Fans know Veronica Taylor as the original Ash and May from the “Pokémon” TV series, Amelia from “Slayers,” and so many more well-known animated characters. Taylor toured the United States with several acting companies and ended up in New York with an anime audition that changed her life. Nerd Alert News joined forces with Super Dave Raines and the Big Show to bring this interview from Galaxyfest Feb. 24-26, 2017 in Colorado Springs.
Super Dave & Colleen Bement: You’re the voice of ASH. How did you get that gig?
Veronica Taylor: I’m Ash in the first eight seasons of the show, and we were all replaced; which is why I’m not on it any longer. I started acting when I was five, and I went to college and grad school for acting. I toured the United States with several acting companies, and by the time I moved to New York I had a lot of experience. Then oddly enough, I got an audition for an anime through an acting coach I had. Because of that; I booked that job, got other jobs, and then I was working on “Slayers;” which is amazing anime, and the same company that was using that cast was casting for “Pokémon.”
SD & CB: What do you think about the new “Ghost in the Shell” movie?
VT: You know, I really don’t watch much that I’m not in. Just kidding, not really, just kidding (laughs). Actually, it’s kind of true sometimes. When you’re dubbing or working on something, you really don’t see anything other than what you’re in. A lot of things I’ve worked on I’ve never seen the whole thing. I think it’s great that there’s so much anime and animation being done. There’s so much variety; something for everyone. I think animation can tap into things that in real life you don’t want to watch a real person talking about it, but you can think deeper when you see it animated.
SD & CB: In your experience, what’s the difference between voice acting and live acting?
VT: Well I think the technique is all the same. You need to know how to create a character; you need to know how to work a scene, and what your objectives are. The difference in animation is you often don’t have a lot of time to rehearse. You’re working alone so you have to employ all of your training to imagine what the other person said, and play off of that. Obviously, the director helps a lot, but then there’s something bigger that happens when you’re just doing the voice. On stage, you can see when I’m upset, and you can see it in my whole body, but I have to bring that whole body out just in my voice. So you’re acting in a bigger way but through a smaller funnel.
SD & CB: How many Pokémon have you caught since you’ve been here?
VT: I do play it (Pokémon Go) from time to time, but I’m the worst because I forget to play. I’m at level eight. I’m the worst trainer in the world, and as some children said here today, so was Ash, so I guess we’re all good. I love Pokémon Go. I love that everyone can just find Pokémon in real life. Did I ever think Pokémon would get this big? No. I work on so many different shows and you never know what’s going to hit, but I do think there is something amazing about Pokémon. The time it came out, everybody watched it together, and there’s something about it. It goes beyond the merchandising. It’s about heart; it’s about friendship, and there are things that we’ve all learned, whatever your age watching that show. You can just go on the journey and kind of forget the real world and disappear into a land where rice balls are hamburgers.
SD & CB: How does it feel to interact with your fans?
VT: It is an extraordinary honor. To be on a show that I loved, and specifically “Pokémon” that has touched so many people’s lives, and to be able to come here and hear their stories and really travel around the world and to meet people, is mind-blowing. I feel like it’s a great responsibility of mine to be a better person. I really firmly believe that we are one world, and that there are so more similarities than dissimilarities. It is time for us to really come together.