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  1. 91.8 The Fan - Kana's Korner interviews Tara Strong
  2. Transcript by Ekkosangen
  3.  
  4. Kana:   Hey everybody out there, you're tuned in to 91.8 The Fan. I'm here with a very special guest and you guys have been waiting all day for: the fabulous Tara Strong. Thank you for coming onto the show!
  5.  
  6. TS:     Thanks for having me!
  7.  
  8. Kana:   Not at all! I'm very excited to have you on I think a lot of listeners are just, uh, probably drooling in fanboyism.
  9.  
  10. TS:     *laughs*
  11.  
  12. Kana:   I was kind of curious because I was looking all over your credits and you do both animation and video game work and I was a little bit curious: video games have become sort of explosive lately, they've become a bigger market, have you felt you've been doing more of those?
  13.  
  14. TS:     You know I think it's almost every day that there's an audition that comes in for a video game, and it's fun because I think they're finally, the production team behind them are finally recognizing that it pays to have good voice talent and good voice actors working on the staff. I get more fan mail for the video games than I do than most of my shows, because people are in the game and they feel like they know you and they identify with you and I really think it's nice that, because of the internet and because of fans having access to be able to send these letters that, like I said there's been a bit of an explosion, you're right, and for us it's using some good, seasoned voice actors.
  15.  
  16. Kana:   When you do those, do you have a little bit of trouble with reaction sounds or do you have a trick to keep your voice in tip-top shape for those, because I hear they're kind of daunting.
  17.  
  18. TS:     Yeah, I mean they'll warn you on the audition, they'll say this game has challenging, vocally stressful work and then you sort of decide as the actor, maybe based on what you have to do that week, like if I had to sing something for, for instance, a little mermaid thing there's no way I could do a video game the day before unless it's not a particularly screaming game. Now with that said there are some games that have, like, 8000 different dying noises, and in general they'll save those noises for the end of the record so that you don't blow out your voice because there's not really a way to...if you're doing a blood-curdling scream there's not really a trick. There's certainly ways to scream that don't hurt your voice as much, but a lot of times for the game they need something to sound really screechy and for those purposes you kinda gotta give it your all and luckily the directors are pretty aware of that and they'll save that stuff for the very end.
  19.  
  20. Kana:   And I always hear that you can die by so many different weapons that it's kind of...you have to be creative.
  21.  
  22. TS:     Well yeah, sometimes it'll be...well, a lot of times it'll be a Japanese-inspired game and they'll have all these crazy terminology and weaponry and they have to tell me how to pronounce it and how I would sound getting killed by it so that's always fun.
  23.  
  24. Kana:   In comparison to anime and voice work what's the biggest difference between the two?
  25.  
  26. TS:     For games, you are working by yourself because there are so many cues to do, which is so many lines to do, so for instance for a video game you can be booked up to 4 hours so you could be just by yourself for that entire time. It could go much quicker but it could go that entire time so that could be taxing on your voice even if you're not screaming. If you're doing an animated series a lot of the time you're working with other actors so you get a little rest in between, there's a lot of banter back and forth, there's a little bit more opportunity to be creative when you're creating a character from scratch as opposed to either dubbing a game or falling into the company's vision of the game and obviously you can be more creative if you're doing a scene over a game that's, you know, 'press the L1 button to swing left!" You can be less creative than a movie or TV series.
  27.         In general when we do an animated series we go first then they animate it to our voice, sometimes in games it's already been animated, for instance Final Fantasy: a ton of dialogue that I had to watch the screen in a different language and dub it into english and make it make sense and still...I'm very conscientious about the acting and getting all the beats down but still making it fit lip flaps that are in a different language.
  28.  
  29. Kana:   Well I actually believe you worked with Jack Fletcher on that one, he was the director, and that must have been a very wonderful experience. We got to talk to him a while back and he's such a nice guy.
  30.  
  31. TS:     Yeah, he is nice. Super-nice.
  32.  
  33. Kana:   Have you gone to work with him or Studiopolis on any other projects?
  34.  
  35. TS:     Yeah I work with him all the time I was there yesterday doing a brand new movie. Jack is really one of those treasured voice actors, there aren't that many in the business that people really respect and hold on to and he's certainly one of the treasured ones.
  36.  
  37. Kana:   Aww, that's really sweet. Now, obviously, I have to ask because we've been...Sort of...I guess...I don't want to say attacked, but flooded by fans of the latest cartoon you're a part of, My Little Pony: So I'm curious, do you know about the reaction this is getting from older fans?
  38.  
