. And Anne is that part that tells us to try, to give it a chance, and that everything is worth trying for. I think, in some way, every person has had thoughts like these and to see it play out in the game is something not done often.
Through the story, Anne struggles with a lot. Self doubt, pressure to do the right thing, trying to do the right thing when there is no clear right path, feeling alone, the choices to either act quickly and rash vs waiting and trying to find the best action, and the potential consequence that can come from both those situations. She is under literal life and death pressure. She sometimes gets knocked down during the story, but she keeps going.
I know for myself and my history, sometimes seeing fictional characters go through struggles we often deal with can be inspiring and hopeful. Seeing someone you can relate to and seeing them go through similar or relatable situations, but still make it through! To see that things do get better, even when it seems all hope is lost. That's a message I will proudly stand behind. That's something I'm proud to be a part of.
4. What's next for you?
I just wrapped my shows for Funimation which included Dances with the Dragons as Xenobia and my last episode as Rebecca in Black Clover (for now). I'm also really excited to be part of an anime being done by Sentai Filmworks. But I can't release any information about which show until the cast list is released in a few months. I will certainly be sharing that on social media when I can, though.
I also have been able to announce my roles in Harry Potter: A Hogwarts Mystery, Moji in Paladins, and my character Mage in Realm Royale! I'm normally always working on something and the best way to keep up to date with role announcements is via my twitter and Instagram account @Rachaelmesser.
5. If you were an object in the Forgotten Lands, what would you be?
Oh that's a hard one... I'd like to be a kite because I could fly. And honestly, that's my favorite super power so any way I can make that happen would be a-okay with me.