Written by Diane Leverich
This week, I asked Adrian Miller–the voice of Elaine’s therapist, Dr. Lemon–some questions about Unwritten.Adrian Miller is a classically trained actor, comedian, and director. She frequently performs improv shows and is currently a member of a sketch comedy group. This is her first experience with voice-acting.
Diane Leverich: From the bio on our website, I learned that you act, perform stand-up, and direct. What first sparked your interest in Unwritten?
Adrian Miller: I heard about this [project] from Dr. Errik Hood. He performed and taught at the Black Box Improv Theater that I also perform at. He posted a notice about auditions for the project since he knew people involved, and several of us at the theater auditioned. I hadn’t auditioned for anything since majoring in Theatre at OSU, but I thought, “why not?” which has kind of been my standard operating procedure since I started doing stand-up and improv over a year ago. I wanted to see what it was like to produce a radio show from the inside. I love The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast and grew up listening to old radio shows on cassette tape, so it’s something that’s always kicking around in the back of my head to try someday.
DL: Have you done any voice acting before? If not, how has the experience been for you?
AM: I’ve never done voice-acting before and was excited to try. I’ve noticed that a lot of successful comics do voice-acting and it looks like the best job ever. Showing up to work in your pajamas while doing goofy voices for a couple hours? Yes, please! This experience was interesting, especially since I really felt like I got to put my acting and vocal training to work. At least those student loans were good for something, right?
DL: Are there any aspects of Dr. Lemon’s character that you personally identify with? Why or why not?
AM: I don’t think Dr. Lemon is very good at her job. She collected a bunch of degrees and now has to work to pay them off even if she would rather be writing horror novels, or at least that is the back story that I’ve made up for her. I have a Psychology BA from OSU too. It was my “practical” degree if you can believe that. I do genuinely love psychology though. I’m a regular listener to Hidden Brain and read pop psychology books all the time. I am definitely guilty of playing therapist with my family and friends. I like listening and helping people with their problems, but I think, like Dr. Lemon, I’m probably not very good at it.
DL: What direction would you like to see the podcast take in the upcoming season?
AM: I’d like to see more of Dr. Lemon and her inept attempts at putting her degree to work, helping people, and paying off her student loans. I’d definitely like to see the #DrLemonAid tips become an in-story thing like she read an article that she has to promote herself and so she starts tweeting not exactly helpful advice. Also, the more interesting voices that Elaine can hear and interact with the better!
DL: Finally, if you had to choose a favorite brain friend from Season 1, who would it be and why?
AM: I’m going to say Frida Kahlo is my favorite because it is voiced so expertly by my friend and sister-in-improv Sarah Ammar. She is a black belt improv performer and instructor who is absolutely hilarious. You can check out her improv skills for yourself at the Black Box every Saturday night.