Alicyn Packard

📷 : Dana Patrick

With an extensive voiceover career, most recently on screen, Alicyn Packard voiced Chris in It’s Pony, a series created by Ant Blades, in which Alicyn plays the older sister of Brian. Alicyn started voicing Josh in the revival/reboot of Rugrats last year, with a new series recently announced, and her portrayal of the character has seen her win the One Voice Award for Best Female Character Performance in an Animation. Amongst Alicyn’s other voice roles, she plays Hinaichi in The Vampire Dies in No Time, Taeko in Re-Main, Toodles in The Tom and Jerry Show, Robyn in Spacer Racers and Tails in Sonic Drone Home. From 2015 to 2018, Alicyn voiced Jibanyan in the video game series Yo-kai Watch, with which she attends Comic-Cons, and in the US version of animated series Poppy Cat, she plays Alma, and also wrote for Series 2 for the episode Snowflake Lake. For her first animated series, Alicyn voiced Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Naughty and Little Miss Whoops in The Mr. Men Show, and her further video games include Star Wars: Squadrons, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and she voices Windblade and Dr. Vandermeer newly-released VR game, Transformers: Beyond Reality. Alongside her voiceover career, Alicyn has her own podcast Alicyn’s Wonderland, with Series 3 set to start soon. Speaking with us, Alicyn tells us about voicing Chris in It’s Pony, Tails in Sonic Drone Home and taking over the role of Josh in Rugrats.

You voice the role of Chris in It’s Pony, can you tell us about your character and what is she like to play?

Chris is an emotional tornado!

The older sister of Brian (voiced by Bobby Moynihan), Chris has anger management issues that are easily triggered. She’s an amazing, larger-than-life character that has some insecurities that arise with hilarious results. The show, created by the multi-talented Ant Blades, appeals to both kids and adults and I love how Chris naturally fits into a world where a girl can be best friends with a pony. Because why not?

Can you tell us about voicing Tails in Sonic Drone Home and getting into character?

Getting to voice Tails in Sonic Drone Home was such a dream, as I’ve been a fan of Sonic and Friends since I was a kid. Everyone loves Tails, he’s such a sweet guy! When the audition sides came in for a voice match for Tails from the feature film (played by voice actress Colleen O’Shaughnessey), Sonic the Hedgehog 2, I found he was a natural fit. Often for various reasons, celebrities are not available to work on a project, and I was thrilled to fill in those (lightning fast) shoes.

Was there anything that drew you to the role of Josh in Rugrats and what is he like to play?

Working on Rugrats is a dream come true! I was such a big fan of the show as a kid. In fact, when I found out that one of the original producers on the 90s series, Kate Boutilier went to my alma mater, Emerson College, I reached out to see if I could take her to coffee. What resulted was my first mentor in Los Angeles, which later grew into a working relationship. The super talented voice actress who originally played Josh was Dana Hill, who has sadly passed away. When I was invited to audition for the role, they weren’t looking for a voice match for this character, so I looked at the character art and watched previous episodes to brush up on the character. I tapped into my inner bully and his voice emerged. Rough and tumble with just a hint of a Mass accent, which is where I grew up.

We just got another season, so I hope to be recording more Josh soon!

How did it feel winning a One Voice Award for Best Female Character Performance in an Animation this year?

It was such an honour to be blessed with the One Voice Award for Best Female Character Performance this year for my performance on Rugrats. It was the first award given of the evening so I was filled with excitement and nervousness as I walked to the stage! The One Voice Awards are judged by a panel of industry professionals, all of who are anonymous until after the presentation. I am deeply grateful that they enjoyed my work and that the role resonated with them. Then, it was an even bigger surprise to win not one, but two One Voice Awards this year. I also won for Best Overall Performance – Television Promo. I’ve spent years honing my craft, so just being nominated was a huge thrill, but then to come home with two awards I was flying high! Until I dropped one of the awards and broke it! Luckily, the award producers, Gravy for the Brain, heard about what happened and were so amazed they sent me another one, gratis!

What do you enjoy most about voicing Hinaichi in The Vampire Dies in No Time and what can you say about the series and your character?

Hinaichi is a bit of a perfectionist, committed to her job, which of course is eliminating vampires. It’s an anime but it’s a comedy, though I’m more of a straight character. Also, I get to be in a show with one of my favourite people in the world, voice actor Frank Todaro. Our lovely director is Jad Saxton, who steers our mighty ship. It’s so much fun.

In last year’s series Re-Main, you voice Taeko, what is this like?

Taeko is a calm and stoic figure going through a lot of turmoil after her son emerges from a coma. As a mother myself, it’s easy to relate to all her conflicting emotions she has trying to juggle the family. Plus, I get to work with director Emily Fajardo, who cares so deeply for her actors. I was grateful to be a part of this sports anime.

How is it being involved with The Tom and Jerry Show and voicing Toodles?

