Mike Pollock interview by Sage XPO (July 29, 2009)
From Sonic Retro
- Thanks to BlazeHedgehog for the log.
This is a log of the live chat with Mike Pollock that took place at the fourteenth Sonic Amateur Games Expo on July 29th, 2009 at 10:00pm Eastern-Standard Time. In the chat Mike Pollock goes under the alias itsamike.
[20:04] Slingerland: Mike, both of your accounts are now voiced.
[20:05] itsamike: Oh, there we are.
[20:05] Slingerland: WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.
[20:05] itsamike: A little pop-up malfunction.
[20:06] itsamike: Hello, everybody!
[20:06] Slingerland: ok, so you guys know how SAGE interviews work.
[20:06] Slingerland: PM a question to either Blaze or I
[20:07] Slingerland: I hope you like similar questions, Mike ;)
[20:07] Slingerland: let's start with Lotus
[20:07] itsamike: Always.
[20:08] Lotushopper: What was your favorite project to do voice-work for?
[20:08] itsamike: That question could have several answers. I probably had the most fun working on Viva Pinata, since it was very well written....
[20:09] Slingerland: who did you voice in that game, by the way (for those who are unaware)?
[20:09] itsamike: I was Langston Lickatoad in both the series and the games.
[20:10] itsamike: But I also had great fun today voicing a couple of NoDoz spots, and voicing the Astonishing X-Men motion comics. Both of those were more recent, but much shorter-lived
[20:10] itsamike: .
[20:11] Lotushopper: Thanks Blaze. Hey Pollock, as someone who has an interest in voice acting (characters BESIDES Mario thank you very much) It's nice to meet you.
[20:11] itsamike: But for the purpose of this chat, voicing Ella just made me laugh, and Eggman is nice because he keeps popping up again a few times a year.
[20:11] itsamike: Thanks, Kiddo. Likewise, I'm sure.
[20:11] Lotushopper: snide? feh. Anyway. Question time. Your Eggman voice in the Sonic games is notably different from in 4Kids' "Sonic X"
[20:12] Lotushopper: Was there any notable difference in how Sega handled you compared to 4Kids'?
[20:12] itsamike: Not really, but the material was different, which affected the voice quite a bit. Darker material called for a darker voice, and that was mostly my choice, not the director's.
[20:13] Lotushopper: Oh, wow. That's interesting to know. It's strange because -everyone- sounded differen.
[20:13] Lotushopper: *different
[20:13] itsamike: No one complained, so I stand by my decision.
[20:13] Lotushopper: Even though it was all the same VAs from the 4Kids series.
[20:13] itsamike: It was less comedic, so the changed happened pretty organically.
[20:13] Lotushopper: Most people prefer how they sound in the Sega games, obviously enough.
[20:13] itsamike: I'm not gonna play favorites.
[20:14] Slingerland: thanks, Kiddo
[20:14] Slingerland: next, I have Ringtailedfox
[20:14] Slingerland: btw, "Little Tug's Big Adventure" now available at your local video store
[20:14] itsamike: Yes, it's available because no one is buying it.
[20:14] RingtailedFox: good evening, Mr. Pollock! I'm RingtailedFox of mobianlegends.com... my question is "how did you land the job as a voice actor for Sega and 4kids Animation"?
[20:15] itsamike: Thank you very much. Here's the story, RingtailedFox....
[20:16] itsamike: Back in 2000 or so I answered a classified ad in Backstage, the Theatre Newspaper. It was a vague Blind Box ad for an anime dubbing gig. I send it my demo reel and booked a guest shot on what turned out to be Pokémon....
[20:17] itsamike: Eric Stuart, the director at the time, remembered me and brought me in when the Fox Box was getting off the ground, and through him I was recommended for roles in Kirby, Ultimate Muscle, the Fox Box promo guy, and eventually Sonic X.
[20:17] itsamike: No agent for that, no, It was direct.
