Moon Chase Presents: An Interview With Jeff Lumby!

Hey Moonies! We’re sorry for the lack of updates recently, real life has been intruding on our Moon time. D: But as part of our effort to get back into the swing of things, we have another stop on our celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the English Version of Sailor Moon, the voice actor behind Prof. Souichi Tomoe and others, Jeff Lumby! He has had a very widespread career from radio to television, and he has a lot of great stories to tell that you probably never knew before!

MC: How did you get started in acting?

JL: My first love was radio and it seemed a natural extension of that. Ironically though, I wasn’t that attracted to drama in highschool. It all came together afterwards.

MC: Out of the three characters you played on Sailor Moon (the figure skater Mischa, Dr/Professor Tomoe, and Kakeru in the S movie) who was your favorite and why?

JL: Dr. Tomoe was my favorite because he was more nuanced than the others.

Josh2Darien: What was your favorite thing about Dr. Tomoe?

JL: What attracted me most to the character was finding a voice that accomplished both the Doctor and the villain in Tomoe. He had to sound intelligent and evil.

MC: How did you come up with the right voice for each of these three characters?

JL: It’s always a benefit to see the character’s illustrations when coming up with voices. In some animated series the voices are chosen before the animators have a chance to draw them, which is a lot more difficult.

MC: Your sister, Lisa Lumby Richards was a writer for Sailor Moon – did you ever get to collaborate with her on the roles that you played?

JL: No, but I definitely acted out her words on several occasions.

MC: Dr. Tomoe was a unique villain because he was the only one related to a Sailor Scout/Senshi (he was Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe’s Dad). At the end of the season he was given a second chance to be a Dad again and make a new start free from his past mistakes. Most villains in cartoon shows stay villains and they are almost never redeemed. Was it challenging to play this kind of transition?

JL: Yes, it was challenging and fun, since I didn’t know about the plot twist when I first took on the role, I then had to create a new softened take of Tomoe. Although the voice is clearly me, the tone and attitude are quite different during the “dad” stage.

MC: Did you ever watch the original Japanese episodes with subtitles before you recorded them?

JL: Yes, that’s an interesting question. We would watch every scene first in Japanese just to get the intent of the scene. The Dr. Tomoe character was quite different in Japanese so sometimes this could be more of a hindrance than a help. I seem to remember the Japanese Tomoe as quite gruff, a choice I stayed away from with my version because I felt he needed to sound like an educated villain.

MC: Could you please describe what it was like to record an episode?

JL: I’m sure it sounds as though we spent hours in the studio but it really doesn’t work that way. Each actor is called in separately, unless there’s a very important piece of dialogue to record together, so once your line is recorded, the engineer will fast forward to your next line… a result each episode is recorded quite quickly. There will always be at least 2 takes of each line recorded for safety and choice. Sometime we’ll lay down one line with a couple of intents…..punching one word on the first take and another on the second.

MC: How many episodes a week did you record?

JL: This varies. Sometimes we’ll be called in for a few episodes over the course of the week, then we won’t hear from the project for quite some time while they package the stuff we’ve already recorded. The Producers typically use the same studio for recording and mixing and sometimes they need to ship finished product for several episodes at a time, so they’ll record a few then mix them, then get back to the recording.

MC: Would you reprise your role in a re-dub of the series?

JL: Absolutely.

MC: What do you think is Sailor Moon‘s legacy 15 years later?

JL: Obviously for me, the fan base is the legacy. Without your interest, we wouldn’t be talking.

MC: Which memories of the show do you treasure?

JL: My fondest memories are from the recording. We always had a lot of fun doing it. Some of my favorite people (actors) today are folks I met on Sailor Moon.

ChibiGinger: Has Sailor Moon been the only anime (Japanese cartoon) you have dubbed?

JL: If I’ve done others they didn’t have the impact of the “Moon”.

