Ahn Hyo-moon graduated from the YU Department of Political Science & Diplomacy, and after great efforts, he joined the Daewon Theater in the third team. He is currently active as a voice actor and played the voices of Zenyatta of 'Overwatch' and Remake Warwick of the 'League of Legend'. We met with Ahn Hyo-min and asked him about what efforts he made to become a voice actor and what was life like when he attended YU. We also asked for advice for students who dream of becoming voice actors.
Why did you enroll at the YU Department of Political Science & Diplomacy?
Up until high school, I had an ambitious dream to change this world. That is why I decided to go to the Department of Political Science & Diplomacy. At the time, this department did not have any hierarchy or other vices. That is why I loved the department so much. While preparing to become a voice actor and because of my ROTC activities, I was not able to participate as much in the department, but it was fun studying in this department as well.
How did you prepare for becoming a voice actor while in college?
I gained the dream of becoming a voice actor by coincidence in April after enrolling. So in May, I looked for voice acting academies. Most of these academies are in Seoul so it was difficult to find. I finally found a famous voice acting academy in Daegu. I went to the academy and took a test and then started attending this academy.
My first problem was fixing my speaking habits. I was born and raised in Daegu so I had a strong Daegu accent. So I asked my teacher what I needed to do to change my accent. My teacher recommended that I go live in Seoul, but if I can't, I should try to speak with people from Seoul as much as possible. So I began online community activities. I talked with other aspiring voice actors that I got along with and went to Seoul once or twice a month. We spoke together and made amateur dubbing and really worked hard on fixing my dialect. I was able to fix my accent in a year and a half.
In my senior year, I attended an academy in Seoul. After classes and finishing ROTC training every Monday and Friday, I took the KTX and went straight to Seoul. I spent a year going to classes on Friday night and Saturday and returning to Daegu.
What is the most memorial thing that happened while in college?
There was something more special than others. When people introduce their selves for presentations, they would usually say, "Hello, I am so-and-so and in so-and-so year," but I would add that I am preparing to become a voice actor. For example, I would say, "Hello I am Ahn Hyo Min at the Department of Political Science & Diplomacy year of '05 and I am an aspiring voice actor," and then I would do a bit of voice acting. At the time, I would imitate the narration of Mureuppak Dosa. By doing so I learned to become bolder. Voice actors have to act with their voice in front of many people so they need to be really bold. I worked hard since my college years to improve this area.
You were picked for the third team of the Daewon Broadcasting Voice Actor Theater. What was the process up until passing?
They only choose male voice actors who completed their military service, so after being discharged from the military, I spent a month at home resting and then went to Seoul. I attended an academy in Seoul. I completed the voice actor course at the KBS Academy and received training from Mrs. Jung Mi-sook, who was the voice actor for Nami in the animation <One Piece>. In addition, I managed an online internet cafe on Naver called Voice Maru for seven years and interacted with many people and held study sessions. I was finally able to pass after a long time of preparation.
According to one media, it said that acting Remake Warwick in the game 'League of Legend' is one of the three hardest characters. Why is that so?
It takes a lot physically. Remake Warwick is a crazy wolf character and requires a really rough voice. It was had having to yell a lot. Monsters and villains are usually big in size so the voice also has to be loud. So it took a lot on the throat, and when recording continuously, it put my throat in poor condition.
How did you get to play the hero Zenyatta in 'Overwatch'?
Blizzard picked me. It was not cast by application, and instead Blizzard would look at various works and chose the voice actors. That is how I got to play Zenyatta.
What did you like the most about Zenyatta?
Zenyatta is a robot monk warrior that transcended everything. I usually played roles of hurting and bothering nice characters and yelling all the time. On the other hand, Zenyatta was really new to me. It was a first time for me. I really love Zenyatta as a player of Overwatch.
What efforts are needed as a voice actor?
You need to identify the character and tone of your character. You should analyze it and then make efforts to maximize it. If you play the voice of a character, you should analyze that character's background, behavior, personality and its relationship with other characters. Such efforts include watching animations, movies and books in which similar characters appear. And always practicing speech is absolutely essential.
Lastly, do you have any tips that you would like to give to aspiring voice actors?
You need to do a lot of imitation. Some people say that imitating is the short-cut for gaining bad habits. But I do not agree. You need to imitate others a lot to improve. You need to see a lot, imitate a lot, and practice a lot. You can thus create your own database through this.
As people who used writing practice notebooks as children may know, there are dotted lines or shadowed areas to trace across to write letters. You need to have a model to be able to look and follow. Without that, it will be difficult to be able to understand characters.