As a granddaughter of Vaudeville and daughter of theater, I was genetically predestined to find my way into entertainment one way or another. My first stage experience was in kindergarten when the teacher staged a “pageant” where all the students could perform while their adoring parents and grandparents gushed sentiments of “Oh, there’s my little darling! How adorable!” Most children can’t wait for those things to be over with, but not me. The theater bug had bitten and would stay with me throughout my life.
Having performed in high school, college, and community theater, I took a break to raise my children. It was then I discovered a love of the radio dramas of the Golden Age of Radio (1920s-50s). I admired the skills of talents such as Robert Bailey and Virginia Gregg who could convey so much with nothing but their voice. I confessed her desire to do something like that, and my daughter said to me, “Well, Mom, there’s this whole thing called podcasting and YouTubers who create…”
My voice acting journey began in 2017, and since then I have accrued an impressive number of credits to my name in original audio dramas, audio/motion comics, machinima animated films, gaming mods, audiobook, and short story narrations, and in many recreations of the old-time radio shows that sparked my passion.
Playing the role of a heroic character is pleasant and, maybe a bit easy, since we all want to see ourselves in a heroic light. Playing a villain; however, provides a challenge because we have to delve into ourselves for traits society requires we suppress. It’s uncomfortable.
Ellian is a blend of the two. She doesn’t see herself as a villain. She’s an avenger. In her mind, she IS heroic. Unlike stereotypical villains, Ellian has no interest in accumulating power or wealth or other forms of selfish gains. Her goal is to eliminate the Rebellion and restore order to the galaxy with the help of others who feel as she does. But she will do whatever it takes, no matter how grizzly, to achieve that goal. Her personal motivator is redemption in the eyes of her lost mentor – something she can never attain… since he died before she could prove herself worthy.
I’m excited to be playing a character with so many layers and playing such a character in the realm of “Star Wars” is the icing on the cake.
I can sum up what attracted me to “Episode X: The Chosen One” in two words: Star and Wars. Seriously, that was all it took to get me interested. I think I auditioned for every female role that didn’t already have a “voice” that required impersonation. I would have been thrilled to be brought on board as an extra, but then I got The Call to be ELLIAN ZAHRA and I was (and still am) over the moon.
Ellian is such an amazingly rich character with a complex back story. She is simultaneously commanding and powerful while jealously concealing a low self-esteem. She made herself strong because she thinks she will never be good enough – no matter how skilled she becomes. The Rebellion and its progeny, the Resistance, were responsible for all the losses she experienced in her life – her parents, her mentor, and, for a time, her future. Loyal to the system in which she was raised, she sees herself as an avenger, who is in no way villainous or evil.
So, I ask you… What actress WOULDN’T want to play this role!?