MC: When you shot that first episode of Red Green, did you ever imagine it would have become the huge phenomenon that it did (let alone give a new life to duct tape)?

JL: Not a chance. I met Steve Smith (Red Green) at a promotional event the two of us were asked to participate in. (At the time I was Morning Man at a Hamilton radio station) We hit it off and he later asked me to be in the show. (“I’m looking for a Sewage and Septic guy and your name floated to the top.”) After my first night in front of the camera I thought to myself, “well that was fun”, thinking it was the last time I’d be on. 12 years later…

esahC: I see you’re credited as the contributing writer for one episode for The Red Green Show. Tell us, how does that work?

JL: In the case of Red Green there were usually 2 or 3 main writers. Steve (Red) was always the head writer and the man through which all material ran. It was his vision and he had the best perspective on the overall idea. There were also a few contributing writers. We were expected to pitch ideas on segments and individual scripts. There would be weekly writing meetings where ideas were thrown around the table. If Steve liked your idea, he’d ask you to flesh it out. Even then it might get rejected, and if he liked it, it certainly would be improved upon. Steve Smith is the funniest person I’ve ever met, and my Red Green experience in this business was second to none.

MC: Do you have a new found admiration for those in septic and sewage maintenance or for duct tape?

JL: After you’ve sat behind that steamy truck for a few hours on a hot day in July, well let’s just say “admiration” is one word that’s new and found. There are others though.

MC: Winston Rothschild had quite a higher pitched voice than your regular voice, but one of the major themes behind the show was showing men being “manly”. Did the voice and his somewhat quirky personality pose any challenges for you?

JL: Once Steve described what he wanted in the character it became very easy to portray. All he said was, “Winston loves his work. When you’re performing remember one thing, Winston can’t figure out why everyone isn’t in the septic business.” That was all I needed. As a result, there were very few scripts where Winston wasn’t completely positive about any situation. Very fun.

MC: Which was your favorite episode of Red Green?

JL: I’m not much on “favorite” anything…but for Winston the episode where he was going to get married was memorable for me. “I’ve got the church booked, I’ve got the rings…now all I need is a bride.” (or words to that effect) See, always optimistic. Winston also had the cool promotional catch phrases and the one that stuck out for me was this gem: ‘Don’t gamble with your septics. Remember, a flush always beats a full house.’ Classic.

MC: What was the biggest lesson you learned from working on Red Green?

JL: To always have fun, even if you screw up. I used to get a bit down on myself when I’d flub a line cause I hate having everything come to a screeching halt for one of my mistakes. Particularly when I had such few lines compared to Harold (Pat McKenna) or Steve. Then I saw what happened when Pat blew a scene. He’d stay in character and play…..sometimes those “outtakes” would go on for minutes at a time. That’s when I realized that I could either have fun with the mistake or suck the energy out of the room by getting down on myself. Pat is such a pro and was always so helpful and generous to me.

MC: Stephanie Beard was also a voice in Sailor Moon (Sailor Mini-Moon/Rini) and was the first woman to be on The Red Green Show. Did the show’s dynamic change much when women were brought in to guest star on the show occasionally?

JL: No, it was quite refreshing actually. We had to clean up the lodge a bit when women guested, but other than that, I was for it.

MC: Do you know what prompted this change to have women visit Possum Lodge?

JL: Just a new dynamic for the show. Remember, the show’s theme was to bring to life men’s shortcomings, who better to do that than women?

MC: What are your favorite kinds of cartoon roles to play, ones for the younger audience or ones for the older audience (like Uncle Joe’s Playhouse)?

JL: They both present challenges, but it’s always fun doing cutting edge, meaty adult comedy.

MC: Which method do you prefer for voice dubbing – the Rhythmoband (which has almost gone the way of the dinosaurs) or the beep method?

JL: I liked Rythmo and got pretty proficient at it. The new digital technology is awesome though. Much easier to make corrections to etc.

