Cosplay Interview: Rina Love

We’re bringing a different kind of feature to you today, readers. Below is an interview I conducted with Rina Love, a Sailor Moon cosplayer I met at Sakura Con 2011. She was also the organizer of the Sailor Moon picnic photoshoot! Images used with Rina Love’s permission.

And now, on to the interview…

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you decided to become a Sailor Moon cosplayer.
Ever since I was little (5 years old), I’ve loved Sailor Moon. I didn’t learn what cosplay was until I was 16 and decided to dress up with my best friend as Sailor Mini/Chibi Moon. So my love of Sailor Moon kind of just made me fall into cosplaying from the series.

What first got you interested in cosplaying anime characters?
My friends who told me about these conventions and googling cosplay! It all started With Sailor Moon though.

What was the first anime character that you cosplayed?
Sailor Chibi/Mini Moon was my first, but if you count my other two costumes I made for the same convention then it would also be Plusle (Pokemon gijinka) and Nijihara Ink from Moetan.

What other kinds of costumes have you created (anime or otherwise)? What are some of the more notable ones previously created?

Well, I’ve only been cosplaying for 2, almost 3 years so my list isn’t spectacular, but other types are anime based, sci-fi movies based (Pris from Blade Runner), video game related, and tv/book related.

My most notable and favorites are: Sailor Moon from the Manga-first arc. My dad made me the staff and I spent over 30 hours creating everything, a lot of that was hand sewing as well, and I made everything aside from my leotard (because it was cheaper to purchase) and my boots “base”. I did hand sew on the white pvc leather and gold crescent moon to the boots though.

My other favorites are: School Uniform Chibiusa-from the artbook illustrations of her short t-shirt of the Dream arc.

And Cardcaptor Sakura-Sakura Kinomoto. I made this in two days time basically, and based it off the anime and manga drawings, so it’s sort of combined.

How many costumes have you made (wholly or partially)?
Discluding ‘casuals and closets': 8
With closet: 10

How long does it take to create a senshi costume?
30 hours or more. Time is usually spread out over a period of weeks though.

What’s was the most challenging costume you’ve ever had to make?
Sailor Moon thus far. It was for a performance group, so on top of making everything it needed to with stand the stage and not fall off.

What are some of your planned upcoming costumes? Will you be doing different costumes each time, or do you re-wear costumes at events?

My planned costumes for next year and to cap off 2011 are: Tinkerbell, Gwen Stacy (my “Halloween” costume), and Neptune-christmas edition.

For 2012, I hope to complete a lot more! These are my plans: Neptune (Hyperdimension Neptunia-Sakuracon 2012), Tinkerbell (updated-Tinkerbell movie’s version), and Small Lady.

I will rewear some of my costumes, but I also wear different costumes each time:) It all depends on the costume and how much I wore it the first time and how many photos I have of that costume.

If you have performed skits or dances in cosplay, what advice do you have for cosplayers who plan to perform skits or dances in costume?

I have performed in a dance in cosplay and my advice is to be prepared, always expect the worst to happen and don’t dilly-dally on wigs! Order them months in advance because if they’re not they’re in time, and if you don’t have a backup plan (like, your hair won’t work), then you’re kind of out of luck.

My wig didn’t show up in time for the performance when it was supposed to get there a couple days earlier. So my friend and partner got extensions which luckily matched my hair, and luckily my hair was long enough to be worn in buns and styled as Usagi’s. (My hair was also a platinum-golden blonde).

Another thing: be timely, and get ready hours beforehand! Rushing at the last minute makes nobody happy.

What advice do you have for people who have never cosplayed before and are just starting to get interested in it?

Cosplayers can be mean, but they’re human. Avoid those sites that belittle people, because in effect, it can make you feel bad about yourself. People are going to judge you no matter what, but look for allies and friends in the cosplay community who Don’t bring you down.

Also, it’s perfectly alright to buy your costume! Just research the person you’re purchasing from, and learn your measurements! Also, make sure the costume fits properly and isn’t too big or too small. Nothing looks worse than a slopped together and ill fitted costume.

Oh and you don’t need to enter a contest to have fun or make new friends or get your photo taken! But keep in mind, the more popular and well made and put together a character, the more photos! Don’t get discouraged if you get no photos in a costume you love, it may just not be known.

