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Tara Strong to voice Kluke in Blue Dragon

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Tara Strong, who performed the role of Rikku in Final Fantasy X-2, is currently at work voicing the character of Kluke in Blue Dragon. "I love playing 'Kluke,'" the veteran voice actor says. "She's cute and strong and different." The game is produced by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and features Chrono Trigger character designer Akira Toriyama, as well as music by Nobuo Uematsu.

Q&A with Tara Strong



 
Tara Strong is a cartoon voiceover professional who also teaches technique through the VoiceStarz internet-based program. Some of her most popular characters include Ben Tennyson of Ben 10, Raven of Teen Titans, and Dil Pickles of Rugrats, to name just a few. In interactive entertainment, she has performed the voice of Rikku in three games: Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, and Kingdom Hearts II. At the moment she is working on the English-language localization of Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker RPG Blue Dragon, where she will be providing the voice of Kluke. The game includes character design by Chrono Trigger and Dragon Quest artist Akira Toriyama and a soundtrack by videogame legend Nobuo Uematsu.

Tara Strong took a moment out of her busy schedule to share with Square Haven's readers some of her thoughts regarding her demanding career and the new game project for the Microsoft XBox 360.



Square Haven: We read in a New York Times article posted to your website that you normally have ten different animation projects going at one time. You are also raising two young children. How do you do it?

Tara Strong: I love the craziness. Scheduling time can be challenging. Craig who also acts as my manager is a wonderful help ... some more sleep would be nice!

Haven: VoiceStarz, your internet-based animation voice-over class, was a shared venture begun by your husband Craig Strong and yourself. How did it come about?

Tara: It began with many fans wanting to know how to break in and us wanting to give them a creative, fun educational way to try.

Haven: What would you say is the most important thing for a developing voice actor to consider when attempting to build a career?

Tara: You must work on your acting. Many people think voice over artists just read. It's much more to it. Without acting beats, scene study and improv skills, you won't make it.

Haven: Tara Lyn Charendoff was performing in the Yiddish Theater and was a member of the Toronto Jewish Theater before she was a teen. Was that a memorable experience for a child to have?

Tara: Loved every minute. I was living my dream...except when the old Jewish ladies wanted to compliment me in Yiddish!! I only spoke phonetically.

Haven: You provided the voice of Rikku in Final Fantasy X. How did you feel about the character then?

Tara: I honestly can't remember that far back. As the voice talent, we do take all the back story into account and try to portray that in our acting.

Haven: When we meet Rikku again in Final Fantasy X-2, she's much happier, matching the condition of the new Spira. What were your impressions of the overall change in mood in the decidedly brighter sequel?

Tara: I enjoyed getting to have fun with the friskier Rikku!!

Haven: Currently you are working on Blue Dragon, made by the creators of the original Final Fantasy games. Can you tell us a little about the world of Blue Dragon and the character you play?

Tara: I am working on that game right now. It its a HUGE undertaking. There is tons of dialogue. It is an extremely tedious job ... but I believe the fans will see it was worth every moment. The animation is fantastic, the story intriguing and the characters exciting. It is unbelievable how many obstacles our heroes must endure. I love playing "Kluke." She's cute and strong and different. I hope the fans enjoy.

Haven: What has been your favorite aspect of performing in Blue Dragon and what can we look forward to when the game finds its way stateside?

Tara: I'm not sure I'm allowed to give story details, but know it is a magical, fantastical, crazy, unpredictable ride.

Haven: Thank you, Tara Strong, for taking time out of your demanding schedule. We wish you continued success with your extraordinary career and a happy 2007.

Tara: Thanks!!

To learn more about Tara Strong's voiceover work, one can visit either The Official Tara Strong at www.tarastrong.com, or her informative myspace profile. Special thanks to Doreen Mulman for making this interview possible.






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