MC: In March, I had the opportunity to see Fred Penner live in concert (he was doing a tour of campus bars). He commented that children’s TV now isn’t the same as it used to be and shows are more computer animated rather than using puppets and songs (the “variety” show aspect is almost gone). Having worked on Size Small – a legendary children’s show in its own right with your own family behind it, what are your thoughts on shows for preschoolers and young kids these days? Do you think that these shows need to go back to a time when the technology was “simpler”?

JL: Yes, I agree with Fred. When my Mom (Miss Helen) created Size Small years ago, the goal was simple. Don’t talk down to the toddlers. She never patronized, and sometimes I think that gets lost in technology. She (and Fred) have a very personal approach and I think some new producers of young children’s programming thing they’re only interested in flashy, fast edited shows. It’s my opinion that they’re missing the boat and contributing to short attention spans. Think about it, kids will watch slow paced shows like Size Small over and over again, now ponder what the retention rate is on overly produced, fast paced programming.

MC: You’ve had a radio career all over Canada for over 20 years – are you still on the radio now?

JL: Yes, I still dabble in my first love, radio. And I’m always recording radio commercials, so one way or the other, I’m on the radio.

MC: What were some of your most memorable radio moments and how did you get started in it?

JL: Let’s start with when I got into the radio business. It was the same year I got out of high school and I had no interest in University or College at that point. My folks had worked with a man (Roy Curry) at the TV station in Saskatoon. Roy was opening a radio station at the time and I began taking voice classes from him. Eventually he hired me for the overnight show (Midnight-6 a.m.) The rest, as they say, is hysterical…ah history. I have one memorable moment I’ll share with you….when I first started my Morning Show in Montreal in the late 80’s, I was trying to endear myself to the audience by talking about the cultural experiences I was enjoying. So one night I went out to try a French Canadian staple called Poutine. It’s French Fries topped with Cheese-curd and gravy. (ya, I know!!) The next morning I was all excited to report my findings and said, “last night I had my first Putin!” I guess the pronunciation was a little off, because immediately after I said it, my producer disappeared on the other side of the glass. Apparently he’d fallen off his chair laughing. I said, “what did I say?” He struggled back into the chair and pressed the mic button, “Jeff, you just said that last night, you had your first prostitute!!!” Good times.

MC: Size Small was shot in Saskatoon for many years – how did you survive those “balmy” Saskatchewan winters?

JL: Well, I’m originally from Saskatoon, so it’s all we knew. We survived, “stubble-jumpers” are hearty stock.

MC: Are you in any upcoming productions right now? Where can Moonies find you next?

JL: I’ve been in several animated productions in one-off roles including the upcoming, Cat in the Hat starring Martin Short. A few years ago I played the Dad in Ricky Sprocket, but sadly the show only lasted a season. Right now though I’m very excited to be playing the regular, Charles LaPuck in Skatoony, which premiers on Teletoon in the fall.

MC: And with that, this interview is finally finished! Thanks again very much for doing the interview! We wish you the best of luck in the future!

More Upcoming Interviews!

We’re celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Sailor Moon this summer, and it is our mission to bring you stories you probably never knew about the series! We’ve got not one, but TWO upcoming actors who are excited to participate in interviews for this site!

And they are…

Tracey Hoyt is the first actress to play Rini, and played her in the second season of Sailor Moon and the three movies. Tracey has had quite the career, voicing many characters in cartoons as well as appearing on camera, and is even a graduate of Toronto’s Second City! She’s also a voice teacher!

Jeff Lumby
played Professor/Dr. Souchi Tomoe, Kakeru in the S movie Hearts in Ice, and Mischa in the episode “Ice Princess”. He has also had quite the career voicing many characters in cartoons, as well as appearing on camera. He has also anchored radio shows on many stations across the country – and if you grew up in the 80s, you probably grew up watching his whole family on television!

At this time, we’d like to thank Tracey and Jeff for doing this and we are really excited to be working with you!