Anything else you’d like to add for the readers of Moon Chase?

Sailor Moon is a fantastic series and fun to cosplay from, but I’ll admit, there seems to be an underlying competition sometimes between cosplayers for no reason. I’ve also made some great friends who love this series as well! Sailor Moon is what got me interested in cosplay, and I doubt I’ll stop cosplaying any time soon. :)

If you would like to follow or watch me, you can go to my cosplay.com and deviantART accounts:
Tarinalove on Cosplay.com
Tarinalove on deviantART

That’s all for today’s interview! We hope you enjoyed reading this insight into making Sailor Moon costumes. If you are a Sailor Moon cosplayer and would like to be featured on Moon Chase, please send us an e-mail!

Sakura Con 2011: Tiffany Grant Interview

This interview was recorded on video by Nico Nico, who have recently launched their U.S. site. If anyone has found the video, please let us know and we will add the link!

To start things off, Nico Nico asked Tiffany to record a message to anime fans in Japan. Tiffany said that she send warm wishes and prayers. She also wants to send love to all anime fans, as it allows her to continue doing the work she loves.

The last time Tiffany was at Sakura Con was in 2000. She said it seemed like the 2011 convention was twenty times larger, so it’s a huge difference from before. She also said she was very impressed with how well run and well organized Sakura Con is.

When it comes to cosplay, Tiffany is always excited to see fans cosplaying the characters she’s played, especially Asuka from Evangelion. Fans can also see pictures of Tiffany cosplaying some of her own characters in the photos on her website.

Tiffany said that her most “famous” line would have to be “what are you – stupid?” from Evangelion. Fans can hear voice samples on Tiffany’s website here. She really liked that Asuka is a multi-faceted character and commented that the studio atmosphere is different for more serious scenes.

When preparing for a new role, Tiffany said she clears her mind and tries to start fresh for each role. She also listens to the Japanese performance to see how things were done, before recording in English. Her performance is informed by the original video as well as the director’s input. She also noted that she often goes with her gut instinct of what feels right for the scene.

Tiffany has a background in theatre, even from the time she was a little girl. She has now been voice acting for over seventeen years. One of the reasons she got her first voice acting job is that she was an actor, so she got called to the audition. She was new to anime at the time.

She always had an interest in voicing, particularly mimicking voices and accents. Even as a child she made the connection that actors played the voices of cartoon characters. She wasn’t originally sure how to get involved in voice acting, but when that first audition for a voice role came up; she went for it. Tiffany said she has been able to do a huge variety of characters because she does voice acting for anime. She loves her job and especially likes playing critters who make silly sounds.

Tiffany said that she finds voice acting is a very broad style of acting that is dramatic and requires projecting, which is similar to theatre acting. However, if being physical in a voice acting role, an actor needs to be conscious of the microphone placement.

Does Tiffany watch anime for fun? Sometimes she does. She said that she enjoys Miyazaki films and also really liked watching Fullmetal Alchemist. When watching anime, she doesn’t tend to think that she’d rather play a character that has already been done, she just tries to enjoy watching it.

As a big Hello Kitty fan, Tiffany is always wearing something with Hello Kitty on it. At the interview, she was wearing a ring, watch, and had a bracelet charm that were all Hello Kitty related. Aside from Hello Kitty accessories, she was also wearing little Asuka earrings!

The manga series Gunsmith Cats: Burst! – which was the sequel to Gunsmith Cats – ended its run in North America last year, with the final volume being published in April 2010. Tiffany said that she hasn’t read any of the manga volumes (of either Gunsmith Cats series, but she heard about how popular they were and that the series was a longer one. Tiffany played Becky Farrah in the OAV series of Gunsmith Cats and said she would love to play the role of Becky again if there were more episodes were made. She also said she found that character was the most like herself. On her website she even says that the voice of Becky is very close to her natural voice and she includes a clip of the “no pizza, no Chinese” line in her vocal samples.

Here’s a fun fact for Moon Chase readers: Tiffany played the same character as Kotono Mitsuishi in Blue Seed. The character was Kome Sawaguchi. Tiffany said she was excited to be able to meet Kotono at Sakura Con too!

In closing, here’s a little information about a charity effort that Tiffany participates in: Voices For is a group of pros, mainly in the voice acting industry, that makes albums for charity. Tiffany has contributed to both albums which are currently available. More details about the charity effort are on the Voices For site.

