SacAnime Interview with Voice Actresses Lauren Landa and Cherami Leigh From Anime Show Soul Eater, and Video Game Dead Or Alive 5
Two people who have voiced many different characters in video games and Anime
SacAnime happened in Sacramento, CA this last weekend and one of our writers, Jay Snook, took the chance to interview two well-known voice actors, Lauren Landa and Cherami Leigh, who have voiced all kinds of characters in Anime and some popular video games. The two attended all three days of the convention, giving autographs and taking photos, as well as sitting on a few of the panels. He asked them some great questions and here are their answers.
What are some other works you are known for?
Cherami: I worked on Dangon Ronpa, I was just announced to be working on Xenoblade Chronicles, a couple other games I can’t talk about yet that I am working on and I do a lot of Anime – Sword Art Online, Fairy Tale, Sailor Moon and I have done some on camera stuff as well.
Lauren: The video games roles would be Blaz Blue as Litchi Faye Ling; Kasumi in Dead or Alive 5; Super Smash Brothers as female Robin; Leia in Tales of Xillia and the sequel and I have also done a lot of Anime. I was Annie in Attack on Titan, the new voice of Sailor Neptune on Sailor Moon, Kyoko Sakura in Madoka Magica and a lot of other roles.
Is the Sailor Moon a revamp of the series?
Cherami: Yes. We are re-dubbing the uncut version so all the episodes that weren’t aired in the 1990’s… we are redoing that and we are also working on Crystal which is the new series.
What got you interested in voice acting?
Cherami: I have been acting since I was six years old and so I just started doing voice over work because I had a really high pitched voice and I could read. I played a lot of kids and that led to doing cartoons and that kind of stuff. Then I kind of fell into Anime working with Funimation which led to working on video games so one thing led to another so it was just one of those things.
Lauren: Well it was kind of similar as Cherami’s background except I didn’t get into voice over until I was in college, but I have been acting since I was little. I became involved in theater doing this for most of my life. Then when I got to college that eventually led into me getting an audition for an Anime and I was cast in my first show I think back in 2007, something like that.
What was your favorite character to do? And what was your hardest character to do?
Cherami: Ah, that is so difficult. Probably one of my favorite video game characters to play was [in] Borderlands because that was the first big video game I got to work on and it was such a surprise because it came out of nowhere. I had worked on Borderlands 2 as a couple of incidental characters and that led to an audition for this new character cause they wanted to take it in a different direction and that is kind of how I launched into that. As far as the most difficult character that I have played, there are always different hurdles that I have gone through in my career so there are different aspects to them that are difficult for the moment. Once I jump over that hurdle, there is something else I get to learn from. So I guess I can’t say there has been one that has been difficult, more like different aspects I can learn and grow from which is always fun.
What is the most difficult part you find about your job?
Lauren: Probably, for me personally, it is always stressing out about not getting sick. Because when you get sick it affects your voice, it affects your throat, your nose and you can’t go into a session sounding like you are incredibly stuffed up or if you are having a coughing fit which has happened to me many times. I had walking pneumonia earlier last year and that was the hardest thing because I didn’t have to give up work but I certainly had to drug myself up enough to get healthy again (laughs). So that is probably the hardest part. Also, just speaking from a performance stand point, [it is difficult] when you have to go out of your comfort zone. I have played a lot of higher pitched characters… I think I have a high pitched voice naturally, you know we never hear what we actually sound like ourselves, but I think that is pretty difficult for me because it is a lot easier to go very low into my register rather than go high. So I think that is probably in my career at least that is a little on the harder side sometimes, but it depends if it is coming from your diaphragm or your head. I know that sounds strange but a lot of the girls I have played have higher pitches are definitely coming from a higher register.
What is some advice you would give to someone who wants to get into voice acting?
Cherami: I would say if you want to be a voice actor you should just want to be an actor and take as many classes as you can that includes singing, stage, movement, dance, fitness classes, anything that gets you aware of your body and builds your muscle because your lungs have to work so you can sustain screams. You’re going to be standing through a session so it is all about keeping your body resilient and healthy. Then also growing. You are never ever going to know everything and you are never ever going to be able to stop taking classes and stop learning or stop growing, so if you want to be in the field, definitely make sure this is something you love. It is a very hard business that is full of rejection, but, if you love it and there is nothing else you can imagine doing to be happy, then this is the place to be. Just know it’s going to be a fun journey full of a lot of hard work and a lot of really exciting things. Give voice acting a try!
Do you have any final words to say?
Lauren: Well we both are currently at SacAnime 2016, me and Cherami, and we want to wish a Happy New Year to everybody and let’s make it an awesome, positive year. We are both excited to start it off at a Con so we are totally stoked to start this new year and I hope everyone has a great year!