We Heart Stephanie Sheh

10.01.2011

For those unable to attend the WE HEART JAPAN — WEHEARTJAPAN.COM – event in Hollywood, CA on Saturday, October 1st from 5-8pm, we thought we would bring a little of the event to you, courtesy of this exclusive interview with WE HEART JAPAN’s founder, Stephanie Sheh, anime voice talent, director, writer and producer.

And if you live within a 3-4 hour drive of Hollywood and you are an anime and voice actor fan, and you haven’t decided about attending the event… are you kidding me? Why would you want to miss out on a live performance by award-winning singer & songwriter/anime actress Mari Ijimi (Macross), and a Cowboy Bebop U.S. voice cast reunion and live episode reading featuring Steve Blum, Melissa Fahn, Beau Billingslea, Wendee Lee, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, and Stephanie Sheh.

Seriously. Go and be a part of this historic event and a great charitable cause — all proceeds are being donated to the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund.

You can purchase tickets online at WEHEARTJAPAN.COM. And if you are unable to attend but would still like to make a donation, you can make inquiry through the website.

And special thanks to Stephanie Sheh for taking the time to do this interview via e-mail on short notice:

Q: You’ve had the opportunity to voice characters for some of the most popular anime series in the last decade. Which one was the greatest challenge for you, and why?

Stephanie Sheh headshot courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/stephaniesheh

STEPHANIE: They’re all challenging in their own ways. Penny from Zatch Bell was challenging because it was vocally straining. Silky from I’m Gonna be an Angel was hard because you had to convey tons of emotion in just [one] word lots of times. Then there was probably the most challenging one, which was a job I got fired from. I was so new to voiceover at the time that I understand what happened. It was a traumatic experience, but it was all for the best in the end.

Q: You have the distinction of having been a cast member in two of the oddest, quirkiest, most bizarre anime imports ever to be dubbed for English audiences: “FLCL” (aka “Fooly Cooly”) and “Bobobo… with a bunch more Bo-bos.” When you first auditioned for these shows, what were your first impressions? And after you were cast, did you ever imagine the scripts could possibly get any stranger or more ridiculous?

STEPHANIE: Well I produced FLCL so I knew what I was getting myself into. I understood FLCL‘s craziness. It was actually this beautiful complicated piece about growing up and letting go. There were so many themes about loneliness and adolescence. But then again, I can say that ‘cuz it’s like I studied FLCL. With Bobobo, I just came in and voice acted. It seemed wacky funny. I couldn’t tell you if it was about anything deeper though. Not to knock it or anything, I just didn’t have the relationship with that show as I did with FLCL. You’d probably have to ask Michael Sorich [for] his take on it.

Q: Say something nice about Kari Wahlgren and/or Richard Epcar. [Okay, so that wasn't a question. Sorry.]

STEPHANIE: There are a million nice things I could say about Kari and Epcar. First of all, I hired Kari in her very first anime voiceover role. So it is so cool that I’ve been able to watch her career grow and take off. Kari is one of the most humble and smart girls I know. She really deserves all the success she has in her life. I adore her and I don’t get to hang out with her enough. The truth about Richard Epcar is that he makes the best martinis in Los Angeles. He is a real decent guy with integrity. He’s another one of those people I am blessed to have become friends with through work. That entire family is talented.

Q: Media Blasters recently announced “Bakuman” for release in November. Are you at liberty to talk a little about the series and the character you are voicing? And does Media Blasters seem at all concerned about any potential confusion with “Bakugan”?

STEPHANIE: I am really loving the show. It’s such a great premise and coming from a fan background I love it. I remember when I would try to use screen tone. It really takes me back to my college days and when I was an otaku.

Q: You have a lot of script editing and adaptation to your credit for a number of anime titles. When you are deep in a project like that, how do you take a break from it?

STEPHANIE: Uh…I don’t. I try to power nap. It’s super tough. I guess that’s why I am always wanting to travel and go on vacation ‘cuz all the other times I work sooo hard.

Q: So the “We Heart Japan” charity group/event is your baby, and it’s such a great cause. After the first event in March, what made you decide to do another one in the same year and how did it come about? Are you already planning future events, and if so where/when? Also, have you visited Japan?

STEPHANIE: I’ve visited Japan many times. And I owe so much to that country. I am an actress because I got my start in anime. I have so many friends that I’ve met through work. I love so much about Japan and it breaks my heart that so many people have suffered due to the disaster that occurred. I have visited Japan many times. And I know I will go back again.

I wanted to prove to the world through my charity group that anime fans can give back. Recently there has been a lot of bitterness in the industry towards fans because so many fans steal their anime by downloading illegally and it is a fact that the illegal downloads are killing the industry. That said, I wanted to focus on the positive. I believe that anime fans have generous hearts and can rally together to help the people less fortunate. So why not do something for the community and help out. It was the least that I could do. It is sooo much work and none of my friends who are working on it are getting paid. We all do it to give back to the community.