Image credits: photo from Sakuracon.org, image of Becky from sandarsdimension.com

Sakura Con 2011: Kotono Mitsuishi Q&A

This was Kotono’s first panel of the convention, and her most popular. She was aided by a translator, but seemed to understand parts of the questions fans asked in English. At the beginning of the panel, Kotono mentioned that Sailor Moon was her first role in a series and she focused on doing her best.

Regarding Ebichu: The Housekeeping Hamster, Kotono said that she had been a big fan of the manga series and found it really funny. The anime series had the same director as Neon Genesis Evangelion. When Kotono heard about the anime being made, she told the director that she really wanted the role and promised to even do the embarrassing lines with a straight face.

Regarding the more “mature” role of Misato, Kotono acknowledged that most of her previous roles had been pretty and cute girls. This encouraged her to want to do a more mature role. She also found that voicing a more mature role helped her grow. Compared to other strong females in Evangelion, Kotono found that her role was different from the others. When she first voiced Misato, the age of the character was very close to her own age, so she based some of her performance on her own feelings and how she thought she would feel in the situations Misato was presented with – which meant approaching the role differently. At first she had focused on technicalities, but Kotono affirms that feelings are key to a good performance.

Before acting in One Piece, she was unfamiliar with the series. However, when Kotono found out she got the role, she read over 40 volumes of the manga and became a fan of the series herself. The scenes she liked most in One Piece were the ones where her character was involved, especially when Boa Hancock would be looking down on others.

Regardless of the character she’s playing, when deciding how to approach a new role, she doesn’t focus on how she thinks the character would react. She tries to start with a blank slate for every character.

Regarding working on Revolutionary Girl Utena, which shared some of the same production staff as Sailor Moon, including writer and director Kunihiko Ikuhara. Kotono thinks that one of the reasons she was cast as Juri was that the director wanted her to play a different kind of character.

When Kotono’s daughter was little, they watched the Sailor Moon series together multiple times. Kotono said that she thought the series was really amazing and likened watching each episode with opening a treasure box.

There were many scenes that Kotono liked in Sailor Moon. She said she especially liked the Sailor Moon R Movie. Another of her favourite scenes was in the TV series when (spoiler alert!) Saturn dies and Sailor Moon jumps in the whirlpool to try to save Saturn.

When asked what it was like to say goodbye to Sailor Moon, Kotono said that since the show ran for five seasons, she worked on it for five years. At the end of each season, they would wait and wonder if it would be renewed. Kotono said that she always wanted to do her best with her performance, so she had no regrets. Kotono also said that voicing Usagi changed her and affected her life, particularly by giving her more self-confidence.

What about other manga series that Kotono likes? She said there are many manga series she’d like to see developed into anime series as well. One series that sticks out as something she would like to be in if there were an anime made is 20th Century Boys (although there is already a live-action movie).

What kind of advice does Kotono have for aspiring voice actors? She said that there are lots of people trying to get into voice acting in Japan. But, Kotono said that she believes everyone should chase after their dreams and not give up. If you want to become a voice actor in Japan, Kotono said it is best to study acting first, but knowing how to speak English as well as Japanese can be an advantage.

At this point of the panel, Kotono hosted a short quiz show, to see how well the audience knew her roles. Each person who correctly answered a quiz question first received a gift bag from Kotono. Here are the questions and answers for fans interested in what was included:

  1. What is the name of Misato’s penguin? (Pen Pen)
  2. What is the name of the ship she captains in Gundam SEED? (The Archangel)
  3. Which Pokemon did she play? (Metamon, a.k.a. Ditto in English)
  4. What is the name of the devil’s fruit that Boa Hancock ate? (The Mero Mero fruit, a.k.a. the Love Love fruit) Kotono liked the English name for this fruit a lot! She said she’d like to try a fruit with that name!
  5. What is the pendant Misato always wears? (A cross that she received from her father)
  6. The dog in Excel Saga, Menchi, is what to Excel? (the emergency food supply)
  7. What was Doraemon’s original colour? (yellow)
  8. What kind of flower appears when Sailor Moon is in a pinch? (a rose)
  9. What does Misato say at the end of the episode previews? (Service, service!)
  10. When Kotono does Japanese dubs, which of the following actresses has she dubbed? Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, or Natalie Portman. (trick question: all of the above)

After the quiz show, there was still time for a few more questions!