[20:18] itsamike: Sonic was produced by the same team that produced the Kirby anime, and they worked really hard to convince Sega to cast me, through a very long audition process.
[20:19] itsamike: That led to the games and to where we are today.
[20:19] RingtailedFox: i can only imagine it was a fun experience for ya
[20:19] itsamike: Confusing and exhausting but also fun.
[20:21] Cy-Fox: Thanks Blaze, salutations Mr. Pollock ^_^;
[20:21] itsamike: Hi, Cy-Fox!
[20:21] Cy-Fox: Would you say you prefer the "good guy" roles or the "bad guy roles" ?
[20:22] Cy-Fox: Or is there a comfortable little mix there?
[20:22] itsamike: While bad guys are meatier roles acting wise, I prefer to make myself and others laugh, so I always prefer to play the comedy whenever possible.
[20:23] Cy-Fox: Well my friend you're doing a good job of that so far. Thanks!
[20:23] itsamike: I'm blushing.
[20:23] DMAshura: hold on
[20:23] DMAshura: Greetings Mike, and thank you for doing this interview and answering my question.
[20:24] DMAshura: I understand (correctly I hope) that you play Eggman Nega as well as Eggman.
[20:24] DMAshura: What I'd like to know is, how do you like the character of Nega in comparison to Eggman? How do you interpret the difference between the characters. Do you do anything different in particular to get in character for Nega?
[20:24] itsamike: Sure, DMAshura....
[20:26] itsamike: The trouble with those one-off type characters is that there really isn't any time to prepare. I first found out I was Eggman Nega when I walked in that day. And when he resurfaced in a game, the 4Kids talent booker had to ask if I voiced him....
[20:26] itsamike: I basically let the director guide me and take whatever notes I'm given. I tried to separate the two by darkening my tone a bit for Nega.
[20:27] DMAshura: Did you enjoy playing Nega, then? :)
[20:27] DMAshura: Being more ... cold and cunning?
[20:28] itsamike: I didn't really have enough time with Eggman Nega to like or dislike him, unfortunately. He came and went so quickly. I enjoyed the challenge of creating the character in the blink of an eye, though.
[20:28] itsamike: Hey Ben, Falafel!
[20:29] Shinginta: Wooha. Alright.
[20:29] Shinginta: First, hello, Mike Pollock
[20:29] itsamike: Hi, Shinginta!
[20:29] Shinginta: I kinda had what was a slightly twofold question: Do you really consider yourself as having much leeway in requesting roles? And have you done so, or tried to do so in the past?
[20:31] itsamike: I almost never get to request roles. I wait for the phone or email to ring and come in and read for whatever I'm asked to. But the choice is usually not up to the actor.
[20:32] itsamike: I did, however, help Michael Sinterniklaas sweet talk his way into the TMNT auditions, so he owes all of his Leonardo success to me.
[20:32] Jackskellinghog: To start things off. I'm an aspiriting amateur voice actor and am very pleased that I get the chance to ask a question from someone whom I respect throughout the entire Voice acting community. So, Hi~
[20:32] itsamike: Why, who walked in? Oh, me. Thanks!
[20:33] Jackskellinghog: My question is: How did you come about becoming Dr.Robotnik. Was It a voice you had already worked on, or is there any motivational material you used first?
[20:34] itsamike: The producers gave me some Deem Bristow samples to match for the audtions, and the early episodes of Sonic X reflect that. As the show wore on, the voice settled into a more comfortable place for me.
[20:34] itsamike: I just tried to keep the evil genius quality going throughout.
[20:35] Jackskellinghog: And it shows, you're doing a brilliant job. May I ask another question Slinger?
[20:35] Slingerland: nope
[20:35] itsamike: No, but I'll answer it. Vienna, Austria, 1943. Next?
[20:35] itsamike: II'm kidding.
[20:36] thrawny: Thanks and good evening Mike. I am sure working with the entire team was a great experience, but who on the Sonic voice team would you say you have experienced the funnest interactions with while acting?
