‘Popples’ Season Two Coming to Netflix // Hear me as Bubbles!

I am so proud to share that the cutest, bounciest, most pop-tastic series I have ever worked on, “Popples,” debuted on Netflix last fall. Next month, Netflix will release season two! I am so, so happy that this show is a hit. As a kid, I used to play with Popple plushies, so my small self would have flipped out if I had known I would grow up to be the voice of one.

I play Bubbles, the fashion-obsessed, sometimes spacey, friendship-loving Popple. A Bubbles talking toy and plush toy were released just in time for Christmas, which of course was thrilling.

Check out a clip from the silliest episode I recorded, “Bubbles’ Doubles:”

 

 

If you want to keep up with the show, head on over to the official Popples Facebook page and give it a like!

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Honored as a “Best Voice of 2015” by Audiofile Magazine

I am honored, humbled, and really really excited to be named one of the Best Voices of 2015 by AudioFile Magazine in the Children & Family Audiobooks category, for two of my favorite books that I narrated this year: “The Tapper Twins Go To War (With Each Other)” and “Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures.” Thank you Hachette Audio audiobooks,  and Weston Woods & Scholastic Audio, for giving me the chance to bring these books to life. And, congratulations to everyone who was mentioned!

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Give both of these fantastic books a listen by downloading them on Audible.com.

 

 

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Xenoblade Chronicles X for Nintendo’s Wii U is Out // Hear Me As Lin!

Xenoblade Chronicles X was released at the beginning of December to pretty awesome reviews! Time.com said it was a “reason to buy a Nintendo Wii U” and that it was “hands down the best role-playing game of 2015.”  Metacritic.com gives it an 88/100, which is pretty amazing. And Kotaku.com wrote an entire article on its “irresistible beauty,” praising its scenery, characters and seemingly-endless world that’s available to explore.

I play Lin, a sweet, sassy and tough 13-year-old who has a thing for skells. She’s a main, playable character for the game and was a dream to voice. I am so pleased that I was able to bring such a strong female character to life. Check out Lin in action below!

 

 

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What Exactly Do You Do? // Life as a Voice Actor in Los Angeles

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I get this question a lot from strangers and old family friends that I haven’t seen in a decade or more. The short answer: I do voiceovers. This usually gets one of three reactions: a look of confusion followed by “what is that?”; a look of surprise followed by curiosity, and my all-time favorite, “but would you ever want to do real acting?”

 

I’m gonna be honest: the “real acting” comments bug me. Real acting? Could they mean the art of performing a fictional role? Or acting in a movie, or TV production? Well… I’ve done all of that. Voice acting or performing voiceovers, whatever you want to call it, is “real acting.” Yes, even those one-liner radio commercials require acting skills and are considered acting in my book. It’s not like I’m just being myself all the time behind the mic. No, that would be called hosting. Or, perhaps, with a certain suspension of disbelief, reality TV.

 

Anyway, I’m an actor. I’ve done TV pilots, film, commercials and plays, but I’ve had the most success with voiceovers. Just like some actors are most well-known for a certain TV or film role, I’m most well-known for a few characters that I’ve voiced. So people like to call me a “voice actor.”

 

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My job involves a few key things (in no particular order): auditioning, marketing myself, reading/preparing scripts, bookkeeping, auditioning, providing voices for projects, keeping myself healthy, auditioning, showing up to jobs on time, following direction and being a pleasant human being to work with, keeping up with popular shows and games, making appearances at conventions/events, and auditioning. Wait, did I mention auditioning? I did. I know. But here it is again anyway, in caps, just in case my point isn’t clear enough: AUDITIONING.

 

Auditioning is a huge part of being an actor. If you don’t audition, you don’t work. So, you go on all of the auditions. Even the ones you think you have no shot in hell of ever booking. According to one of my agents in NYC, if you’re booking 1 out of 20 auditions that you go on, you’re doing really well. And according to one former agent in L.A., if you’re booking 1 out of 40 auditions you go on, you’re doing really well. Just let that sink in. 1 out of 40. The talent pool is that huge in L.A.

 

My job involves having a few key traits (again, in no particular order): talent, confidence, resilience, flexibility, and being able to deal with rejection. Lots of rejection. (remember that 1 out of 40 remark in the previous paragraph?)