A fan asked if Kotono had ever seen a Sailor Moon musical, and Kotono said that she had. She also confessed that she got caught up in the excitement of it just like the rest of the audience. She has also seen PGSM and enjoyed watching it. She noted that Luna’s voice is the same in PGSM as well as the anime. She thought the actors in the show put in great effort to do a good job. She also felt that the actress who played Usagi was very good at physically showing the clumsiness of the character.

If she couldn’t play the role of Sailor Moon, Kotono said that she would have also liked to play Sailor Neptune because she’s older and more experienced. This was a hard question for her to answer! She also said that although she doesn’t have a favourite character in the series, Sailor Moon was very close to her heart.

After re-watching Sailor Moon, Kotono said that she doesn’t feel that Sailor Moon should have done anything differently. When she played the character, she voiced straight from the heart.

As for Kotono’s desire to become a voice actor, she recalled that being in an elementary school broadcast club was part of her original motivation.

Photo credit: source is Sakuracon.org

There will be coverage of the second panel featuring Kotono later. We hope readers have enjoyed this first part, which covered her Saturday Q&A panel.

Sakura Con 2011: Christopher Bevins Interview

This interview was conducted with representatives from a couple of other sources, so some of the answers go beyond Moon Chase staff’s prepared questions. We hope readers find this interview interesting, particularly since Christopher Bevins gave insight about the job of directing versus acting; which resulted in an interview with a different focus.

I opened the questions by mentioning he had been ADR director for Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad which previously aired on Much Music in Canada. He also played Beck the dog in that series (which readers may recall from my previous coverage of the Pet Sounds panel). He noted that Canadian fans often mention that Beck aired on Much, and I let him know that Much Music is unfortunately no longer airing anime. He was a little sorry to hear that.

Since music and singing were a significant part of the Beck series, I asked Bevins if that posed any unique challenges for him as a director. He confirmed that it was very difficult and he needed both an assistant director (Taliesin Jaffe) and a music director (Mike McFarland) to make things work. Mike McFarland also adapted the song lyrics for the show. Bevins only directed a couple of the songs himself, which were meant to be more raw sounding performances.

For some background on Christopher Bevins; he was born in L.A., but moved away when he was about six or seven. He lived in Orange County when he was young. Coming to Sakura Con meant a trip back to Seattle after twenty years of being away. He mentioned that he was happy to find that some of his favourite places were still around.

Christopher Bevins first discovered a knack for voice acting by experimenting with accents. He said he’s always been told that he has a great voice. In fact, when he used to work for Bank of America, in a smaller branch, he would do the live announcements in the deli next door and people would be surprised that it was his voice and not a recorded performance!

Bevins also noted that he loves cartoons and is a big comic book fan. He had known about anime before working at Funimation, but he wasn’t a huge fan. While working at a comic shop, he would air random anime, partly to interest customers in checking out new titles. He watched Star Blazers and Robotech as a child, but he was primarily a fan of American cartoons. although he watched pretty much whatever was on, he did say he liked G.I. Joe a lot and collected items from that franchise. Regarding his comic book collection, he said he has 20 long and 20 short boxes full of comics. This is over 5000 issues! Aside from working on anime, he would really love to be able to make superhero cartoons, particularly Marvel or DC properties. He also loves the current Avengers cartoon. He also noted that in comics, he has a love/hate relationship with Fantastic 4. When he likes the stories, he reads them but when he doesn’t he stops buying for a while.

In high school, Bevins wanted to become a movie director, and his fall back was supposed to be teaching at the high school level. Eventually he realized that teaching wasn’t right for him because he doesn’t generally like starting work that early every day and he thought he wouldn’t enjoy being around teenagers all the time. At this point, he took a break before studying more about recording. After this, he became involved with Funimation.

Bevins admit that he has been very lucky in his career and is very appreciative of the good things that have happened to him. Two of the series he previously wanted most to work on were Burst Angel and Samurai 7. He was fortunate enough to work on both.

Beck and Speed Grapher were among his favourite titles to work on, but also the most challenging. Beck was challenging because of the music, as outlined above; Speed Grapher was challenging because it was so different for Funimation at the time. It was the first title that included swearing, for starters.

