Sunday, April 26, 2020

Voice Actor Jessica DiCicco is Taking the Lead in Nickelodeon's 'It's Pony' as She Welcomes Her Second Child

You know her voice, now get to know her. Put a face to the voices' of many preschool cartoon characters!

You may not recognize Jessica DiCicco's face but you'll definitely know her voice. The talented voice actor currently has roles in some of the most popular preschool cartoons. She currently portrays Hissy on Puppy Dog Pals and Summer Penguin on Muppet Babies both on Disney. DiCicco also has the joy of voicing Donald Duck's triplet nieces April, May, and June on the new Disney Plus show Legend of the Three Caballeros.

DiCicco also voices both Lucy and Lynn on The Loud House and the Fiesty Flame Princess from Adventure Time. She's also had a small role as Princess, a poodle from the hit movie Secret Life of Pets 2 and will be heard on the new Universal Studios Hollywood ride alongside Patton Oswalt and Tiffany Haddish.

She also has the lead role on Nickelodeon's newest animated series. It's Pony premiered on January 18th and DiCicco plays Annie, 9-year-old city girl who just so happens to have a pony to do pony things within the city.

If children's cartoons aren't your thing, DiCicco will also be appearing in an upcoming cartoon premiering on HBO Max. Close Enough is an animated series that definitely isn't for kids.

Next up for DiCicco? She will be welcoming her second child later this year!

DiCicco recently spoke to BabyGaga about her work, pregnancy, relatable worries about adding a second child, and how pregnancy affected her voice at the worst time. You can find the bits of when DiCicco talks about working as a voice actor below, and can read full interview on!

BabyGaga (BG): How did you get into voice acting? When did you discover your talent?

Jessica DiCiccio (JD): I got into voice-overs when I started acting professionally as a kid, but it wasn't until many years later when I got an audition to play a 4-year old that I discovered I can realistically sound this young. I was so excited when I discovered I could do this! Eventually, I auditioned for a Disney movie for the role of a very young kid, I was away at college at the time, so I sent them the audition, and when they heard me they actually thought I was a kid.

I had a very awkward call-back after that where they were expecting to talk to a child and were surprised to learn I was actually a college kid (at the time). The casting director suggested I move to LA to pursue animation, which I’m so glad I did.

BG: Have you ever had any training or is the ability to voice young character natural?

JD: It’s natural! I think my voice naturally sounds young, and in addition, I figured out how to realistically sound like a baby, a toddler, a kid, and can do every age from 0-18 years old. I’ve never taken classes, I just honed my skills by practicing, and by watching lots of shows. In this case, screen time was a great thing (trying to not feel guilty giving my 2-year-old screen time during this pandemic, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Maybe this is laying the foundation for his future career in VO!).

BG: What's your typical schedule as a voice actress and a mom? Are you able to just ever record from home?

JD: It actually might be the best possible job to have as a mom. Each episode only records once a week, and it can take as little as 15 minutes, and never more than 4 hours at the maximum. I typically have anywhere from 3-6 sessions a week, and even with these sessions, I have a ton of free time. I’m able to record some things from home, which I love, especially when my toddler wanders into my studio and wants to imitate me and do what Mommy does.

I’ll take him on my lap and teach him how to talk into the mic and wear the headphones. I've been saving his voice recordings over the past couple of years, you can really hear the development in his speaking! So happy to be able to document the evolution of his voice. I think he might have a raspy voice just like me!

BG: What has been harder about working since having a child?

JD: It’s been quite an adjustment and I still don’t feel fully acclimated two years in! I really need to ask my friends with older kids if it will ever get back to the way it was, or if it’s just my new normal- which I really think it is. But it’s really hard to leave him when I go to work, I’ve really had to hone my compartmentalizing skills.

It’s easy once I’m physically at work, but after I leave him I’m still thinking about a million baby-related things. I still absolutely love my job and I’m still passionate about it, but now I love this fuzzy-headed little creature a ton, so I have to balance.

BG: Who has been your favorite character to voice? What is your favorite show to watch that you’ve been in?

JD: Choosing a favorite character is like choosing a favorite child! I love them all. But now that I have a toddler who can watch preschool shows, it’s so fun to see how he reacts to the shows I’m on. His biggest reaction so far was watching If You Give a Mouse a Cookie on Amazon Prime. He literally howls with laughter, it brings me so much joy to watch him laughing like that. He also likes Muppet Babies and Puppy Dog Pals, both on Disney Jr.

Out of the non-preschool shows, I love watching It’s Pony (Nickelodeon) and I’m so excited for Close Enough to premiere on HBO Max! It’s a prime time show, and it’s hilarious...and definitely not for kids.

BG: Has your child heard any of your work before? Or even recognized you?

JD: Yes! I’m just starting to show my toddler some of the preschool shows I’m on, and it’s been so fun to see his reaction to each! He’s been into Muppet Babies, and he really likes my character, Summer Penguin. I wonder if he likes her because she sounds familiar to him, or if he genuinely likes the character… I guess I’ll never know. I haven’t told him it’s me, and I’m planning to let him figure it out himself. I can’t wait to see the look on his face once he realizes these characters he’s been watching is actually… Mommy!! One of my friends almost spilled the beans and told him and shot laser beams out of my eyes before he could get the words out.

BG: Does pregnancy ever affect your voice or ability to do characters?

JD: Sadly, it does. VO is the best job for being a mom, and the worst job for being very pregnant. The problems didn’t really start until the end of my third trimester. I definitely noticed a difference in my voice, and apparently so did others. I remember when my friend (and fellow voice actor) told me my voice got deeper. I ended up having to re-record some of my lines post-pregnancy because they didn’t sound exactly like the character.

I noticed the other voice actors started bringing jackets to our group recording sessions because I would get so hot and need the AC on full blast. And no matter how hard I tried to muster, I had very low energy towards the very end, which affected the way I delivered my lines. Because I'm so petite, the baby was pressing against my lungs, so it was also hard to say long lines because it was hard to catch my breath. I literally worked until the last second, my water broke at Nickelodeon moments after walking out of a Loud House recording session!

BG: You voice babies a lot. Have you ever had a conversation as a baby with your baby?

JD: Of course! And he just laughs in my face.

More Nick: ‘It’s Pony’ Gallops to Biggest NickToon Launch in 2 Years!
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