Voice of Ash Ketchum – Veronica Taylor!

Guys, today is Awesome as we are joined by the one and only Veronica Taylor! The amazing voice behind Pokemon’s Ash Ketchum!

Find Veronica online:
https://twitter.com/TheVeronicaT

For booking please contact [email protected]!

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http://witterstaetterwrites.blogspot.com/2018/06/thanos-quest-guardians-assistant-editor.html

http://witterstaetterwrites.blogspot.com/2013/01/renees-notes-visit-home-to-texas-this.html

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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas
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Theme music by Good Co Music:
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Steve The Robot here, this is the best I can do.

Veronica Taylow Interview

[00:00:00] Casey Allen: we’re, we’re, we’re gearing up for school right now. So my wife teaches kindergarten,

Veronica Taylor: so gearing up for that.

Casey Allen: Yeah. But it’ll be interesting. So, so, so right now, I mean, I realize we’ve been talking for about almost 10 minutes and I haven’t announced that I’m talking to.

Veronica Taylor: Veronica Taylor. Hi everybody. You know, we’re on just normal people here.

So I think it’s better to just have a real conversation. that’s what we all need right now is just to reach out and chat with people. But, thank you. I’m so happy to be part of your,

Casey Allen: I had no idea that April O’Neil and Ash would be so cool

and I mean, Oh, Holy smokes. I’m looking at your IMD baby. You stay busy. Okay. Yeah.

Veronica Taylor: I’ve been lucky with that. Yeah.

Casey Allen: Kind of going back to, the, the whole COVID thing. [00:01:00] How has that impacted your productivity in terms of getting work done and actually doing the work? Do you have a home set up now?

Veronica Taylor: I do. I’ve I’ve had one for the past.

Almost six years because I moved from New York to LA and I had to get something set up so I could continue my work with New York. And, so that’s been great. So I’ve been able to easily slide into this. It’s not totally soundproof. My daughter’s been teaching some art classes and so when she’s teaching, I can’t work and then we leave in an apartment building and, The vac, the hall gets vacuumed once a week or sometimes twice a week.

And it’s always when I’m recording. So it’s all been a little, I it’s just been crazy and it’s all about compromise. I mean, that’s what life is. So, it’s the same here, but I’ve been able to do some cartoon work, some video games, audio books. I do a lot of those. So I’ve been able to work. I would say, my work I’m [00:02:00] definitely down by.

Half of what I normally do. And then I normally travel a lot to conventions and that’s out. So I’ve been doing more kind of online convention. I put that in quotes because it’s more a way to just reach out and kind of try to chat with people, even though we’re all typing and I’m speaking into a void. but.

It’s that connection. That’s what makes the convention so important. And so trying to maintain some connection as we all kind of wrestle with what, this pandemic has wrought. but yeah, so I’ve been working, but certainly not as busy as I was or would like to be.

Casey Allen: I hear you. Yeah, I hear ya. so w when you’re doing the, Working remotely.

Do you have it, like somebody

Veronica Taylor: tied in

Casey Allen: with you, like remotely while you were record? Or do you just kind of go over your lines?

Veronica Taylor: Oh, no, no. Usually, [00:03:00] especially for, cards. I also do a lot of English as a second language type. Things that are audio workbooks and things like that. We always have a director. So we work through Skype.

there’s clients from, like this yesterday, I was on a call with I’m in LA there’s people in New York and people in England. So we span, half the globe. And so that’s been a pretty cool thing that we’re able to do that, but there’s always people on the phone for that. when I record audio books, it used to be.

That I would record by myself now. publishers are kind of allowing an engineer to be part of that, which is pretty great. and that we do through Skype or zoom or, team viewer, all of that kind of stuff. so that helps, but, but there are some things I’m alone for, but I would say right now about three quarters I’m with someone else in my headphones.

And

Casey Allen: you’ve, you’ve been doing [00:04:00] this type of work for, for, for a while.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Yeah.

Casey Allen: Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry.

Veronica Taylor: Oh, no. Since, I used to do a lot of theater and TV and all kinds of stuff, but, Now, I guess since 1998, my career kind of took a turn towards voice related work for the majority. My daughter was born then and my, gosh, the flexibility of my schedule just wasn’t really there anymore.

And luckily my career took a turn so that I could schedule the hours around her needs for, as a person and also school and all of that kind of stuff.

Casey Allen: So, yeah. When, when you’re, you’re doing all, all this stuff, I mean, it’s, it seems like it’s a lot more work intensive than, than you would expect. cause you’re, you’re not just reading the lines.

You, you are performing, you, you [00:05:00] are pushing, it is as hard as you can and as hard as your voice can withstand.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. Audio books for sure. That’s longer because you’re, you’re recording for like six or eight hours. but, but I think in these circumstances when you’re not going to a studio and you’re kind of, well, the first thing we all do, we get up, you look at the news, you see what’s happened.

You figure out where we are. In the world. And, and then you have to kind of jump into your imagination and get creative and work. And I think it’s a little harder now than it used to be. but ultimately voiceover work is in your head. So even when you’re in the booth, you can be working with other people or, matching lip flap, or just working on a script with nothing.

You’re still creating the whole thing in your mind in a way. So that part hasn’t changed, but it’s just getting yourself [00:06:00] centered to be able to create, I think that’s changed a bit. I’ve never

Casey Allen: heard the term lip flat before. It’s so it’s so obvious when you say it and I love it.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Anna May or any other, even for live action, when you are looping, it you’re matching the lip flap of the, the animated character or the live action character.

Casey Allen: That sounds like it would be so difficult and so easy to mess up.

Veronica Taylor: Well, for sure it is. Yeah. And also it’s, it’s a wonderful challenge. I have to say, because, so you approach you, you see a script, and for most of these things, you never see it ahead. So you’re skimming the script to see your line, and then you.

You hear the three beeps in your headphones and then you start talking and then you have to kind of be looking at the script at the same time, you’re looking at their mouth and figuring out what their emotion is, because you’ve already made a [00:07:00] quick assumption of where you’re going to go with the line.

But when you see it live, you often have to change that. So, I think it’s really difficult and it’s really. Amazing and so satisfying when you get it right.

Casey Allen: You, you really have to kind of find the beat in the ones

Veronica Taylor: exactly. Without time to investigate it, you know, because if you are in a play you’re rehearsing and he break it down and you Mark your whole script up and, but with voiceover, you have to jump in and, and just kind of, make it up on the spot.

I mean, I think I have a. Bachelor’s and a master’s in art, in acting. And I do think that, that helps me to break down a script and make choices quickly. without that training, I don’t know that I could do it as fast.

Casey Allen: So when you, when you started getting into animation and everything, Yeah, it, did [00:08:00] you, did you think it would be just kinda like, Oh, I’m going to do a few of these and just see how it goes, where or when did you start aiming towards that as, as your career path?

Because it, I mean, you you’ve found a really amazing thing to, to put your craft into.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. I don’t think I ever aimed toward. That I aimed from the time I was five, to be a working actor. And so all of this fits into being a working actor. I didn’t intend to do mostly voiceover. I didn’t intend to do mostly theater.

I just intended to work and hoped to work, I should say. so luckily. It has turned out in a way that I can joyfully go to work every day and do things that I love, but I, I never made a conscious decision in that sense. It kind of chose me.

[00:09:00] Casey Allen: I love, I love talking to people who are, they’re either good at their craft and be that like, they.

They treat it like, Oh, this is, this is my passion, but it is also my job. And I’m going to go in, I’m going to do the best damn thing I can. And, and, and just put my all into it.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Well, I mean, you might feel the same way you must and your wife too. I mean, all of us, if we’re not giving a hundred percent.

Then what are we doing? Because this, this is the only left we have. So you’ve got to just jump in and give it your all. And I think too, being honest and truthful, especially as an actor in your performances, help them to carry. and what I mean by that, for instance, we were doing a Midsummer night’s dream and, when I was on tour and we played a small.

Catholic girls school in Brooklyn. And we were in the cafeteria. We traveled with a [00:10:00] truck and big sets and lights and all of this. And then we would have to get in and adapt. And, you know, sometimes you could put up half the set and sometimes, you put up nothing of the set and then sometimes the whole set.

So we would get in unload, make our choices, do the show, take it down and then drive to the next town. But in this school, in Brooklyn, I’m in the cafeteria when the lovers are running through and, they are, they’ve all been crossed and one is in love with the wrong one and all of this stuff. And then they finally, Meet up and they wake up and the father comes in the father of Hermia and one of the girls was like, Oh, here comes her daddy.

He’s not happy. And like everybody’s cheering and yelling. And, and it was, it was real. But if we hadn’t been in the moment, then it, it wouldn’t have been believable. And, and the girls watching that [00:11:00] show couldn’t have gotten behind it. You know, and that’s the way I approach all of my work that regardless of how much I know about the character or how much I like them, or don’t like them or any of those kinds of things, you have to bring a hundred percent authenticity to that moment or else no one will believe it.

And I feel. It’s just ruined. And what’s the point and why waste that precious time someone has to spend listening or watching something if you’re not going to give it your a hundred percent. And I think we all do that with our jobs. You do that with your children. You give them your hundred percent because that’s the payback is them becoming wonderful, authentic people.

So we have to be in every moment. And in this time of. COVID it’s really hard because it’s, it’s not easy anymore. There’s so many decisions to make, just leaving the house to get groceries. Gosh, [00:12:00] for you every morning at five, when you leave the house, Well, even you get up at five, leave at five 30, but even that you’re getting up at five there’s all those decisions and leaving and how you’re going to be that day so that you can come safely home.

I mean, gosh, it’s, it’s a lot of energy and the payoff is that you. Your children are there to welcome you when you get home, you know, and your payoff will be when you’re 80 and they’re still visiting you. Oh yeah.

Casey Allen: Yeah. I’m working on that on the good home. Yeah.

Veronica Taylor: But you know, like all of that stuff, I think it’s that we all have to give a hundred percent.

I just happened to have known, I wanted to be an actor when I was five. And. When I graduated grad school, I was like, should I have rethought this? Should I have looked into anything else? But it was too late. So anytime, you know, sometimes we know, and sometimes we are searching for what we want to be or to do, but within that [00:13:00] search, that’s our, our path, that’s our life.

So, you’ve got to commit to it

Casey Allen: when you, when you’re doing these lines, when, when you’re. Doing your, your voiceover, all that other good stuff. What helps you to keep it authentic? Cause I’m thinking like when you’re on the stage, it’s a far different feeling and when you’re matching lip flapper or reading lines for, for a, a video game or something, right.

Is that feeling different or what keeps you in the moment and what keeps you? She just motivated and stoked about the material.

Veronica Taylor: well, I think for me, it’s that I get it chance to act. I mean, that’s one thing, but, but again, even if you don’t know that much about the character, because oftentimes they’re like, Oh, could you play this one too?

