– AN ARTIST A DAY: VERONICA –
dream interview with Voice Actress Veronica Taylor
Long have we dreamed of living in a world other than this – one where we could be characters that can cast magic spells and control monsters with a simple command. Well, at least that’s what I wanted as a kid. We look at cartoon characters and oftentimes idolize them, not realizing that there is actually a number of people who made their existence possible, including the voice actor/ actress.
When I first fell into the world of Pokemon, I was amazed by the designs and appearances of these creatures. What made me love the franchise even more (apart from the video games which at the time were only Red, Blue and Green and then Yellow) was the show itself. And although I never really enjoyed English dubbing for Anime, the voice acting in Pokemon was outstanding. When I was much younger, I was curious to find out who did Ash Ketchum’s voice and became even more so to discover that it was actually a lady! That’s when I thought “wow, she’s so talented!”
Years pass by and to my surprise, this edition of the MEFCC had what may be the best guest lineup yet! One of the star guests just happened to be Veronica Taylor, the voice behind Ash Ketchum as well as other known characters such as Sailor Pluto from Sailor Moon!
As soon as I found out, I just had to attend and figure out a way to get an interview with Veronica. I knew that her schedule was packed, so I made sure that my timing was right. On the third day (and after her voice workshop) I handed her a sketch of Pikachu wearing Ash’s hat with a “Thank You” note for her hard work. I was reluctant to ask her for an interview right away but she just smiled and said “let’s do it now!”
The fan girl (and Pikachu) inside me squealed a little too much. Here’s how the interview went:
1. As a voice actor, you probably get really engaged with your work and invest emotionally in it – I would like to ask, what was the saddest moment in Pokemon for you?
I would say it was when we all found out we were being replaced at the end of the season. Well, that’s real life but really, I loved those sad moments like setting Butterfree free (ep21, s1) and Ash turning to Stone (Pokemon the First Movie) – all of those times when you actually had something that was real and had real emotion, like how Ash dealt with Pikachu in Goodbye Pikachu (ep39, s1).
2. What has been your favorite project thus far?
Well, Ash definitely since I’ve played that for 8 years, Amelia in Slayers and Yukino in His and Her Circumstances. I also play Sputnik on Astroblast!, she’s a pig in outer space – it’s really fun!
3. If you had to choose one fictional world to live in, what would it be and why?
What comes to my mind right away is Fireflies but that’s something scary; it’s sci-fi and there’s a lot of fighting going on. Let’s skip that. Willy Wonka? I’d love to live in the Chocolate Factory! Can I do that?
(Take me with you, Veronica!)
4. How does it feel watching a character (on screen) being brought to life with your voice acting?
It’s really great, especially when I can forget that I’ve worked on it and just watch it! Pokemon is a show that I can just watch and enjoy and not think “oh, I should’ve done that part this way!”
Lately, I saw Astroblast! on TV – it’s another show that’s so cute and fun, so we do the voices and we don’t know what’s going to happen with it. We hear the music and how they’ve put everything together. I’m amazed by how it all comes together anyway because my part is such a tiny bit of the whole production.
5. Have you ever acted a line out of script?
Most of the time we don’t have a chance to improve; a lot of projects I worked on want it to be very specific. We do sometimes when it’s really silly and turn it into a joke but for the most part, no, we really stick to things. I’ve had theater training and it’s really about bringing the words of the writer rather than making up your own. People today work so hard on getting very specific words that they want in the script, so I try to bring those out rather than changing them.
And it ended with a heartfelt hug between Ash and Pikachu.
We love you, Veronica. You will always be our favorite Ash and your work is much appreciated.
Fun fact: In the early seasons of Pokemon, Veronica also did the voice acting for Ash’s mom, his friend May and the Pokemon Digglett!