Meet The Artist

Issue 65

KIERAN FLITTON Voice-over artist

Why did you decide to pursue a career in voice acting?

My earliest memories are video games, and anime. I spent Summer Breaks absorbed in Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and the Secret of Evermore. Watching Heero Yuy tear up Relena Peaceraft’s letter, seeing Lucy battle with her trauma and aspirations, or Kei Kusanagi blunder into romance with a cicada chorus. This was MY Shakespeare. And it turns out that these characters weren’t brought to life on a stage, or on a film set. They came to life in studios and recording booths. Voice acting is my bifrost. It takes me to other realms. And I knew I wanted to go there since before I knew anything else.

How have you adapted to working through the pandemic?

The pandemic introduced challenges for sure. It threw all our plans out of the window for a while. I was set to head to LA, before the world start isolating itself. Some dreams were shuffled a little further down the board, like an ever moving goal post. But, every cloud has a silver lining. The infrastructure of the industry changed to accommodate remote recording, and some of the best opportunities I’ve had came from this chaos. Studio work shifted to home studio, and location became a secondary thought as production houses start to introduce software for remote performance. My career hasn’t slowed down. I think life isn’t always just bad, or just good. There’s always a balance. What are you currently working on?

I just wrapped an anime that is releasing every Sunday. That was incredible. I was able to cover so much range with the character – cool, goofy, angsty, and furious! I’m also always working on several audiobooks at any given time. There’s a few games I’m working on – RTS, RPG, and VN. Not to mention the great character voices I get to do for children’s media.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

The characters. Their feelings. The relationships. They’re so real. To me, and to the audience. Acting is not fake. It’s almost truer than reality. Digging deep to bring out those vast depths of joy, pain, and anger? To convey falling in love, or express loss? In reality we’re kind of encouraged from an early age to mute ourselves and not cause a scene. My work allows me to become, and feel, in the greatest quantities.

What is the most challenging aspect?

Time, and patience. Acting is a numbers game. It’s less about getting a perfect hit every time, and more about swinging away as much as you can. There are challenges linked to geography that only movement can cross. It’s a profession that requires a lot of you. And you have to be prepared to give that. To move where you’re needed. To invest the time. It’s not a sure path for those without strong conviction and the ability to sacrifice.

What is your proudest career moment so far?

Oh, voicing Yota Murakami in the show Gleipnir, for sure! Yota is near and dear to my heart as a character. He’s this cool guy with an easy smile, but an abyss of anger and abandonment in him. Voice acting allows you to be anything – but there’s something magical in playing close to the sleeve. Yota was my first significant character role in an anime, and the experience I had recording for him – the collaboration with my director, the INCREDIBLE Amber Lee Connors, was priceless. We really plummed the depth of expression as a team.

Do you think the North East offers a good platform for voice artists?

There is a certain “character” the North East produces. Our voices are the voices of grit and honesty. We’re the blunt truth. And that’s always been a valuable sound, whether you’re selling life insurance, or portraying a wayward prince of a northern kingdom. I think the people who come from the north are primed for acting. And we’ve seen that in some of the best character actors of the small screen! We’re more often than not, bombastic, and not afraid to express. Terrific clay. Though I doubt many people know this is a valid career path. You kind of have to find it yourself. I hope more people do.

Who are your heroes and mentors?

Cloud Strife, Trowa Barton, Yukito Kunisaki, and Heathcliff, to name a few. These are the people that taught me about perseverance, and myself. That there are different kinds of strength. As an actor I’ve always tried to go my own way. Characters are what guide me. And there is a truth in them, that’s often louder than the whispered reality.

Where do you hope to be in five years time?

In Los Angeles, California. Sharing an apartment with good friends and peers. Working for some of the best and greatest studios and franchises there. In transformative video game, animation, and commercial projects. It’s where all my opportunities are pulling me, and it’s a place I’ve always felt a connection to. Fortunately, I have a compass now, pointing the way there.

How do you like to unwind?

Give me a Visual Novel, an RPG, a good book, or maybe a Ghibli movie? Some quiet time to sit and watch the world. To connect with media that inspires me, and reminds me what it’s all about.

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