Or could you do a voice for this? And, so you don’t. You don’t really know specifics, but you make them up and the idea of getting to fully [00:14:00] play a character. gosh, there’s just nothing like it. So I think it’s, it’s, it’s that it’s being a, a whole person regardless. Of what the project calls for or what the, the people who’ve hired me have called for it’s me bringing everything to it.

so I think that’s what keeps me motivated. I stay focused because I’m trying to figure out. What I’m talking about, what they, what this character wants from the other person. And I’m constantly figuring that out, like a little Sherlock Holmes, I guess, to put the whole puzzle together. so that keeps me motivated.

Definitely. And I, so it said it’s complicated when I do an audio book, I get to play all the characters. So I map out. Who they all are. And in that sense, I understand how they’re different and then vocally who gets the high voice or the low voice and all of that. And then within that, I get to play each scene.

As the different characters and then pop into the narrator. And, but [00:15:00] you’re weaving this whole thing together to tell the story because that’s, that’s the most important thing. That’s the essence of human beings is storytelling. It’s our whole culture, it’s our community. And so to be able to really tell that story and bring those characters to life, I just focus on that

Casey Allen: as I understand it.

You guys,

Just due to union rules can only go, I think, like four hours at a time.

Veronica Taylor: every job is different. Really? It all depends. Exhausted. I would say you get tired in different ways. Something that’s much more, let’s say kind of yelling and, and bigger energy is tiring, but it seems stupid to be tired after working for four hours.

You know what I mean? Bad about that, because it’s not like I’m doing brain surgery or something, but you’re tired.

Casey Allen: Yeah, you’re inhabiting completely different people at, at us, you know, [00:16:00] sometimes in succession.

Veronica Taylor: That’s right, right. Yeah. It’s I, it is tiring when I do audio books. that’s for like six or eight hours and sometimes I’ve gone 12 hours, so, it’s.

That’s tiring in a way too, because you have to remain so still because any movement, I mean, I moved my arms around a bit and stuff, but you, you can’t make any noise that the mic picks up. So for that, that’s tiring in a different way because you’re, you’re breathing. but quietly and you can’t really eat and you know, all that stuff, that’s tiring in a different way than doing a cartoon.

Casey Allen: I’m a fidgeter I’d get fired the first day I saw

Veronica Taylor: you just have to wear quiet clothes. You figure it out. In the old days we had in the old days, like five years ago, you would have everything printed on paper. And then you would, we all had ways of moving the paper without making noise, and now everything is on the iPad.

So it’s easier.

Casey Allen: Oh, [00:17:00] wow. what, what do you do for self care? Because I’m sure your voice has just destroyed after, after one of those marathon, 12 day, 12 hour days.

Veronica Taylor: it’s not as bad actually, because I, I try to drink a lot of water. I try to breathe correctly and it’s not, my voice doesn’t really go out, but I live in Los Angeles and it’s very dry here.

And so adapting to this was, more of a challenge than I thought it would be. And I definitely have, some. Vocal problems that I didn’t have when I lived in New York. So those are things that I have to really watch. And then, you know, honey or coconut water avocado, you know, that, that can help, like rehydrate me.

Do

Casey Allen: you do hot drinks?

Veronica Taylor: well I do drink coffee and tea, but not necessarily for my voice. Just for my good humor.

Casey Allen: Gotcha. Gotcha. I used to play, I used to [00:18:00] play music back before I got married and had kids and they ruined all that. I’m joking. I was, I was really, really, average if, if that, but, I used to play at one bar in particular that,

was when I left, I felt like a dirty ashtray and I discovered a te rope coat and that stuff the next day is just

Veronica Taylor: better.

It’s the slippery Elm in there, I think. And I think there’s licorice in it or Anna? Yes.

Casey Allen: Yes.

Veronica Taylor: Yes. That’s fantastic. You, are you working on any music with your kids then even like basic drumming things or. No.

Casey Allen: I’m teaching my, nine year old, how to play guitar. My five year old, who is the, his two girls.

They’re both pain and in completely different ways than I love it. [00:19:00] my five-year-old the other day came up to me and, we were watching a video and it had classical music in it and she said, this is beautiful. I want to cry.

Veronica Taylor: Oh my

Casey Allen: gosh. So we we’ve started listening to classical music and try and teach her a few simple things on the piano.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And it also improves your, your brain, so, Oh, lovely.

Casey Allen: I love it. And for the longest, because, back a long time ago, or, you know, up until like a year ago, anytime I would pick up an instrument, they would go you’re too late. Daddy, you need to. Yeah. So that was just a part of my life that I had stopped doing completely.

Veronica Taylor: And

Casey Allen: so, Or, you know, if they were gone, I would pick up the guitar or the piano and I’d get loud. But, for the most part, I just kind of put it away.

[00:20:00] Veronica Taylor: Well, this is nice, a good way to connect with yourself and with them. And, that’s it. I mean, if they remembered that from this whole lockdown, that’s going to be fantastic.

Casey Allen: Oh, and another thing, my, my nine year old has been doing the duo lingo. I’m

Veronica Taylor: French. Oh yeah.

Casey Allen: She’s been taking French lessons over deal. Duolingo.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, I work for mango, actually. I’m the American who teaches languages to other Americans, but all of that stuff I think is fantastic that you take some time to really stretch yourself and learn another language.

And there’s huge payoff in that.

Casey Allen: Do you do, do you have a second language or multiple languages that you speak already?

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, I speak a little French, but I, when I graduated college, I could speak fluently because I went to France and I could translate what people were saying. And then I’ve just kind of lost it.

And I’m [00:21:00] always saying, Oh shoot, I’ve got to pick this back up. Or, I’ve been to France once. You know, somewhat recently, my daughter was studying in Italy for, our summer abroad class anyway. so we both have learned some French and we could speak some French while we were there. but I really need to like dive in and, and, go back to it like enough that I could just speak it around the house, you know?

Casey Allen: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, I’m always impressed with people that can do that. It’s it’s fascinating to me. So it’s been almost, or over 20 years since,

Pokemon first came out. Do you know when you started on the show, like. Holy smokes. This is, this is gonna take off. Or when did you know that it was something huge?

It was a going to be a cultural thing. You were going to be in this height, Geist [00:22:00] forever.

Veronica Taylor: No idea. I, I do remember auditioning and really just loving the tiny clip that we saw. it looked like such a fun, just a fun show, but, I don’t think anyone can ever judge what people are going to like or not like, and what’s a quote success, but I do think that the stories and the friendship and the kind of the implied moral that you’re not hit over the head with has Louie did and allowed it to survive all this time?

I think when I first realized it was. Something, was when there was a writeup in the New York times and it was about the first movie. And so then my, my dad was like, Hey, I saw this article. So I was like, yeah, that’s exciting. at an actor, people always say, Oh, you’re an actor. What are you in? Have you been in something I know.

And then, so to be able to say, well, [00:23:00] yeah, I, I work on a cartoon called Pokemon and I’m Oh yeah. I know what that is. So it’s like going to Paris and people say, Oh, did you see the Eiffel tower? And most of your acting career is like saying no, but I went to this great cafe and that people just check out.

They don’t really care. They just want to know the big hits. So I think that was the first thing I got to go to the premiere of the movie in Los Angeles and New York and going and seeing so many people, waiting to get into the theater. there was, a store down the street from where we, recorded that was starting to sell little Pokemon things.

And it was, like a Japanese store or they sold. Korean items or it was a store that just had stuff in it. like a wholesale store. And so I was like, Hey, well, you may want to order more Pokemon stuff. Cause this thing is really getting hot. Oh. [00:24:00] But anyway, I don’t know that they, took my word for it, but I did buy some really cool Pokemon rings in there.

That’s

Casey Allen: awesome. Yeah. So yeah, you were talking earlier about, you know, seeing the Eiffel tower and stuff like that. Well, people might not be 100% familiar with the show, however, Every Thanksgiving, they see that picket you float

Veronica Taylor: and they’re like,

Casey Allen: Oh yeah, yeah. They know exactly who that is. And it’s, you know, a cultural relevance is you’re in the Zeit Geist.

And you, that was, that must have been a crazy, crazy time to be on something that amazingly huge.

Veronica Taylor: Well, I, I will be quite honest with you. It has been never impacted my life in any real way. because cause nobody knew I was on it. I would go to the parade every year and my daughter and I would always [00:25:00] take a picture with the PQ going over our heads, but it’s not like anyone seeing me would say, Oh, Hey, aren’t you on that show?

The it, it has impacted my life in that I have had the opportunity to travel around the world to conventions and talk to people who are giant fans of Pokemon and hear their stories about how it changed their lives. And that has really impacted my life. That has made me feel like I was part of something.

Big bigger than anything in my life, but in my day to day, it hasn’t, it hasn’t really changed anything. It

Casey Allen: actually sounds like the, the perfect amount of having a job in the creative sphere and, kind of like notoriety, I guess, because. You know, you, you can, you can be totally anonymous

Veronica Taylor: if you want to.

Right. But,

Casey Allen: people are still going nuts over [00:26:00] the work that you do.

Veronica Taylor: Right. Right. And it is kind of funny when people find out that I was the voice of Ash or something, but, but that’s rare.

Casey Allen: I, I have a comment discord group that, that I help run. And I asked some people if they had any questions and, because I’m going to be talking to, to the voice of Ash, I said, and somebody said, I was

Veronica Taylor: just

Casey Allen: a lady.

Yes. Veronica Taylor is very much a lady.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. That is really funny because sometimes people don’t know that.

Casey Allen: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s, there’s a, what was the cartoon King of the Hill was a character on there named Bobby and, the actresses, the actress that plays Bobby is also very much a lady, so weird seeing her do the voice and because you.

[00:27:00] It does not mix. And I’m sure people have the same, the same experience when they see you do Ash voice, because they’re like, Oh, there’s this, there’s this nice lady. And she’s talking just like my favorite cartoon character.

Veronica Taylor: I know it always is. Especially in the beginning, when I started going to conventions, I, I hated people seeing the voice come out of my face.

Because I just think that ruins it. but to be like, Hey Casey, awesome to see you here. The best is not so bad because then you imagine ashes face, you know?

Casey Allen: Oh yeah. Yeah. I, I just had an experience a second ago where, because my, my little brother, yeah, who passed away a few years ago, every day after school, when we got home, I would, I pick him up from school.

I was in high school. He was in middle school. And, first thing he would do is he would plop down. On the couch and we would watch [00:28:00] Pokemon

Veronica Taylor: gosh. And,

Casey Allen: he loved the show so much. And, so, he’d be pissed at me right now for being, for having this experience.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. But you share it with him. I mean, that’s the whole thing.

Pokemon is it’s not about being alone. Because you could watch it at home by yourself, with your brother, with your grandmother, you go and play it at school. It’s a way to start conversations. It’s it’s about togetherness. And so I think that’s, what’s made it incredible. It wasn’t, we have so much binge watching now where people just watch things and you’re alone doing that.

But Pokemon was about being together. Oh, yeah.

Casey Allen: And I really, really, as much as the idea being the older brother was stuck with my younger brother, kind of grated at me sometimes I really loved sitting down and watching the show with him [00:29:00] because it was, it was something that we kind of connected.

Over and it was such a, such a good experience.

Veronica Taylor: That’s amazing. I’m really happy to hear that.

Casey Allen: I kind of hear it up a little bit.

