August 12, 2015 – Erin Fitzgerald is a skilled voice actress who has lent her talents to several anime and video games. Since 1994, she has amassed a prolific list of credits in several cartoons and anime, but the lion's share of her work is in video games. Some of her roles include Agnes (Bravely Default: Flying Fairy), Noire (the Hyperdimension Neptunia series), Quark (Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward), Raquna (Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl), Polka (Eternal Sonata), multiple roles in Dragon's Crown (including Sorceress), and many many more. She is probably most well known among RPGFan readers for taking over the role of Chie Satonaka in Persona 4: The Golden, Persona 4: Arena, and Persona 4: The Anime. We, are therefore, honored and privileged that Erin Fitzgerald took the time out to speak with us about her experiences.
RPGFan: Thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with us. First question, what got you into voiceover work in the first place?
Erin: To me, it was never "voiceover work" — it was just another aspect of acting. I did all genres of acting back in the day, and then when I discovered acting behind the mic, it quickly became my favorite.
RPGFan: Who are some of your voiceover and acting influences?
Erin: Acting influences are Peter Sellers, Jennifer Saunders, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Mike Myers, Gary Oldman, and Julie Andrews.
RPGFan: You have acted as a wide variety of characters with such wildly different personalities, from prim and proper Agnes (Bravely Default) to the downright diabolical Kodachi Kuno (Ranma 1/2 season 5). How do you prepare for your roles?
Erin: I use my character acting training that I studied for many years. It's all character development, and it takes a team of people to do it. The director and writer have tremendous influence and say about how a character is to be performed, and the company does too. Did you know that Agnes was originally recorded with a French accent before Square Enix Japan got uncomfortable with it, concerned that English speakers would not like it, and we re-recorded everything without?
RPGFan: I did not know that about Agnes. I'm trying to imagine her lines with a French accent now. Speaking of lines, when recording any given character, are you only given a script to read or are you also shown storyboards and character art for inspiration?
Erin: For video games, you are RARELY given anything beforehand, and if you are, it is only your lines with no description of what's going on in the game. Anime, you get to at least see before you enter the booth when you get there. Prelay (editor's note: voicing now what will be animated later), you usually get the script beforehand (but not always), and if you are lucky, there will be a storyboard. But that seems to be getting rarer and rarer these days.
RPGFan: Persona 4: The Golden has a very strong ensemble cast. For that game, did you and the other actors record together in one location or did everyone record their lines separately? What were the advantages and disadvantages of how you did it?
Erin: There are wayyyyy too many lines in a video game to have all the actors record together. It would probably quadruple the time in the booth. That is standard.
RPGFan: You took over the role of Chie from the original actress in Persona 4, and I liked how you really grew into that role and made it your own. She's a favorite character here at RPGFan, even being highlighted in our "Favorite RPG Couples"
feature. How did it feel going into a character who was already established like that?
Erin: I was given freedom by Yu Namba (editor's note: a senior project manager at Atlus) to do Chie my own way and not mimic the original actress. That made me very comfortable in what can sometimes be an uncomfortable situation.
RPGFan: Chie was not only in the dialogue-heavy Persona 4: The Golden RPG, but also in the intense fighting game Persona 4: Arena. How was recording for a fighting game different from recording for an RPG? I can imagine doing all the grunts and shouts must have been harder on your voice.
Erin: EXHAUSTING! I was soaking wet from sweat after every session and many times required a nap.
RPGFan: How did you enjoy portraying Noire in the Hyperdimension Neptunia games? Given how over-the-top that series is, it seems like she would have been a fun character to play.
Erin: Super fun and over the top! Love getting to be that campy!
RPGFan: You also played Quark, a young boy in Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. How do you go into portraying a character of the opposite gender?
Erin: I have a tomboy side of me. Quark was easy for me to get to. Again, it is ALWAYS about character creation, NOT voice.
RPGFan: Have you played any of the video games you've contributed to and if so, which ones did you most enjoy playing?
Erin: Yup, Dragon's Crown is my favorite.
RPGFan: Outside of voiceover work, what are some of your other hobbies and interests?
Erin: Scuba Diving, Cards Against Humanity, dancing, hanging with my pets, playing video games and traveling.
RPGFan: What are some of your future aspirations?
Erin: More of what I am doing!!!!!!
RPGFan: Do you have any advice for aspiring voiceover artists you'd like to impart?
Erin: Please take proper acting classes and train in the craft of acting; it seems to be a dying art, with so many people who think having a "quirky" voice is all that is required. 99.9% of the top talent they will be competing against have classical acting training and have spent a lot of time in the theater performing (and many of them still do).
RPGFan: Are there any last words you'd like to share with our readers?
Erin: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! It blows my mind that anyone even knows who I am. That you would take time out of your game play or program watching to find out really makes me grateful. Thanks for supporting my work and characters for all these years! ♥