Tekko Voice Actor Interviews With Jeff Nimoy, Jad Saxton, Chermi Leigh & Brina Palencia!

We were plenty busy at Tekko and so were the voice actors. The whole group of them decided to be interviewed at the same time on the main stage. We had a few moments to get to know each of these talented people by asking them about their careers.

Jeff Nimoy Interview

What is the process of directing and producing an anime like?

Many times, there is a simultaneous production going on in the US and Japan. In that case, the scripts been done in Japan, the animations been done in Japan and in that case they send that out to multiple countries for adaptation not just the US.

Do you have to do a lot of reediting when making an anime?

Occasionally we need to change something to fit our sensibilities or we want the story to go in a slightly different direction.  So we find footage and reedit and tweak it.  The problem is if you do that to much in episode one and don’t know what is going to happen in episode eleven you can paint yourself into a corner story wise.

What was it like working on a successful series like Trigun?

I used to work at a place called Magnitude 8 in Burbank California . . .we’d go there and we’d work on hundreds of different ones, Cowboy Beebop was one, Fist of the North Star was one, Trigun was just another one of those. It was just one of a long list of titles that went straight to DVD and no one knew about it.  One day I was at a convention and someone mentioned Wolfwood, and I was like what anime was that?  Someone shouts out Trigun and the crowd went wild.  I had no idea

What was the moment you knew that that working on anime was what you wanted to do?

I was a big Saturday morning TV junkie, in the mornings before school I watched Bugs Bunny, when I got home I watched Bugs Bunny.  I just remember that finding out about Mel Blank, one guy did all those voices. I was mesmerized by that. I couldn’t believe that one guy could do it all.  I decided in college that I wanted to be an actor. I moved to California to become an actor. I couldn’t get arrested as an actor.  I did some improve comedy and someone came to a show where I did a lot of voices.  He came up to me and said he was doing a show called the mutant league video game and we need someone to do like a million voices and that was my first VO job and that was a dream come true. I decided to concentrate on voice after that.

Jad Saxton Interview

What was it like working on Michiko and Hatchin?

t was a really epic journey working on Michiko and Hatchin.  I was really excited to get the role because it was one of the auditions where I was like nope I was terrible.  To have a role with that mother daughteresque and have that really cool relationship.  To be in an anime that wasn’t set in your typical place, it didn’t say it was in brazil but that what it felt like.  Having two amazing females leads who weren’t really concerned about relationships other than theirs was really cool.

How has the simultaneous-dub changed the industry?

It’s changed the pace and its changed the change is felt by both actors and directors and mostly actors I think it’s made us more adaptive.  You did already often one character one day and another character the next. Now you can do up to five different characters in the space of an hour.

Jad you worked on Log Horizon what was that like?

That was the first time I was working for Senti filmworks and I was really nervous. The director was such an easy-going person and made me and the cast feel so comfortable since their process is slightly different than at Funimation.

How do you feel being a part of a community that seems to embrace differences especially in the LGBTQ community, even if it doesn’t look so on the surface?

I directed Interviews with Monster girls and it has connected a lot with the LGBTQ community as well as the special needs community.  It’s been really cool to have the relation and show that perspective, that voice through anime. Anime is such an accepting community.  I think that acceptance is part of helping the learning curve of people we don’t know anything about.

Cherami Leigh Interview

We all grew up with anime staples like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon.  Did you ever think Sword Art Online was going to be the phenomena it became?

No, I’ve been very fortunate to work on a lot of shows that fans have connected to and gravitated towards. When I was cast as Asuna I was told it had a fan base but I wasn’t expecting we’d do two seasons and then a movie and that it’d sold out in the sub version and that it would go back in theater in a month as the dub version and get sold out again.  I’m always shocked and always amazed that I get to work on it and I love it.

You’ve played Primula in Shuffle, Miyafuji in Strike Witches, Asuna in SAO, and Miharu in Yamada’s First time how do you get in the head space of such diverse characters?

Great writing. We are very fortunate in this adaptive world of anime that we have great writers that can write for the flaps and are up for the challenge. One of the things about being an actor is I love human beings and I love the idea of being on this planet and being able to jump into as many different people and live as many different lives and try and get empathy for their lives and their choices.  The animation and the story does all the work from me and I just have to react to the story.

How do you feel being a part of a community that seems to embrace differences especially in the LGBTQ community, even if it doesn’t look so on the surface?

I’ve been seeing that more and more in television shows and movies and YouTube where people are coming out to talk about what makes them unique and what their struggles are. How it’s not becoming a dirty secret to have a mental illness.  How working in an industry that is now highlighting these issues and creating an open-minded community.

Brina Palencia Interview

You were able to play Holo in Spice and Wolf. What was the experience like?

It was really fun because I got to work opposite of Tatum. I remember seeing him after his first session, he recorded first and I asked him how was the show? How was the dynamic? His response was its just basically just me and you. It was a really fun show. It’s a cool show and basically a show about economics and yet somehow really interesting and really fun it’s a really smart show which I love.  It also has a really empowered female role with is also a bonus for me.

How do you feel being a part of a community that seems to embrace differences especially in the LGBTQ community, even if it doesn’t look so on the surface?

I think that is something really special in this community. I know especially for myself as a woman that plays a lot of male characters and in fact one of my characters is always mistaken for a girl and I know with talking to a lot of transgender kids that they really identify. It’s a really cool thing to know you can give comfort to someone that feels unaccepted.

 We want to thank Brina, Cherami, Jad, and Jeff for spending time sharing their thoughts and stories. We look forward to their upcoming projects.
Zeke Changuris


Author: Zeke Changuris

I’m a journalist, writer, photographer, video producer, social media manager and above all a storyteller. I’m located on the east coast of the United States but travel the world with the love of my life. I’ve been a nerd since birth with a love of history and science. I fell in love with anime, watching ROBOTECH and Venus Wars in the 80s when our only source was secondhand VHS dubs. A crazy new thing called the internet changed that, giving me access to new and amazing anime every day. I love to write for work and pleasure. I’m living the dream of every kid, getting paid to watch anime and loving every subtitled line.

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