Veronica Taylor: Okay. I’m sorry, but I’m happy.

Casey Allen: Thank you so much.

so when, when you started doing the, the video game work, was that a little bit of a, of. A different experience for you in terms of doing that voice acting, especially something, doing something that would be less passive and more, you know, the person, the viewer would actually be taking part in the experience itself.

Did that, inform any of your creative decisions?

Veronica Taylor: Well, the, the thing about video games is you usually just see. Your own lines so that you have to be okay. Pushed more by the [00:30:00] director when you’re working on things. If that makes sense, like they know more about how it’s going to fit into the big picture and.

Most of the time. You really don’t. So, there’s some video games where there are actual conversations, like, fire emblem, three houses, for instance, a lot of those are conversation. And so that conversation is in the script. So you can get an idea of what’s happening more than in other video games. So it’s all again, it’s you just kind of,

You feel it, you say it and then you see if that’s what they like.

Casey Allen: I hear ya. So do you, do you have a preference now? I mean you, cause, cause you’ve been able to kind of dabble in all these different, forms of acting and expression and kind of doing. Doing your work in different types [00:31:00] of acting fields? I don’t know the best way to say that. Yeah,

Veronica Taylor: John was, I guess. Yeah.

Casey Allen: So do you have a preference?

Veronica Taylor: I guess? Love being on stage. I love having the audience right there and the, you work with the other actors and you’re working off the energy of the audience and it’s such, an in the moment experience and every night, even if you were doing the same show, the same lines, The show is different and it’s, and you, that energy is what that’s just what you thrive on.

and so you have to manufacture that too, when you’re working in the booth. So I think theater is my favorite, and it’s hard. And so I love it, but, I guess the next thing would be audio books because you’re creating the whole play in a sense. Like you get to play all the characters and then animation [00:32:00] because you can be anyone at any time.

So I could be, five-year-old girl at 10 year old boy and 96 world woman. And, which you know, all in one session even, and then, and that there’s no limit. It’s just the limits of your imagination and you know, who is doing the casting, but yeah, the, I love that it’s limitless like that. I just, I love the possibilities and that you can push yourself into areas that you didn’t even know.

You could be pushed into. I, I just, I really loved that. and then also like, during the first season of Pokemon, I was gigantically pregnant and I was playing a 10 year old boy, you know? So, I mean, it’s like, what, where else could I have worked and been someone so different from myself and not judged by what I looked like I could just be.

And, that was a great gift. [00:33:00] That’s

Casey Allen: that’s amazing. Can you describe, you were talking about the feeling you get from stage acting and I know just, just from playing music, there is a, a transformative feeling. Yeah, especially when everything is going right. And you

Veronica Taylor: just,

Casey Allen: the, the connection you feel with the, the other people taking part in the performance, and you described that a little bit to what.

How it feels for you?

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. I think what, what you brought up that transformative feeling. I think it’s not unlike what runners get when you’re, you’re running for that, that whichever period of time it is for yourself. And you suddenly just, it’s not like you’re flying, but you just. Let go. And you’re just in the zone.

It’s the same as when, you know, it’s the, the soccer game and you’re just, you’ve played so hard and you guys, you’ve got to get that goal and you’re just pushing [00:34:00] and pushing beyond your boundary and you just do it somehow. You do it being on stage when you’re performing music or when you’re in the.

Theater, I think similar where you just, you, you work and work. You memorize, you work on the character, all of that stuff, that curtain goes up and you just let it go. And then you’re in the moment. I guess again, it’s like when you are speaking another language, that’s not your first language. There’s a moment that it clicks and you start thinking in that language, it’s the same playing a character.

You start. Thinking as the character and that’s how you can react when something goes wrong and you can make up lines or, you know, you’re talking I’m that person, and it’s not just you making things up, but you’re in the zone. And, Gosh, I don’t think there’s, I mean, I’ve just listed some things, so there are some things like, but it’s so gratifying too, to just leave yourself outside and, [00:35:00] and enter fully into a character.

and you can get that somewhat in animation or, you know, audio books, whatever, you can get that to a certain extent, but on stage you’re still working off other people. And even those times when I’ve had where you. You just can’t remember what the next line is and you’re looking at the person and then we figure it out and we get back to it.

And there’s just those times when you just work it out. And, it’s, I don’t know. It’s pretty great. So yeah, I miss that for sure.

Casey Allen: Do you think that your, your training and in stage acting and, the, your schooling kind of helped you to develop emotional range? For when you’re doing the, like the audio books and the video games and the animation.

Cause you, you, you’re not just. Doing, you know, funny kid shows, you’re also doing, you know, a lot of a wide [00:36:00] range of work and a lot of it, I mean, grave of the fireflies, you have emotional rage that broke my heart.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. It’s a beautiful movie. Oh yeah. Yeah, I think it’s it. Definitely. My training has helped me to tap into the emotions that I need.

My training has helped me to know when to, to give more when to hold back, all of that, how to structure it, that you can be in the moment of the character, but also be on the outside saying, ah, pull back a little. Okay. You can let it go. Now don’t yell at this point. It’s easier if the anger is. under cuts rather than shouting, and you can figure those things out and then you have a director who says, no, we need more because the other character, we want them to come in with this.

And, and so you, you learn how to, I guess break everything down in a certain way, how to fill the moment, but also how to work with and [00:37:00] off of other people, including directors, as well as other actors.

Casey Allen: That’s so analytical the way you’re describing it. But

Veronica Taylor: I think it is acting as well business, you know, in a, in the sense that it’s technical music is technical, but when you put all the notes in the right order, you get something beautiful, but you have to know how to, how to work it.

You have to know the instrument, you have to know how to tune it, how to play it, how to, how to just work those strings. and it’s the same for your instrument, which is your body, your voice. you’ve got to know how to work it so that you can get what you need out of it.

Casey Allen: After you do a particularly heavy scene, are you able to just kind of drop it and, and pick up and go have lunch or whatever, or do you have to kind of chill out for a little while and regroup?

Veronica Taylor: I think it depends. it depends on, on what, what it [00:38:00] is, what medium it is. I mean, if you’re talking about animation, I can do some, like really heavy emotional things. Let’s say as Ash, when he’s running or, or very upset or very intense. And then they go, okay, the. We go, okay. Let’s just take it back one and you have to be able to jump out, analyze, and then go back in and recreate it.

So, I would say in a general answer to that, I’m able to pop in and out. I haven’t had to be on camera where I’m sobbing and then we cut and then, you know, get back into. Let’s let’s just do the whole thing again. I haven’t had to do that and, and like have heavy emotional scenes for 10 takes.

So I don’t know that I would pull all the way out of the emotion in that case.

Casey Allen: Nice, nice. Yeah. It. People that are able to do that. It just, it blows my mind, but you, what

Veronica Taylor: you do. Yeah. [00:39:00] I mean, it is it’s again, I think it’s all technical, like, you know what you need to do to get yourself to cry on cue, you know, what you need to do to muster up.

Where does that feeling come from? When you’re letting out this horrible scream of agony, where does that laugh come from? You know, all of that stuff. It’s, it’s technical, but then. It’s filling the moment and the acting that makes it work, you know? Awesome.

Casey Allen: So I have, I have a few more questions for you is completely and totally like, kind of, purely for myself.

I want to know how you got involved in the magic trip King Casey search for a place because I love that documentary King King KZ blew, blew my mind. I discovered his writing. At the right time in my life, like 1920. And, it is the perfect time to pick up the electrical aid acid test or, you know, one flew over the Cuckoo’s [00:40:00] that’s

Veronica Taylor: right.

Yeah, for me, that’s I, you know, a lot more about all of that than I do, or certainly did when I was asked to come audition for that. And then, I’m just doing, gosh, I can’t remember right now that the person whose voice I had to loop in that, what’s that Jane Burton. Jane Burton. Yeah, that’s right.

yeah, I mean, it was a thing that I, I worked on for, I don’t know, an hour or so, or some short amount of time and we fit lip flap and then, and then off it has gone. It’s just out there. for most of the stuff I do, I don’t get a copy of it. And, so it’s not like it’s on my shelf and I go, Oh yeah, I worked on that.

It’s. Yeah, it’s just, unfortunately I think it was, it’s a really amazing documentary. I think it was an amazing piece and I wish I even knew more [00:41:00] about it before I went in. But I was quite happy to work on it.

Casey Allen: Not many people can say they were in the film with not only Stanley Tookie, but, Alan Ginsburg

has to be the, the most eclectic cast I’ve ever seen

Veronica Taylor: in a film. Yeah. I’ve never even seen the whole thing. Just bits of it. And I got to do her voice. I don’t even know how, like, I think someone recommended me for it. I mean, like just a crazy thing, but, but it is really cool and it certainly peaked my interest to find out more about, you know, music in that time or people, playing outside, like Woodstock, you know, all of that because we all know Woodstock, but we don’t know.

As much, or at least I didn’t about people who were traveling around and playing out and you know, all of that. So,

Casey Allen: yeah, that led up to Woodstock, which is kind of what, who can Casey was. Cause he, he really, kind [00:42:00] of set the scene, especially for a West coast. and, and that kind of weird hippie scene.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, exactly. That’s really no one’s ever asked me about that and, you know, a lot more about it. So it’s good that we’re talking

Casey Allen: every now and then, like a few curve balls. So, one big thing that you do with is, going around to conventions and interacting with fans. And we touched on that a little bit earlier, but, I just really want to know, like, is it still enjoyable?

I mean, it seems like a lot of work. I mean, traveling like that and I mean, I’m sure you’ve done that when you do stage work, when you were doing the, Midsummer night’s dream, you know, that is a, That’s a job stage and that

Veronica Taylor: was, that was really high. Oh my gosh.

Casey Allen: Yeah. but do, do you still enjoy doing the convention thing and are you planning on [00:43:00] returning once, all this craziness.

Goes away.

Veronica Taylor: Hopefully. Yeah. I, I really, really love it. I love traveling. I love exploring the places that I get to go to and going to really local farm to table type restaurant Johnson, trying to, You know, really connect with the community wherever I am. and which so includes the community, which comes to these comic cons because I’ve met the most incredible people.

And I, I could never get tired of it because I never tire of hearing. People’s stories. And, and like I said before, really connecting with people and I’ve made friends that I’ve seen over the years at the same conventions or different conventions and different places. I was just doing a, you know, an online, whatever.

And someone said, hello from Kuwait and my daughter. And I had been there. And, you know, there’s all these people that I may not remember everyone’s name, but I remember. [00:44:00] Remember their faces and I’ve seen some people, Oh gosh. the first convention I went to was 2002 in New Zealand and Australia. And I was back in 2000.

well I was back last year and, Maybe 2016 or 17. I was back in New Zealand and two boys whom I met when they were 10 came to see me. And one of them had his son with him and the other was just getting married and, you know, it was. Extraordinary to know specifically know those two boys because I’ve, I’ve met them.

I just, even though they look totally, really different now, of course I know them, you know, and every single person whom I meet is very incredibly special to me. And more to the point, the honor. That I have to [00:45:00] meet people that people will come to see me and talk to me is, Oh gosh, I really can’t fully express how incredible it is.

