Spotlight on: Zack Duncan, Unwritten’s August

by Diane Leverich
It’s been a few weeks since the airing of our last episode of Season 1, “The Invisible Girl,” so we decided to catch up with Zack Duncan, voice of Unwritten’s lovable August, and pick his brain about the podcast.
Zack Duncan is an actor and stand-up comedian from Middletown, OH. Unwritten is his first experience with voice-acting.

Diane Leverich: I read in your bio that this is your first time doing voice-acting. What is your take on the experience? Did you find it different/more challenging than acting in film or on stage? 

Zack Duncan: I didn’t know what to expect from the whole process, but I can definitely say that I had an absolutely wonderful time. When I act on stage or on camera, I’m pretty physical. I use a lot of body motions, facial expressions, and other physical things to make my character come alive. Voice acting is an entirely different process. Everything about my character has to be delivered with my voice. I had to really focus on how I thought the character of August would sound, how he would enunciate, how he would formulate his sentences, etc… You don’t really get a lot of physical description about him, so it was on me to take him from a character on a page to a character that the listeners could picture in their minds and believe really exists.

DL: Throughout Season 1, Elaine continually rejects and pushes away August. Do you feel sympathy for August’s character? Are there parts of him that you see in yourself? 

ZD: The running joke throughout the entire series, at least among the other actors and everyone involved, was how bad we all felt for August. It seemed like every time he popped up it was so Elaine could brutally shut him down. I definitely feel sympathy for him because I believe that he truly loves Elaine and cares for her and would do literally anything for her–so it’s hard to see him getting shut down at every single turn. While August and I are very different, I do believe we share a sense of loyalty to the people we care about in our lives. We both would do anything for the people in our lives that we care about.

DL: What are your plans for the future in terms of acting, film, and comedy?

ZD: In terms of future acting, my goals are for roles in television and movies. I’ve had the fortune to find myself on sets of varying production values, from very low-budget to projects that have some big names in them. No matter what the project is, I never feel more alive or more at home than when I’m on a set and that camera is rolling. I actually just finished a project in which I play Bigfoot, so I am excited to see that when it comes out. Like most actors, I’m trying to get myself into as many projects as possible and expand my opportunities as best I can.

DL: What is your favorite episode of Unwritten so far? Why? 

ZD: That’s such a tough question! All of the episodes are great for different reasons. I really like Episode 2:The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. Episode 1 ends on such a heavy note and that ending is also the catalyst that sets into motion our entire story. Episode 2, I think, does a great job of diving into who each of the characters really are. We get a glimpse into Elaine’s home life that makes us ask questions about Elaine and some of the characters that she interacts with. We get to see Chelsea’s fierce loyalty to her best friend, and we get to see August and his hopeless devotion to Elaine. I think this episode really gets the ball rolling in terms of uncovering this story and setting things in motion.

DL: Four words to describe August. Go!

ZD: Loyal, Caring, Honest, and Hopeful.

DL: Finally, what was the most rewarding part of the experience? 

ZD: I think the most rewarding part of doing Unwritten was seeing it all come together. This was no small project. There were 8 different writers that wrote all the episodes, the cast of 26 performers, our amazing sound engineer Dan, our theme song which was written and performed by Kelsey, Joey, and Ian, and of course the incredible Chris and Megan who brought all of us together and made all of this happen. We did all of this in 6 weeks or so, including auditions, rehearsals, and recording. To get that many people together in such a short amount of time and to complete a project as big as this one as quickly as we did just shows how amazing all the people involved in it are. I also just found out that our show has been nominated for 9 Audio Verse awards so that’s just an incredible feeling to be apart of something like this.

Look out for upcoming interviews with other cast and crew members!

Get more of Zack Duncan’s portrayal of August by checking out Unwritten: Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, Google Play, StitcherSoundCloud, YouTube

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