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"It's really great to put your own life and troubles aside and become a traffic cop for a few hours. I had a blast every time I was in the studio."
The Voice of Miyuki from You're Under Arrest
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this talented VA, she is best known for her work in the English Dubs as the lovely goddess Belldandy in Oh My Goddess, and as Miyuki Kobayakawa in You're Under Arrest the TV Series.
You might also recognize some of her earlier work. She played Iris/Ilia in A.D. Police, and also Takako in the bizarre Sci Fi short series Earthian.
Through a series of emails, we were able to talk to Juliet about her work as a VA, the joy of being the voice of Miyuki, and other things she has in the fire.
How did you get into voice acting? Did you take any classes to improve
JC: I first got into voice acting by playing some incidental roles in Bubblegum Crash. Some fun, crazy, one liner characters in the background. I knew someone through the local theatre community who had seen my work and was directing some episodes and asked me to come in. After that I couldn't wait to audition for a real part. I studied acting for many years, including voice, and have always worked and struggled to work as an actor. This was just another great way to do what I loved, as I was doing theatre, film and TV as well. As an actor you try to be as versatile as possible if you want to work.
Often, actors have day jobs when they first start out. What was your and
do you still have a "day job"?
JC: Oh yeah! Lots of 'day jobs'! LOL! I waited tables for a long time, but I also cleaned houses for a while, and took care of animals for a movie animal trainer. I got to feed and walk Cujo, literally! That was great. But then I started to do makeup on the side and now I work a lot as a makeup artist when I'm not acting. It's great to get to be on both sides!
LS: What was your first job as a voice actor?
JC: Well, my first job was some incidental roles in Bubble Gum Crash. Then I finally landed my first lead in one episode of A.D. Police Files. After that I auditioned for a few parts before I finally landed an audition at Coastal Studios, which was an amazing experience. I booked that job and the part was Belldandy in Oh! My Goddess. Wow, did I feel lucky!
LS: Did you know you wanted to work in anime or did you stumble into it accidentally?
JC: I always knew I wanted to voice animation. When I was first starting out in Los Angeles, a friend of mine was friends with Cree Summer. She was doing some voices for the Smurfs and some other shows and I just thought that was the coolest acting job in the world. I knew I wanted to get into that but I didn't know how. I've followed her career for years, and she just played a lead in a huge feature, very cool!
LS: What are some anime voices you have done or series you have worked on that we may not have realized it was you?
JC: One of my favorite roles was Mutio in Blue Submarine No. 6. She's a strange, mutant cat-fish sort of a girl who doesn't talk much. But it was one of the most challenging voice acting jobs I've had. It's hard to express your characters' emotions without words, only sounds. I loved it. Rane in Elf Princess Rane was fun and different. And Shinesman, that's a great, crazy show. I also got to play the butt-kicking Sarah Bryant in the Virtua Fighter series!
LS: When did you first come to work for AnimEigo?
JC: I've worked for AnimEigo quite a few times, but all my work is done in Coastal Studios with director Scott Houle.
LS: Did you have to audition for the role of Miyuki? Was there a lot of competition for the part?
JC: Oh yeah, I had to audition along with everyone else; I think they heard a lot of actresses for the part.
LS: The ova's were very successful. Did you watch them to prepare for the role? Did you feel any pressure to duplicate and/or improve on Jo Ann Luftzatto's performance?
JC: I'm a huge fan of the ova's. I thought they were awesome, and I watched them as research while working on OMG. In fact it was Joanne Luzatto who recommended me to Coastal, we knew each other from the local theatre scene. I thought she was just amazing as Miyuki, she inspired me from the beginning. I tried to keep as much of her Miyuki as I could while still trying to make her my own. Joanne's a tough act to follow.
LS: You were videotaped while recording YUA. What was that like?
JC: Well...actors love to be filmed, but it did make me a bit more self-conscious at times. ; )
LS: What was the best part of working on YUA? What was the most difficult part?
JC: The best part was getting to work on such a fun series. It's really great to put your own life and troubles aside and become a traffic cop for a few hours. I had a blast every time I was in the studio. The only difficult part was taking over for Joanne, I just wanted to do Miyuki justice.
LS: Did you watch the finished product? What are your thoughts on it?
JC: I LOVE to watch the finished product! When I'm in the studio I don't always get to hear the other actors. So I really look forward to seeing them finished. I've only seen the first boxed set at this point, and they're all more amazing then I imagined. Strike Man, Yoriko, they all just crack me up! lol
LS: We are currently running a YUA contest. Any stories of your own you would like to share?
JC: The only times I've been pulled over I just got a warning. It pays to be nice *knock on wood*
LS: As a voice actress, what do you want to bring to the roles you play?
JC: The same honesty and truth of character that I try to bring to any role I play whether it's onstage or screen, or video. Anime is such an artist’s medium, so I just try to help make the artists vision a reality and bring the character to life as best I can. I'm here to support the artist.
LS: Do you find your work influenced by any other voice actors, past or present?
JC: Good actors always inspire me; they make me strive to be better. I love Tiffany Grant, Lisa Ortiz, Pamela Weidner, the va's from the Simpsons, just to name a few. And the Japanese actresses that originated the roles I've played are always a great influence. I listen to their performances over and over while doing my homework, and try to bring some of their inflection and emotion into whatever character I'm playing.
LS: Are you a fan of anime in general? What is your favorite series?
JC: I'm a huge fan, and love to see as much as I can. My favorite tends to be whichever show I'm working on at the moment, so right now it's YUA. But I love Slayers, Eva, and anything by Miyazaki.
LS: Of all the roles out there, what part you didn't do would you have liked to do?
JC: Honestly, I just think about all the roles that are out there that haven't been done yet. When can I do those? ; )
LS: Who are some of the other voice actors you see as leaving a mark on the field?
JC: I'm so in awe of many of the voice actors I've been able to work with. Pamela Weidner is always amazing! Tamara IS Natsumi...nobody could play that role like she does. Scott Simpson, Michael Granberry, Courtney and Jason Hatfield, Rick Forrester, are all great actors and I love that I've gotten to work with all of them.
LS: Do you have any new projects coming up?
JC: Right now I'm co-producing a play that Linda Lavin is directing and I'm so excited to work with her! I'm always auditioning so you never know what you're next project will be. I hope some great anime series comes my way!
LS: Did you work on the “You’re Under Arrest” movie for AD Vision?
myself, and Coastal Studios, worked on the YUA specials and the movie for ADV.
They were a bit different and so much fun!! I can't wait to see them!
LS: What is the one piece of advice you never got that you feel every aspiring voice actor should know?
JC: I always tell aspiring voice actors that the number one thing to learn is to act. Act wherever you can, so that when that opportunity arises you're ready. With anime you have to live where it's being done, then just audition till that right part comes along that you're the perfect fit for.
LS: It was great talking with you.
JC: Thanks guys, I had fun!
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