Sunday, November 4, 2012

Exclusive Interview with Carol-Anne Day!

--- Salutations, Mai-Multiverse! I've had the pleasure and opportunity to sit down and interview Canadian V/A, Carol-Anne Day. The English voice actress for Mai Tokiha in both Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome! As a fan of the Bandai Entertainment dub, this was quite an honor.

--- Mai HiME interview MM: How did you get started in voice acting?

I actually kind of fell into voice acting at a very young age. I was doing children’s theater at the time, and my director thought I should audition for a cartoon studio she was doing work with. She’s an absolutely amazing woman. That’s it really it, not very exciting, but since then, Blue Water has been a second home. I’m pretty much the luckiest girl in the world.  

MM:: What was it like voicing your first ever cartoon/anime character?

My first show was a pretty overwhelming experience. I think the character I played was electrocuted, and I was too shy to scream, ha-ha. My first scream came out in a very operatic fashion. My director gave me on the spot screaming lessons. That’s the thing with cartoons though, there’s always so much to learn. I’m still in a process of constant learning every time I’m in the booth.  

MM: Did you ever appear on camera for any live action shows?

I’ve done a couple of small independent film projects, but I’m more of a ‘behind the mic’ sort of girl. I find the camera makes my head look small....  

MM: What were your most fond memories of working in any recording studio?

This is a really hard one for me, every session is so much fun! I love everyone that I work with so much that it would be impossible to have a bad time. I think one of my fondest memories was from the very first show I had recorded (I think I was 14 or 15) and I was so nervous. I was in the booth with a number of other veteran performers, and they really went out of their ways to make me laugh... all session, I could barely keep a straight face. I also once fainted into the microphone... story for another day though, we still laugh about that one.  

MM: What was the casting call and audition like for you when My-HiME surfaced?

 It was a pretty straight forward casting call for me. I watched the subbed version of the show, and fell in love right away. The auditions are always a little nerve wracking for me, because I want to make sure I’m doing right by the fans and the feel of the show.  

MM: Your thoughts on Mai Tokiha's character in both Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome.

I loved Mai, heck, I still love Mai. She had such an amazing depth to her. I try very hard to feel with the character through every moment, and she was a roller coaster ha! The thing I loved most about her was her strength, as I’m sure you know, she went through a lot in that show. But no matter how bad things got, no matter how bad the breakdown she always seemed to find an inner strength. She was also so caring and warm when she needed to be. Through all of the woe and love (and love triangles lol) I really grew to appreciate that strength.  

MM: Was Mai Tokiha the only role you auditioned for or played in the series? Just in case you did additional voices here and there.

Mai wasn’t the only role I auditioned for, but she was the only one I played in the series.  

MM: What was it like for the first few recordings? After getting to know the character of Mai better.

Getting to know the character makes a huge difference. It makes my job a lot easier, because you begin to understand how that character would react without having to think so much about it.  

MM: Many voice actors say they never meet the rest of the cast since recordings are done individually. Did you end up meeting the rest of the cast like Cheryl McMaster (who voiced Natsuki) or Melanie Risdon (who voiced Shizuru)?

With ADR we are generally alone in the booth, but we do occasionally meet in passing. I’ve met a couple actresses from the show, but not Cheryl or Melanie unfortunately. That show was jam packed with incredible women though, I wish I had met everyone.  

MM: What was your favorite episode or moment in the series?

The panties episode!!!!! So fun... I will say I was glad at the end when Mai and Tate finally hooked up, they were driving me nuts!  

MM: Have any of you read the manga or saw the original Japanese anime of the Mai-Series (HiME and Otome)?

I haven’t had a chance to read the manga, but I definitely saw the original Japanese version of Mai HiME, I really enjoyed it.  

MM: How many times did you have to say "Kagutsuchi!" (Mai's CHiLD) during the recording of an episode? *laughs* It's one of those battle cries that need several takes before it sounds just right. Or did you say it perfectly every time?

I’m not convinced I ever said Kagutsuchi right hahaha!!! Seriously though, it got easier the more I said it, so it was a 50/50 split I suppose, sometimes I was right, but when I was wrong, I was WRONG hahaha  

MM: Do you own anything of My-HiME?

There is plenty of cool merchandise out there, especially for Mai Tokiha. I have the series on DVD, but I am severely lacking in Mai swag!

 MM: Lastly, any advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in voice acting?

The best advice is always take advice. Passion should drive what you do, and then the skill will follow. It`s not something that you`re amazing at overnight, patience is huge.  

MM: Thank you so much, Carol! Mind finishing this interview off with a shout out to the fans of My-HiME and those who continue to support your work?

What can I say? The fans of this show are absolutely amazing, and you guys are the reason I do what I do and will continue to do what I do. Consider this more of a giant thank you than a shout out, I love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

---
You can catch Carol aka Mai Tokiha herself on Facebook here: Carol-Anne Day's Facebook

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