And so yes, I look forward to getting back out on the road. It is really hard, but, I just, I can’t imagine not doing that. I, I haven’t accepted many conventions yet because we don’t know when they will start back up. and I, I don’t want to say I’ll be there when I, I just don’t want people pinning their hopes on something when we don’t know if it’s going to be safe yet.

And, there’s two. You know, of course they don’t want to say well, w w w w a lot of conventions don’t want to say, we’ll have to wait and see, they just say we’re going for it. And everyone’s excited. And then when you have to cancel, it’s really sad. So. I’m just hoping that we can all kind of hope and see what happens, but know that at least [00:46:00] for this year, I’m not sure that we’re going to have anything with more than 30 people, you know, outside.

I just, I just don’t know that it’s safe. There was

Casey Allen: one in Huntsville, not long ago. I, yeah, and I didn’t go because I’m not, you know, I work, like I said, in the medical field

Veronica Taylor: and,

Casey Allen: I’ll also regularly help out my wife’s grandparents who live about a mile away from us.

Veronica Taylor: Right. And

Casey Allen: I’m not going to do anything that would put them in, in jeopardy.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. You just,

Casey Allen: as much as I wanted to see Chris Claremont, I’m not going down.

Veronica Taylor: No, not, no, no. But,

yeah,

Casey Allen: I, I, yeah, I don’t want to be the reason that someone else gets sick.

Veronica Taylor: No. Oh, you don’t. And, and we can wait, that’s the thing. And now people are having things online. My daughter and I are trying to do more videos and do some arts and crafts and things like that that are, [00:47:00] are a little more fun.

And, you know, again, ways to just kind of connect. we’re trying to think of some fun things to do for in the meantime. It will all get back, you know, it’ll all get back, but just not yet.

Casey Allen: During convention season you, you mentioned, you know, the, the joy of being able to go around to all the different, like farm to table places and all that.

how do you keep from having to have people, will you out in a wheelbarrow.

Veronica Taylor: Are you doing exhausted?

Casey Allen: No, no. From going to all the, the, the nice, yummy restaurants,

Veronica Taylor: more so that we, we try to go to really local spots rather than anything that’s, a chain or something like that. So you really support the community.

so we’re not eating a ton of food. We always go to a farmer’s market just to see what’s growing and, you know, talk to farmers. but it’s more about just. Local stuff. Although I have brought [00:48:00] home some great things. I’m like I was in Albuquerque in January and I brought home a great hot sauce. And I was in, Atlanta last summer and we brought home peaches that we.

froze. And I was in Canada and I brought home Bazell and I froze that once I made a pesto and like all of these things that I’ve been able to bring back and then use, because now I’m home, that’s been a great thing, but I don’t think we’re eating so much while we’re out, but we’re just trying to, you know, spend money where it goes right into the pockets of the people who live there.

Casey Allen: That’s great. That’s great. So one thing I always ask our guest, we do a lot of stuff with comic books and comic creators. Right now is a crazy time for people who are in that industry. And, I assume you are a book reader. [00:49:00] Do you have a particular place that you like to go, that you would like to talk about before we, before we head out?

Veronica Taylor: do you mean like a local bookstore or. well, I, I do try to go to all, just small books, of course. I mean, I certainly do go to a Barnes and noble every now and then, but yeah, books of wonder in New York, city’s my favorite bookstore. and here I’m near skylight books, which is another small bookstore.

definitely any kind of. Smaller comic book shop or anything like that. Again, you know, like don’t, we all kind of miss the video store, the small one where we used to live in New York every Friday, we’d go across the street and go to the video store. And the guy there suggest things and my daughter was so small and, we’d always get a video sometimes Teletubbies, but some great movie we’d watch on a Friday.

And, [00:50:00] but that was interactive because we. He would recommend things all the time. And, and that’s why you go to a smaller bookstore, a comic book shop because people say, Oh, we’ve got the latest whatever in or well, if, if you don’t see it, I’ll order it for you. And all of that with audio books, Leebro FM, they’re a small, a smaller way to get your audio books and you can, the money for that can go to a bookstore.

So you can specify that. Yeah. So that’s another, another way to kind of give back. so anyway, I don’t have any specific comic bookstore, but I know there’s just so many, I’ve been to so many, but yeah, I think shop local. Global shop local.

Casey Allen: I see that you’ve done some work for Judy, Judy bloom. What, what audio books did you narrate for for her?

Veronica Taylor: Did the adult book in the, in the unlikely event. And I got to, you did.

Casey Allen: Yeah. Cause [00:51:00] my wife read it too. And then others, Judy bloom. So I just

Veronica Taylor: found it, Oh my God. Did you love it?

Casey Allen: It was, it was quite good.

Veronica Taylor: It’s hard to narrate that because I was crying by the end. And it’s really hard too, because you can be crying as the character, but you have to be not crying as the narrator.

So, that was a really tough one for me. I loved the book. I love her writing. She is someone who inhabits each character so fully, that. You recognize yourself or your neighbor or your friend in those characters? I also did the pain and the great one, which is about, the great one. Who’s the big sister and the pain who is the little brother and the, I got to do the whole thing.

All the characters. I mean, and then she, Judy bloom narrated the end of the book when the cat speaks. So, I got to meet her and work with her in person for that. And, Oh my gosh. Talk about a dream come true. She is one of the most incredible [00:52:00] people, energy that never ends. And she’s so positive and just wonderful.

that was extraordinary.

Casey Allen: I just looked up her bio and she’s, she’s still kicking. Oh,

Veronica Taylor: she’s still writing and yeah, she’s, she’s pretty incredible. Quite a force.

Casey Allen: Yeah, she she’s amazing. And it was when, when I was a kid, she was, one of the authors that kind of turned me into a bookworm when I was, when I was a small child.

So yeah.

Veronica Taylor: Well, I mean, I think especially cause you have younger children, there are so many great. Books to read. And that’s why you go to a library because you’re the richest person in the world. Because every book there is yours and you just choose and you bring it home. And it’s just an incredible world.

Because books are there. but I also think that there’s so many, let’s call them quote, older authors, meaning that were popular in the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, that a lot of kids nowadays [00:53:00] don’t turn to. Because they’re into, what’s coming out right now. And there’s amazing books, even Stuart little or treasure Island, or, you know, now that we’re all home with our children, reading a book like treasure Island out loud together, you know, we’ve got the time kind of, you might as well just dive in, but there’s so many of those great books, Judy bloom, my gosh.

The mixed up files of, Frank loser, ms. What’s her name? Bosley Frank Weiler. that the, you know, all of those just great old books that you kind of need a library, but most of them are online right now. And you can go pick up the book, so you can kind of browse online, which isn’t the same thing as getting lost in the stack of books.

Casey Allen: May I tell you about a mistake I made as a dad recently. Okay. So, recently the, call of the wild movie came out. my nine-year-olds said, Oh my [00:54:00] gosh, we have to watch that. And I said, Oh, well, it’s a book by Jack London. Would you like to read it? I’ll read it to you before we go to bed. And, So she was, she was on board.

Veronica Taylor: Yes. Yeah.

Casey Allen: So I downloaded what I thought was a call of the wild. And instead I picked the wrong book.

Veronica Taylor: Oh gosh,

Casey Allen: I got white Fang and I started

Veronica Taylor: reading it.

Casey Allen: so I don’t know if you’ve read white Fang or have you seen anything?

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Yeah, but not the best for bedtime. Not

Casey Allen: at all. So you’re, you’re going into the first chapter.

The first chapter goes in hard. It’s two guys out in the middle of the Alaskan Tundra, frozen, you know, everything around them. And they’re sitting on top of a coffin. Getting this poor dead guy back base, trying to ship him back home to New York

Veronica Taylor: and

Casey Allen: a pack of wolves are surrounding and picking them off [00:55:00] one by one.

And I’m such an idiot. my nine year old, I looked at her and I said, Oh, nuts, I got the wrong book. And she said, no, dad. Let’s keep going.

Veronica Taylor: Oh my God. My

Casey Allen: five year old and my wife were in the next room and they could hear me reading her. My five-year-old go yet. This is cool.

Veronica Taylor: So

Casey Allen: I kept reading and I was like, Oh my God, I don’t know if, if this is appropriate and, I ended up like, they, they hung in there.

I said, if this is too scary, we’ll stop. Yeah. And sure enough, like it, it gets intense and reading that. Right. You know, after that first chapter, the guy’s about to get eaten by wolves. Like there’s only one guy left now and

Veronica Taylor: no dogs. Yeah.

Casey Allen: And, a group of, of hunters come up and scare off the [00:56:00] pack of wolves.

So he’s saved and he gets wet scot-free but the tension that was lifted in that room after, after getting to that part.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah.

Casey Allen: I I’ve turned two little kids into book nerds and wow.

Veronica Taylor: Way to go. That’s pretty amazing.

Casey Allen: It was the dad failed, but at the same time it was like, okay, this kind of

Veronica Taylor: work

Casey Allen: because they’re both reading a lot

Veronica Taylor: now.

Yeah. Oh, that’s so great. There are so many good books. We’ll have to, we’ll do some lists later.

Casey Allen: Oh yeah. Yeah. So is, is there anything that you would like to, that you have coming up that we need to be aware of?

Veronica Taylor: gosh, yes. I don’t know I’m working on things, but. I don’t know. No, I just post Stefan, my, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

I mean, you know, there’s some things that I’m like some projects that I’m starting to work on, but some of them don’t really have real [00:57:00] names. They don’t tell me that. Or, some of them, I don’t know when we’re starting, so I don’t even know what’s worth talking about, you know, like that kind of stuff. I always have an audio book coming, but, you know, So I mostly try to post stuff on, Twitter, Instagram, I’m getting my finally my website redone.

So by September, hopefully that will be there. And then I can post some things there too. my daughter and I are working on some fun stuff. we’re trying to put that on YouTube, but I’ll post about that when we post something on social media. So if you kind of follow there, if you don’t mind, you can find out what I’m doing.

But I honestly, this is so nice to just have a chat. We don’t need to talk about the future. We’ll just talk about now,

Casey Allen: really enjoyed talking to you today.

Veronica Taylor: And so great.

Casey Allen: Thank you so much for spending the time to talk with us. And I’m putting up with my dumb questions.

Veronica Taylor: Oh my gosh. You’re kidding. They were so fantastic.

Next time. Just get your kids to come [00:58:00] on as well. That would be incredibly joyful.

Casey Allen: We actually, , Before we started, I had left my, my inlaws, my, my wife’s Momo and poppy had us over for dinner. So, they just live a mile down the road. And, so, had to jump in the truck and run back over to the house, but they’re eating a peach cobbler right now.

My wife just said,

Veronica Taylor: I am jealous. Maybe I’ll go make one too.

Casey Allen: Oh yeah. In your honor. It’s perfect. Perfect time for peach cobbler, actually, any anytime. It’s a good time.

Veronica Taylor: I know peaches strawberry blueberries. I’m up for that anytime. Well,

Casey Allen: thank you so much for talking to us

Veronica Taylor: . Thank you. And keep driving, stay healthy

Casey Allen: to you. Wash your hands, wear a mask and stay

Veronica Taylor: away from people. Yeah, that’s right. Stay away. All right. Talk to you soon. Okay. Bye. Bye.

