Michaela Dietz AMA: Amethyst, Steven Universe, and More

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Michaela Dietz, the voice of Amethyst, stopped by the Steven Universe subreddit to answer questions from fans about her character, her career, and the fandom. We’ve collected her responses below for us all to enjoy.

On Amethyst:

  • Which character does Michaela think has the best interactions with Amethyst? “Ooo toughie. I like whenever Amethyst interacts with Greg. You can tell that she really looks up to him. Literally and figuratively.” She later ameandgregadded that “I loved Amethyst / Vidalia interaction. It was cool to see Amethyst have history with someone, to feel ‘at home’ around another .. Jackie B[uscarino] is the best. I had such a blast recording with her. (btdubs, she’s also a producer on the show!)”
  • Is Amethyst in fact the best gem? “Dude. What kind of Q is that?!?! jkjk. I’m not a huge fan of this “best gem” thing. Just because the show is so much about teamwork. Plus, I can’t choose. Like, seriously, if you pointed a water balloon launcher at my dome, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.”
  • When asked about which of Amethyst’s powers she would like to have in real-life, Michaela said “Mmmmmm maybe the gastrointestinal fortitude to eat anything? Oh yeah, and that cool sonic / wheel thing would be pretty rad, esp living in LA – I bet I could beat so much traffic, save so much gas.”
  • “Mmmmmm me, as Michaela Dietz, thinks that Amethyst’s fav animal would be a combo of multi animals. Like a liger or a pteri-dile-bok bok moo moooo kitty cat? Also I bet she likes sloths.” Amethyst’s job would be either a toll booth operator, garbage collector, or ditch digger. If she had a pet, it would either be a hermit crab or a rock.
  • Is Amethyst more of a sister or a mother to Steven? “I consider Amethyst as more of an older sister to Steven but I try not to assign a label – I feel like Steven’s relationships with the Gems transcends any ‘type’.”
  • When asked about being part of Amethyst’s character development for the past season, she said, “it feels like magic, man. I love all of her development over the past season. She’s really growing up and I’m so proud of her. It’s been cool seeing Amethyst’s newfound reactions – seeing her think: oh wait, maybe I don’t have to scream and lash out right now – maybe I can just process this…”
  • Her favorite trait of Amethyst’s is “I guess that she’s resilient. Like, she’s encountered many struggles – and prob will continue to do so – but she keeps truckin’.”
  • How would Michaela like to see Amethyst evolve as a character during the next couple of seasons? “I would like to see Ame continue to develop, to explore more of her origin story and to keep building her confidence and trust with Steven, bird ma, square ma, Peridactyl, Lapis, the whole crew.”
  • When asked what she has in common with Amethyst, Michaela said “we both try to use humor to fade insecurities, we both like to eat moldy burritos, you know, the usual…” She also found a similarity in their backgrounds. “I’m a proud Korean-American adoptee and I think my personal experiences have allowed me to relate to Amethyst’s storyline in many deep ways. So yeah, this is a huge help in terms of tapping into her feelings of insecurity and vulnerability but as you can imagine, when things are personal it can also be emotionally challenging at times.”
  • She also said that, “Hearing that Amethyst resonates with some of the fanbase has been very meaningful. Really, it’s a testament to [Rebecca Sugar] and the Crewniverse, that they’ve essentially created flawed aliens with dope powers, confronting real issues. The thing is everyone is flawed. Everyone has insecurities. So keep being you and let your inner or, hahah, outer badass shine through.”
  • Her favorite thing about voicing Amethyst “is that she exists in a beautiful world / show / universe with some incredibly complex characters, created by Rebecca and the talented Crewniverse.”