Tom and Jerry was another show I grew up on and Toodles’ legacy has been around for decades! So many talented actresses have lent their voice to the role, including Meg Ryan, so I had big shoes to fill. This show had a slightly different style of production than I was used to, it was a board-driven show, which means we would go in and watch an animation and need to match our pacing and acting to the storyboard. On most animated series, the voice acting comes first. Fortunately, I had a lot of experience in dubbing, so that came in handy in recording sessions. I absolutely love voicing Toodles and I hope we get to see more of her in the future.

From 2014 to 2018, you voiced Robyn in Space Racers, can you tell us about it?

Robyn is the sharpest mind of the group of cadets at Adventure Bay. All the characters are spaceships in the Space Racers world and they go on epic STEM-focused adventures. It’s a great way for kids to learn about space, without even realising it!

📷 : Suzanne Strong

What are some of your stand-out highlights from working on Yo-kai Watch as Jibanyan?

One memory I’ll never forget is attending Comic-Con 2016 for a Yo-kai Watch panel. There were hundreds of fans in the audience and they all had masks of Jibanyan! There’s nothing like looking out at a sea of people all dressed like the character you voice. I loved bringing him to life and I know the fans keep asking about a localisation of the fourth game. I hope I have news to share soon.

In the US version of the TV series Poppy Cat, you played Alma, what was the character like to voice and how was it writing for Series 2?

Alma is such a sweet, little bunny! She adores everything girly and likes to take centre stage. I definitely tapped into a younger version of myself when preparing for the role.

After recording over 50 episodes for Season 1, I had so many fabulous ideas for future episodes. I began to pitch story ideas and wrote some spec scripts (sample scripts) for episodes. They didn’t buy any of my specs, however, they did like one of my pitches, for an episode titled, Snowflake Lake. So I was able to voice a character in my own episode! I consider my main “job” in life as that of a storyteller, so getting to work both in front of and behind the mic was a dream come true. I hope to do it again soon.

Having voiced Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Naughty and Little Miss Whoops in The Mr. Men Show, what would you say was your favourite aspect of working on the TV series and playing the characters?

Mr. Men was my first animated series and I got to voice three characters. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine. I remember showing up to my first session and voice actress Katie Leigh was there, she was the voice of Baby Rolf on Muppet Babies and Sunny Gummy… some of my favourite shows growing up. Needless to say, I was a bit intimidated! But she welcomed me with open arms and said, “Come on in! There’s plenty of room for everyone!”, which was something she had been told by Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse) when she was starting out.

You have worked on a number of video games including Neon White, Star Wars: Squadrons, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and World of Warcraft, can you tell us about working on video games?

Each game is a different experience! Some are cut scenes so you’re acting in a full scene with another actor, who is usually not there. But sometimes you are doing callouts, which means you have a list of hundreds of lines out of context that can be triggered at any time in the game. The challenge there is staying really focused and coming up with different scenarios that would result in you saying that line. Then you need to be open to what the director says and not become attached to a certain style of delivery. Giving alternate choices is always a plus. The video game industry is growing exponentially, and I see this avenue of my career continuing to grow.

What are some of your other highlights from over the years as a voice artist?

Every time I get to attend a convention and meet the fans. The amazing part about this job is that your show or character can have a profound effect on someone’s life and you might not have ever met that person. Conventions allow fans to interact with their favourite voice actors. Getting to hear the stories and receive the hugs I’ve gotten has brought a huge smile on my face and brought tears to my eyes.

We understand you run a podcast called Alicyn’s Wonderland, can you say about it?

I do! My video podcast Alicyn’s Wonderland takes viewers inside the world of animation and video games. I sit down with top talent both above and below the line and we hang out and chat about the business of cartoons and games. We share lots of behind the scenes stories and fun facts about some of the most beloved shows out there. It’s been tremendous fun for me and I’m very excited for everyone to see what we have in store for Season 3!

How did you get into voiceover and is it something you always wanted to do?

I started playing around with voices through community theatre and that naturally extended into performing oratorical essays in high school. I was also a member of the radio club and did the morning announcements. A friend said to me, have you ever considered a career as a voice actor? Prior to that, I didn’t really see that as a job, so it was an eye-opener for me. I booked my first audition at CP Casting in Boston, MA and from that point on, I was working. I also do on camera and have done stand up comedy but voice acting allowed me to niche down and focus on the area that gave back to me.

How do you like to spend your time away from your career?

I love to go camping in my little travel trailer, Rita Casita. She’s a 17 Casita Travel Trailer and she has her own Instagram, @lovelyritacasita. I would hike every day if I could and I fantasise about one day taking a full year to travel around North America in Rita and see everything. We don’t live forever, but getting on the road and being able to see new places and have new experiences makes each day longer and more full.

What upcoming projects do you have that you can tell us about?

I voiced Windblade and Dr. Vandermeer in the newly-released VR game, Transformers: Beyond Reality. My son is a big fan of Transformers, so to see the look on his face when I showed him some of the gameplay online was completely heart-warming. Basically, I just want to look cool for my kid so I was like, “Mission accomplished”.

Follow Alicyn on:

Twitter

Instagram

www.alicynpackard.com

Categories: home, Interview

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