  39. TS:     No not so much!
  40.  
  41. Kana:   It's actually become sort of an Internet meme. There's websites that track memes online, like popular little sayings and whatnot, and ponies have become srot of the next big thing. Most of our demographic is 18-24 and they've gone up by tenfold with your arrival.
  42.  
  43. TS:     Wow, I love that! That's fantastic! It's always nice when you're working on something and the fans really appreciate it and let you know and like I said, when I first started in animation I was 13 and there wasn't really an internet voice. Then, once fans were able to verbalize who they liked and research the web and find out who's doing the voices of their shows and who's touching their lives or touching their kid's lives or however it is, it's been so nice for us because a lot of the time we're not really appreciated and then the fans...I can't even tell you how important it is to hear stuff like that because it makes us feel so good. Recently I had a make-a-wish girl and all she wanted to do was talk to me and get to know about voice over and it's so touching to have that kind of impact on people and it's great. I loved My Little Pony when I was a little girl and so did Lauren Faust, the artistic director behind it, so that's nice to know.
  44.  
  45. Kana:   Well it seems to me as more time goes on more people are recognizing the voice actors for their great talent.
  46.  
  47. TS:     You know it's funny whenever we got to Comic-con that's where a lot of the fans know who we are. I remember I was walking around with Tom Kenny, who voices Spongebob, and people are like "Hey Tom, Hey Tara!" and Tom turned to me and said "It's like an alternate universe where we matter!" *laughs*
  48.  
  49. Kana:   That's cute! I know that My Little Pony is a very cute show, could you tell everybody about your character out there for those who might not know?
  50.  
  51. TS:     Well my character is the lead pony, her name is Twilight Sparkle. She sort of corrals all the other ponies into doing the right thing, and she's constantly working on her magic, trying to get everyone to be good ponies and help each other, and they live in Ponyville, and at the end of every show she's the one responsible for writing a letter to Princess Celestia to let her know what she's learned and what all the other ponies have learned. There's actually some really fun little life lessons in there that sometimes surprise me even, it's funny because I was hanging out with this girl and I really didn't like her friend and I didn't know her they were friends while we were hanging out, and at that record session it's like "Dear Princess Celestia, sometimes you can't control when somepony you like likes another pony, but that's okay!" and I'm like that's so funny because a lot of that's kind of relatable to real life even though I'm 38 years old.
  52.  
  53. Kana:   Well that's cute though, I mean, I have things like that too. For example, I'm a big Sailor Moon fan and I can still relate some of those lessons to real life so I guess that's why it has such an older fanbase and a younger fanbase.
  54.  
  55. TS:     Yeah, Mm-hmm.
  56.  
  57. Kana:   Have you received any letters about the show or anything like that or is this kind of a surprise that it's so popular with older people?
  58.  
  59. TS;     I have not received any letters but I certainly see it on my facebook page now and then, but I'm sure there's a lot more that I'm not even aware of.
  60.  
  61. Kana:   With the creative process for shows like this, you said a little bit earlier you're able to go off of other voice actors and whatnot, are there any funny moments you can recount when you were talking with your other peers?
  62.  
  63. TS:     On [My Little Pony] or on other shows?
  64.  
  65. Kana:   Just in general.
  66.  
  67. TS:     Oh gosh, there's so many. I was just telling someone...I do a lot of the dolls from Mattell and I do the baby mommy, like the walking one and the one that goes potty, and I just did one yesterday that was going to the bathroom and she had a line that went "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" and that is so funny because one time I was doing a show, an animated show, and there was a little girl in this session and she must have been 7 or 8 years old and I guess she didn't know that she could go to the bathroom. So right in the middle of the recording she just went "I'm doing it! I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" and she was peeing in the studio.
  68.  
  69. Kana:   Oh my god! *laughing*
  70.  
  71. TS:     I did have someone throw up once in the studio, that was pretty fun.
  72.  
  73. Kana:   Did they just scream so much they got nausea?
  74.  
  75. TS:     I don't know if he wasn't feeling well that day or something but it was kind of like what the heck happened there. Actually it was on Hello Kitty so it was a long time ago. *laughs*
  76.  
  77. Kana:   *Laughs* Obviously with your experience you've been in the booth both alone and with other people, so kind of interesting to hear about those sort of events. Those are new for us!
  78.  
