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Interview: James Arnold Taylor

To say that James Arnold Taylor is well-known in the voice acting world would be an understatement. Video game fans probably know him best as he voice of Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank franchise) and Tidus (Final Fantasy X). Fans of cartoons know him as the voice of Speedwarp (Static Shock), Walker (Danny Phantom), Johnny Test (Johnny Test), and most recently Lennon (Little Big Awesome). We recently got to sit down with James at Alamo City Comic Con to discuss some of his roles, voice acting, and his inspirations.

GC: How did you get into voice acting?
JAT: Oh well that’s a very long story, but people can watch my stage show. It’s called Talking To Myself, you can see it on my YouTube channel, you can subscribe to the channel and see videos. Essentially I started when I was about 17 and got into radio.

GC: One of your first video game roles was in Final Fantasy X where you voiced the main character Tidus.
JAT: It was a great experience. It took about 3 1/2 months to record the game and it was about a phone book sized script. We would record everyday for about 4 hours with some days being 8 hours and it was a lot of fun.

GC: You’ve been voicing Ratchet in the Ratchet & Clank series since 2003. When you go back into the studio do you approach the character with a different mindset each time?
JAT: Well each story is different so I try to look at the story line and approach it that way, but I always give Ratchet my own little way of doing things and the nice thing with Ratchet as appose to most of my other work is that I use my regular voice.

GC: Who is your voice acting hero?
JAT: Back from the beginning it would be Don Messick, Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, Paul Frees, June Foray. Current ones it would be Jim Cummings who’s a good personal friend of mine now, Corey Burton, Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen, all of these guys are my favorites and all my friends and I’m very humble by that.

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GC: What type of voices do you wish you could do, but are kind of tough for you to be able to do?
JAT: You know I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to voice so many different characters. Everything from Fred Flintstone, which nobody would guess is me, Obi Wan Kenobi to Johnny Test to Yondu on Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratchet in my regular voice. There’s no many things I get to do and I’m so very blessed to have such a wide range to my voice and for somebody my size. So there really isn’t that much that I haven’t got to do that I would want to do.

GC: If there’s one thing you would want people to know about voice actors what would it be?
JAT: That it’s actual acting! It’s not just sitting in a little padded room talking to yourself making funny sounds. I would encourage everyone to check out my YouTube page where I have some behind-the-scenes videos to show you how it really is.



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