Who is Sailor Moon? She is a superhero that uses her magical powers to fight evil and triumph in the name of good.
1. What inspired you to get into voice-acting?
I was one of those kids who couldn’t sit still for a second. I was so outgoing and crazy. Really, I don’t think I had a choice in life other than acting. It was what I was meant to do. But it’s one thing to say you have to act and another thing to make a living at it. It is not an easy profession to get into. So I went to theatre school to help hone my skills and give my career direction. One of the courses they offered at theatre school was voice-over technique. As soon as I stepped into the booth, put the headphones on and started to talk I knew this was something I wanted to do. I absolutely loved it! Then one day we had a guest voice actor come in to the school to talk to us about VO’s. As soon as I heard her voice I knew it immediately. The quality of her voice, her energy, her love of the job and her knowledge of all things voice all drove me to pursue this career. She was inspiring! Years later I had the opportunity to work with that voice actor– It was none other than Susan Roman, Sailor Jupiter! Now she is a very good friend. But I tell you I never stop learning from her. She is just soooo good! She is definitely my inspiration.
2. What are the similarities between you and your character, Sailor Moon?
I am a big goof-ball. I tend to joke around a lot. But when push comes to shove it always seems to be me who ends up in the role of leader. I guess it comes with having an outgoing personality. People pick you as the natural leader. So in those respects, I’d say I’m a lot like Serena/Sailor Moon.
3. We’ve heard that playing the role of a female hero can be demanding or rigorous, even if it’s voice acting, how was your experience?
It’s demanding doing most roles in voice, but when the show is high octane like Sailor Moon then all of that gets amped up even more. I mean, even the crying took a lot of energy. Just take a second and throw your head back and do a Serena crying fit. Feel how your stomach muscles are pushed and how all your face muscles are stretched and pulled. Now do three or four takes of that only 100 x bigger because that’s what they’d tell me to do. Now think about how often Serena cries, and screams and falls and, and, and. I would walk out of each session feeling very beaten up. Voice acting is a very physical job. You have to put your whole body into each line or it just won’t be believable– especially in the fight scenes. When you are being hit in the stomach you have to knock the breath out of yourself and really feel like you’ve taken a blow to the gut. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing it. It’s just so much fun. But at the end of the day I am spent.
4. How does it feel to be part of one of the most famous Japanese anime series of magical girls who can transform into heroines and fight evil or ward off the negaforce?
I feel like I have been truly blessed getting to play the part of Sailor Moon. The show is iconic and has such a loyal following. It is something that can never be taken away from me. I am a lucky girl! And the fans are bar none the greatest fans on earth! They are so loving and knowledgeable and faithful. They believe in everything Sailor Moon stands for. I swear, every time I get to meet another fan my energy level is boosted and I just feel so full of love that I’m on top of the world.
5. Do you have a girl powHer tip, or advice for girls (teens) to support their dreams?
Being a teenager is a very difficult time in a girl’s life. You’re caught between being a child and a grown-up. Things are happening to your body and your mind that are all foreign to you. But that’s what I loved the most about playing Serena/Sailor Moon. Here was this girl who really wanted to be a goofy kid and she was thrown into this very adult world, fighting evil and warding off the negaverse. It was all the different maturity levels that made her fun and challenging. Don’t ever stop having fun. Be true to yourself. Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. I know that sounds so simple and so cliché but it so true.
6. For any aspiring voice actor’s, do you have any advice for them?
In an actor’s life there should always be someone who believes in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. Find out who that person is for you and trust that person. They are not trying to pull the wool over your eyes and tell you things that aren’t true. They believe in you and that’s what will help pull you through the rough times. And believe me, there are a lot of rough times. I have been very lucky in my voice career. I have worked a lot. But I hear the word “no” a lot more than I hear the word “yes”. It can really bring you down. In those times, the people that believe in you will keep you going. Allow them to carry you forward… soon you’ll be master of your own universe again.
And enjoy the journey. Always look for something new and different in your reads. Don’t stick to stereotypes or what you think the director wants to hear. Make the character your own and have fun with it.
Well I guess that’s the end of the interview. I can’t thank you enough for reaching out to me. These were great questions and I hope they help some budding young actor somewhere. If you think voice-acting sounds like the greatest job in the world, you are right! I wouldn’t change it for anything!
In the name of the Moon,
Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon)
Hero Journey Quotes
“The hero’s story is always a journey…but there are many stories that take the hero on an inward journey, one of mind, the heart, the spirit. In any good story the hero grows and changes, making a journey from one way of being to the next; from despair to hope, from weakness to strength, from folly to wisdom, from love to hate and back again. It’s these emotional journeys that hook an audience and make a story worth watching.” Christopher Vogler