  79. TS:     You know, whenever you're in the studio, people are always surprised that voice actors move around within the perimeter of the microphone, like no one's just standing there at the mic, you're actually portraying some of the action with your hands and facial features. I'll never forget Tom Kenny really busted me when we were doing the Power Puff Girls and, you know, Bubbles talks to squirrels and so he says "Tara, do you have go back to talk to squirrels?" and I didn't even notice but I had my hands up to my cheeks making little squirrel paws. *laughs* A lot of times you're just moving around in ways that you don't even realize to sort of get into characters, it's kinda funny.
  80.  
  81. Kana:   That's sort of adorable!
  82.  
  83. TS:     Yeah, you know, anytime I was doing Rugrats and I was like sucking my thumb or playing with my toes. Yesterday I had a line at Fairly Odd Parents where Timmy had to say something like, "Gosh, my butt is frozen!" or something like that and I literally put my hand on my butt and I guess I had to do that to be in the moment, I have no idea why I did that.
  84.  
  85. Kana:   I think that's a perfect segue to go on a very short break, but don't go anywhere and keep it tuned to 91.8 The Fan. Everything you want and nothing you don't.
  86.  
  87. *Intermission*
  88.  
  89. Kana:   Hey everybody out there you're tuned in to 91.8 the fan. Sorry for that long break we were kind of exploring the wide interwebs a little bit and getting a little bit carried away but I still have my special guest here, do you want to say hi?
  90.  
  91. TS:     Hello!
  92.  
  93. Kana:   Now, for all the fans who are interested and listening out there, what current projects are you working on that you can talk about, we know about NDAs, what projects recently came out that you would like the listeners to know about?
  94.  
  95. TS:     Well I just booked one last week that's really exciting, they're doing a prime-time animated version of Napoleon Dynamite for FOX. I just did my first recording of that yesterday and that was insanely fun, it's all the original cast from the movie, and me, so that's kind of fun. I'm also doing another show called Crash Canyon, and we're still doing Fairly Oddparents movies, obviously we're still doing [My Little Pony], I have another series I can't tell you about because it's a non-disclosure but it's really, really exciting, and that's about it!
  96.  
  97. Kana:   Is there any place across the interwebs that we can stalk you? In the nice way!
  98.  
  99. TS:     I do have a page on Facebook, it's full so I'm trying to figure out how to make it a fan page, but I am on Facebook just as my name, Tara Strong. I do Twitter, it's @tarastrong, just started doing that. It's funny, I was on set on Big Time Rush and I had a Twitter page but I wasn't really using it much and one of the guys on the show said "Oh you have to use Twitter, watch this!" and he wrote 'Hanging with @tarastrong on Big Time Rush' and within a minute I went from like 100 followers to 600 followers and they all knew me from Fairly Odd Parents and some other stuff so that was kind of fun. I am Twittering now, I'm getting the hang of it.
  100.  
  101. Kana:   Well I'm glad to hear you're twittering, I'm personally more of the Twitter-bug over a facebook fan.
  102.  
  103. TS:     Yeah, well it took me a while to kind of 'get it' I think I just had a not-cool app to figure it out but I switched to a different app and now it all makes sense.
  104.  
  105. Kana:   Oh are you rocking the iPhone?
  106.  
  107. TS:     Ah, yes! *laugh*
  108.  
  109. Kana:   I think everybody is at this point, I'm still stuck with my Blackberry...
  110.  
  111. TS:     Oh I'm so sorry!
  112.  
  113. Kana:   It's okay, I'll live. Do you have any events coming up? Conventions or anything like that that you'll be showing up at?
  114.  
  115. TS:     Not that I know of, I generally do go to Comic-con althought it's kind of last minute where I'm going to go and what I'm going to do. I wish I had known further in advance about this cosplay thing because that was kind of a fun event, but I'll definitely try to post on twitter and facebook and give fans enough time to make it some places. I'm pretty sure I'll be at Comic-con this year, I haven't missed one yet.
  116.  
  117. Kana:   I hear those are very hectic, I usually don't get a chance to go because it's kind of a little bit near E3 and Anime Expo, and, it's like, a big convention, I should, but ahh! I need rest!
  118.  
  119. TS:     Ahhh, it's so much fun though! It's really where you go where everyone is just so appreciative of all the stuff that we do. I brought a girlfriend who didn't really understand our world so much and she was like "Oh my god, you're a star!" with everybody knowing me and people dressed as my characters, and it's just so, so...you have no idea how much it means to the actors to go and see the fans really appreciating us.
  120.  
  121. Kana:   It's really kind of amazing too, I always go to a convention and sort of get an adrenaline rush, and by the end of it I crash.
  122.  
  123. TS:     *giggles*
  124.  
  125. Kana:   Do you ever have after-convention blues?
  126.  