Veronica Taylow Interview

[00:00:00] Casey Allen: we’re, we’re, we’re gearing up for school right now. So my wife teaches kindergarten,

Veronica Taylor: so gearing up for that.

Casey Allen: Yeah. But it’ll be interesting. So, so, so right now, I mean, I realize we’ve been talking for about almost 10 minutes and I haven’t announced that I’m talking to.

Veronica Taylor: Veronica Taylor. Hi everybody. You know, we’re on just normal people here.

So I think it’s better to just have a real conversation. that’s what we all need right now is just to reach out and chat with people. But, thank you. I’m so happy to be part of your,

Casey Allen: I had no idea that April O’Neil and Ash would be so cool

and I mean, Oh, Holy smokes. I’m looking at your IMD baby. You stay busy. Okay. Yeah.

Veronica Taylor: I’ve been lucky with that. Yeah.

Casey Allen: Kind of going back to, the, the whole COVID thing. [00:01:00] How has that impacted your productivity in terms of getting work done and actually doing the work? Do you have a home set up now?

Veronica Taylor: I do. I’ve I’ve had one for the past.

Almost six years because I moved from New York to LA and I had to get something set up so I could continue my work with New York. And, so that’s been great. So I’ve been able to easily slide into this. It’s not totally soundproof. My daughter’s been teaching some art classes and so when she’s teaching, I can’t work and then we leave in an apartment building and, The vac, the hall gets vacuumed once a week or sometimes twice a week.

And it’s always when I’m recording. So it’s all been a little, I it’s just been crazy and it’s all about compromise. I mean, that’s what life is. So, it’s the same here, but I’ve been able to do some cartoon work, some video games, audio books. I do a lot of those. So I’ve been able to work. I would say, my work I’m [00:02:00] definitely down by.

Half of what I normally do. And then I normally travel a lot to conventions and that’s out. So I’ve been doing more kind of online convention. I put that in quotes because it’s more a way to just reach out and kind of try to chat with people, even though we’re all typing and I’m speaking into a void. but.

It’s that connection. That’s what makes the convention so important. And so trying to maintain some connection as we all kind of wrestle with what, this pandemic has wrought. but yeah, so I’ve been working, but certainly not as busy as I was or would like to be.

Casey Allen: I hear you. Yeah, I hear ya. so w when you’re doing the, Working remotely.

Do you have it, like somebody

Veronica Taylor: tied in

Casey Allen: with you, like remotely while you were record? Or do you just kind of go over your lines?

Veronica Taylor: Oh, no, no. Usually, [00:03:00] especially for, cards. I also do a lot of English as a second language type. Things that are audio workbooks and things like that. We always have a director. So we work through Skype.

there’s clients from, like this yesterday, I was on a call with I’m in LA there’s people in New York and people in England. So we span, half the globe. And so that’s been a pretty cool thing that we’re able to do that, but there’s always people on the phone for that. when I record audio books, it used to be.

That I would record by myself now. publishers are kind of allowing an engineer to be part of that, which is pretty great. and that we do through Skype or zoom or, team viewer, all of that kind of stuff. so that helps, but, but there are some things I’m alone for, but I would say right now about three quarters I’m with someone else in my headphones.

And

Casey Allen: you’ve, you’ve been doing [00:04:00] this type of work for, for, for a while.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Yeah.

Casey Allen: Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry.

Veronica Taylor: Oh, no. Since, I used to do a lot of theater and TV and all kinds of stuff, but, Now, I guess since 1998, my career kind of took a turn towards voice related work for the majority. My daughter was born then and my, gosh, the flexibility of my schedule just wasn’t really there anymore.

And luckily my career took a turn so that I could schedule the hours around her needs for, as a person and also school and all of that kind of stuff.

Casey Allen: So, yeah. When, when you’re, you’re doing all, all this stuff, I mean, it’s, it seems like it’s a lot more work intensive than, than you would expect. cause you’re, you’re not just reading the lines.

You, you are performing, you, you [00:05:00] are pushing, it is as hard as you can and as hard as your voice can withstand.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. Audio books for sure. That’s longer because you’re, you’re recording for like six or eight hours. but, but I think in these circumstances when you’re not going to a studio and you’re kind of, well, the first thing we all do, we get up, you look at the news, you see what’s happened.

You figure out where we are. In the world. And, and then you have to kind of jump into your imagination and get creative and work. And I think it’s a little harder now than it used to be. but ultimately voiceover work is in your head. So even when you’re in the booth, you can be working with other people or, matching lip flap, or just working on a script with nothing.

You’re still creating the whole thing in your mind in a way. So that part hasn’t changed, but it’s just getting yourself [00:06:00] centered to be able to create, I think that’s changed a bit. I’ve never

Casey Allen: heard the term lip flat before. It’s so it’s so obvious when you say it and I love it.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Anna May or any other, even for live action, when you are looping, it you’re matching the lip flap of the, the animated character or the live action character.

Casey Allen: That sounds like it would be so difficult and so easy to mess up.

Veronica Taylor: Well, for sure it is. Yeah. And also it’s, it’s a wonderful challenge. I have to say, because, so you approach you, you see a script, and for most of these things, you never see it ahead. So you’re skimming the script to see your line, and then you.

You hear the three beeps in your headphones and then you start talking and then you have to kind of be looking at the script at the same time, you’re looking at their mouth and figuring out what their emotion is, because you’ve already made a [00:07:00] quick assumption of where you’re going to go with the line.

But when you see it live, you often have to change that. So, I think it’s really difficult and it’s really. Amazing and so satisfying when you get it right.

Casey Allen: You, you really have to kind of find the beat in the ones

Veronica Taylor: exactly. Without time to investigate it, you know, because if you are in a play you’re rehearsing and he break it down and you Mark your whole script up and, but with voiceover, you have to jump in and, and just kind of, make it up on the spot.

I mean, I think I have a. Bachelor’s and a master’s in art, in acting. And I do think that, that helps me to break down a script and make choices quickly. without that training, I don’t know that I could do it as fast.

Casey Allen: So when you, when you started getting into animation and everything, Yeah, it, did [00:08:00] you, did you think it would be just kinda like, Oh, I’m going to do a few of these and just see how it goes, where or when did you start aiming towards that as, as your career path?

Because it, I mean, you you’ve found a really amazing thing to, to put your craft into.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. I don’t think I ever aimed toward. That I aimed from the time I was five, to be a working actor. And so all of this fits into being a working actor. I didn’t intend to do mostly voiceover. I didn’t intend to do mostly theater.

I just intended to work and hoped to work, I should say. so luckily. It has turned out in a way that I can joyfully go to work every day and do things that I love, but I, I never made a conscious decision in that sense. It kind of chose me.

[00:09:00] Casey Allen: I love, I love talking to people who are, they’re either good at their craft and be that like, they.

They treat it like, Oh, this is, this is my passion, but it is also my job. And I’m going to go in, I’m going to do the best damn thing I can. And, and, and just put my all into it.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Well, I mean, you might feel the same way you must and your wife too. I mean, all of us, if we’re not giving a hundred percent.

Then what are we doing? Because this, this is the only left we have. So you’ve got to just jump in and give it your all. And I think too, being honest and truthful, especially as an actor in your performances, help them to carry. and what I mean by that, for instance, we were doing a Midsummer night’s dream and, when I was on tour and we played a small.

Catholic girls school in Brooklyn. And we were in the cafeteria. We traveled with a [00:10:00] truck and big sets and lights and all of this. And then we would have to get in and adapt. And, you know, sometimes you could put up half the set and sometimes, you put up nothing of the set and then sometimes the whole set.

So we would get in unload, make our choices, do the show, take it down and then drive to the next town. But in this school, in Brooklyn, I’m in the cafeteria when the lovers are running through and, they are, they’ve all been crossed and one is in love with the wrong one and all of this stuff. And then they finally, Meet up and they wake up and the father comes in the father of Hermia and one of the girls was like, Oh, here comes her daddy.

He’s not happy. And like everybody’s cheering and yelling. And, and it was, it was real. But if we hadn’t been in the moment, then it, it wouldn’t have been believable. And, and the girls watching that [00:11:00] show couldn’t have gotten behind it. You know, and that’s the way I approach all of my work that regardless of how much I know about the character or how much I like them, or don’t like them or any of those kinds of things, you have to bring a hundred percent authenticity to that moment or else no one will believe it.

And I feel. It’s just ruined. And what’s the point and why waste that precious time someone has to spend listening or watching something if you’re not going to give it your a hundred percent. And I think we all do that with our jobs. You do that with your children. You give them your hundred percent because that’s the payback is them becoming wonderful, authentic people.

So we have to be in every moment. And in this time of. COVID it’s really hard because it’s, it’s not easy anymore. There’s so many decisions to make, just leaving the house to get groceries. Gosh, [00:12:00] for you every morning at five, when you leave the house, Well, even you get up at five, leave at five 30, but even that you’re getting up at five there’s all those decisions and leaving and how you’re going to be that day so that you can come safely home.

I mean, gosh, it’s, it’s a lot of energy and the payoff is that you. Your children are there to welcome you when you get home, you know, and your payoff will be when you’re 80 and they’re still visiting you. Oh yeah.

Casey Allen: Yeah. I’m working on that on the good home. Yeah.

Veronica Taylor: But you know, like all of that stuff, I think it’s that we all have to give a hundred percent.

I just happened to have known, I wanted to be an actor when I was five. And. When I graduated grad school, I was like, should I have rethought this? Should I have looked into anything else? But it was too late. So anytime, you know, sometimes we know, and sometimes we are searching for what we want to be or to do, but within that [00:13:00] search, that’s our, our path, that’s our life.

So, you’ve got to commit to it

Casey Allen: when you, when you’re doing these lines, when, when you’re. Doing your, your voiceover, all that other good stuff. What helps you to keep it authentic? Cause I’m thinking like when you’re on the stage, it’s a far different feeling and when you’re matching lip flapper or reading lines for, for a, a video game or something, right.

Is that feeling different or what keeps you in the moment and what keeps you? She just motivated and stoked about the material.

Veronica Taylor: well, I think for me, it’s that I get it chance to act. I mean, that’s one thing, but, but again, even if you don’t know that much about the character, because oftentimes they’re like, Oh, could you play this one too?

Or could you do a voice for this? And, so you don’t. You don’t really know specifics, but you make them up and the idea of getting to fully [00:14:00] play a character. gosh, there’s just nothing like it. So I think it’s, it’s, it’s that it’s being a, a whole person regardless. Of what the project calls for or what the, the people who’ve hired me have called for it’s me bringing everything to it.

so I think that’s what keeps me motivated. I stay focused because I’m trying to figure out. What I’m talking about, what they, what this character wants from the other person. And I’m constantly figuring that out, like a little Sherlock Holmes, I guess, to put the whole puzzle together. so that keeps me motivated.