 

As for my schedule, it’s different every day and changes monthly. There will be weeks when I am recording from 9am to 9pm. There will be weeks when I have no sessions booked but am doing an average of three auditions per day. There will be weeks when I literally have no auditions and no jobs and I drive myself crazy questioning all the life decisions I ever made that led me to become an actor. I kind of know which months will be busy (May and June are always ridiculous) and which will be slow (December). But, my schedule is largely unpredictable.

 

Actors can have little control over our day-to-day, which is why we can seem flakey and tend to cancel plans a lot. If casting is only seeing people between 3 and 5pm tomorrow, we have to be there, or else we miss out on the audition. If the episodes need to be recorded by a certain deadline, we have to get in the studio to record, or we’ll be replaced.

 

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Then again, I can choose when to go out of town and for how long. I just have to be prepared to record VO auditions remotely, or accept the fact that I may miss out on a role because I’m away.

 

So yes, acting. Glamorous, right? I like to think of it as running my own business, and the product I am selling is… me. That sounds less creepy if you say it out loud. (I think.) Anyway. I love being able to act full-time.

 

…90% of the time. I will admit that, like any job in any industry, there are times when it can get the hair-pulling kind of frustrating or the tear-inducing kind of demoralizing. There are times when I’ve considered throwing my microphone against the wall, packing all my stuff into a U-Haul and leaving rubber tire tracks on the 101 while I head… somewhere. Where? Well, I never got that far. So you can see these were just fleeting thoughts. It happens. BUT. Overall, being an actor has been pretty amazing. And I wouldn’t trade the last decade-plus of experiences for anything else.

 

The “what exactly do you do,” question is always followed by “what have you done that I would know?” I usually answer with, what do you play or watch or what do your kids play or watch? Then rattle off a few credits that hopefully ring a bell (Final Fantasy! Snooki & JWoww! League of Legends!). I can’t ask you that question, dear reader, but I can tell you to check out my IMDB page if you want to see if you know any of my characters.

 

 

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Anyway, this little peak into a working actor’s lifestyle, what do you think? Would you do it? And also, what are the pros and cons of what YOU do for work? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

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Summer in the City // Attending The Audies in New York!

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I had every intention of moving back to New York City. My L.A. stint was only supposed to last for three months. And then six months. And then a year. But five years later I’m proud to call the city of Angels home, and going back to visit Manhattan always brings mixed feelings.

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Voiceover Update: Cinderella, Season Twos & Hawaii!

It’s that time again: when a bunch of projects I’ve been working on have been announced/made avail to the public, so I can share them with you all! Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve recorded in the past couple weeks…

 

Disney’s “Cinderella” movie is coming out at the end of this month, and I am the voice of four of the accompanying Cinderella Disney books! One of them is on Audible.com right now: “Cinderella: The Junior Novel.” P.S. How amazing is that gray horse Cinderella is riding on the cover? As my riding instructor would say, “GOR-JUS!”

 

I’ve been in the studio recording season two of “Doraemon,” which airs on Disney XD! Here’s a cute scene with character, Sue:

 

 

 

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Launch Par-Tay for ‘There Came an Echo’

IMG_8748Last night was (finally, finally!) the launch party for There Came An Echo, an indie game that I am part of. I play the role of Grace, a bad ass goth assassin. So, she’s a little bit different than me, day-to-day. Juuust a little.

 

I auditioned for this game waaaaay back in the spring of 2013, and at the callback, I made sure to dress the part. Yes, voice acting is all about your voice and what you can do with it, but for this one, I thought it’d help to dress like the character a little bit for casting/producers/the director/all the important people who held the fate of my audition in their hands. 1) It helped me get into character, and 2) I think it helped them to see me as the character, too. I actually took a selfie right before I went in to read for it…

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Yes, that’s me trying hard to look like a teen assassin. I took major inspiration from Lights (my favorite favorite singer ever) and her Siberia Acoustic Tour look. Not that she’s a teen, or an assassin, but she is a major bad ass. Looking back, I probably could’ve messed up my hair more and gone with some heavy eyeliner. But. Hey. It doesn’t matter now. I found out that I got the part a year and a half later (that sounds even more ridiculous when I type it out. A year and a half! What?! Just so you know, that’s not the norm). And then we recorded this past fall (behind-the-scenes pics here).

