At Anime Boston I got the absolute honor of getting to interview one of my childhood voice acting heroes, Mona Marshall. Over her several years as a voice actress Mona has brought many beloved characters to life, including Ascot from Rayearth, Makoto from Love Hina, Minoru from Chobits, Izzy from Digimon and most recently, beloved Japanese icon Doraemon. The interview was a group interview with all of the press members at the convention, so I will try to sum up all the answers she gave to us the best I can.
Question 1. How does your convention experience differ from that of a normal con goer/ how are you enjoying your Anime Boston.
Mona: I’m having a ton of fun, I am luck to have escorting me around or i’d get very lost. I’m going through the dealers room trying to pick up as much Doraemon merchandise as I can find.
She proceeds to point to the Doraemon shirt she is wearing proudly.
Question 2: As we all know, Digimon Tri is coming out soon. I know it’s not your choice, but if you could come back and reprise the role of Izzy. Would you?
Mona: Absolutely, I’d love too. Izzy was one of my favorite roles and I’d love to voice him again. Though, as you said, it’s not my choice and I can’t go beg for it. So you guys go do it, go, tell them you want it.
Question 3 I’ll admit, I don’t really remember the phrasing of. The general idea of the question was if she had any idea of how much of a voice acting icon she was.
Mona: No, I never really knew how popular I am and honestly, i’m happy not knowing. I’d rather not feel full headed.
The fourth question was about her work on South Park and what it’s like.
Mona: Working on South Park was very much like being on call, I couldn’t plan a vacation or anything. I had to be ready to rush to the studio.
Question 5: What is the show you’ve been most shocked by acting in/ has anything ever shocked you while recording.
Mona: Well, back in my early days I worked on a lot of ‘adult’ material. A lot of Roger Coreman stuff, and I didn’t know the difference between softcore and hardcore. Well back then, they only had two tracks and if anyone messed up, you had to re-record the whole thing. So by the end of the day, it became very unsexy. I was turned off porn for life.
Question 6: If you could forget any role you’ve done and experience it all over again like it is the first time, what role would you pick?
Mona: Oh god, that’s like asking me to pick a favorite child. I love them all so much, well in general. I enjoy voicing villains the best. So i would pick any of my evil/villainous characters.
Question 7: Is there any advice you’ve given or any advice that you’ve been given that you would like to give to aspiring voice actors?
Mona: Absolutely, in particular for girls, for every 10 roles there are. 9 of them are for men. So, try to be flexible, step outside your comfort zone.
Question 8: In that same vein of questioning, how do you mentally prepare yourself or prepare in general to play a young boy.
Mona: For me personally, I grew up very much a tomboy so I have a natural rhythm for playing young boys. I also used to work around young boys a lot, so I know how to think and act like them. It all comes down to having a natural rhythm for the part.
Question 9: If you weren’t a actress, what kind of job do you see yourself working?
Mona: A Teacher, I would be teaching if I wasn’t acting.
Question 10: If you lived in the world of South Park, who would you interact with most/want to be.
Mona: WHY would I want to be in the world of South Park!? Would YOU want to be in the world of South Park? No, it’s horrible. I mean, I love the actors, the writing, the entire staff and I love working on it but I wouldn’t want to LIVE there. On that note, If i had too. I would be Kyle’s Mom, because, that’s me and you know, natural rhythm.
Sadly, we were only allotted a half an hour and we only managed to ask ten questions in the allotted time. She was such a sweet and humble lady and I was more than a little honored to get to attend this interview. I would love to get the chance to speak with her again and ask more about recording down at Disney studios. I have admired her work and her ability to voice for a long time, I hope she continues to grace us with her talent far into the future.