Interview: Jamie Marchi Talks Voice Acting

Posted on by Kara

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With almost 300 credited roles, Jamie Marchi is no stranger to the world of voice acting. Marchi has voiced some of the most popular animes of all time including Yu Yu Hakusho, Witchblade, One Piece, and Fruits Basket. With all these major credited roles, it’s no surprise she is ranked second all-time on Behind the Voice Actors. We sat down with Jamie at Dallas Fan Expo 2017 to discuss everything voice acting.

Gaming Conviction: How did you get into voice acting?
Jamie Marchi: I’m an actor. I met someone at a party who worked for Funimation and they told me that I should come audition. I auditioned for a little show called Fruits Basket. I did that and have been doing it ever sense.

GC: Was there something early on that clicked when you realized you could do this for a living?
JM: It was probably when I combined the voice acting with writing and directing. I had wanted to do it for a very long time, so I asked people who were doing it. I had waited for someone to approach me because I was dumb and stupid, but then I decided to just ask them. The next week someone hired me to be a Director at Funimation and write the dubs all within the same week. I did that for a year, then I quit directing because I had no life. I could just write from home in my pajamas. I’ve been able to write and voice act ever since. That’s when I realized that I could do this and it’s very cool!

GCHow do you prepare for each role? Any tips for an aspiring voice actor?
JM: Vocally I usually prepare myself by singing Disney songs, or whatever is on the radio.

My tips for voice acting would be to be an actor. The voice is great, but if you can’t act it you can’t be a character. That’s the key thing.

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GCYou had been doing voiceover a few years before you starting voicing characters in video games. What made you take that jump?
JM: I just got cast! As an actor you’re just auditioning for everything. I don’t think there was as much video game in Dallas at the time, so there was less stuff to do. Ellie in Borderlands 2 was probably my first big one. It was really just a matter of someone telling me that I would be good for this, so I auditioned.

GC:  You have been the voice behind many characters. Is there any one that is your favorite?
JM: There isn’t just one. I’ve been the voice of over 250 characters and I’m glad I’m down to around 20. For now it’s probably Ayame Kajo from Shimoneta, Panty from Panty & Stocking, Ellie from Borderlands, and Masane from Witchblade. I always ask men if they cried at the ending of Witchblade and I’ve never had a man tell me that they haven’t cried.

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GC: Have you ever done voiceover work for a video game that was ultimately cancelled?
JM: I don’t think I have been, but it does get hard to keep track of them all.

GC: Have you ever cosplayed as one of your characters you’ve voice and seen if anyone recognized you?
JM:  I never have. I do take pictures with people who cosplay as one of my characters, then tell them who I am. I do that because I want them to pose as they would for anyone else and not get intimidated. I feel like most of my characters are genetically impossible, but kudos to anyone who does cosplay as them!

GC: Whenever you are going about your daily routine have you ever had your thoughts come out as the characters you do?
JM: I never have really had that happen to me. I will admit that some times I dream in animation, so everyone is an anime character, or I’ll dream where the background is animated, but the people are real. Sometimes their voices won’t sync up with their mouths, so I have to sync up what they are saying, refit their mouths, and make them re-say it.