 

The launch party was at the YouTube Space in LA, and it was packed full of people who worked on the game, friends of Iridium Studios (the company who made the game) and YouTubers. Sidenote: I expected way more people to be walking around filming themselves and vlogging. I only saw two. Come on, YouTubers! Step up yo’ game! Or is that not how it’s done?

 

So, back to the party. There was a giant screening room where you could watch people play the game…

 

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And then there were stations where you could test the game. It’s all voice controlled, which explains my nifty headset/microphone (sorry for the grain- it was dim in there!).

 

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There was a DJ spinning (“spinning…” ha. More like “laptop-ing”) house music and he was pretty good. But no one was dancing. So I decided to start… a conga line. There were some doubters, because of the aforementioned house music (‘This is SO not a conga line song! There isn’t even a beat for a conga line!”), but I tried anyway. I was either going to look like a giant fool with one person dancing behind me (oh hey Lauren, thanks for being all-in from the get-go, couldn’t have done it without you), or I was going to start what might have been the first ever conga line to house music at the YouTube Space in LA. This is what happened…

 

 

We freaking did it! I kinda wish the video was in slow-mo for parts of it because apparently some people came running across the room to join in, but you get the idea. You also can’t see me laughing hysterically and clutching my stomach because it was so. much. fun. The crowd was clearly awesome. I love when people saw “screw it” and let loose and don’t care what anyone thinks and just HAVE FUN. That’s when the best memories are made.

 

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Anywayz. If you’re into gaming, check out There Came An Echo on Steam! And if you’re not into gaming, tell your gamer friend or brother or coworker. Please? K. Have a lovely weekend, y’all.

 

xxo, Cassandra

 

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Nominated for an Odyssey and an Audie… whaaat!

It’s awards season! While the red carpets are rolled out for the Grammy’s and the Oscars and the Golden Globes, there are some voiceover awards that aren’t as mainstream… namely The Odyssey Awards and The Audies. I can’t even believe I am typing this, but, a middle grade fiction audiobook I narrated, “A Snicker of Magic” by Natalie Lloyd, won an Odyssey Honor Award (courtesy of the American Library Association) and is nominated for an Audie in the Children’s Titles 8-12 category (courtesy of the Audio Publishers Association)! What?! I knew this book was special when I narrated it last year (seriously, Natalie Lloyd is such a wordsmith… and it was her first novel!), but I never imagined it’d be up for two awards. Seriously, surreal. Shoutout to Paul at Scholastic Audio for casting me, and Jerry and Joey at The Media Staff for their super pro recording and production skills. And… see all you audiobook friends at The Odysseys and Audies this year! Woot!

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That’s a Wrap on ‘There Came an Echo!’

I just spent three days in the studio recording for “There Came an Echo,” a real time strategy video game set for release on February 1, 2015 for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Steam. This game is next level. Players can use a voice control system to play the game and direct their units, so it’s like they’re really in the game. The future is here, folks.

I play Grace, a 19-year-old out for blood and vengeance. Angry, tough, a true bad ass and a pivotal character in the story, Grace is currently my favorite character I’ve ever voiced. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Jason at Iridium Studios for casting me!

The plots and character development in video games are evolving more and more, and it’s such an exciting time to be part of the industry. The script for “There Came An Echo” read like a movie, and the cast recorded the scenes as a group. This was a nice change of pace from the solo records that have, up until recently, been the norm for video games. As video game scripts evolve, I think group records are going to become the norm.

Anyway, enjoy these pics from behind the scenes, and be sure to pick up “There Came an Echo” next year!

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From left: Ashly Burch (Val), Me, Jason Wishnov (Iridium Studios)
From left: Wil Wheaton (Corrin), Laura Bailey (Miranda), Ashly Burch (Val), Jason Wishnov (creator), Me! (Grace), Cindy Robinson (Farrick), Josh Saiwetz (director).
From left: Wil Wheaton, Laura Bailey, Ashly Burch, Jason Wishnov, Me!, Cindy Robinson, Josh Saiwetz.
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Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy Agito Coming Soon

Coming soon to PS4 and Xbox One! You can hear me as Mutsuki in “Final Fantasy Type-0” and “Final Fantasy Agito.” I am a badass school girl who uses a ball and chain as a weapon. Plaid has never looked so intimidating.