The October 1st We Heart Performing for Japan Show is going to be epic. Everyone who does not go will without a doubt regret it. For the first time in over a decade the original cast of Cowboy Bebop is returning to do a live reading of an episode. We also have singer/songwriter Mari Ijima performing songs. And we have ex-Power Ranger performers Dan Southworth and TJ Rotolo doing a fight demo on what it’s like to be a Sentai Supervillain. Their demo is gonna be so much fun. It involves audience participation.

There will also be refreshments, autographs, raffle prizes. Every ticket comes with an exclusive We Heart Japan postcard that has original artwork from Gurren Lagan that was drawn solely for our charity group. That means you will not be able to find this artwork in any book or purchase it anywhere. You can only get it by coming to one of our events. The event is from 5pm-8pm and it’s only $40. I really really really hope people turn out for it. And if you can’t make it to Hollywood please tell your friends about it. I heard some people may be getting friends together and taking a road trip. It would totally be worth it.

Thanks, Stephanie! And thanks for making me regret that I can’t be there! ;^)

For more details on We Heart Japan, please click the links below:

- WeHeartJapan.com
- Facebook – We Heart Japan: Anime Industry Gives Back
- Twitter – @WeHeartJapanXO
- StephanieSheh.com
- Twitter – @StephanieSheh
- Facebook: Stephanie Sheh

Stephanie also did recent interviews with The LA Times, the Anime News Network, radio station 98.1 The Fan, and the One Piece Podcast.

And if you haven’t yet seen voice actor D.C. Douglas’ video (and blog) tribute to the March 17, 2011 We Heart Japan event, you must:

Interview conducted by Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton
Publisher, Voice Actors in the News


Cast Announced for Funimation Dub of Summer Wars

10.20.2010

Funimation announced via their newsletter and blog that they have cast all the characters for their upcoming dub of Madhouse’s award-winning movie, Summer Wars. The cast includes Brina Palencia, J. Michael Tatum, and Maxey Whitehead, as well as over a dozen other main and supporting cast members. For full cast listing and story summary, check the official blog post at the link below:

http://blog.funimation.com/2010/09/summer-wars-has-people-talking/

- Mark Allen, Jr.
Contributor: Voice Actors in the News


Complete List of Dragon*Con Voice Actor Events

09.03.2010

I’ve been asked by several individuals attending Dragon*Con if I would list all of the voice actor panels I’m involved with along with other related panels of note. As you will see below, there are so many related events that this was a rather daunting task. I hope my efforts will be useful as a guide to those attending the con.

Please note that the schedule and guests listed below are subject to change. Check The Daily Dragon regularly for up-to-the-minute schedule and guest updates.

Locations for each panel/event are not listed due to the possibility of changes. For those attending Dragon*Con please check your Pocket Program Guide, and every morning when you arrive at the con be sure to pick up a copy of The Daily Dragon from the local D*Con Info booth which contains all updates and changes.

FRIDAY

- 10:00 AM – Snydecast & FRED Entertainment
Featuring Dana Snyder.

- 11:30 AM – Aqua Teen Hunger Force/Squidbillies Panel
Featuring live script reads with a full cast: Jim Fortier, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Daniel Baker (Unknown Hinson), Daniel McDevitt, Dana Snyder, Bobby Ellerbee, Mary Kraft, and Scott Hilley. Autograph session to follow.

- 1:00 PM – Bill Corbett (Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Rifftrax)

- 2:30 PM – Trace Beaulieu (MST3K, Cinematic Titanic)

- 2:30 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Clone Wars cast members Ashley Eckstein, Phil LaMarr and Daniel Logan.

- 2:30 PM – Voice Acting for Podcasters
Panel description: “Learn the finer points of voice acting and voice overs to enhance your podcast.” [No industry guests listed for this event.]

- 4:00 PM – Darkstar: The Interactive Movie
Featuring MST3K’s Trace Beaulieu

- 4:00 PM – Voice Actors
Panel moderated by Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, featuring panelists C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, Billy West, Dana Snyder, and John DiMaggio. (Additional guests possible for this panel.)

- 5:30 PM – The Animation Fan Fun Panel
Hosted by yours truly, Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, with special industry guests (TBA). Light on commentary and packed with voice actor improv, a wild Old Time Radio script read, and trivia contest with prizes. Sponsored by toonzone.net and Voice Actors in the News.

- 5:30 PM – Akira: The Great Dub Debate – Streamline or Pioneer?
Fan panel discussing the two dubs of the classic anime film.

- 7:00 PM – Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Live performance by local audio drama troupe.

- 7:00 PM – [adult swim] Comedy
Fan panel with industry guests TBA.

- 8:30 PM – Aqua Teen Hunger Force Fan Panel
Industry guests also possible for this panel.