Definitely. And I, so it said it’s complicated when I do an audio book, I get to play all the characters. So I map out. Who they all are. And in that sense, I understand how they’re different and then vocally who gets the high voice or the low voice and all of that. And then within that, I get to play each scene.

As the different characters and then pop into the narrator. And, but [00:15:00] you’re weaving this whole thing together to tell the story because that’s, that’s the most important thing. That’s the essence of human beings is storytelling. It’s our whole culture, it’s our community. And so to be able to really tell that story and bring those characters to life, I just focus on that

Casey Allen: as I understand it.

You guys,

Just due to union rules can only go, I think, like four hours at a time.

Veronica Taylor: every job is different. Really? It all depends. Exhausted. I would say you get tired in different ways. Something that’s much more, let’s say kind of yelling and, and bigger energy is tiring, but it seems stupid to be tired after working for four hours.

You know what I mean? Bad about that, because it’s not like I’m doing brain surgery or something, but you’re tired.

Casey Allen: Yeah, you’re inhabiting completely different people at, at us, you know, [00:16:00] sometimes in succession.

Veronica Taylor: That’s right, right. Yeah. It’s I, it is tiring when I do audio books. that’s for like six or eight hours and sometimes I’ve gone 12 hours, so, it’s.

That’s tiring in a way too, because you have to remain so still because any movement, I mean, I moved my arms around a bit and stuff, but you, you can’t make any noise that the mic picks up. So for that, that’s tiring in a different way because you’re, you’re breathing. but quietly and you can’t really eat and you know, all that stuff, that’s tiring in a different way than doing a cartoon.

Casey Allen: I’m a fidgeter I’d get fired the first day I saw

Veronica Taylor: you just have to wear quiet clothes. You figure it out. In the old days we had in the old days, like five years ago, you would have everything printed on paper. And then you would, we all had ways of moving the paper without making noise, and now everything is on the iPad.

So it’s easier.

Casey Allen: Oh, [00:17:00] wow. what, what do you do for self care? Because I’m sure your voice has just destroyed after, after one of those marathon, 12 day, 12 hour days.

Veronica Taylor: it’s not as bad actually, because I, I try to drink a lot of water. I try to breathe correctly and it’s not, my voice doesn’t really go out, but I live in Los Angeles and it’s very dry here.

And so adapting to this was, more of a challenge than I thought it would be. And I definitely have, some. Vocal problems that I didn’t have when I lived in New York. So those are things that I have to really watch. And then, you know, honey or coconut water avocado, you know, that, that can help, like rehydrate me.

Do

Casey Allen: you do hot drinks?

Veronica Taylor: well I do drink coffee and tea, but not necessarily for my voice. Just for my good humor.

Casey Allen: Gotcha. Gotcha. I used to play, I used to [00:18:00] play music back before I got married and had kids and they ruined all that. I’m joking. I was, I was really, really, average if, if that, but, I used to play at one bar in particular that,

was when I left, I felt like a dirty ashtray and I discovered a te rope coat and that stuff the next day is just

Veronica Taylor: better.

It’s the slippery Elm in there, I think. And I think there’s licorice in it or Anna? Yes.

Casey Allen: Yes.

Veronica Taylor: Yes. That’s fantastic. You, are you working on any music with your kids then even like basic drumming things or. No.

Casey Allen: I’m teaching my, nine year old, how to play guitar. My five year old, who is the, his two girls.

They’re both pain and in completely different ways than I love it. [00:19:00] my five-year-old the other day came up to me and, we were watching a video and it had classical music in it and she said, this is beautiful. I want to cry.

Veronica Taylor: Oh my

Casey Allen: gosh. So we we’ve started listening to classical music and try and teach her a few simple things on the piano.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And it also improves your, your brain, so, Oh, lovely.

Casey Allen: I love it. And for the longest, because, back a long time ago, or, you know, up until like a year ago, anytime I would pick up an instrument, they would go you’re too late. Daddy, you need to. Yeah. So that was just a part of my life that I had stopped doing completely.

Veronica Taylor: And

Casey Allen: so, Or, you know, if they were gone, I would pick up the guitar or the piano and I’d get loud. But, for the most part, I just kind of put it away.

[00:20:00] Veronica Taylor: Well, this is nice, a good way to connect with yourself and with them. And, that’s it. I mean, if they remembered that from this whole lockdown, that’s going to be fantastic.

Casey Allen: Oh, and another thing, my, my nine year old has been doing the duo lingo. I’m

Veronica Taylor: French. Oh yeah.

Casey Allen: She’s been taking French lessons over deal. Duolingo.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, I work for mango, actually. I’m the American who teaches languages to other Americans, but all of that stuff I think is fantastic that you take some time to really stretch yourself and learn another language.

And there’s huge payoff in that.

Casey Allen: Do you do, do you have a second language or multiple languages that you speak already?

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, I speak a little French, but I, when I graduated college, I could speak fluently because I went to France and I could translate what people were saying. And then I’ve just kind of lost it.

And I’m [00:21:00] always saying, Oh shoot, I’ve got to pick this back up. Or, I’ve been to France once. You know, somewhat recently, my daughter was studying in Italy for, our summer abroad class anyway. so we both have learned some French and we could speak some French while we were there. but I really need to like dive in and, and, go back to it like enough that I could just speak it around the house, you know?

Casey Allen: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, I’m always impressed with people that can do that. It’s it’s fascinating to me. So it’s been almost, or over 20 years since,

Pokemon first came out. Do you know when you started on the show, like. Holy smokes. This is, this is gonna take off. Or when did you know that it was something huge?

It was a going to be a cultural thing. You were going to be in this height, Geist [00:22:00] forever.

Veronica Taylor: No idea. I, I do remember auditioning and really just loving the tiny clip that we saw. it looked like such a fun, just a fun show, but, I don’t think anyone can ever judge what people are going to like or not like, and what’s a quote success, but I do think that the stories and the friendship and the kind of the implied moral that you’re not hit over the head with has Louie did and allowed it to survive all this time?

I think when I first realized it was. Something, was when there was a writeup in the New York times and it was about the first movie. And so then my, my dad was like, Hey, I saw this article. So I was like, yeah, that’s exciting. at an actor, people always say, Oh, you’re an actor. What are you in? Have you been in something I know.

And then, so to be able to say, well, [00:23:00] yeah, I, I work on a cartoon called Pokemon and I’m Oh yeah. I know what that is. So it’s like going to Paris and people say, Oh, did you see the Eiffel tower? And most of your acting career is like saying no, but I went to this great cafe and that people just check out.

They don’t really care. They just want to know the big hits. So I think that was the first thing I got to go to the premiere of the movie in Los Angeles and New York and going and seeing so many people, waiting to get into the theater. there was, a store down the street from where we, recorded that was starting to sell little Pokemon things.

And it was, like a Japanese store or they sold. Korean items or it was a store that just had stuff in it. like a wholesale store. And so I was like, Hey, well, you may want to order more Pokemon stuff. Cause this thing is really getting hot. Oh. [00:24:00] But anyway, I don’t know that they, took my word for it, but I did buy some really cool Pokemon rings in there.

That’s

Casey Allen: awesome. Yeah. So yeah, you were talking earlier about, you know, seeing the Eiffel tower and stuff like that. Well, people might not be 100% familiar with the show, however, Every Thanksgiving, they see that picket you float

Veronica Taylor: and they’re like,

Casey Allen: Oh yeah, yeah. They know exactly who that is. And it’s, you know, a cultural relevance is you’re in the Zeit Geist.

And you, that was, that must have been a crazy, crazy time to be on something that amazingly huge.

Veronica Taylor: Well, I, I will be quite honest with you. It has been never impacted my life in any real way. because cause nobody knew I was on it. I would go to the parade every year and my daughter and I would always [00:25:00] take a picture with the PQ going over our heads, but it’s not like anyone seeing me would say, Oh, Hey, aren’t you on that show?

The it, it has impacted my life in that I have had the opportunity to travel around the world to conventions and talk to people who are giant fans of Pokemon and hear their stories about how it changed their lives. And that has really impacted my life. That has made me feel like I was part of something.

Big bigger than anything in my life, but in my day to day, it hasn’t, it hasn’t really changed anything. It

Casey Allen: actually sounds like the, the perfect amount of having a job in the creative sphere and, kind of like notoriety, I guess, because. You know, you, you can, you can be totally anonymous

Veronica Taylor: if you want to.

Right. But,

Casey Allen: people are still going nuts over [00:26:00] the work that you do.

Veronica Taylor: Right. Right. And it is kind of funny when people find out that I was the voice of Ash or something, but, but that’s rare.

Casey Allen: I, I have a comment discord group that, that I help run. And I asked some people if they had any questions and, because I’m going to be talking to, to the voice of Ash, I said, and somebody said, I was

Veronica Taylor: just

Casey Allen: a lady.

Yes. Veronica Taylor is very much a lady.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. That is really funny because sometimes people don’t know that.

Casey Allen: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s, there’s a, what was the cartoon King of the Hill was a character on there named Bobby and, the actresses, the actress that plays Bobby is also very much a lady, so weird seeing her do the voice and because you.

[00:27:00] It does not mix. And I’m sure people have the same, the same experience when they see you do Ash voice, because they’re like, Oh, there’s this, there’s this nice lady. And she’s talking just like my favorite cartoon character.

Veronica Taylor: I know it always is. Especially in the beginning, when I started going to conventions, I, I hated people seeing the voice come out of my face.

Because I just think that ruins it. but to be like, Hey Casey, awesome to see you here. The best is not so bad because then you imagine ashes face, you know?

Casey Allen: Oh yeah. Yeah. I, I just had an experience a second ago where, because my, my little brother, yeah, who passed away a few years ago, every day after school, when we got home, I would, I pick him up from school.

I was in high school. He was in middle school. And, first thing he would do is he would plop down. On the couch and we would watch [00:28:00] Pokemon

Veronica Taylor: gosh. And,

Casey Allen: he loved the show so much. And, so, he’d be pissed at me right now for being, for having this experience.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. But you share it with him. I mean, that’s the whole thing.

Pokemon is it’s not about being alone. Because you could watch it at home by yourself, with your brother, with your grandmother, you go and play it at school. It’s a way to start conversations. It’s it’s about togetherness. And so I think that’s, what’s made it incredible. It wasn’t, we have so much binge watching now where people just watch things and you’re alone doing that.

But Pokemon was about being together. Oh, yeah.

Casey Allen: And I really, really, as much as the idea being the older brother was stuck with my younger brother, kind of grated at me sometimes I really loved sitting down and watching the show with him [00:29:00] because it was, it was something that we kind of connected.

Over and it was such a, such a good experience.

Veronica Taylor: That’s amazing. I’m really happy to hear that.

Casey Allen: I kind of hear it up a little bit.

Veronica Taylor: Okay. I’m sorry, but I’m happy.

Casey Allen: Thank you so much.

so when, when you started doing the, the video game work, was that a little bit of a, of. A different experience for you in terms of doing that voice acting, especially something, doing something that would be less passive and more, you know, the person, the viewer would actually be taking part in the experience itself.

Did that, inform any of your creative decisions?