Fans will have until Midnight of June 14th to post their questions as comments on this post, or e-mail us at (but please put Tracey Hoyt & Jeff Lumby Interview in the subject), or post your questions in this forum thread. We’re going to limit fans to two questions per actor for this one! Again, don’t feel like you have to ask only about their work in Sailor Moon!

NA Voice Actor Update for March 2010

The Red Green Show: The Infantile Years – Seasons 1991-1993 is now available on DVD. The Canadian comedy show includes Jeff Lumby (Professor Tomoe) as Winston Rothschild, III.

Alison Sealy-Smith (Amphibia) appears in an episode of Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures as Nurse Lydia. The episode is entitled “How to Get Ahead in Medical School.” Here’s a description of the episode, from IMDb: “As Ming gets ready to proceed with her plans for artificial insemination, her husband Chen is stressed and fantasizing about street races and infidelity. The sperm donor, Fitz, their medical school classmate and Ming’s former boyfriend, is considering reinstatement at the hospital which stirs up a lot of unresolved issues. His return would also create more tension between the trio since he wouldn’t be an absentee donor after all, but working alongside the couple every day.”

Sabrina Grdevich appeared in an episode of Cra$h & Burn called “Bond Blame Baptize” as Nicole Asher. The episode debuted on February 4th. We’ve already seen Katie Griffin on this show too. Maybe more of the voice actors we know from Sailor Moon will appear later? Full episodes are available for viewing on the Showcase website here.

David Huband (Serena’s Dad) is playing officer Nelson in an upcoming film called Dream House. The thriller is about a family who moves into a house that seems wonderful at first, until they learn of a brutal crime committed against the former residents. Currently filming in Oakville, Newmarket, and Toronto in southern Ontario, Canada; the film is expected to be released in 2011.

Harvey Atkin (Bumboo, Pox) played Rabbi Goldstein in an episode of 18 to Life, a Canadian comedy about neighbours with opposing viewpoints who become family when their teenage kids get married. Filmed in Montreal, the series started airing in January. The episode featuring Harvey Atkin was aired February 8th. Episodes are available online via the CBC website.

Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2) has been commenting on her recent Juno nomination. From The Globe and Mail: “I think the only way to get any perspective on that is to travel outside the country. Travelling in Asia and Europe, [people say that] there’s something going on with Canadian musicians, especially female jazz singers. When I do travel overseas, people say there’s such a talent pool of Canadian female jazz singers.” And from Exclaim News: “It’s nice to be invited to the party and this means another round of publicity. I’m up against Diana Krall though,” she laughs.

Vince Corazza (Allan/Tuxedo Mask #2) is spotted voicing Caesar in the White Knight Chronicles PS3 video game, currently out right now. The fantasy role playing game begins in the kingdom of Balandor, where a princess’ coming-of-age banquet is raided by an evil organization called Magi. A boy called Leonard grabs the princess’ hand and leads her to safety in the castle cellars, where he finds a suit of armor that transforms him into the White Knight – an ancient warrior with the strength to defeat Magi’s forces (description from Wikipedia). Thanks to Freddie Jay Francis for the tip!

Operation Moonrise Teaser Featuring… Melvin!

Phase One of Operation Moonrise will be posted later tonight! In the meantime though, we have a special treat for you all! In another special Moon Chase exclusive, Roland Parliament (Melvin, ADR Director) shares some of his experiences on the show , hardships, and some really great stories! Roland has since gone on to teach acting at many schools and venues all across Canada, and also directed the upcoming animated film Ferretina (which features many Sailor Moon voice actors). The following, are his thoughts on the series in his own words.

My favorite episode is “Tuxedo Melvin” (of course) and also the episode when Nephlite died. Mary Long had everyone in the control room in tears over her performance in that one. Very moving.