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There is no official release date yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be soon. I’ve been waiting a long while for this project to come out, and from what I’ve read on the blogosphere, so have the fans!

 

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Hear Me in These New Audiobook Titles

I feel like I am the luckiest audiobook narrator in the biz, because I pretty much exclusively narrate middle grade and YA fiction. Even though my teen years are past me, I am one of those adults who still enjoys reading YA fiction, so these jobs never really seem like jobs to me. I’m reading these books for pleasure anyway (especially the Sara Shepard ones. Always the Sara Shepard ones.)

Here are some of the titles I’ve worked on this year, plus a link to listen to a clip on Audible.

“The Swap” by Megan Shull. Seventh graders Ellie and Jack find themselves in a Freaky Friday situation when they switch bodies. I narrate all of Ellie’s chapters, while Jesse Bernstein does the Jack chapters. And yes, the awkward questions like “how do boys um… go to the bathroom?” are addressed. Hilariously.

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“Middle School: Ultimate Showdown” by James Patterson and Julia Bergen. Did you know James Patterson writes middle grade novels? James Patterson writes middle grade novels. His characters are so smart and witty, it almost makes me want to go back to those awkward years. Almost. I voice Georgia Khatchadorian, while Bryan Kennedy voices my pain-in-the-neck brother, Rafe.

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“Sure Signs of Crazy” by Karen Harrington. A 12-year-old girl spends her summer uncovering the family secret… what happened to her mentally ill mother after she drowned her and her twin brother when they were two-years-old. Her brother did not survive, and her dad has been moving them from tiny Texas town to town ever since.

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A Snicker of Magic” by Natalie Lloyd. When 12-year-old Felicity arrives in Midnight Gulch, TN, she wants to stay forever. But first, she has to bring the magic back to town. Full of whimsical characters, beautiful dialogue and a town that will make your imagination run wild, this book was such a treat!

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“The Bear” by Claire Cameron. This audiobook took me into the mind of the 5-year-old heroine, Anna, whose parents are attacked and killed by a bear when they’re on a family camping trip. Anna and her 3-year-old brother survive, and this is their story.

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“The Stepsister’s Tale by Tracy Barrett. A new twist on the classic Cinderella tale… this story will take you into the world of one of the stepsisters, her mentally ill mother, and their descent into poverty.

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These are just a few of the titles I’ve been lucky to work on this year. For a full list of all the audiobooks I’ve narrated, just do a quick search for my name on Audible.com. I am in the studio this week recording more audiobooks, which I can’t wait to unleash on the world. Happy listening!

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‘LaLaLoopsy’ Movie on Nickelodeon

Glitter is the new green… or so says my Lalaloopsy character Pix E. Flutters. I am “sew” excited to be part of the LaLaLoopsy movie “LaLaLoopsy Girls: Welcome to L.A.L.A. Prep School!” as one of the main characters. This adorable movie featuring the best-selling dolls aired on Nickelodeon on Sept 7th. If you missed it, you can also see and hear my character in action here! Watch out for glitter bombs!

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Guesting on AfterBuzzTV

The podcast and YouTube channel AfterBuzz TV has brought me on twice to talk about voice acting and my role as Leafa in “Sword Art Online.” This is so much fun, I could do it every day. I may need my own talk show.

My solo interview:

A guest for The Sword Art Online After Show:

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Watch ‘Doraemon’ on Disney XD!

“Doraemon” debuted this summer on Disney X.D., and you can hear me in nearly every episode as Sue, the sweet, whip smart and sometimes dry female lead. Doraemon is a robotic cat that travels from the 22nd century to our present day, bringing all sorts of gadgets with him in his pocket. From a pool that turns old things new to special seasoning that makes any meal yummy, he uses the gadgets on the main characters, with varying and always hilarious results. My favorite episode is when all the kids switch body parts. It’s like some sort of twisted cartoon kids version of a Picasso.

Doraemon is a super famous character in Asia, and he’s commonly referred to as “The Asian Mickey Mouse.” So, I hope the show gains popularity here in the U.S.A.! Please DVR it or tune in. Or, check out this episode below:

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Angelo Rules is on Cartoon Network and On Demand

You can now watch Angelo Rules whenever the mood strikes! I am the voice of Lola on Angelo Rules- the super cool, smart yet sensitive, mobile-phone carrying best friend to Angelo. I fell in love with Lola when I first read the audition sides for her, and I’m totally jealous of her pink hair.