Veronica Taylor: Well, the, the thing about video games is you usually just see. Your own lines so that you have to be okay. Pushed more by the [00:30:00] director when you’re working on things. If that makes sense, like they know more about how it’s going to fit into the big picture and.

Most of the time. You really don’t. So, there’s some video games where there are actual conversations, like, fire emblem, three houses, for instance, a lot of those are conversation. And so that conversation is in the script. So you can get an idea of what’s happening more than in other video games. So it’s all again, it’s you just kind of,

You feel it, you say it and then you see if that’s what they like.

Casey Allen: I hear ya. So do you, do you have a preference now? I mean you, cause, cause you’ve been able to kind of dabble in all these different, forms of acting and expression and kind of doing. Doing your work in different types [00:31:00] of acting fields? I don’t know the best way to say that. Yeah,

Veronica Taylor: John was, I guess. Yeah.

Casey Allen: So do you have a preference?

Veronica Taylor: I guess? Love being on stage. I love having the audience right there and the, you work with the other actors and you’re working off the energy of the audience and it’s such, an in the moment experience and every night, even if you were doing the same show, the same lines, The show is different and it’s, and you, that energy is what that’s just what you thrive on.

and so you have to manufacture that too, when you’re working in the booth. So I think theater is my favorite, and it’s hard. And so I love it, but, I guess the next thing would be audio books because you’re creating the whole play in a sense. Like you get to play all the characters and then animation [00:32:00] because you can be anyone at any time.

So I could be, five-year-old girl at 10 year old boy and 96 world woman. And, which you know, all in one session even, and then, and that there’s no limit. It’s just the limits of your imagination and you know, who is doing the casting, but yeah, the, I love that it’s limitless like that. I just, I love the possibilities and that you can push yourself into areas that you didn’t even know.

You could be pushed into. I, I just, I really loved that. and then also like, during the first season of Pokemon, I was gigantically pregnant and I was playing a 10 year old boy, you know? So, I mean, it’s like, what, where else could I have worked and been someone so different from myself and not judged by what I looked like I could just be.

And, that was a great gift. [00:33:00] That’s

Casey Allen: that’s amazing. Can you describe, you were talking about the feeling you get from stage acting and I know just, just from playing music, there is a, a transformative feeling. Yeah, especially when everything is going right. And you

Veronica Taylor: just,

Casey Allen: the, the connection you feel with the, the other people taking part in the performance, and you described that a little bit to what.

How it feels for you?

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. I think what, what you brought up that transformative feeling. I think it’s not unlike what runners get when you’re, you’re running for that, that whichever period of time it is for yourself. And you suddenly just, it’s not like you’re flying, but you just. Let go. And you’re just in the zone.

It’s the same as when, you know, it’s the, the soccer game and you’re just, you’ve played so hard and you guys, you’ve got to get that goal and you’re just pushing [00:34:00] and pushing beyond your boundary and you just do it somehow. You do it being on stage when you’re performing music or when you’re in the.

Theater, I think similar where you just, you, you work and work. You memorize, you work on the character, all of that stuff, that curtain goes up and you just let it go. And then you’re in the moment. I guess again, it’s like when you are speaking another language, that’s not your first language. There’s a moment that it clicks and you start thinking in that language, it’s the same playing a character.

You start. Thinking as the character and that’s how you can react when something goes wrong and you can make up lines or, you know, you’re talking I’m that person, and it’s not just you making things up, but you’re in the zone. And, Gosh, I don’t think there’s, I mean, I’ve just listed some things, so there are some things like, but it’s so gratifying too, to just leave yourself outside and, [00:35:00] and enter fully into a character.

and you can get that somewhat in animation or, you know, audio books, whatever, you can get that to a certain extent, but on stage you’re still working off other people. And even those times when I’ve had where you. You just can’t remember what the next line is and you’re looking at the person and then we figure it out and we get back to it.

And there’s just those times when you just work it out. And, it’s, I don’t know. It’s pretty great. So yeah, I miss that for sure.

Casey Allen: Do you think that your, your training and in stage acting and, the, your schooling kind of helped you to develop emotional range? For when you’re doing the, like the audio books and the video games and the animation.

Cause you, you, you’re not just. Doing, you know, funny kid shows, you’re also doing, you know, a lot of a wide [00:36:00] range of work and a lot of it, I mean, grave of the fireflies, you have emotional rage that broke my heart.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. It’s a beautiful movie. Oh yeah. Yeah, I think it’s it. Definitely. My training has helped me to tap into the emotions that I need.

My training has helped me to know when to, to give more when to hold back, all of that, how to structure it, that you can be in the moment of the character, but also be on the outside saying, ah, pull back a little. Okay. You can let it go. Now don’t yell at this point. It’s easier if the anger is. under cuts rather than shouting, and you can figure those things out and then you have a director who says, no, we need more because the other character, we want them to come in with this.

And, and so you, you learn how to, I guess break everything down in a certain way, how to fill the moment, but also how to work with and [00:37:00] off of other people, including directors, as well as other actors.

Casey Allen: That’s so analytical the way you’re describing it. But

Veronica Taylor: I think it is acting as well business, you know, in a, in the sense that it’s technical music is technical, but when you put all the notes in the right order, you get something beautiful, but you have to know how to, how to work it.

You have to know the instrument, you have to know how to tune it, how to play it, how to, how to just work those strings. and it’s the same for your instrument, which is your body, your voice. you’ve got to know how to work it so that you can get what you need out of it.

Casey Allen: After you do a particularly heavy scene, are you able to just kind of drop it and, and pick up and go have lunch or whatever, or do you have to kind of chill out for a little while and regroup?

Veronica Taylor: I think it depends. it depends on, on what, what it [00:38:00] is, what medium it is. I mean, if you’re talking about animation, I can do some, like really heavy emotional things. Let’s say as Ash, when he’s running or, or very upset or very intense. And then they go, okay, the. We go, okay. Let’s just take it back one and you have to be able to jump out, analyze, and then go back in and recreate it.

So, I would say in a general answer to that, I’m able to pop in and out. I haven’t had to be on camera where I’m sobbing and then we cut and then, you know, get back into. Let’s let’s just do the whole thing again. I haven’t had to do that and, and like have heavy emotional scenes for 10 takes.

So I don’t know that I would pull all the way out of the emotion in that case.

Casey Allen: Nice, nice. Yeah. It. People that are able to do that. It just, it blows my mind, but you, what

Veronica Taylor: you do. Yeah. [00:39:00] I mean, it is it’s again, I think it’s all technical, like, you know what you need to do to get yourself to cry on cue, you know, what you need to do to muster up.

Where does that feeling come from? When you’re letting out this horrible scream of agony, where does that laugh come from? You know, all of that stuff. It’s, it’s technical, but then. It’s filling the moment and the acting that makes it work, you know? Awesome.

Casey Allen: So I have, I have a few more questions for you is completely and totally like, kind of, purely for myself.

I want to know how you got involved in the magic trip King Casey search for a place because I love that documentary King King KZ blew, blew my mind. I discovered his writing. At the right time in my life, like 1920. And, it is the perfect time to pick up the electrical aid acid test or, you know, one flew over the Cuckoo’s [00:40:00] that’s

Veronica Taylor: right.

Yeah, for me, that’s I, you know, a lot more about all of that than I do, or certainly did when I was asked to come audition for that. And then, I’m just doing, gosh, I can’t remember right now that the person whose voice I had to loop in that, what’s that Jane Burton. Jane Burton. Yeah, that’s right.

yeah, I mean, it was a thing that I, I worked on for, I don’t know, an hour or so, or some short amount of time and we fit lip flap and then, and then off it has gone. It’s just out there. for most of the stuff I do, I don’t get a copy of it. And, so it’s not like it’s on my shelf and I go, Oh yeah, I worked on that.

It’s. Yeah, it’s just, unfortunately I think it was, it’s a really amazing documentary. I think it was an amazing piece and I wish I even knew more [00:41:00] about it before I went in. But I was quite happy to work on it.

Casey Allen: Not many people can say they were in the film with not only Stanley Tookie, but, Alan Ginsburg

has to be the, the most eclectic cast I’ve ever seen

Veronica Taylor: in a film. Yeah. I’ve never even seen the whole thing. Just bits of it. And I got to do her voice. I don’t even know how, like, I think someone recommended me for it. I mean, like just a crazy thing, but, but it is really cool and it certainly peaked my interest to find out more about, you know, music in that time or people, playing outside, like Woodstock, you know, all of that because we all know Woodstock, but we don’t know.

As much, or at least I didn’t about people who were traveling around and playing out and you know, all of that. So,

Casey Allen: yeah, that led up to Woodstock, which is kind of what, who can Casey was. Cause he, he really, kind [00:42:00] of set the scene, especially for a West coast. and, and that kind of weird hippie scene.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah, exactly. That’s really no one’s ever asked me about that and, you know, a lot more about it. So it’s good that we’re talking

Casey Allen: every now and then, like a few curve balls. So, one big thing that you do with is, going around to conventions and interacting with fans. And we touched on that a little bit earlier, but, I just really want to know, like, is it still enjoyable?

I mean, it seems like a lot of work. I mean, traveling like that and I mean, I’m sure you’ve done that when you do stage work, when you were doing the, Midsummer night’s dream, you know, that is a, That’s a job stage and that

Veronica Taylor: was, that was really high. Oh my gosh.

Casey Allen: Yeah. but do, do you still enjoy doing the convention thing and are you planning on [00:43:00] returning once, all this craziness.

Goes away.

Veronica Taylor: Hopefully. Yeah. I, I really, really love it. I love traveling. I love exploring the places that I get to go to and going to really local farm to table type restaurant Johnson, trying to, You know, really connect with the community wherever I am. and which so includes the community, which comes to these comic cons because I’ve met the most incredible people.

And I, I could never get tired of it because I never tire of hearing. People’s stories. And, and like I said before, really connecting with people and I’ve made friends that I’ve seen over the years at the same conventions or different conventions and different places. I was just doing a, you know, an online, whatever.

And someone said, hello from Kuwait and my daughter. And I had been there. And, you know, there’s all these people that I may not remember everyone’s name, but I remember. [00:44:00] Remember their faces and I’ve seen some people, Oh gosh. the first convention I went to was 2002 in New Zealand and Australia. And I was back in 2000.

well I was back last year and, Maybe 2016 or 17. I was back in New Zealand and two boys whom I met when they were 10 came to see me. And one of them had his son with him and the other was just getting married and, you know, it was. Extraordinary to know specifically know those two boys because I’ve, I’ve met them.

I just, even though they look totally, really different now, of course I know them, you know, and every single person whom I meet is very incredibly special to me. And more to the point, the honor. That I have to [00:45:00] meet people that people will come to see me and talk to me is, Oh gosh, I really can’t fully express how incredible it is.

And so yes, I look forward to getting back out on the road. It is really hard, but, I just, I can’t imagine not doing that. I, I haven’t accepted many conventions yet because we don’t know when they will start back up. and I, I don’t want to say I’ll be there when I, I just don’t want people pinning their hopes on something when we don’t know if it’s going to be safe yet.

