How did this exchange project happen?
Jonathan: I first heard Monica Rial on Excel Saga and thought she had such an amazing voice and great acting talent. When I finally got to meet Monica a couple of years ago at an anime convention in Texas, we discussed how it would be great if we could get to work together. Jump to 2005 - when Monica was invited to participate in Anime Expo in Anaheim, I called her right away and asked if she could come a couple of days early to do some voice acting for us.
Jonathan was sweet enough to offer me the role of Natsume. I was really excited to work for him and to work on such a great show. I've never had the opportunity to work on any of Rumiko Takahashi's shows.
How did it go?
It was amazing! Charlie [Sullivan, the voice director for MF] and Jonathan and all of the people at the Post Office [the recording studio] were so super friendly! I was worried that I would have a hard time adjusting but really there wasn't much of a difference between the way LA or Texas works. I think it's so cool that we're all coming together. It was great to work alongside some of my LA actor pals.
Monica was terrific as Natsume. At first I was afraid that there would be some sort of transition issues, since she mostly had done voice acting work for studios in Texas. But I was amazed at how comfortable she got with our director, Charlie Sullivan, while in the recording booth. She took direction perfectly and could offer us a lot of ideas on Natsume that we hadn't even considered. It was almost as if we had been working together for a long time.
Any message to fans?
"Mermaid Forest" is a great show story-wise and I think all of the voice actors who participated in it are outstanding. Having Monica as a guest-star helped to make the show even more special. I'd like to thank her for making the time to work with us. It's not very often that the studios in Los Angeles have the opportunity to work such incredible voice talent from other parts of America. I also hoped that with Monica's participation, fans would understand that there is no big rivalry between the studios on the East coast, Texas and the West coast. We are all friends in the same business and having had the opportunity to work with each other was a terrific treat for all of us. I can only hope that it becomes something that is done more often. Monica is always welcome to come back to join us on another project, and with any luck, more voice talent from all over the country will do the same.
Keep an eye out for us because you never know where we're gonna pop up! I know several of my LA voice actor friends have worked in Texas and now there are Texans are working in LA. People tend to think there's a rivalry between the studios and hopefully this will help them realize that we're all pals. Oh and watch
Mermaid Forest! It's awesome! Yay!
Originally Published at:
Note: This interview was conducted by Sawako Furuya on November 21, 2005. Jonathan Klein is with New Generation Pictures.
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