Ashly Burch On Finding Success In Both Writing And Acting

Do you remember your first job? The one where you got your foot in the door and found the motivation to prove yourself? Ashly Burch had two of those jobs: voicing Tiny Tina in Borderlands 2, and writing for a little show called Adventure Time. Currently, she flexes both these talents in the Apple TV Plus sitcom Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. But before everything, she was killing it on YouTube, co-creating a series with her brother Anthony called Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’?

Ashly stars in our third episode of “Behind The Voice,” where we give you a look into the lives and careers of the actors who voice the game characters you play. In it, she talks about the challenges and rewards of being both a writer and an actor. As a writer, she has learned to trust her instincts, and as actor she learned how to channel them into tangible results.


She also tells us about the challenges of voicing characters in open world games. In these games, one major story arc is responsible for the bulk of a character’s development, while smaller story lines, like side-quests, need to fit anywhere within that. This presents a challenging obstacle for the actor when it comes to not betraying the character’s development no matter where the player is in the overarching story. But Ashly is no stranger to a challenge, and faced this one head on during production of Horizon Zero Dawn.


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Ash has always been impressive in her work starting from HAWP.

I was just blown away to find out now a year after playing Horizion: ZD that she was Aloy. She was so cool and collected in that. Speaks to her strength as a VO that I never realized it was her.

I wonder though speaking about how she talked about consistency in the gameplay for Aloy’s demeanor that for the new one they could possibly change her demeanor depending on how far she is from game completion to going back to other areas. Granted, it would mean double the recording and some animation adjustment, but it would be an interesting branch to explore. I know other games have done it in the past, but the game is so vast to begin with it’s likely unfeasible.

I will say I did appreciate Aloy’s lack of romantic need and respect for the character not to be an object of desire for the male gaze; the vast wardrobe was unique and gorgeously designed. Her even-keel nature even at the end was actually refreshing—I didn’t feel tense and stressed like everything was on the line, despite the fact it was. It only took two tries for the final battle, which was challenging enough, but I felt like I had grown with her as a warrior in the game, which is good design to show you’ve mastered it all like she has.

She was a cool cat in that game, and I really enjoyed her as the protagonist.