How did you get started in voice-acting?
Well, I guess it kinda grew out of some singing stuff, and acting
work, and I started doing milk commericals, and-
Cool! So you do the jingles in the local milk commericals?
Yeah, singing, and talking... and cartoons and animation are
like a combination.
[LITTLE BOY VOICE] Well, because it's crazy...
And you got good voices.
[LITTLE BOY VOICE] Because it's fun. [LAUGHS]
Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for a role? Research
of any kind?
If there's something that I feel I need to look into, or a skill
that the person has, or... accents, yes. That's a lotta fun. Tracking
So you practice all those different dialects, accents and stuff?
[IN PROPER "BRITISH" VOICE] Always! Yes.
Luvely. [LAUGHS] When doing a character translated from the Japanese,
do you want to hear the Japanese, to see how that voice-actor handled
Actually, it's facinating to hear it. I love to hear it, and
often- for the roles that I end up playing- my voice is usually lower
than the actual Japanese voice. But to here the intensity of
it, and to hear how it worked with the animation is facinating.
So it gives you an idea of where the character's coming from, like
What's your impression of the character you play in this series?[This
interview took place during a taping of Maison Ikkoku- Ed.]
[KENTARO VOICE] He's a brat! [LAUGHS] I love it!
[LAUGHS] You do that so well!
I get to be a lot of little boys.
It was cool! You do that bratty thing really well. The 'tude is
It's a riot. You gotta have somewhere to do this stuff. [LAUGHS]
Was your impression different going into this project?
Well, I knew from the Maison Ikkoku manga, that it was Kentaro,
and... I didn't expect him to be as bratty as he was. I wasn't ready
for that, but I sure enjoyed it- he's just hilarious.
Has your impression changed after recording a few episodes of the
[KENTARO VOICE] He's a brat! [LAUGHS]
Have you even played a character like this before, either in animation
or in live-action?
Uh, pretty similar, but similar in age and sex, like little boys...
I've played young boys before, but this one was quite rambunctious!
Did you have a lot more fun playing the more rambunctious ones?.
Oh, yeah, they're great!
Do you even watch the animation you are in?
Yes, whenever I can.
Did you watch animation before you got into voice acting?
When I was a kid, I was just glued. I didn't have a TV when I
was growing up, for quite a long time, so when I actually got one,
Saturday morning was... yeeehaww! I was allowed to watch Saturday
What were your favorite cartoons?
Oh god... Road Runner... I loved Road Runner, I loved Bugs Bunny,
all that stuff. I just absolutely adored it. Those were my big favorites.
The classics, yeah!
What about action cartoons?
I haven't... most of the ones that were on when I was a kid I
wasn't attracted to, because they were very much targeted at a male
audience, I think.
It's true, I never really thought of it that way. It's true, 'cause
they were all selling those "boy's toys".
Yeah, they were all serious and stuff.
Yeah. They didn't really have a Josie and the Pussycats feel. Well,
I preferred the [TWEETY VOICE] "I taut I taw a puddy-tat!"
The fun stuff!
[TWEETY VOICE] I did! I did!
Do you have a "type" of character that you're usually cast for?
Well, like I was saying... young boys. [LAUGHS]
It's because you do 'em so well! [LAUGHS]
It's fun. It's because they're a part of me that is very outward,
and I don't have a problem with that.
And you can sort of create whatever you wanna go into...
Yeah, their innocence, and the way they do funny things, and
the way little boys [LITTLE BOY VOICE] get angry... it's just
funny. You know, things like that. Those are my favorites.
Do you have a favorite character that you've played?
I couldn't have a favorite. Each character is like a little part
of yourself, right? So it's like you take that little part of yourself
out and you make it really huge, and you work with it, and
play with it... and then it doesn't really go away, you just
put it back in. So it's hard to say that-
So they're all kind of pieces of the whole.
