Building Alligator Skin- Interview with Xanthe Huynh (Voice Actress)

Friday, April 15th, 2016

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By


Undead darlings

OR: While we can’t talk about a lot of things you’re currently involved with, we can talk about two things – the first of which is The Last of the Disciples, an upcoming PC game that is currently being Kickstarted for a subsequent 3DS release. What is this game about, just generally, and how are you involved in it?

XH: So an acquaintance of mine, Rachel Messer, she’s a voice actress [that] I’ve worked together with on an indie game called Unhack a couple years ago, she sent out a mass audition for The Last Of The Disciples. I auditioned for one of the main characters. I didn’t get cast as that character, but I was offered another role as ‘Female EM Unit Number’.

It’s set in the near future where little conflicts snowball into all-out war between nations and even countries and families – and religion is a major factor in it too. And you play as some of the main characters [who] try to help protect and evacuate people. It’s specifically set in America, but that’s the general synopsis.

OR: You’re also involved in Undead Darlings ~No Cure For Love~ that [currently] has a Prefundia page. You voice the role of Kairi Fujisaki. What can you tell us about the game and your character?

XH: Its set in a post-apocalyptic world where there is an unknown disease that is infecting people and some people turn into full-out zombies and some people, like my character and the other cast of girls, are only partially affected – meaning that they suffer from some of the bodily decay but they still keep their hearts and minds intact. One of the character’s father’s may have had some sort of cure in the making and they are out to find out what happened to him.

My character, Kairi Fujisaki, she was from a very prestigious school and a very well-to-do family. She’s very bossy but well-meaning. She’s more of a tsundere type character. [OR Note: A ‘Tsundere’ type character is a character who is initially cold towards a person, and then gradually warms up to him/her over time.] I’m very excited to work on that project, so I hope it gets funded eventually.


“And also build up your ‘alligator skin’.”


OR: How do you juggle multiple voices around and keep them straight? Do you ever have any issue keeping a role intact after being away from it for a period of time?

XH: I’ve been in a couple of the Hyperdimension Neptunia games as Falcom, and so mostly I just have to listen to a sample clip and I can kind of slip back in without a problem. I consider all the characters that I play to be an extension or an exaggeration piece of who I am. And so I feel it’s like kind of like just putting on another skin and then I remember how they used to be. It’s mostly about the personalities that are behind them.

Only once did I play two characters that talked to each other and that was also in a Hyperdimension Neptunia game [OR Note: Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, released in 2013] where I played two versions of Falcom. But luckily for that, they had me just record for one version first and then we back and did the other version of her so that I could keep the voices kind of separate. And I was really dependent on the director to keep me in ‘check’ if I started to bleed into the other version of Falcom.

voice

Falcom is awesome. Need I say more?

OR: On your Facebook and Twitter, you show off lots of pictures of your con-going experiences. Do you still attend any cons as just a regular con-goer?

XH: I do [still] attend cons as a regular attendee, because at heart I’m still just a fangirl. I love to cosplay and I like to go and gawk at other cosplay. (laughs) I like to buy a lot of merch, even if it makes me really poor. But you know, I need my little husbandos on my shelf!

It’s nice also to get a sense of what’s popular or what’s still popular. And I think luckily for me, I don’t get recognized. I just kind of blend in with everybody else at a con, so I can go about as a normal person and have fun with my friends.

OR: Do you have any conventions lined up [that] you’re attending as a guest through the remember of 2016 or in 2017?

XH: So far I’ve only booked Otaku Matsuri in Oklahoma. And that’s in January, 2017. If any of you guys out there [reading] want me to come to a con near you, you should contact your con heads and put a request for me in and maybe it might just happen!

OR: Do you have any advice for aspiring voice actors or actresses?

XH: First up, I would say save up a lot of money.

There’s going to be a lot of investing before you make money on gigs. Take acting classes, take a lot of them with a lot of different instructors. To this day, I still take a lot of acting classes and I’m planning to take a lot of other certain ones as well.

Buy a good mic, practice at home.

Read and repeat along with your favorite shows for practice. And then once you feel like you’re ready, maybe audition for a small project online. There’s a lot of websites that are set up for that if you just want to do a fandub or something like that. I don’t see why people look down on those when it’s just people having fun and trying to practice.

And also build up your ‘alligator skin’.

Because there’s going to be a lot of rejection because there’s only going to be –even a small project- so many people auditioning for certain roles and so you might not get everything you audition for. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t think ‘Oh, since I didn’t get that one then I must really suck and I don’t want to do it anymore.’ You just have to keep trying and get better. And don’t obsess you don’t get a certain gig like I did with Tekken Blood Vengeance because [it’s] a waste of time and your emotions.

Nobody owes you anything.

If you need to, then why don’t you create your own project and start something. And once you’re on the other side of things, you kind of understand [it] a little bit better, how it works. I feel like you would empathize better with people once you’re on the other side of things, like if you’re the one holding auditions and you realize just how many people respond and then you have to just pick the characters you feel like come together best. And so you have to reject a lot of people and that ends up being a lot of disappointed people. And so if you’re one of those disappointed people, I feel like you’ve just kind of [have to] move onto the next thing.

And always work hard and be prepared for whatever random things they throw at you.

OR: Well, thank you very much!



The headshot image was provided by, and is the property of, Xanthe Huynh. The images of Love Live!, A Lull In The Sea, and Atelier Meruru are the property of NIS America. The images of Hyperdimension Neptunia are the property of Idea Factory International.

So, have any of you seen K-ON! or Love Live!? Or played the Hyperdimension Neptunia series? Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at interviews@oprainfall.com


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