I love how the characters are so smart and witty on this show. They’re always coming up with plans to overcome kid injustices like a shortage of free cupcakes from the local bakery, rhythmic gymnastics replacing basketball in gym class, and babysitting little brothers who won’t stop repeating “doy!”

Even if you’re not of cartoon-watching age, you’ll still get a kick out of the cast and the writing!

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I’m the Voice of Snooki and JWOWW’s Unborn Babies!

I have always been a big fan of Snooki and JWoww, on both “Jersey Shore” and their aptly-titled spin-off series, “Snooki and JWoww!” So, when I got cast to voice BOTH of their unborn babies for a series of MTV animated shorts, I was beyond stoked! The series is called “Wombmates” (squee!), and in each episode, we go inside the Guidette’s baby bumps to see what their fetuses are saying. It’s hilarious, twisted and definitively MTV. Watch some of the episodes below!

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Sonogram Selfies: It’s never too early to document one’s life with a selfie.

Gym Buddies: Snooki wants to have a chubby baby… but not so chubby that it hurts coming out.

Smush-Free Zone: Fetuses are scared of getting poked during foreplay. Ew, dimples.

 

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Catch my episodes of The Winx Club!

I was cast as the conniving and somewhat evil Princess Diaspro in Season 6 of Nickelodeon’s The Winx Club, and my episodes are now available to watch online! Catch me at the end of episode 5, “The Golden Auditorium,” and throughout episode 6, “The Vortex of Flames.” Watch it on Hulu.

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inFAMOUS: Second Son is out… hear me as Celia!

Sony and Suckerpunch released inFAMOUS: Second Son for Playstation 4, and I’m so excited to announce that you can hear me as the dark and troubled teen Celia Penderghast. A former foster kid, Celia finds herself imprisoned for years before discovering her powers and eventually becoming an assassin. She appears in the Paper Trail Missions, for all you gamers working your way through the game. As the second release in this video game series, it’s been getting rave reviews across gamer blogs and national news outlets alike.

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I’m all over Cartoon Network’s Toonami block!

When Cartoon Network brought back Toonami, its weekend anime programming block, fans rejoiced! As a voice actor who frequently voices anime characters, I was stoked that my work would be available to a wider audience.

Now, I am so humbled to be appearing on back-to-back Toonami shows! First as feisty and honest Leafa in Sword Art Online, which aired from August 2013 through February 2014. Leafa is the female lead for episodes 16 through 25.

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Right after the series finale of Sword Art Online, my second Toonami show started airing… Blue Exorcist. You can hear me as the adorable familiar Nee, a plant creature who shoots roots out of his butt when he gets mad. I also appear as Paku, a teenage delivery gal.

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Bravely Default is Out Today! Hear me as Edea Lee…

After months and months of waiting with bated breath (okay, not really… this was actually a pretty standard turnaround time for a video game)… Bravely Default hits U.S. stores today! It’s a new game for Nintendo 3DS and it’s part of the Final Fantasy family, which is absolutely thrilling for me. I am the voice of one of the four main characters: Edea Lee. She’s a tiny, spunky, badass warrior. That is actually how I would describe myself in real life (if my real life happened to take place in a medieval setting), so this role was a perfect fit.

Bravely Default has been getting some amazing reviews across the board. Here are a few of my favorites:

“In many ways, this game is worth savoring. If Bravely Default is RPG comfort food, it’s the type of comfort food you see on one of those Food Network shows where the chef has to add her own spin to make some weird-yet-delicious concoction like deep-fried mac-n-cheese or cornbread with bacon syrup. Unusual, yet familiar—that’s Bravely Default.” –Bravely Default: The Kotaku Review (Kotaku.com)

Bravely Default is a classic Final Fantasy game without all of the baggage attached to the franchise.” -What’s in a Name? ‘Bravely Default’ is Classic Final Fantasy (TheVerge.com)

“Bravely Default is almost to the Final Fantasy series what ‘Casino Royale’ was to James Bond films.” –Bravely Default Review (Joystiq.com)

That's me! Edea Lee!
That’s me! Edea Lee!

 

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