And, there’s two. You know, of course they don’t want to say well, w w w w a lot of conventions don’t want to say, we’ll have to wait and see, they just say we’re going for it. And everyone’s excited. And then when you have to cancel, it’s really sad. So. I’m just hoping that we can all kind of hope and see what happens, but know that at least [00:46:00] for this year, I’m not sure that we’re going to have anything with more than 30 people, you know, outside.

I just, I just don’t know that it’s safe. There was

Casey Allen: one in Huntsville, not long ago. I, yeah, and I didn’t go because I’m not, you know, I work, like I said, in the medical field

Veronica Taylor: and,

Casey Allen: I’ll also regularly help out my wife’s grandparents who live about a mile away from us.

Veronica Taylor: Right. And

Casey Allen: I’m not going to do anything that would put them in, in jeopardy.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. You just,

Casey Allen: as much as I wanted to see Chris Claremont, I’m not going down.

Veronica Taylor: No, not, no, no. But,

yeah,

Casey Allen: I, I, yeah, I don’t want to be the reason that someone else gets sick.

Veronica Taylor: No. Oh, you don’t. And, and we can wait, that’s the thing. And now people are having things online. My daughter and I are trying to do more videos and do some arts and crafts and things like that that are, [00:47:00] are a little more fun.

And, you know, again, ways to just kind of connect. we’re trying to think of some fun things to do for in the meantime. It will all get back, you know, it’ll all get back, but just not yet.

Casey Allen: During convention season you, you mentioned, you know, the, the joy of being able to go around to all the different, like farm to table places and all that.

how do you keep from having to have people, will you out in a wheelbarrow.

Veronica Taylor: Are you doing exhausted?

Casey Allen: No, no. From going to all the, the, the nice, yummy restaurants,

Veronica Taylor: more so that we, we try to go to really local spots rather than anything that’s, a chain or something like that. So you really support the community.

so we’re not eating a ton of food. We always go to a farmer’s market just to see what’s growing and, you know, talk to farmers. but it’s more about just. Local stuff. Although I have brought [00:48:00] home some great things. I’m like I was in Albuquerque in January and I brought home a great hot sauce. And I was in, Atlanta last summer and we brought home peaches that we.

froze. And I was in Canada and I brought home Bazell and I froze that once I made a pesto and like all of these things that I’ve been able to bring back and then use, because now I’m home, that’s been a great thing, but I don’t think we’re eating so much while we’re out, but we’re just trying to, you know, spend money where it goes right into the pockets of the people who live there.

Casey Allen: That’s great. That’s great. So one thing I always ask our guest, we do a lot of stuff with comic books and comic creators. Right now is a crazy time for people who are in that industry. And, I assume you are a book reader. [00:49:00] Do you have a particular place that you like to go, that you would like to talk about before we, before we head out?

Veronica Taylor: do you mean like a local bookstore or. well, I, I do try to go to all, just small books, of course. I mean, I certainly do go to a Barnes and noble every now and then, but yeah, books of wonder in New York, city’s my favorite bookstore. and here I’m near skylight books, which is another small bookstore.

definitely any kind of. Smaller comic book shop or anything like that. Again, you know, like don’t, we all kind of miss the video store, the small one where we used to live in New York every Friday, we’d go across the street and go to the video store. And the guy there suggest things and my daughter was so small and, we’d always get a video sometimes Teletubbies, but some great movie we’d watch on a Friday.

And, [00:50:00] but that was interactive because we. He would recommend things all the time. And, and that’s why you go to a smaller bookstore, a comic book shop because people say, Oh, we’ve got the latest whatever in or well, if, if you don’t see it, I’ll order it for you. And all of that with audio books, Leebro FM, they’re a small, a smaller way to get your audio books and you can, the money for that can go to a bookstore.

So you can specify that. Yeah. So that’s another, another way to kind of give back. so anyway, I don’t have any specific comic bookstore, but I know there’s just so many, I’ve been to so many, but yeah, I think shop local. Global shop local.

Casey Allen: I see that you’ve done some work for Judy, Judy bloom. What, what audio books did you narrate for for her?

Veronica Taylor: Did the adult book in the, in the unlikely event. And I got to, you did.

Casey Allen: Yeah. Cause [00:51:00] my wife read it too. And then others, Judy bloom. So I just

Veronica Taylor: found it, Oh my God. Did you love it?

Casey Allen: It was, it was quite good.

Veronica Taylor: It’s hard to narrate that because I was crying by the end. And it’s really hard too, because you can be crying as the character, but you have to be not crying as the narrator.

So, that was a really tough one for me. I loved the book. I love her writing. She is someone who inhabits each character so fully, that. You recognize yourself or your neighbor or your friend in those characters? I also did the pain and the great one, which is about, the great one. Who’s the big sister and the pain who is the little brother and the, I got to do the whole thing.

All the characters. I mean, and then she, Judy bloom narrated the end of the book when the cat speaks. So, I got to meet her and work with her in person for that. And, Oh my gosh. Talk about a dream come true. She is one of the most incredible [00:52:00] people, energy that never ends. And she’s so positive and just wonderful.

that was extraordinary.

Casey Allen: I just looked up her bio and she’s, she’s still kicking. Oh,

Veronica Taylor: she’s still writing and yeah, she’s, she’s pretty incredible. Quite a force.

Casey Allen: Yeah, she she’s amazing. And it was when, when I was a kid, she was, one of the authors that kind of turned me into a bookworm when I was, when I was a small child.

So yeah.

Veronica Taylor: Well, I mean, I think especially cause you have younger children, there are so many great. Books to read. And that’s why you go to a library because you’re the richest person in the world. Because every book there is yours and you just choose and you bring it home. And it’s just an incredible world.

Because books are there. but I also think that there’s so many, let’s call them quote, older authors, meaning that were popular in the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, that a lot of kids nowadays [00:53:00] don’t turn to. Because they’re into, what’s coming out right now. And there’s amazing books, even Stuart little or treasure Island, or, you know, now that we’re all home with our children, reading a book like treasure Island out loud together, you know, we’ve got the time kind of, you might as well just dive in, but there’s so many of those great books, Judy bloom, my gosh.

The mixed up files of, Frank loser, ms. What’s her name? Bosley Frank Weiler. that the, you know, all of those just great old books that you kind of need a library, but most of them are online right now. And you can go pick up the book, so you can kind of browse online, which isn’t the same thing as getting lost in the stack of books.

Casey Allen: May I tell you about a mistake I made as a dad recently. Okay. So, recently the, call of the wild movie came out. my nine-year-olds said, Oh my [00:54:00] gosh, we have to watch that. And I said, Oh, well, it’s a book by Jack London. Would you like to read it? I’ll read it to you before we go to bed. And, So she was, she was on board.

Veronica Taylor: Yes. Yeah.

Casey Allen: So I downloaded what I thought was a call of the wild. And instead I picked the wrong book.

Veronica Taylor: Oh gosh,

Casey Allen: I got white Fang and I started

Veronica Taylor: reading it.

Casey Allen: so I don’t know if you’ve read white Fang or have you seen anything?

Veronica Taylor: Yeah. Yeah, but not the best for bedtime. Not

Casey Allen: at all. So you’re, you’re going into the first chapter.

The first chapter goes in hard. It’s two guys out in the middle of the Alaskan Tundra, frozen, you know, everything around them. And they’re sitting on top of a coffin. Getting this poor dead guy back base, trying to ship him back home to New York

Veronica Taylor: and

Casey Allen: a pack of wolves are surrounding and picking them off [00:55:00] one by one.

And I’m such an idiot. my nine year old, I looked at her and I said, Oh, nuts, I got the wrong book. And she said, no, dad. Let’s keep going.

Veronica Taylor: Oh my God. My

Casey Allen: five year old and my wife were in the next room and they could hear me reading her. My five-year-old go yet. This is cool.

Veronica Taylor: So

Casey Allen: I kept reading and I was like, Oh my God, I don’t know if, if this is appropriate and, I ended up like, they, they hung in there.

I said, if this is too scary, we’ll stop. Yeah. And sure enough, like it, it gets intense and reading that. Right. You know, after that first chapter, the guy’s about to get eaten by wolves. Like there’s only one guy left now and

Veronica Taylor: no dogs. Yeah.

Casey Allen: And, a group of, of hunters come up and scare off the [00:56:00] pack of wolves.

So he’s saved and he gets wet scot-free but the tension that was lifted in that room after, after getting to that part.

Veronica Taylor: Yeah.

Casey Allen: I I’ve turned two little kids into book nerds and wow.

Veronica Taylor: Way to go. That’s pretty amazing.

Casey Allen: It was the dad failed, but at the same time it was like, okay, this kind of

Veronica Taylor: work

Casey Allen: because they’re both reading a lot

Veronica Taylor: now.

Yeah. Oh, that’s so great. There are so many good books. We’ll have to, we’ll do some lists later.

Casey Allen: Oh yeah. Yeah. So is, is there anything that you would like to, that you have coming up that we need to be aware of?

Veronica Taylor: gosh, yes. I don’t know I’m working on things, but. I don’t know. No, I just post Stefan, my, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

I mean, you know, there’s some things that I’m like some projects that I’m starting to work on, but some of them don’t really have real [00:57:00] names. They don’t tell me that. Or, some of them, I don’t know when we’re starting, so I don’t even know what’s worth talking about, you know, like that kind of stuff. I always have an audio book coming, but, you know, So I mostly try to post stuff on, Twitter, Instagram, I’m getting my finally my website redone.

So by September, hopefully that will be there. And then I can post some things there too. my daughter and I are working on some fun stuff. we’re trying to put that on YouTube, but I’ll post about that when we post something on social media. So if you kind of follow there, if you don’t mind, you can find out what I’m doing.

But I honestly, this is so nice to just have a chat. We don’t need to talk about the future. We’ll just talk about now,

Casey Allen: really enjoyed talking to you today.

Veronica Taylor: And so great.

Casey Allen: Thank you so much for spending the time to talk with us. And I’m putting up with my dumb questions.

Veronica Taylor: Oh my gosh. You’re kidding. They were so fantastic.

Next time. Just get your kids to come [00:58:00] on as well. That would be incredibly joyful.

Casey Allen: We actually, , Before we started, I had left my, my inlaws, my, my wife’s Momo and poppy had us over for dinner. So, they just live a mile down the road. And, so, had to jump in the truck and run back over to the house, but they’re eating a peach cobbler right now.

My wife just said,

Veronica Taylor: I am jealous. Maybe I’ll go make one too.

Casey Allen: Oh yeah. In your honor. It’s perfect. Perfect time for peach cobbler, actually, any anytime. It’s a good time.

Veronica Taylor: I know peaches strawberry blueberries. I’m up for that anytime. Well,

Casey Allen: thank you so much for talking to us

Veronica Taylor: . Thank you. And keep driving, stay healthy

Casey Allen: to you. Wash your hands, wear a mask and stay

Veronica Taylor: away from people. Yeah, that’s right. Stay away. All right. Talk to you soon. Okay. Bye. Bye.

Author: Spoiler Country

The best podcast out there about comics, movies, whatever that you will find with John and Kenric as the hosts! Check out our archives by clicking here!

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