[20:37] itsamike: That's easy. No one. We all recorded separately.
[20:37] thrawny: oh wow, i didn't realize that
[20:37] itsamike: I'll amend that. Andrew Rannells, the director, was hysterical.
[20:37] itsamike: We record separately while dubbing. It's easier to manipulate the audio to fit the flap that way.
[20:38] thrawny: that certainly would have made it good yes, well thanks for clearing that up for me Mike. I do think you voice a very evil robotnik btw.
[20:38] itsamike: TMNT and Viva Pinata were pre-lay, however. We recorded first then they animated to our voices.
[20:38] itsamike: Thank you.
[20:39] MFZB: Anyhow, what was your biggest insperation into getting into Voice Acting?
[20:39] itsamike: Back atcha, sir!
[20:41] itsamike: Watching cartoons and listening to the radio when I was growing up. I spent my early career in radio, doing voices in commercials and bits and stuff. It's great to be able to have more time to explore a recurring character.
[20:41] itsamike: I recorded No Doz on 27th Street. Maybe I saw him.
[20:42] Xalren: How does one go about audiotioning for voice actting roles and are they're any pre-requisit requirments such as a certain college degree or whatnot?
[20:42] Xalren: "Mr. Pollock, first off I'd like to say it is an honor to have the privledge of speaking with you. As voice actor for the Bluehog Gamming Studio and as an amature voice actor intrested in beoming a professional, I'd like to know: How does one go about audiotioning for voice actting roles and are they're any pre-requisit requirments such as a certain college degree or whatnot?
[20:42] Xalren: (Sorry, wrong preset text)
[20:43] itsamike: The, uh, real way is to send demos out to everyone in the business, like castng directors, agents, studios, managers, etc. and hope they call you in for auditions, but these days the game has changed. You can audition for stuff yourself on sites like Voice123 and Voices,com from the privacy of your own home...
[20:44] itsamike: Which gives me a perfect chance to plug the book I contributed to: Voice for Hire, available at www.itsamike.com.
[20:44] SOTI: Hi Mike. I have a rather simple question for you, there are usually times when the voice of a character has been given to another VA so I'm asking this, how long would you like to voice Dr Eggman for?
[20:44] itsamike: Buy a whole caseload and distribute them liberally throughout this holiday season.
[20:45] itsamike: Easy. As long as I can.
[20:45] SOTI: I see
[20:45] SOTI: Hopefully they'll keep you on for a while
[20:46] SOTI: you seem to do a good job
[20:46] SOTI: Well, thanks for that. I think we're done now.
[20:46] itsamike: Thanks, There are very few jobs I've ever wanted to give up, and the one that I would is a pain because I have to record from home and do hours of post production. Thanks!
[20:47] H_Hog: First off, hiya, Mike. Dunno if you remember me, but thanks again for playing Trivia with me last year, had a blast. =)
[20:47] itsamike: Ah, yes. Good times.
[20:47] H_Hog: My question is as follows; Are there any characters in any kind of series (such as, say, comics or other kinds of literature) you enjoy that you would like to have a chance at giving a voice to?
[20:50] itsamike: Not a specific character, but I'd love to do a big budget L.A. cartoon or animated film. This gives me a chance to rail against the recent celebrity stunt casting that's pushing the average working guys and gals like me out of the movies. Chris Rock put it best when he pointed out that the kids don't care that Brad Pitt is voicing some clown in a movie!
[20:50] H_Hog: Haha, too true. Allright, good to know. =) Might queue up for another question if I think one up, but until then, thanks a lot!
[20:51] BlazeHedgehog: I don't think Brad Pitt cares either. You hear "I'm doing this movie for my kids" a lot.
[20:51] itsamike: I auditioned for Family Guy once but didn't book it. And Seth Green was a bit of a jerk to me at a Family Guy live show. But that's just ancient history.
