TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine constantly checks into the whereabouts of all those that we have had interviews in the past. In this way we keep our readers abreast of the success stories that have developed for them. This is also true for those readers who are students of the Arts so as to show them that the strides of the many personalities that have appeared in our magazine can be used as examples for their own course in their careers.
Such is the case for Gemini nominated actress Ellen Dubin(click on to see article) who we first interviewed in our May 1st, 2010 issue. Ellen’s career has been followed in our magazine since then. We checked with her recently and saw that her career was still going strong.
Ellen we learned that you have expanded your career and have done voice acting alongside of your growing acting career. How much different is this for you in blending in with the characters that you represent ?
ED- I think it is a wonderful extension of the training and work I have already done in the entertainment business. I believe that every job you do in acting contributes to another job. Because of my theater background voice work, especially in video games and animation, comes naturally to me. As a voice actor, you have to quickly analyze the text and make choices and deliver a fully fleshed out performance by breaking down a script and figuring out all the lovely delicious things about your character’s goals and relationships in the script. If it isn’t on the page, then you have to also go with your gut and have a great sense of play and imagination.
This goes right back to the beginning –the training and the honing in of your skills -your roots that build the foundation of your career and carry you through no matter what the genre. I feel you should constantly be growing as a performer- voice work has enabled me to do that. I always like to keep learning and challenging myself.
The theater training also helps with the classical nature of the language of some of the scripts as well as to be able to deliver a fully rounded emotional performance on a dime. You have to have an arsenal of emotions at your beck and call as well as different dialects, languages and styles of acting from comedy to tragedy.
Having done film and TV, you are also able to focus your performance, and deliver a subtle character at times. I love this genre and feel it is about the performance and not about making a voice. This work is just an added bonus to what I already do.
TAEM- One of the projects that you are working on is the game Elder’s Scroll ONLINE in which you portray an Argonian and an Orc. Please describe these characters, and the game, for our readers.
ED- ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE is an astounding game I have been working on for the past few years in Los Angeles. I had the pleasure of working with Margaret Tang of Womb Music and Rene Veilleux as directors on the game.
ESO is a massively multiplayer online role- playing videogame developed by Zenimax Online Studios and Bethesda Softworks. What is important for your readers to be aware of, as voice actors we are not told in advance about the plot of the video game, so we are acting in a vacuum. Yes the creative team is there to give you direction and help let you know what your character’s main traits are- but as far as the plot of the game we don’t find out till we read it online or play the game. Just so your readers are aware of the enormous scale of this game, I gathered these facts from their website-There are 61 million items in the game as well as 2,235 books and 5,0952187*10^58 character variations. (I can’t even count that high!). I think I heard that you can play this game for over a year and still not get through all of it’s immense content!
Both my characters are in the low voiced area of my range. The Argonian is a reptilian race of lizard- folk who are real survivors. They are well versed in the magical arts, stealth and the use of blades. They are also guerilla warfare experts and possess a cool intellect. The Orcs are a hearty mountain people who are considered outcasts and barbarians by the other races. They are brawny warriors and believe that war is truly honorable and only the strong survive.
Here is the magnificent trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlFMSyIOk0
ED- I am going to take you through the process of a recording session on this game to answer this question. You arrive at the recording studio, you get your lines for that particular day and they play you what you recorded before so you have a guide track as to what the character sounded like. So any fear of forgetting what your character sounded like in the past is alleviated because you hear it.
Both these characters were similar in that they were powerhouse strong aggressive voices. Yet one was more barbaric then the other so it had a more gravelly guttural sound. So the challenge was the fact that there was a subtle difference between the two. If they were very distinct and completely opposite voices that would be easier. The trick was being distinct and yet the Argonian and the Orc had some similar powerful traits.
You also have to really know how to use your voice properly because at the end of these sessions, you do something called efforts where you scream, cry, die and kill in various different ways. So you have to have great lung and breathing capacity without destroying your vocal chords. I can tear the roof off the studio. Again that goes back to all my Shakespeare work and voice and singing training.
TAEM- You are also the voice at World of Color for Disney, and World of Color: Winter Dream. This is a great coup and should be highly considered as a career route to take for many of the students of the Arts who use our publications as learning tools. How exciting was this for you ?