For fans a little unfamiliar with some of the behind the scenes roles in creating anime, here are some descriptions Christopher Bevins provided of some of the jobs he’s had behind the scenes:

  • Line Producer: this person hires the director and is responsible for turning in the dub. This includes making sure everything is included and completed on time. (this is not a job that Christopher Bevins does anymore, but he has in the past)
  • ADR Director: does the casting with the producer and otherwise is similar to a film director in guiding actors’ performances.
  • Script Adapter: This is not a translating job. The Script Adapter will receive translations and video content to write the script. The script needs to match mouth movements and timing, convey character personalities, and account for things such as accents as needed (accents may add sounds, so this has to be written in the script).

Regarding video game acting, Christopher Bevins noted that fighting games can be very challenging to voice. The Dhalsim voice in Street Fighter was interesting for him to perform because of where the voice sits in his register. He described it as throaty and airy, which was actually easy on his vocal chords. Some actors when voicing fighting games will have to act out the screaming parts until their voice is shred and then take a break to recover their voice before continuing recording. Bevins also said that he is doing more video game voice acting now, so we can expect to hear an announcement in the future. He has not yet played Street Fighter on a Nintendo 3DS, but he has heard that the 3D effect is pretty neat to see.

Bevins voiced a few random characters in Case Closed (as Akiyoshi in ep 3; Concierge in ep 25; Henry Nelbit in ep 56; Moreese Cortezini in ep 66) prior to directing the Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century movie in addition to voicing the character Ray Segue in that film. The series had a trial run on YTV in Canada, in addition to airing on Cartoon Network and Funimation Channel in the US. He noted that pretty much everyone at Funimation was involved with Case Closed at some point, and it was a series he really enjoyed. The movies were something that Funimation acquired a couple years after the series. Bevins did ask if he could do one of the movies, as it had been a while since working on the TV series and he wanted to work on it again. Since the movie didn’t need to be generalized for a mass market audience, Bevins made the decision to change specific locations back to Japan. He noted that during the series, sometimes changing locations to be very general would have a ripple effect where the puzzles had to be modified too.

The kind of series that Christopher Bevins finds the most creatively satisfying to work on are something he hasn’t done before, something that presents a challenge. He recently completed his first comedy, Heaven’s Lost Property. Although he was used to working on titles that had comedic portions, this was different for him as it was comedic all the time. He also just got a show that he requested to direct, but it has lots of unique challenges so it will be hard.

When preparing actors for auditions, Bevins said that he gives them a basic description of the show, an idea of how the character speaks, and a basic description that gives them an idea of how to perform the character. Sometimes he will try to encourage the actors to challenge themselves and may point out a few roles that he’d like them to either consider or avoid during the audition process.

Bevins admit he has pretty much cast himself as something, even if just a short role, in everything he has directed. Often this is simply done to keep the schedule moving, but it is also so that he can continue to keep up his acting skills while he is primarily directing. He also noted that he enjoys being casted by other directors as well, but this doesn’t tend to happen very often because of scheduling conflicts.

Christopher Bevins has directed quite a few series targeted at a female audience, including RIN – Daughters of Mnemosyne, Burst Angel, Romeo x Juliet, Corpse Princess (Shikabane Hime), and El Cazador de la Bruja. Although he did say that there are some differences in how to approach directing a series for girls, and it was a little different for him at first; he primarily focuses on the believability of the characters within the story, and less on “would a girl actually say that?” He also said that he somewhat has a preference for directing series that feature more female characters. One of the series he previously directed was very much a “dude series” as he described it, so the studio would sometimes smell like sweaty guys. But it was refreshing when a female actress would come in and the place would smell pretty again!

We hope readers enjoyed this interview with Christopher Bevins. If you’d like to see more interviews of behind the scenes personalities in future convention coverage, please let us know!

Photo credits: photo of Christopher Bevins taken by Emily at Sakura Con 2011; Heaven’s Lost Property promo image from Funimation.com; Street Fighter 4 image is a screen shot from the game, original source unconfirmed

Moon Chase Presents: An Interview with Ron Rubin, Part 1:

Hey Moonies! We now present you with the first part of our exclusive interview with Ron Rubin (Artemis)! Ron speaks of his early days in acting and writing, beloved characters from the many cartoons he has acted in, and the very famous celebrity Artemis’ voice is based on. Who is it? Read on and find out!