My favorite parts were working with some fabulous actors especially Terri
Hawkes, Tony Daniels and David Fraser who are VERY creative, and Jeff Lumby
who is very funny. I also loved working with the engineer Sal Grimaldi who
could almost read my mind and was a great guy. I agree that the music was first rate. I also loved the team camaraderie with the cast that existed despite the fact that many of them never met each other until the wrap party!

I also loved the system we used to record known as the “Rhythmoband”. It was
weird at first, but once you got the hang of it it was a lot like Karaoke.
It would be too expensive to do it that way today. We would probably use the
“beep” system which is much more tedious and not nearly as much fun.

What I didn’t like was working 14-16 hours a day continuously for over 4
months. I didn’t eat right, I didn’t sleep right, I got very little exercise
and I got bad eye strain as I was parked in front of bright TV monitor all
the time checking for sync. I got very ill after it was all over and it took
a year before I felt right again. Even though I’d love to direct again, I
wouldn’t work like that again.

I think the episodes I directed turned out so well because I tried to make
it fun for everyone with jokes and wisecracks, and I let the actors have a
lot of freedom. Because they were all so good (excellent casting on Nicole’s
part) they really didn’t require much direction and they appreciated being
allowed to interpret as they saw fit.

We’d like to take this time to thank Roland Parliament for his support of this site! We are all hoping for a re-dub that while somehow fixes mistakes in the past, still retains it’s original charm. The campaign will begin this evening, keep your eyes peeled on the site!

EDIT: The survey has been posted! CLICK HERE!

Now it’s time for the whole staff of Moon Chase to take a nap. We’ve worked non-stop for the last few days on all of this zzzzzz…

NA VA News (Part Two)

Rino Romano in Spaceballs?!

The 80’s movie Spaceballs was a parody of Star Wars. It wasn’t very popular in theaters, but gained more popularity when it was released on home video (and subsequently DVD). The movie also poked fun at tons of other Sci-Fi productions that were popular during the day. Fast forward to this year, and there is an animated series in the works. The series was due to start in June on G4 but has since been postponed with no premiere date as of this writing. In Canada though, the series airs on Super Channel. Playing the leading role of Captain Lone Starr is none other than Rino Romano (Tuxedo Mask #1). Captain Lone Starr is a combination of the personalities of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. He has a companion, a half-man, half-dog (mawg) named “Barf” (short for Barfolomew) which is a parody of Chewbacca. Fans awaiting the series can check out a trailer here!

Robert Tinkler in New Movie!

Set to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is Cooper’s Camera! This one is about a family’s Christmas celebration in 1985 that becomes horribly dysfunctional when an estranged uncle shows up. The story is told through the Cooper family’s youngest son Teddy’s “eyes” – aka his Christmas present, a second-hand video camera. Robert Tinkler (Rubeus) plays the supporting role of Officer Malette alongside The Daily Show‘s Samantha Bee and Canadian comedian Dave Foley. This looks hilarious from what we have read and we hope to hear more about this soon!

Jeff Lumby Featured in New Red Green Special and Book!

I’m sneaking in this quick edit this morning! Meg Ruffman is an actress who has an interesting hobby – carpentry! She has even written a few books about simple how-to projects for beginners. She is nearly finished writing a book called We’re All In This Together, a biography on Steve Smith. Last week she was featured as a Special Guest Co-host on Jeff Lumby’s (Professor Tomoe, Kakeru, Mischa) radio show, Lumby in the Morning. While she was there, she also shot an interview to be aired on The Comedy Network in October as part of We’re All In This Together: The Red Green Story a tribute to Red Green. The show definitely ranks up there with long-running Canadian TV shows and we were sad to see it go when it did. We look forward to watching this special and hopefully we’ll see a few “brilliant” moments from Jeff’s character, Winston Rothschild III of Rothschild’s Sewage and Septic Sucking Services. Picture courtesy of SOS, pointing out our favorite evil professor in court (of course, not for his monster engineering).