Interview with Monica Rial!


I had the pleasure of meeting Monica Rial at LCAD 2011! She was great.
During her "Voice Acting with Monica Rial" Q&A Session she remembered my name solely based on my letting her know on her Facebook fan page that I would be asking a Parasite Dolls question (and she was able to remember my name through out the day such as when I went to get her autograph, and during the charity auction of which I won this piece of art by one of my favorite local artists Scotty). Interesting part is most of the people on her fan page tend to have anime pictures as their profile pic, and I was one of those people at the time of posting my notice of question. I wish I had gotten on film my reaction and her response to my reaction and the question on film but I was unable to. Instead, she answered some questions of mine via Facebook (originally this was going to be a YouTube interview but she had to leave by the time I worked up the guts to ask if she would do an interview for the Captain M Show):

1) First off I'd like to ask, were you an "Anime fan" before ever getting into the world of English dubbing and if so what would you say was the first anime you knew was an anime?
I don't know if I would've considered myself an "anime fan" per se but I did like a lot of Japanese animation and Japanese culture. I watched Sailor Moon, Voltron, Speed Racer and that kind of stuff growing up but I never really thought about it as being from Japan, you know? My best friend growing up was Japanese so she would always bring me Hello Kitty stuff and kokeshi dolls from her trips. My little bro was a big anime fan and I watched a lot with him. I watched and loved Akira, Totoro, Ghost in the Shell, but he was more the anime fan than I was. I was just a casual fan not an otaku, I guess. I do read manga now but mostly for work when adapting scripts. :) It's nice to compare our translation to the manga to hopefully get everything right. :)

2) I remember you saying something about anyone who wants to get into the world of voice acting should not just focus on voice acting (especially on anime alone). I wasn't able to hear your full answer, so if you wouldn't mind what is your advice to fans who want to get into the world of English dubbing?
My first rule of advice is become an actor. That's the most important word in the phrase "voice actor". Get out there and join a local theater company, take a theater class at school, whatever you can to work on your skill. After that, you'll need to take voice acting classes in front of a microphone to learn mic technique. If you contact a local talent agency they'll tell you where you can find classes. Also, you have to live where the work is (or be an excellent liar with a really fast car). Anime companies won't pay for travel and accommodations so you have to live where the companies are: Dallas, Houston, Vancouver, NY or LA. Then you have to create a demo which should be clips of you doing different voices. DO NOT DO THE MEATWAD OR GOLLUM VOICE! It's not about crazy voices, directors want to hear YOUR voice and the different tones you can take with it. Then you send out your demo and wait. In the meantime, my suggestion would be to get into commercial voice acting. One commercial voice-over gig can pay as much a a full series of anime dubbing. Seriously. Dubs don't pay a lot and they're very hard work. The real money is in commercial voice-over. The most important thing I can say to anyone who wants to become a voice actor is...stop downloading illegally. The anime industry is suffering BIG TIME. There are no auditions for new voice actors right now. There's barely enough work for the voice actors who've been working for years. So if you want to be a voice actor, stop downloading otherwise there aren't going to be any anime dubs anymore. Period.

3) Is most of your current anime related work done through Funimation, or are there other companies you've been doing work from as well you'd like more people to know about?
I also work for the company formerly known as ADV and they have a few different names now. I've also done some work for Bangzoom! and other LA peeps.

4) As a fan of more obscure anime (such as Parasite Dolls) what series have you done voice work for you personally never see mentioned by fans or rarely mentioned? Also which of these series do you think more people should watch?
Wow, there's a lot of them. I think Rahxephon is number 1. It has a pretty strong fan base but not as much as I think it should. I LOVE that show. A few others would be: Generator Gawl, Princess Nine, Kurau Phantom Memory, Casshern Sins, Godannar... There's a lot of them. They should all be watched for different reasons! Rahxephon and Kurau are beautifully animated and amazingly heart wrenching stories. Generator Gawl was a fun show with depth (also the first show I did with Vic Mignogna) and Princess Nine is all about friendship and how we relate to one another. Casshern Sins was beautiful with a powerful message and Godannar was fun and had some great characters.

5) If you could pick a character you've done voice work for and have that character have a conversation with another character from a different series you've been in, who would you choose and what do you think their conversation would be about?
I would probably have Ai from Shin Chan sit down with Hazuki from Moon Phase. It'd be fun because they're both haughty little brats with foul mouths. So I'm sure the conversation would sound cute but actually be incredibly feisty.

6) Here's a question just for laughs, if you could cast Sheldon (Jim Parsons ;) in an anime role what role would that be and why?
Um, Jim would be either the goofy hero (Like Kenichi or Goku) or the debonair gentleman (Like Sebastian from BB) . I've seen him work on stage so I know he can do pretty much anything. He's kind of that Jimmy Stewart type- put him in any role and it works. He's incredibly talented. :)

7) Last question, if you could insert yourself in any of the many worlds you have gotten to be apart of via anime which world would that be, why and would the story you have inserted yourself in still end the way it did?
I've always said that if I could live in any anime world it would be Tsubasa because everyone is tall and thin and they move like ballerinas. :) If I put myself into Tsubasa I would want to be the spunky lady-in-waiting to Princess Sakura. I could tease Syaoran and the Princess about all their mushiness and get cuddly with Mokona. I'd want to fight too. I'd fight alongside Kurogane and Fai with a bow and arrow! :) I'd still want the story to end the same...when it ends... if it ends... ;)