MC: Thanks Ron for doing this! How is your summer going?

RR: It’s my absolute pleasure. Thanks for contacting me … it’s great to know that Sailor Moon and its Moonies (is that correct to say … hope I didn’t insult anyone) are still going strong.
First of all, I really have to apologize for the delay in getting this back to you. But I’ve been dealing with some back issues and that has had me sidelined for a while.
Anyway, my summer was nice … got in a bit of traveling and worked on a few new cartoon series.

MC: How did you get started in acting?


image from enotes.com
RR: I think I caught the ‘bug’ very early in life at a summer camp I used to go to. I went there for a few summers between the ages of 10 and 13. We would put on plays and do sketches…
it was a very creative atmosphere. That’s when I started doing voices and impressions. Now cut ahead a decade to when I was going to university. Myself and my friend started a half hour weekly comedy show at the campus radio station. We wrote, directed and voiced it. That’s when I really started working more seriously on my craft. The radio show turned into a stage show that toured around the country. The year I finished my university degree I moved to Toronto (from Winnipeg) and began doing improv with Second City. Then I hit the “Stand Up” stage and toured North America as a featured performer. I spent most of my early twenties on the road doing my voices and telling my jokes to all sorts of audiences in all sorts of places. I think I was 23 when I decided I wanted to become a more “serious” actor, so I moved to New York and was accepted at a wonderful acting school … The Neighborhood Playhouse. It was a great time in my life … a very creative time … doing acting classes by day and performing at the comedy clubs at night.


image from burnallzombies.com

When I moved back to Toronto I landed a bunch of national commercials and a few television shows. But more importantly I booked my first cartoon series. It was ‘Beetlejuice’ and Tim Burton was at the helm. I played half a dozen different roles in the series and totally fell in love with the genre. Back then (mid eighties) there were only a handful of us voicing cartoons in Canada and the work was plentiful. Beetlejuice was followed by C.O.P.S. and Police Academy and Stckin’ Around and Stunt Dawgs and … a whole lot of other series. Then I had the opportunity to work with Stan Lee and Marvel comics in the X-Men and Avenger series. And of course, who can forget Sailor Moon. (sorry, I think I was rambling on there).

MC: We’ve learned you were also a writer for Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s Elephant Show. Did writing for TV shows influence your decision to act?

RR: Actually writing came as a result of acting. I was hired to be the guest star in the Elephant Show. I had so much fun doing it I kept thinking of ideas that I could write and perform. I came up with a concept of doing an old time radio show … the kind with the old fashioned microphones and casting myself (of course :) as the one doing all the voices and sound effects. They loved the idea and so I wrote the script and we shot it. If I’m not mistaken, I think it won an award for best children’s show that year. I’ve also written several other shows as well as sold pilots for television series. Some sold, others didn’t. I spent a short time in L.A. writing a series. That one sold … but never got developed. I love writing … I should be doing more of it. I’m working on writing a new cartoon series currently … I’ll let you know if it goes anywhere.

Editor’s Note: Watch him in this show here! We especially love his singing of Skidamarink at the end!

Esahc: What would you say is your influences for your writing career?

RR: Probably similar to my early comedy career. I grew up watching a lot of the old time masters … W.C. Fields, the Marx Bros., Charlie Chaplin, etc. Also the stand ups of my generation … early George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams (who I got the opportunity to perform with later in my stand up career), and of course the impressionists … I was always fascinated by the voices they could make. I tried (for hours on end) to attempt to imitate them. My parents had an old Rich Little Album (I don’t know what’s dating me more here … Rich Little or the fact it was an album) … I spent a whole summer memorizing his set and doing all his voices. But my biggest influence (not in writing but in voice work) was Mel Blanc. He did all the Looney Toons characters … Bugs, Daffy, etc. When I was really young I once saw him being interviewed on Johnny Carson … I couldn’t believe my ears … I was absolutely fascinated with all the different voices coming out of him. I think right then I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. And hey, by some weird luck and circumstances … I’m lucky enough to be doing it.

MC: We also read you used to make comedic home-videos with Canadian TV producer Allan Novak (The Party Time series) – can you tell us a little more about what these were?

