Sailor Moon Sharing Secrets Regarding Her Superhero Journey



“Heroes feel the same fear as cowards; they just respond differently…The way itself creates the warrior. We are all peaceful warriors in training, and every life is a hero’s journey.”  Dan Millman

Who is Sailor Moon? She is a superhero that uses her magical powers to fight evil and triumph in the name of good.

Simply put, the difference between a hero and a superhero is that a hero is respected for courage or noble qualities like integrity, loyalty, or warriorship.  A superhero has magical powers to change our lives.
Recently, it was exciting to chat with Linda Ballantyne, one of the voices of Sailor Moon. Hear her answers to some of our FunZen questions, and listen to her share how she handles stressful moments and keeps calm to sparkle on and carry onward.



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)

PS- Follow me on Twitter @LABallantyne or listen to some of my archived radio shows at


Hero Journey Quotes

“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” Joseph Campbell

“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


“The ideal superhero is a master of martial arts, which at it’s core is a spiritual discipline.” Deepak Chopra
More awesome female hero stories to come!

Uncovering The Female Hero Journey


We are honored to share Mythology Scholar, Anime Expert, and Voice Actor, Crispin Freeman’s answers to our questions.  Crispin actually inspired me to explore the idea of presenting the female journey in a whole new light. He eloquently stated that, “I’m very fond of magical girl shows like Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon and Escaflowne. I wish American animation had more female hero journey stories.”
Please zenjoy our interview of Crispin Freeman sharing his knowledge and hard-won insights about the female hero’s journey.
1. How did you get into anime?

When I was young, I was always fascinated by cartoons. I watched everything animated I could get my hands on, no matter the source. When I was 6 years old, my father yelled at me for watching too many cartoons. His criticism was probably motivated more because I wasn’t doing my homework and less because he disapproved of the medium of animation. Nevertheless, I remember making myself a promise when I was 6 years old that when I became an adult I would still like cartoons.

It wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized that some of my absolute favorite cartoons were made in Japan. When I was younger I didn’t realize that animation could be made in different countries. However, when I was in high school, the anime series Robotech was being broadcast on television and I was captivated by it. I realized that Robotech was Japanese in origin and that in fact all of my favorite cartoons from my childhood were Japanese. That’s when I became aware that I was a fan of anime.
I lost touch with anime when I was in college (this is in the days before the world wide web) but reconnected with anime when I went to grad school in New York City for acting. There was a store that sold anime videos on VHS tape. Also, back then the Sci-Fi channel was airing anime on Saturday mornings. Both of these new avenues for exploring anime rekindled my interest in the medium and I’ve been involved in the anime industry ever since.


2. What fascinates you about female hero journeys?


I think what fascinates me about female hero journeys is that they tend to be more emotionally and spiritually nuanced. The traditional male “doing” hero journey usually involves some sort of external activity or quest like slaying a dragon. Those types of male hero journeys are plentiful across cultures. What is more rare are the traditionally female “becoming” hero journeys that tend to be more focused on emotional or spiritual development and less focused on swinging swords or fighting battles. “Doing” hero journeys tend to be physical while “Becoming” hero journeys tend to be spiritual. Either gender can embark on either hero journey. A man, like Prince Siddhartha, can go on a becoming journey in order to become the spiritual leader known as the Buddha. Conversely, a woman, like Joan of Arc, can go on a doing journey in order to become a physical hero. You can also have a hero that does both at the same time. The prophet Mohammed was both a spiritual and a military leader in Islam.

Unfortunately, if you look back over history, the female hero journey has not gotten nearly the attention either creatively or scholastically that the male hero journey has. There are fewer female hero journeys in mythology and those journeys usually get less attention than their male counterparts in academics. However, there’s never been more of a need for strong female hero journeys than there is right now. Fortunately, some pop culture storytellers are filling that gap and creating female heroes that young women can identify with and model themselves after. I think it’s important to study those female heroes, to talk about how and why they are compelling so that girls can have more opportunities to find psychological role models that appeal to them. I think a preponderance of meaningful female heroes in pop culture storytelling will also have a beneficial effect on men. Sexism is a destructive force in almost every culture on the planet. This widespread chauvinism not only hurts women, but it damages men’s psyches as well. They learn modes of interacting with women that are demeaning rather than respectful and mutually beneficial. I think young men need to see female hero journeys and understand them as much as young girls do. It will help them realize that they do not have to conform to some macho archetype that insists on dominating the opposite sex in order to feel secure.

I myself never identified with that macho archetype and many times looked to other types of characters in order to find psychological models for myself. Female hero journeys are important to me not only to help ameliorate the vast inequalities between women and men than continue to damage our society, but I also look to those female heroes as a role model outside of sexists attitudes to allow me to be free from the pressure to be macho that I felt through most of my childhood.

3. Who is your favorite female hero? Why?
I’m not sure I have a single favorite female hero. I’m very fond of Nausciaa from Miyazaki’s first film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I think the character of Sarah from the movie Labyrinth is also pretty great. Ripley from Aliens is awesome. Buffy and Willow from Buffy the vampire slayer are pretty amazing. There’s lots of great female heroes in the anime show Revolutionary Girl Utena. I’m also fond of the characters in Sailor Moon. And I have a soft spot in my heart for Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager, the first Star Trek show to have a female captain, even though some people think the show is not very well written. I’ve always been far more comfortable when women are in positions of authority. I’m an old-school Doctor Who fan and I look forward to the day when we can have a female doctor. That would be amazing. It was done once in a parody, but never with serious intent. The closest I think we’ve had is Romana, the time lord woman who travelled with the 4th Doctor. I really like Lalla Ward’s portrayal of her.
4. How did you get into voice over?


 I talk about how I broke into voice acting in detail in episodes 4 and 5 of my Voice Acting Mastery podcast that you can listen to at


In a nutshell, I was a theatrical actor who had always had a passion for Japanese animation. At a summer theater festival, a friend of mine caught me watching anime and offered to put me in touch with a studio in NY that dubbed Japanese animation. I sent them a recording of a radio play that I had acted in and produced and eventually I was able to audition for a show. I booked a small role at first and then was able to audition for larger roles. Eventually, I reached the limit of what I could achieve in New York and decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue voice acting more full time.
For more about Crispin’s awesome teachings, check out his website, his podcast (that Grace was interviewed on) and his twitter.

Thank you profusely for joining the FunZen Girls and our com-passionate, playful and practical approach while we discuss the Female Hero Journey. In our next blog, we’ll be sharing a fun illuminating interview with the beloved Linda Ballantyne, voice of Sailor Moon.

Linda’s Twitter : @LABallantyne
Linda’s Radio Show :