- 8:30 PM – MST3K and Cinematic Titanic
Historic live performance featuring Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and J. Weinstein. [This is nearly a 6-hour event.]

- 1:30 AM – WEEP
Live concert featuring Venture Bros‘ Doc Hammer on lead vocals and guitar.

SATURDAY

- 11:30 AM – Voice Actors
Panel moderated by Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, featuring panelists C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, Billy West, Dana Snyder, John DiMaggio, and Tom Kenny. (Additional guests possible for this panel.)

- 11:30 AM – MST3K
Panel presentation featuring Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and J. Weinstein.

- 1:00 PM – Venture Bros. Guests
Featuring Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick. Autograph session to follow.

- 1:00 PM – FUNimation Entertainment Industry Panel and Q&A
Possible industry guests in attendance.

- 1:00 PM – Star Wars Costume Contest
Emceed by Ashley Eckstein.

- 4:00 PM – Bizarro Saturday Morning
Adult Swim voice actor/animator/artist C. Martin Croker hosts this vintage film showcase. Here’s Clay’s description of the show:
“Bizarro Saturday Morning” is a film series (all 16mm from my own collection) that I’ve shown around the South – but primarily at [Atlanta's] Historic Plaza Theater – of vintage, rarely seen and usually offbeat cartoons from the 1930s through the 1980s intercut with vintage Toy and TV spots mostly from the 1960s and 70s.”

- 4:00 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Phil LaMarr and Daniel Logan.

- 8:30 PM – Quantum Quest
Animated feature film screening with guest Tom Kenny.

- 8:30 PM – FUNimation presents: Anime’s Greatest Hits – The Best Scenes
Possible industry guests in attendance.

- 10:00 PM – Nuts on the Road: The Quiz Show
Improvised game show with contestants Dana Snyder, Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Adam Savage, J. Weinstein and Kevin Murphy.

SUNDAY

- 10:00 AM – Tom Servo vs Tom Servo
MST3K event featuring Kevin Murphy vs J. Elvis Weinstein.

- 11:30 AM – Squidbillies Fan Panel
Possible industry guests in attendance.

- 11:30 AM – Gargoyles: The Animated Series
Featuring cast members Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis.

- 1:00 PM – Stories with Uncle George
George Lowe’s popular one-man panel show.

- 1:00 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Daniel Logan and Ashley Eckstein.

- 2:30 PM – Voice Acting Workshop
Featuring voice-over professional September Day and anime/video game voice actor Bob Carter.
Panel description: “Ever wanted to break into the voice over industry but just didn’t know where to start? Don’t have thousands to spend flying out to Los Angeles or New York for weekend-long workshops? How about coming to a workshop to learn what it REALLY takes to get started in this awesome industry right here in Atlanta? You don’t need a ton of money to launch your voice over career!”

- 2:30 PM – MST3K: Meet the Mads
Panel featuring Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, J. Weinstein, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy.

- 4:00 PM – Futurama Cast Panel
Featuring Billy West, John DiMaggio and Phil LaMarr. (Maurice LaMarche unfortunately had to cancel his appearance at the convention.)

- 4:00 PM – Master Shake Tells it Like it Is
Featuring Dana Snyder.

- 5:30 – FUNimation Anime Sneak Peaks and Prizes
Possible industry guests in attendance.

- 5:30 – Meet Chad Vader!
Featuring the star of popular YouTube adventures of Darth Vader’s less fortunate brother, Chad Vader, who has also voiced Vader for LucasArts video games.

- 5:30 PM – Rifftrax Live…sort of
Featuring Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy.

- 7:00 PM – What’s on Dana Snyder’s iPod
Featuring Dana Snyder.

- 7:00 PM – Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Live peformance.

- 8:30 PM – David Bowie: Loving the Alien
Featuring Doc Hammer.


MONDAY

- 10:00 AM – Clone Wars & Star Wars Cartoons
Featuring Phil LaMarr and Ashley Eckstein.

Other celebrity guests will be in attendance who have voiced characters for animated productions. Please check the Pocket Program Guide for the panels and autograph sessions they are participating in.

Thanks to all the following sites for providing detailed schedules for Dragon*Con:

Anime-Manga Track (by Jake)
http://anime.dragoncon.org/2010/08/22/anime-manga-track-schedule-subject-to-change/

Animation Track (by Jess)
http://dragontoon.moonfruit.com/#/schedule-2009/4534639034

Star Wars Track
http://www.swatdc.com/

MST3KInfo
http://www.mst3kinfo.com/?p=7080

Venture Bros Blog
http://venturebrosblog.com/dragon-con/

[adult swim] Central (by John)
http://www.adultswimcentral.com/dc10.html

[adult swim] Official
http://www.adultswim.com/presents/dragon-con/index.html


Adventures in Voice Acting Offers Free Webinar

05.11.2010

On May 17th, Bang Zoom! Entertainement and Tony Oliver will host a free Adventures in Voice Acting webinar from 5:30-6:30 PM (EST). The press release follows:

A free webinar about breaking into and working in the Voice Acting business. We will cover some basics you need to learn, give some advice as to how to proceed and provide a chance for you to ask questions. We will also tell you about future webinars and how you can subscribe to them. This webinar will be conducted by veteran Voice Actor & Director Tony Oliver and is sponsored by Bang Zoom! Entertainment.