RR: Boy, you guys are good with your research … how did you even know about that!
Allan and I shared a house together and every year we would throw a big party for our friends. Allan was working on and editing ‘Kids in the Hall’ at the time and had access to camera’s and studios. So each year we wrote and filmed a somewhat elaborate video that was shown at the party on monitors placed around the house. It got quite a following. Boy, that memory brings me back a lot of years.

MC: Will you ever do comedy again?

RR: Do you mean ‘stand up’ ? If so, I’m not sure. It was great in my twenties but it takes a lot of commitment and you’re on the road quite a bit. That being said, I miss doing it. Performing live in front of an audience with material that you might have written the same day was an amazing experience. I miss the adrenaline buzz … and the creative process. Don’t know if I’ll ever do that again. But I’m sure glad I experienced it when I did.

MC: Why did you make the transition from on-camera work to voice work? Will we ever see you on camera acting again?

RR: I did a lot of on-camera work earlier in my career. In my twenties and early thirties I performed in quite a few national tv commercials, a few television series and the odd movie. But after being introduced to the world of animation I truly fell in love with it. Slowly but surely I found myself doing more and more animation and less on-camera work. I eventually made the transition to voicing cartoons and commercials full time and stepping away from the camera. I’ve been lucky enough to make my living solely on voice work. I may one day return to television or film again … never say never … but for now I’m very content working behind the microphone as opposed to in front of the camera.

MC: In 2007 you were nominated for an ACTRA Toronto award for your work on Erky Perky as the very conniving Frenzel (even though you didn’t win you are still a winner with us)! What made this role special for you?

RR: I didn’t mind losing that award. It went (posthumously) to a dear friend of mine (Len Carlson) who unfortunately passed away the year prior. He was a mentor to me … taught me a lot about the business of animation and voice work. Frenzel was a really fun character … one of my all time fav’s. He was a really gross bug that had ingested far too much insecticide. He was gross and slimey and weazly … and I tried to create a voice to match his personality. I hope I did.

MC: Now it’s time to talk about Sailor Moon! We’re trying to bring the fans as many stories as we can of the show since this year marks the 15th anniversary of the show. What do you remember about the casting call and the auditions? How did you get the role?
Salvatore: How did you get the part of Artemis? Did you audition?

RR: Boy, Sailor Moon takes me back quite a few years. I did audition … I think. I remember they wanted a cool laid back voice for Artemis. There was a television show on at that time called ‘Moonlighting’ … it starred a very young Bruce Willis (and Cybil Sheppard). They referenced Bruce’s voice … low key with a bit of attitude. That’s what I went for. There were so many characters in Sailor Moon who were very expressive … even over the top (in a good way) … so it was kinda fun and interesting for me to keep Artemis’s voice lower both vocally and emotionally.

EcoReck: Due to the very limited numbers of male roles in Sailor Moon, how hard was it to get a role in it?

RR: I don’t remember it being ‘hard’ per say. Maybe I was just at the right place at the right time. I don’t recall there being a lot of call backs. I went into the studio … incorporated the voice direction I was given … and then tried to make it my own. Kind of what I try to do with every audition I go to. I booked the part … so I must have done something right.

MC: How did you come up with the right kind of “gentlemanly” voice for Artemis?


RR: As I stated earlier … I referenced the low key, laid back (but with some attitude and cockiness) style of Bruce Willis from Moonlighting. Of course I tried to add my own flavor to the character … and in time it developed into Artemis.

MC: You are one of the few actors who was with the character since the beginning. What was the biggest lesson you learned (if any) from your character and/or working on Sailor Moon? Did your voice also grow as the character grew throughout the seasons and the movies?

RR: Yea, like with every cartoon I think the actors voice and performance gets more comfortable as the series goes on. When I hear the really early episodes of Sailor Moon versus the later ones I can tell the slight difference in Artemis’ voice. I think I “cooled’ him down a bit over time.

Salvatore: You’ve been involved with the series for quite some time, do you notice any changes while working on it? (Such as direction, or how the dubbing was handled?)

RR: Well, some of the actors (Sailors) changed … a fact that I know you’re very aware of. Also, the style …. solo … ensemble …. rythmo ….

And with that, we conclude the first part of this interview. Due to Ron’s very busy schedule (and numerous questions), we will post the second part of this interview at another time.