On the Show:

  • Favorite episode that’s been aired so far? “Including but not limited to: ALL OF THEM.”
  • Her favorite upcoming episode? “Let’s just say that the episode involves a half-human half-alien young man coming into his own.” Wow, dial back those spoilers!
  • Her opinion on the relationship between Peridot and Amethyst? “I respect both Amethyst and Peridot as gems. I’ve loved seeing their friendship develop. It’s always fun to record with big Shelby Rabara.”
  • When asked which human character she likes the most, she responded “wow WOWWWWW this is super hard because I love so many of them. Some of you may know by now that I have a mild obsession with Jamie the mailman who I am on a new crusade to rebrand as Jamie the hot mailman. Sorry, is that weird? Also, Greg is simply the best. He’s such a good dad. I want to spend some quality time with Sour Cream. Glowsticks optional.”
  • Her favorite Amethyst fusion is Smoky Quartz. Her reaction when she found out about the incoming smokeybetter2Steven+Amethyst fusion was: “WHAAHAHAHA?A?A?A ohhh my god. are you reading what i’m reading?! this is happening. yeah man, it’s happening. omg. yesssssss. NOW SHUT YOUR MOUTH WHaMMYBARRRRR NO ONE CAN KNOW.”
  • Her favorite fusion overall is either Sardonyx or Alexandrite.

On Voice Acting

  • Amethyst’s voice is Michaela’s natural voice. To warm up, she drives while listening to the radio, sipping hot water, humming and doing breathing exercises.
  • Michaela often forgets to shut her mouth after saying a line.
  • Michaela can’t choose which episode was her favorite to voice act, but enjoys any chance where she gets to interact with her fellow voice actors or the writers in the booth. She does say that Beta was a challenge “in that I had to find balance between Amethyst accepting that she’s the worst and feeling awful about that but also finding solace in it and using it as a way to relate to Steven”
  • She also really enjoyed doing “Tiger Millionaire” and “Buddy’s Book.”coolame
  • Michaela has occasionally ad-libbed in the booth, but generally tries to stick to the script.
  • When asked about some of Dietz’s explicit voice lines from the video game Grand Theft Auto 5 being used for SU voice content, she said, “it makes me slightly uncomfortable that Amethyst is saying horrendous words?! But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t amused by it.”
  • Has Michaela ever cried while recording? “I’ve laughed so hard I almost cried at some Deedee takes. Certain Amethyst lines re: kindergarten made me super emotional because they hit so close to home. But no sir/madam, I didn’t bawl in the booth.”
  • If Amethyst could voice any other Gem, who would she choose? “Maybe Sapphire? Erica [Luttrell] has the coolest voice – so silky and soothing.”
  • Amethyst’s advice to any inspiring voice actors: “Start off by visiting Dee Bradley Baker’s site, www.iwanttobeavoiceactor.com there’s so much info, coming from one of the industry’s top dudes. I worked on Barney and Friends for many seasons before landing SU, so I had some experience… but SU is my first animated series, and for that I am truly grateful. The most important piece of advice was: keep doing it! Keep auditioning! Keep training! Keep putting out your best work. You’ll hear a ton of “no’s” or radio silence, but try not to let that bog you down.”

On the Fandom

  • When asked about special moments with the rest of the Crew, she explained “One great moment was a total of 4 days when Zach, Grace, Shelby, Deedee and I attended Supercon. The Florida crowd was incredible! We def felt the love and met so many amazing folks. It was a true bonding moment for us. And then recently, SDCC! Hi hello1?!?! That was a great moment with Rebecca, Ian, Deeds, Zach, Estelle, and the whole incredible Crewniverse. I record mostly with Zach. Deedee’s been on tour. And Estelle too. But it really varies…”
  • Other cartoons that Michaela enjoys includes Bob’s Burgers, Rick and Morty, Regular Show, and the Cheeto commercials. She enjoys the live-action shows Ninja Warriors, Stranger Things and Game of Thrones.
  • Michaela told her most memorable interaction with a fan. “At Supercon I met the most amazing young woman named Julia and her lil bro – she had cancer twice and is an adoptee (so is her bro!) and an artist and all around great gal. Anyway, she was so inspiring and also, talked about how SU has been a positive influence in her life. Her parents were there and she was telling me her story and I bawled and poor girl had to hug me hahah. Man, I was a blubbering idiot but I loved meeting her and her fam. I’ve met so many amazing folks – via the inter webs and irl.
  • But what’s her favorite thing about the community that’s sprung up around the show? “Real talk: the best thing I’ve seen from the SU fandom is support, love and acceptance. Whether through fan art or soc media posts or even in person, witnessing fans interact with other fans. Let’s remember what SU is all about.”

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You can read the full AMA on R/StevenUniverse.

Author: Laura B

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