Friday , April 19 2024
Tara Strong at GalaxyCon Richmond (Credit: Pat Cuadros)

GalaxyCon Richmond: Tara Strong

Tara Strong (The Powerpuff Girls, Rugrats) still wants to make season six of Teen Titans Go!, if it’s ever greenlit. The voice actor assured fans at GalaxyCon Richmond—a popular comic con in Virginia—that it isn’t “an actor’s holdup. We’re always like ‘Let’s do it. The fans deserve it!'” 

When asked whether she aspired to play one of her animated characters in a live-action film, she smiled. Strong has heard that in the future, there may be “an on-camera Teen Titans movie. I think we all really do look like our characters. Maybe they just need to make it like Teen Titans as parents.”

On Nerves in Acting

Strong, who began her career at age 13, said that it’s normal to get anxious about acting projects. “Hundreds of people [try] out for the same parts. You really want to put your best stuff forward. Sometimes I’ll be in my studio for three hours on an audition.”

If a project involves singing, it’s important to stay calm so that you can maintain proper breathing. “If you can’t breathe, you can’t sing. That’s challenging. I think talking yourself off that nervous ledge can be challenging, even for the best of us. Don’t feel like you’re alone. I have A-list celebrity friends that really, really get nervous.”

Having a healthy perspective about your work is helpful, too. You won’t always nail that audition, but keeping an open mind and heart is what counts in the journey. “Perfect is boring and you’re going to make mistakes. If you learn from them, let them go. Don’t let them eat at you again.”

On the Voice Acting Industry

Whenever she travels to comic cons, fans ask Strong for advice on starting their own careers. She said, “You have to start with an acting base. If you’ve never acted or taken an acting class, I highly encourage you to start there.”

Beyond that, the full answer is more complicated. Strong finally put together a class that will answer those questions about voice acting. She expects to drop it on her social media in the near future. “I guarantee in this class that we’re going to build a really beautiful community to support each other, and you’re getting all my secrets.”

Photo of Tara Strong onstage
Tara Strong at GalaxyCon Richmond (Credit: Pat Cuadros)

Increasingly, voice actors will also have to contend with artificial intelligence. Strong believes that AI could be a good thing for society if it can help us find cures for cancer and other debilitating diseases one day. But AI could hurt artists.

“We have to moderate people profiting off other people’s art and people stealing voices. I think we need businesses…to really protect performers…At the end of the day, I think voice actors are going to lose work to maybe video games where they just need fighting sounds.”

On Voice Actor Range and Physicality

Strong enjoys the range and physicality of her voice-over projects. She finds the stage directions in a script helpful for the decisions she makes in the booth. “If your line says ‘whoa,’ it’s going to be different if you’re falling off a cliff or if you’re seeing a hot guy.”

This was true with Rugrats, which returned in 2023 for a reboot. Strong reprised her role as feisty Baby Dill, the youngest of the adventurous babies. “All of Baby Dill’s ‘lines’ were in the stage directions for the most part. Baby Dill grabs a toy, smacks Tommy in the head, and poops and cries.”

Voice actors also rely on movements with their bodies to get the right tone or energy for a scene. “Sometimes I’d be playing with my toes. Voice-over artists are pretty physical within the parameters. I’m sure I looked quite ridiculous!”

Visit the GalaxyCon Richmond website for more information.

About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros is Pop Culture Editor for Blogcritics Magazine. She frequently covers TV, film and theater. Her portfolio includes interviews with Ndaba Mandela and actors Juliette Binoche, Fran Drescher, Derek Jacobi and Brent Spiner. She's also spoken with notable voice actors Petrea Burchard, Garry Chalk, Peter Cullen and Brian Drummond.

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