  127. TS:     Not so much because I miss my kiddies so I'm pumped from having a really great day and then I get home and I get to see my little guys, It's definitely a nice feeling. I think I had one where I was really pooped out from an anime convention that I couldn't bring the kids to and I was really sad because I had to sleep over one more night before seeing them, so that was kind of sad. Still, the fans were very grateful. I think there was one, too, that I couldn't bring them to, it was BotCon in Cincinatti, and I was so far away from the kids and they didn't know where I was, but the Transformers fans were actually really, really great because they're not so used to having a female transformer and they are very open-arms and welcoming, it was nice.
  128.  
  129. Kana:   I obviously don't want to be too personal, but that might be kind of interesting to take your kids and be able to see their reaction to the whole geekdom world.
  130.  
  131. TS:     Well it's funny because my older son used to say my voices were dumb until he got to school, then some of his kids were like "Dude, you're on Ben10? That's COOL!" and they're like "Do the voice!" and certainly he got it, and also I took his friends to Nickelodeon for class trips. Sometimes they'd go to the fire station, and then with my class we got to go to Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network and suddenly I was very, very cool.
  132.  
  133. Kana:   *Laughs* Well that's one way to win 'em!
  134.  
  135. TS:     Mm-hmm, exactly.
  136.  
  137. Kana:   I was wondering, since we're nearing the end of this interview, if you'd be willing to participate in a 91.8 The Fan tradition?
  138.  
  139. TS:     Okay.
  140.  
  141. Kana:   It's not too difficult but we do put the pressure on you just a little because we ask if you'd be willing to do a radio bump live on the air.
  142.  
  143. TS:     Okay!
  144.  
  145. Kana:   Awesome! We were wondering if you'd be willing to say "My name is," you insert your name, "I do this," you insert what you do, and "You're tuned in to 91.8 The Fan."
  146.  
  147. TS:     Okay, and do you want me to say the ponies or just a bunch of shows that I do?
  148.  
  149. Kana:   You can do whichever ones you want to do, if you want to do a voice you can, it's really up to your creative discretion.
  150.  
  151. TS:     Okay so I'm going to say "This is Tara Strong, voice of blah blah blah, and you are listening to..."
  152.  
  153. Kana:   91.8 The Fan.
  154.  
  155. TS:     That's it?
  156.  
  157. Kana:   Yup, that's it!
  158.  
  159. TS:     Okay, ready?
  160.  
  161. Kana:   Yup.
  162.  
  163. TS:     Hi everybody, this is Tara Strong, the voice of Bubbles from the Power Puff Girls, cool I wish Timmy Turner was here, and, of course, now everybody's favorite, Twilight Sparkle, and you are listening to 98.1 The Fan. Bye-bye!
  164.  
  165. Kana:   Oh, it sounds like you did 98.1!
  166.  
  167. TS:     Ohhh! What was I supposed to say?
  168.  
  169. Kana:   91.8.
  170.  
  171. TS:     Oh my gosh, 91.8, I did, I wrote it down wrong, okay, ready?
  172.  
  173. Kana:   It's okay! Take 2!
  174.  
  175. TS:     Hi everyone, this is Tara Strong and you are listening to 91.8 The Fan. I'm sitting here with all the voices in my head like Twilight Sparkle, I'm so glad you guys came out today, I'm Bubbles from the Power Puff Girls, has anyone seen Mojo Jojo? Cool I wish Cosmo and Wanda were here!
  176.  
  177. Kana:   Ohh that was so adorable! That's going to be my new favorite!
  178.  
  179. TS:     Yaaay!
  180.  
  181. Kana:   Is there anything else you'd like to tell the listeners out there?
  182.  
  183. TS:     Join me on Twitter and keep watching, I invented a baby bottle that's, gosh it's taking so long to get here but once it comes out it's going to be Baba Baby and you can keep checking it on that website too it's babababy.com, and we also teach a voiceover class at voicestarz.com for anyone who might be interested in getting into voicework.
  184.  
  185. Kana:   Oh, I've actually read a little about that on I think it was on Wikipedia. Obviously my stalking skills have to be, sort of, on the Internet.
  186.  
  187. TS:     *Laughs*
  188.  
  189. Kana:   So that's really interesting to know and I have to say this was an absolute pleasure, thank you very much!
  190.  
  191. TS:     Thanks guys, and thanks to all the fans!
  192.  
  193. Kana:   For anybody out there who missed any of this interview, don't fret! We do record it and it'll be up on the site within the next few days, so keep it tuned to 91.8 The Fan. Everything you want, and nothing you don't.