ED- I was beyond thrilled to be a part of the iconic world of Disney Theme Parks. Who didn’t grow up wanting to go to a Disney Theme Park? I still pinch myself getting this amazing gig. I had auditioned through my fabulous voice agent Vox Inc in Los Angeles, run by Wes Stevens and Tom Lawless. Apparently they wanted a big movie star name to do the role but in the end they cast me because the few they wanted were working and they loved what I did. This voice is very different then the video game voices I did in ESO. It is a lyrical fantasy mellifluous type of sound. I was so honored to have been a part of this beautiful breathtaking attraction at California Adventure Park. It is a spectacular water and light show backed by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Choir. Later on they added a winter themed show using my voice. I just love recording at the Walt Disney Imagineering Studio in Glendale, It is a stunning fabulous facility. I am so grateful that Brian Nefsky and the WOC production team cast me.
TAEM- Are there any more possibilities for you to work alongside of Disney in future projects ?
ED- I sure hope so!
I had worked for Disney on camera a few years ago on a miniseries called A WRINKLE IN TIME based on the famous children’s book by Madeleine L’Engel. I played a two hundred pound blind healing beast with four arms and covered in hair from head to toe called Aunt Beast. One of the most challenging roles I have ever done physically. I looked like a female Chewbacca!
I would love to do a Disney animated series or a film!
TAEM- We understand that you also just finished a ‘heist’ film titled The Big Fat Stone. Can you tell us something about it and the role that you had in it ?
ED- I was thrilled to be offered the role of Tillie by the film’s creator, producer and leading man Frank D’Angelo. I knew when I read his script that I had to play this part. I loved Tillie because she is a real wallflower type- very different from me. I thought it was interesting to play someone who was so sweet ,vulnerable and trusting. Tillie is a curator of a museum who falls in love with the wrong guy and it leads to the heist of the film.
TAEM- Who are some of the other cast members in it, and when will it be released to the public ?
ED- The cast of this movie is fabulous ,filled with heavyweight actors who I admire: Robert Loggia, John Savage, Margo Kidder, Nick Mancuso, Michael Pare, Tony Nardi, Ray Abruzzo , Tony Rosato, Art Hindle, Jennifer Dale and Frank D’Angelo.
The film will play film festivals and have a theatrical release in the late fall 2014.
Here is the wonderful trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiTjCsgIXFw
TAEM- We’ve also interviewed the producer and screenwriter of the new movie Burden of Freedom in which you had a role. Tell us about your role in this and your consideration for a part in the production.
ED- Burden Of Freedom came about because I had met a few of the actors on a web series I did a few years ago in LA. We all kept in touch and one thing lead to another and the producer/ writer Ken Ramoz and Rae Davis asked me to be a part of this project.
This is a movie that is so near and dear to my heart!
I am a daughter of a war veteran so I really wanted to be a part of this very important film. I play Major Karen Hammond who is the compassionate psychiatrist who helps the leading man Kyle Hester through his post war traumas. I can’t wait to shoot this film that has such a powerful message.
TAEM- Not one to rest on her laurels you also have a role in a new sci-fi ‘web’ series titled Star Fall. Please tell our readers all about this exciting new project and the theme behind it.
ED- I am very excited to be a part of a new sci-fi show from the ground up. I am anxious to get back to the genre that has the best fans in the world. I started my tv career in the sci fi genre with Lexx and am so thrilled to work on this upcoming project.
To quote the producer/creator of the series, John Ellis:
“Starfall is the exciting reintroduction of the space epic to the television viewing public. In addition to great characterization and exciting action, it builds a tense world with a crew who is in the vastness of space far away from help. It captures what a crew of a World War
II submarine must have felt, having little contact with the outside world, like them, this crew is very much on their own. ”
TAEM- Ellen, it is always an honor to talk to you and it seems that you have your career well in hand. We want to wish you much luck in all that you do and hope to get more great news from you to share with our readership in the near future.
ED- It is such an honor to talk to you as well Joseph. I want to thank you for your amazing questions.
If fans wish to get updates, they can go to my web page www.ellendubin.com, to my Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellen-Dubin/22626224975?ref=ts&fref=ts to twitter @giggerota.
Or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org