Hello ladies and gentleman, I have a great interview brought to all of you today. It was truly a pleasure and a huge honor to be able to talk to Sarah Natochenny who is known for her voice talent in Pokémon the series as Ash Ketchum. Sarah has voiced Ash for many years in the series but also voiced many Pokémon throughout the series as well. We had the chance to speak with her about her experience through the Pokémon journey.
Q 1) Way back when you were first brought on to do Ash’s voice after Veronica Taylor, was there any pressure that you felt doing the voice?
An enormous amount! It was my first major TV role, and I had never dubbed before. So on top of having to match the voice and essence of a set of characters that had been so lovingly established, I had to perform a technical skill at a professional level on day one.
Q 2) When you first started doing Ash’s voice, did you know anything about Pokemon before or did you have to learn about all the different Pokémon?
I had been a fan of the show since it first came out in the US! I don’t think I’ll ever know everything there is to know within the dense world of Pokémon, but I sure do try!
Q 3) What is your favorite Pokemon and why?
Apart from Pikachu (for all the reasons), Meltan. I love its design, and its adorable voice and inimitable spirit, perfectly delivered by Samantha Cooper.
Q 4) Now I’ve noticed you have done many voices for the Pokemon series which I honestly have to say I’m shocked, I’m even wondering how you created the voice for Baby Kangaskhan?
A game of trial and error, and making sure I make them as unique as possible. I still discover new voices I never knew I had in me!
Q 5) Has there been a Pokemon you really want to do the voice for, if yes which one have you really wanted to voice?
I’ve been lucky enough to play some really adorable Pokémon (remember Buneary?). I’m a cat-lover, so naturally, I wanted to play Litten. Our director Lisa Ortiz wound up booking it, and her Litten is perfection. You can’t always get what you want! Sometimes Lisa gets what Lisa wants!
Q 6) Since we are talking about Pokemon, we had earlier this year released Detective Pikachu, have you seen the film yet? What was your thoughts on the film?
I have seen it and I want to live in it.
Q 7) A lot of people including me, are very curious how many days per episode do voice actors spend recording their lines in the recording booth?
I record an episode in about three hours, depending on how many cues I have. I typically do two sessions like that per week.
Q 8) Did you watch the Pokémon series when it first started back in the 90’s?
Q 9) Have you played any of the Pokémon video games? And yes Pokémon Go counts.
Then yes! I play Pokémon Go. It’s great. I also dabble in Pokémon Let’s Go!
Q 10) Can you tease anything about Ash’s next adventure in the series? Even if it’s just one word I’ll take it.
It’ll be unlike any season we’ve had yet! Very excited.
Q 11) I know you’re a busy lady so I’ll make this my last question, if there’s any advice you could give to future voice actors, what would it be?
Go to acting school, know the business and how to invest in yourself, and know your rates. There’s no such thing as a “beginner rate.” There’s a SAG-AFTRA union minimum, which non-union (new) actors should adhere to. The worst thing you can do apart from being unprofessional, is doing this work for less than it’s worth because you “love it” or think it’s fun. We all love it, and it is totally fun! But it’s also work that often results in huge profits for your client. So be good, be prepared, do your best work, and bill appropriately.
You can catch Pokémon the series on Disney XD!