ALA2020: Our Interview with Lauren Landa

Anime Los Angeles 2020 concluded its 4-day anime goodness at the Ontario Convention Center on January 12. ALA is one of the best conventions for anime fans and industry hopefuls alike, featuring a tightly-knit community and lots of charm. This convention included an amazing line-up of guests filled with music performances, cosplayers, and voice actors from your favorite anime. You can catch my full recap of Anime Los Angeles 2020 here.

During the madness that is Anime Los Angeles 2020, I managed to get a quick interview with Lauren Landa about her beginnings. Lauren voices several popular video game characters that we know and love, while also bringing rambunctious anime characters to life. Her video game catalog includes well-known roles such as Litchi-Faye Ling from BlazBlue, Kasumi from Dead or Alive, Karen in Street Fighter V, and Robin (female) from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Lauren’s anime roles include Merlin from Seven Deadly Sins, Sailor Neptune in Sailor Moon Crystal, and Attack on Titan’s Annie Leonhart. That is a small sampling of the various roles she performs in both anime and video games.

Acting and Overcoming Anxiety

Laura Post

Performance Lab®  - Not all supplements are the same

Kevin Alvarez: “How did you get your start in this industry?”

Lauren Landa: “I’ve been acting my whole life. I would take [acting] courses and [one day] one of the teachers there, Tony Oliver, suggested that I should do [voice acting] professionally. ‘Cool, why not,’ [I told myself] and that was [how I got into the industry] 13 years ago.”

Kevin Alvarez: “What would you say to fans or up-and-coming voice actors that have social anxiety if they want to get into the industry?”

Lauren Landa: “You have to get over your social anxiety, not to sound harsh. but [it’s necessary] because once you’re in the [VA] booth you need to perform in front of people. The attention is all on you and no one else but you. [When] dubbing for anime, it’s usually just you in the booth, unless it’s a group setting. If you have social anxiety, I [completely] understand [how you feel], but you need to move past that [if you pursue a career in anime].”

Kevin Alvarez: “I know you audition for various roles or got roles via your work with a company before. Have you ever turned down an audition before? Maybe because the project wasn’t what you expected, or for any other reason?”

Lauren Landa: “I think I’ve only passed on one audition in my 13 years of [voice acting]. It was only because I didn’t know the content, whether it was mature or not. I have no problem doing mature content [but I was not informed] on the extent of the [content I had to perform].”

Role Progression

Lauren Landa
sailormoon.fandom.com

Kevin Alvarez: “I know companies are protective of how their characters are portrayed as a product. For example, fans will ask voice actors to reprise their roles for fan-made projects that can be risqué. Did you ever struggle with fans asking you to do a voice for one of your roles?”

Lauren Landa: “No. I never had that [happen to me] because I made my boundaries clear to [my fans].”

Kevin Alvarez: “Does your voice evolve overtime for a character if it’s a long-standing role?”

Lauren Landa: “It’s [not entirely] the voice, but it’s the performance [that changes]. Once you’ve been that character [long enough] you become used to that character and understand their personality [to the point that] it becomes comfortable. The first couple of episodes for a series are not always amazing — [there are exceptions] — but to an actor, it’s all about getting used to the character, the character’s voice, and becoming that character. [To some fans] the first couple of episodes of anime aren’t great [because those actors] are still getting [familiar] with those characters.”

Relaxation the Landa Way

Lauren Landa
webtoon.com

Kevin Alvarez: “What are some of the things or hobbies that you have that people wouldn’t know about you?”

Lauren Landa: “I’m a big webtoon fan, Lore Olympus and SubZero are some of my favorite webtoon comics. I also play video games and I’m about to start playing The Last of Us before the second one comes out.”

Kevin Alvarez: “Thank you for your time, where can people find you?”

Lauren Landa: “You follow me on Twitter @Lauren_A_Landa — that is [my] only social media page, anything else that claims to be me [on other networks] is fake or private.”

Don’t forget to check out my interview with Skip Stellrecht at ALA2020! For more great interviews, reviews, editorials, and news stay tuned to CultureOfGaming.com or check us out on OpenCritic.com!

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Kevin Alvarez

Kevin is a Staff Writer at COG. He plays a wide variety of video games and writes reviews, editorials, and news. He's a huge transformer fan with a nice collection of Transformers figures of all shapes and sizes. Kevin loves all things geeky and is always seeking to expand his knowledge of various crafts and activities.

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