Joe Romersa is an extremely talented
voice artist who can be heard in numerous anime shows and movies.
How did you first become involved in voice acting?
I was an engineer thrown onto the microphone to do some Alien Voices
on a project called "Collet 45". Then shortly after that,
I did the same thing for Animaze, Pioneer, Manga and Bandai recording
at a studio called Magnitude 8 Post, dubbing Anime for the first time.
I was basically a sound engineer who was there when they needed a
What inspired you to enter the business?
It was more fun than sound engineering.
When voicing a new character, are you ever required
to partake in extensive research for the role?
There's usually not enough time to do 'extensive' research. You get
a little background, but not much. Mostly Pitch , Attitude and Energy
is important, where they're at at the moment, etc..
What type of characters do you prefer playing?
The big friendly giant type, or evil scientist. Mostly, I get the
"Deep Voice" parts. "Fist of the North Star" T.V.
Series I played many roles like Zido , Hart, Devil Reverse, Zaria,
and 100's of misc. dying Thugs and villagers. Devil Reverse is the
result of combining my voice with reverse Rock & Roll audio tricks
I learned in the 70's.
Do you prefer dubbing anime over other forms of voice work? If so,
Dubbing is the art form. It's the same for all animation. The thing
that matters the most is the Directing and the Acting.
Is there anything you particularly like about the voice acting profession?
Making the character come to life. I like it when the acting is right,
and have a good time doing it. I don't like the pressure of having
to little time to get it right. It's a performance, not a race! Why
is there never have enough time to do it right, but always enough
time to do it over. (ok, enough) I love everything about voice acting!
Can you give us an example of what a typical
work day is like in dubbing an anime?
The Actor comes in, greets the Director and Sound Engineer, has coffee
or water, hangs out and talks for three to five minutes, then it's
time to record. The script is waiting on the music stand, positioned
in a way so that they can see the screen and glance at the script
for reference. Sometimes, if the Actor has done the character in the
past, the Director will play a sample of the last time the Actor played
this character for reference and inspiration. Headphones are there
for cueing purposes and communication from the control room. Each
sentence or sometimes paragraph is called a "Loop". The
Actor is cued to start the loop after they hear 3 beeps. On the 4th
(silent beep) is where the mouth opens and starts talking. But, before
the Actor records, they will listen and watch the show in it's original
language. Now the Actor knows what energy and mood is needed. After
the loop is recorded it's played back to check it. If it's good, they
move on to the next loop. A typical problem situation, is when the
English Actor can't pronounce a Japanese word, and the studio clock
keeps on ticking at $100 bucks an hour. Or sometimes the ADR Script
writer has written a loop that is too short , or too long. Now the
danger of adding or subtracting words from the loop to make it fit
the "lip Flaps". The Director then has to refer to the translation
to make sure nothing is lost or changed. After all is recorded on
the one Actor, the next is already waiting in the studio lobby, with
water or coffee, and life repeats itself once again.
What are some of your favorite cartoons/anime personally?
I love El Hazard, Giant Robo, Armitage, Macross Plus, Wings of Honneamise,
Are there any tips you have for those attempting to break into the
business of voice acting?
Voice Acting is Acting. Be an Actor, get an agent, or learn to be
a Sound Engineer. Take a workshop. Take a number. Underneath I'm actually
a Musician, so performing is in my DNA. I have enough "Ham"
in me to start a delicatessen. Be fearless. No Stage Fright allowed!