This weekend I am in Raleigh, NC for the Animazement 2007 Anime convention. I am appearing on several panels as an American anime voice guest. What is wonderful about Animazement is that Japanese and American voice actors are brought together and participate on the same panels with the help of a translator. I am honored to be here.
As my next panel begins in only 45 minutes- this post will be brief. I will update when I can with many of the incredible things happening here.
I wanted to quickly write a few things however. Today I had the honor of meeting Akira Kamiya. He is a VERY famous Japanese voice actor and has voiced too many things to list. Not just anime, but also American movies brought to Japan. He has been the voice of James Bond, Eddie Murphy, Mel Gibson, and many more. Kamiya has been a voice actor for 37 years. It has not been lost on me how much I can learn from him.
I spent about an hour today talking with Kamiya about the differences between American and Japanese voice actors. Turns out, we make about the same amount of money (WOW!) and work on similar projects. There is little money in anime in Japan, so many of the actors voice commercials on radio and tv to suplement their income (sound familiar?!). Many act in movies and work on camera as well. I don't know why, but I always assumed the original voices of these shows had to be millionaires!
After our talk, I went downstairs to watch Kamiya's panel about how to be a Japanese voice actor. I learned a lot! Martial arts is great training for fighting sounds and helps your breathing techniques. Warm ups are essential to a good session.
My favorite thing I took away today was how beautiful the Japanese language is. They don't just say the words or read the lines, they make it beautiful. Inflections change everything. The words are like songs, and each note is cherished and given its own recognition. I believe I will try this technique in my own voice acting. I want each word to stand alone and be great. I want my inflection to mean more than the sentence. It is possible to portray emotion with tones.
OK, please forgive my sporadic berevity...there is much in my head and so little time now to write it all out!