VAM 117 | Interview with America Young, Part 1

VAM 117 | Interview with America Young, Part 1

Welcome to episode 117 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

Welcome to the first part of my interview with a woman who seems to have so many different abilities that it’s difficult to know quite how to categorize her! America Young has worked as a voice actress, an on-camera actress, a commercial actress and a stunt performer in addition to directing and producing her own films! She’s been working in the entertainment industry in one form or another since she was 6 years old! Her breadth of experience is truly astounding and I could spend multiple episodes just talking about the various projects she’s worked on. However, for the purposes of this podcast, I decided to focus on America’s voice acting resume and how she was able to translate her theatrical and stunt experience into becoming a motion capture actress.

One of the most interesting developments in the entertainment industry in the past decade or so has been the incorporation of motion capture performances into films and video games. Motion Capture, also called Performance Capture, is a means of recording an actor’s performance not on film, but digitally inside the virtual 3D space of a computer. This allows animators to then manipulate that performance and use it to bring characters to life in films and video games.

Motion Capture is utilized extensively in the video game industry to help animate characters for gameplay. It’s also used to create in-game cinematics. More and more actors are being asked not only to voice a character in a video game, but to supply a physical performance for that character as well. Since this is such a new and developing niche, I felt it was important to share with my audience what it takes to work in the world of Motion Capture.

While there are certain techniques specific to motion capture that you definitely must master in order to be successful, motion capture is still acting; it requires the same solid acting skills that any performance medium does. Therefore, in the first part of this interview, America and I discuss her background as a performer. We cover what inspired her to pursue acting, what challenges she faced early in her career, and how she was able to break into the industry. Following America’s journey towards becoming a professional actress in film and voice over is very enlightening. It will help you understand the foundational skills you as a voice actor need to develop in order to be an effective Motion Capture performer. That way you can be prepared when the opportunity arrises!


Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #117 Here (MP3)


7 Responses to “VAM 117 | Interview with America Young, Part 1”

  1. Kalyn McCabe says:

    My partner is obsessed with Overwatch and they had me watch all the trailer eps for it and when I heard you as Winston, I was shocked because I have never heard you so low and bass sounding it was almost fake, like the engineer used a plug in somewhere and pitched your voice down 5 clicks. but that would be way too much work, so it had to be real.

    Fantastic job all the way around though.

    Can’t wait for the next part~

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m glad you like my work as Winston. I do use the lower part of my voice for Winston. However, the technical guys at Blizzard do pitch my voice down as well. They do that for many of their characters including almost all of the orcs for WoW. If you want to hear my voice without the processing, you can check out the behind the scenes video here:

  2. Thank you for taking the time to explore this! It has been a question I’ve had for a while…

    Some other questions:

    First, in regards to motion capture, I’ve seen the pictures of Nolan North doing this in the Uncharted videogame series, and the actors behind Heavy Rain, and I’m curious to know just how ubiquitous this is.

    You have said in previous podcast episodes that, or something along the lines of: “In live action, there can sometimes be ‘bad actors’, but in voice acting, you have to be a good actor. You can’t be a bad actor in this field.”

    Based on this, do you see motion capturing as a possible “leavening” device in regards to acting standards being raised? Also, is it possible that this form of acting could become the main form of performance medium, versus other forms (ex. live action / theater)?

    Secondly, it is discussed about how LA is the “center of the universe” in LA, and things done outside of LA don’t really have as much resonance (or any) as you would expect. I’m definitely NOT ready to jump into that ocean, but lets say, I did an extensive body of work in Anime in Texas. Would this count in LA, or another city that does animation? I’ve listened to the Monica Rial interview, and I was curious to see if there is any overlay in various markets in a genre? Basically, is it wise to “build up to LA (insert animation city here)”?

    Thank you for all you do, both Crispin, and America.

    Also, thanks for the link to Pro Tools 1st in the newsletter!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Performance capture for video games is becoming more and more common, especially for the AAA titles.

      I’m not sure if performance capture is going to be a “leveling” force in acting. The closer performance capture gets to looking like live action film, the more the normal celebrity casting forces will have an effect on the industry.

      I don’t think performance capture will become the main form of performing or telling stories any more than movies, TV and radio replaced books, but it will be a new avenue for entertainment. Performance capture is expensive and will probably always be more expensive than simply capturing live actors on film so it will be limited to larger budget projects.

      Any anime work you would do in Texas would certainly apply if you wanted to pursue anime work in LA. My experience doing anime in New York helped me get anime work in LA. However, it was then up to me to expand from that foothold into other voice over markets in LA. The same will be true for you.

      I hope that helps.

      I’m also glad you appreciated the link to ProTools First. I hope you find it useful.

  3. Matthew Jones says:

    Hey Crispin! I really enjoyed your podcast episode. You have no idea how much this specific episode speaks to me. I am actually a starting stunt actor, and I am also an actor at the Denver Center of Performing Arts theater. (My Moliere teacher also critiques me death and it’s extremely helpful, although I really need to just relax.)

    I am also in my final year of college at the University of Denver Colorado. I happen to be a pre-med student who is now looking at being a physician assistant. I can sympathize with America’s relationship with her mother because that is mine as well.

    This episode has given me alot to think about as my passion is to acting and voice over and not so much medial. If I get into Medical school I really don’t think I will go, despite how much I am being pushed.

    I hope to take a class with you soon, and meet you in person after years of listening to your podcast!

    Matthew S. Jones

    P.S. Can being a multi-skilled performer be such a hard thing, because no one knows how to categorize you? I always “fantasized” of being the Swiss army knife of performing so to speak.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m very glad that you’re enjoying the podcast so much.

      Deciding which career path to choose is a very personal decision. I hope that you are able to find a calm place where you can listen to yourself to determine what it is you truly care about so you can pursue that.

      You are welcome to take class with me whenever your time and budget allows.

      Being a multi-skilled performer can be a bit of a challenge. I too wanted to be able to be a flexible performer who could ostensibly play almost any role. In reality, that is rarely the case. The demands of the entertainment business coupled with the incredible competition for roles means that people usually need to find their character niche in order to be competitive. It’s like when any animal evolves to fit into a niche in their habitat, you have to figure out where you have the best chance of thriving in an entertainment ecosystem based on your skills and your potential.

  4. Mike says:

    (I think this’d be the right place to ask, redirected from your contact page).

    Loving the podcast so far, I’m still pretty early on in it (believe I’m on episode 3 or 4 by now). I’ve got a question that if it’s not in one of your podcasts I’d like to see in the future. Otherwise, point me to the episode by all means.

    Is there a list of studios and their locations that handle Anime and Cartoons, preferably broken into said categories? (ADR and Prelay, essentially).

    I know of Warner Bros in Burbank, and Funimation is in Dallas. I knew more a few years ago but what with a few Anime studios imploding (TokyoPop and I believe one other?) I’m kind of behind.

    Basically a list of “where you should move/prepare to commute to”. I know personally I’m going to plant myself firmly in Pasadena, the finacee’s got relatives there lol.


  1. VAM 119 | Interview with America Young, Part 3 | Voice Acting Mastery: Become a Master Voice Actor in the World of Voice Over - […] to the third and final part of my interview with the multi-talented America Young! In part 1 and part…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: