Profile of a Twitch influencer turned voice artist

Melbourne

5 Feb 2021

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5

Feb

Profile of a Twitch influencer turned voice artist

5 Feb 2021

On the lead up to International Women's Day we caught up with Nina Nikolic - an animation graduate from SAE Melbourne. In this interview, Nina shares her experience working at two of the biggest video game developers, EA and Bandai Namco; explains her decision to stream under a secret pseudonym for two years on Twitch; and how she found her calling as a professional voice over artist. 

Throughout her degree, Nina earnt a work placement at gaming developer, Firemint, as a customer service representative. Following EA’s acquisition of Firemint, she was retained as a paid staff member. 

"I was managing staff successfully, even though I wasn’t officially recognised as a manager. Eventually, EA restructured its business and I found myself less engaged functioning in a different capacity.” 

 

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 “I got really lucky. I was working on The Real Racing, Need for Speed and The Sims franchises, which most people would kill for."

 

Following a time of self-reflection and “feeling lost”, Nina packed her bags and travelled to San Jose, California to work on the Pac Man franchise at Bandai Namco. “It was like Eat, Pray, Love - I needed to get out into the world to work out who I was.

“It was a great experience, but at the same time it felt like this really weird dream. When I came back to Australia, I’d forgotten I’d even gone to the US!”

On Twitch, Nina holds a following of almost 20,000, but when she first started streaming in 2014, it wasn’t all plain sailing. 

“As I was a public facing professional at EA, I went under the pseudonym, Kid Kerrigan, to hide my identity. I never publicly acknowledged my identity until I moved to California in 2016. I felt a responsibility to my community to be more open about why I was moving and what the plan was, so that was the reasoning behind it.” 

As Nina’s following grew, she gained interest from sponsors including Blizzard and became one of the most popular Blizzard streamers on the platform in Australia. This led to Nina stumbling across her passion for voice acting. “Followers would message me saying ‘you should do voice acting because you do these funny voices really well’, which I’d never given a second thought about”. 

With her creative spark restored, Nina got in touch with experienced voiceover artist, Kevin Powell, who she’d met through IGDA networking events offered to SAE students. “Kevin gave me all these resources and has been very supportive of my voiceover career. I love working with him.”

More recently Nina has received support from communities like the Australian Voice Over Discord and experienced voiceover artist, Aimee Smith. “Their guidance has been instrumental in helping me find a ‘home’ in the voice acting community.”

Since 2019, Nina has offered her vocal talents on a part-time basis to games and comedy space drama, CICADA 3000. Now in her thirties, she’s ready to reboot her career as a full-time voice over artist. “Being a voice artist certainly does take a lot more education, practice and work than just being able to do funny voices, but I’m in love with it.”

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