How did you get into voice over for video gaming?
I am very grateful to have an unbelievable voice agent called VOX in Los Angeles. They get me auditions. The video game genre is logical for well-trained stage actors because you have to be able to emote on a dime and go from tragedy to comedy in an instant and sometimes deal with complicated language. So you have to have a well of emotions in your arsenal and be a quick and agile reader as an actor. As a film and TV performer, the ability to reign in your emotions in a cinematic style lends itself very well to the video game genre as well. I love video games. The possibilities are endless and the fans are so devoted.
Who’s your favorite character that you voice?
I have to say I love all the characters I voice in games! And look forward to lending my voice to many, many more. I am most proud of SKYRIM because of the huge success of the game and how astounding the caliber of the acting and design is. Kudos to Bethesda Softworks and Blindlight for their incredible work on this game.
What’s the most difficult thing about working on these games?
I love all aspects of the game. I suppose the biggest challenge is the yelling session, the callouts at the end of most games. They can be taxing vocally but that is where my training as a singer and theatre actor comes in so I know how to use my diaphragm and breathe properly.
Do you miss doing stage?
I do miss the energy and the ability to work on a character from the ground up. I try and do a play every few years. I really thing the stage separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls. I feel I am not truly working on my chops as an actress and stretching if I don’t go back to my roots as a stage actress.
How about working with indie filmmakers? Do they allow more freedom than any other type of production?
I think working with new filmmakers is a fabulous idea. Great to get in on the ground floor and be a part of something special and new. I would love to do more of that. Without the studios breathing down their backs (and sometimes it can’t be helped because of the huge budgets involved), you can feel a personal approach to the film. When I did Napoleon Dynamite, I loved the intimacy of the set everyone worked so well as a team and look at where that ended up!
What are your upcoming projects?
I have a heist film coming out in the fall called The Big Fat Stone with an amazing cast—Margot Kidder, Frank D’ Angelo, Nick Mancuso, John Savage, Robert Loggia, Michael Pare, and Ray Abruzo, to name a few. A highly anticipated video game I have worked on for the past few years, Elder Scrolls Online, is coming out in the next few weeks. I am attached to a wonderful film that is near and dear to my heart called Burden of Freedom about posttraumatic stress disorder in the military. And I hope to continue my work with Make A Wish Foundation in Toronto.
Did I hear you correctly? In a radio interview, I thought you said you answer all your fan mail personally…?
Yes, you heard me correctly. I believe every fan that takes the time to write me or message me on Facebook or Twitter deserves a personal reply. If they have the time, I make the time.
If you had two wishes, what would they be?
I don’t want to sound like a Miss America pageant contestant, but I wish I could cure sick people. I am going through a major illness in my family now and what I would give to be able to help the people I love and cure them!
Everyone should be proud of who they are and never feel inferior no matter what they are going through. BY MARINA ANDERSON
For more information on Ellen, visit ellendubin.com, follow her on Twitter @giggerota, or on Facebook
For more on Marina, visit MarinaAnderson.net or Facebook
Ellen Dubin Interview “Ellen Dubin Is Here!” was originally published in Cliché Magazine’s April/May 2014 issue