To register click the link below:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/551561433


Voice Actors Pay Tribute to ‘Robotech’ Producer

05.01.2010

Robotech.com has a memorial page for US anime pioneer and Robotech producer Carl Macek, who passed away April 17th of a heart attack at the age of 58.

The page includes reflections on “Uncle Carl” (as he was known to friends) from the following cast members:

- Tony Oliver, voice of Rick Hunter
- Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski, voice of Lynn Minmei
- Barbara Goodson, voice of Marie Crystal and Sera
- Richard Epcar, voice of Ben Dixon, Lunk, Vince Grant
- Robert Axelrod, voice of Rico
- Tiffany Grant, anime voice actor

Added 5.09.2010 — Thanks to Jeff B. for the heads-up on this Robotech 25th Anniversary panel video from the January 2010 Animation on Display convention in San Francisco, CA featuring Tony Oliver, Robotech Creative Director Tommy Yune, and the late Carl Macek. It seems very appropriate and timely that this was Macek’s final convention appearance.


Hearing Voices: Voice Actors Radio Show

02.09.2010

This article was originally published February 2, 2010. Please scroll down for the latest updates.

I’d like to give a shout-out to Mark Allen Jr. — a fellow voice actor fan (and voice talent as well) — for his new “Hearing Voices” voice actors radio show at Cal State University in Fullerton, CA.

Allen’s first two episodes include interviews with Anime voice actors Kyle Hebert and Christina Vee which are available through divshare.com.

“Hearing Voices” airs weekly on Mondays at 4:30 PM (PST), although Allen says there will be no show on Feb. 15th due to the holiday. Crispin Freeman is currently scheduled as the guest for Allen’s next episode on Feb. 22nd.

And you can “tune in” online to watch the show via live webcast on Titan Radio. Listeners can also call in during live shows — the number is 1-657-278-5516 (although Allen adds that it’s not a 24-hour number).

Update: As of July 2010, there are 11 episodes of the radio show available and include interviews with:

Kyle Hebert
Christina Vee
Crispin Freeman
Tara Platt & Yuri Lowenthal
Lauren Landa
Keith Silverstein
Steven Mane
Marianne Miller
Kaiji Tang
Chris Smith
Lucien Dodge

Related posts:
- 1.25.2010 — Anime Voice Actors Willingham and Bailey Interviewed
- 7.08.2009 — Official Site Spotlight: Kyle Hebert


Anime Voice Actors Willingham and Bailey Interviewed

01.15.2010

iPlayWinner.com has an interview (via YouTube) with Anime VAs Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey (the respective voices of Guile and Chun-Li in Street Fighter 4) from their recent appearance at the January 2010 SacAnime convention in Sacramento, CA.

And here’s bonus video from SacAnime — a panel presentation featuring Travis and Vic Mignogna, which includes Travis discussing working with Charlie Adler and Tom Kenny on The Super Hero Squad Show:

In the video, Vic mentions a new website — ConDotCom.com — which he describes as an “online convention experience [with] a lot of well-known voice actors…involved.” However, the site currently has some technical issues and nearly all pages require login for access, but I am unable to find a link for registration other than one that allows access to the chat room. It may just be a temporary glitch. I’ve contacted the website for assistance and will provide an update upon reply.

Update: 1.15.2010, 9:50 PM — I received a reply from Vic Mignogna about the website “glitch.” Apparently the site’s currently in a beta test phase, which explains why nothing is accessible without a login.

To gain access to the site prior to the official public launch, send an email to condotcom@gmail.com with an explanation why you wish to participate in the beta test.

Update: 1.17.2010 — Vic followed up with a message that it is okay to share the login info publicly. Username is condotcom and the password is betatest.

There is already a considerable amount of content on the site in the form of anime voice actor ringtones and music downloads. A great more content is planned for the site in the near future, and Vic wasn’t kidding when he said a “lot” of well-known voice actors were involved.

Feel free to check out the site and participate in the beta test to get all the bugs worked out prior to the site’s official launch.

I’ll have more coverage of ConDotCom in a separate post.

In related news, SacAnime has already announced that voice actor Liam O’Brien will be a guest at their September 2010 convention.

Source: Kombo.com

Related post: 1.13.2010 — AnimeTV Hosted by Voice Actors Bosch and Vee


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