Yeah, and it's hard to be too attached to one over the other,
'cause they're all wonderful. And you hopefully get to take them out
over and over and over again! [LAUGHS]
What's the strangest role you've ever had to play as a voice-actor?
Oh geez. When you say that, instead of voice-acting, I think
of when I was the back end of a reindeer [LAUGHS], but that was my
dancing career. The strangest? Oh, god. I've been all kinds of monsters
and things, that was pretty strange. Yeah, well, in Dragon Ball, often
like... Goku, didn't he turn into a monster at one point? I know he
did at one point. So some of that is pretty strange.
So you have to get real huge, and completely wreck your voice.
How does that work though, 'cause like you're a singer, and you
have to sing in the evenings- how can you wreck you voice during the
Well, I've sort of stopped singing as much in the evenings, because
I really enjoy doing animation work, and if I don't have enough voice
for the audition then I don't get the part- my goal is to do some
animation where there's lots of singing.
Do you also do live-action work?
I used to, but I don't do it so much anymore. I gotta tell you,
it's a lot more fun in the studio.
Is there anything the readers might have seen you in, like TV or
movies or anything?
Well, I was in The Fly II. I gave birth to a larva and died.
Did you really? I saw that- now I'll have to watch it again. [LAUGHS]
[LAUGHS] That was me- gave birth to a larva and died. Yeah, it
was the Geena Davis role. We spent two days on that one scene, and
boy... we got that sucker. If you've ever seen it, it's right at the
beginning of the movie. I have a tendency to get killed at the beginning
of films [LAUGHS], and it happened again! There was a "Jason"- I'm
not gonna say which Friday the 13th, 'cause I really don't want anyone
to know- but I was a rock guitar player, and Jason took my guitar
from me and I got killed with a guitar in the head. Right at the beginning
of the film! [CHOCKED SOB] It just keeps happening!
How does voice-acting compare to live-action work?
I enjoy voice-acting a lot more- I don't really like the focus
being on what I look like. I'm not comfortable with that, I find that
a little more difficult. I suppose-
It's like, "she was really brilliant, but she didn't look the part."
Yeah, and it matters if you've got a little hair falling across
your face- it wrecks the shot. Or if your lipstick gets smudged while
you're saying the line... Whereas in here, in the studio, I feel that
everybody can pretty well let go of-
You can just be you.
Yeah, if you're having a rough day, and you're feeling a little
tired, it's not gonna show on screen. Nobody's gonna be putting
you under that magnifying glass. And sound is fun. Characters
I guess when you're not on camera, you can be anything, anything
you want to do voices to.
Oh yeah, you're not slotted the same way, like you or I would
be if we went into the audition- like they'd say, "Oh yeah, there's
Mike Dobson. Okay this is what he does, this is what he's like."
But we get chances to explore in the studio. And we get chances to
have really bad hair days.
Yeah, and you wouldn't get cast as a little boy because you don't
Yeah, I don't... look... like... [LAUGHS]
She's really gorgeous, for you viewers who haven't seen her in
person. I don't mean to embarrass you but...
Do you ever get fan mail? You'll probably get lots, now! [LAUGHS]
Well, I've had little bits and pieces, but I must say I'm no
Madonna. [LAUGHS] I got no big mailbags sittin' by my door, just stuffed
Do you have any closing message, or any words of advice for aspiring
Oh, for voice-actors? Oh my.
Yeah, we spoke to Paul "Happosai" Dobson yesterday, and he said
there was no @! room for more voice-actors, and people should just
No @#&! room- are you gonna print that? [LAUGHS] Okay, in that
case, I say, *@! it! *@!ing do it! *@!ing go for it!
Fan mail can be sent to:
c/o Characters Talent Agency
1505 2nd Ave., 2nd Floor
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6H 3Y4
Originally Published in:
Animerica Vol 4. No. 7
Note: This interview was conducted by Michael Dobson, who is also
a voice actor.
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