[20:51] itsamike: Exactly.
[20:53] Slingerland: Mike, I don't think anybody but Seth Green and Seth MacFarlane do the voices for the reason that they're egomaniacs
[20:53] Slingerland: because they do like... all the voices on that show
[20:53] itsamike: I'd agree, but that might be career suicide.
[20:53] Hero Chao: Just want to give you a late welcome, Mike! This is Kat Khaled. :) Unfortunately work kept me until half-past 10. But I'm happy to see that everything has gone well!
[20:54] itsamike: Thanks! Great to be here.
[20:55] Kanna-Chan: What are your plans for the future?
[20:55] itsamike: Oh, sorry. Well. I'll be going to sleep later, then tomorrow I'll wake up and... oh, sorry....
[20:57] itsamike: I'm constantly auditioning for new work. I also have some ongoing work at studios who keep calling me in every week or so, but as long as new jobs are being posted, I'll be trying to get them.
[21:00] killer2099: ah hello mike my question is what is you opinion on the censoring of sonic x by 4kids
[21:02] killer2099: sorry for being so blunt...
[21:03] itsamike: That's a business decision on their part. They've gotta get their stuff by the network's Standards and Practices people, so they do what they think they have to do. It kind of makes sense to me, since they're targeting 6-12-year-olds, not adolescents and above.
[21:04] killer2099: ah well thank you for answering my question mike keep up the good work my friend
[21:04] itsamike: Thanks. I don't know much, but as least I know what I don't know.
[21:04] Prime_2: Last year at sage, you showed the world that you were apparently not contractually bound not to use your eggman, or related voices for personal purposes or amusement. A common subject with the eggman voice had you reciting some of the meme phrases of the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog Robotnik.
[21:05] Prime_2: Now, AoSTH robotnik was voiced by Long John Baldrey
[21:05] Prime_2: The guy was a very talanted singer, had a few big hits...
[21:05] 'Prime_2: Since you're here, I'm assuming you're going to be on the sagecast again
[21:06] Prime_2: So I'm wondering if you could sing the chorus of "let the heartaches begin" when you go on
[21:07] Slingerland: he didn't say anything in his Eggman voice at SAGE last year except "I'm Dr. Eggman"
[21:07] Slingerland: I have the recording
[21:07] Prime_2: Really? Somebody told me that they got him to say pingas
[21:07] itsamike: No. I am contractually bound, and once it was pointed out me that I was doing memes I thought better of it. There should be some video of me refusing to do the Pingas thing at AnimeNEXT. Thank you so much.
[21:07] Slingerland: whoever told you lied
[21:07] Prime_2: And wasted my question.
[21:07] Prime_2: well, thanks for hearing me.
[21:08] itsamike: No, I was tricked into doing Pingas once, but I'm happy to say I overenunciated it so it sounded bad.
[21:08] BlueEmerald: Hi, Mike. Nice to meet you.
[21:08] itsamike: Next time I'll really mangle it so it sounds like nothing.
[21:09] itsamike: Snooping?... As usual?... I see!
[21:09] itsamike: Go on.
[21:09] BlueEmerald: So, here's a question some of us may have really wanted to know. Do you think the name Dr. Eggman or Dr. Robotnik fits the character's description better, and why?
[21:10] itsamike: Dr. Eggman was the name that was always used in the Sonic X script, so I stand by Sega's current choice.
[21:10] BlueEmerald: What's your standpoint on the name Robotnik?
[21:10] BlueEmerald: Does it sound like a good name for a villainous machinist like Eggman?
[21:11] itsamike: A DOODLE DO!
[21:11] itsamike: What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. -- William Shakespeare.
[21:12] Bluehog: *tumbles onto stage* Hi!
[21:12] Bluehog: Looking back on your role of Eggman is there anything you would have liked to have done differently?
[21:13] itsamike: I would have liked his voice to settle in a bit sooner, but apart from that, no. I did what the director wanted, and that's basically my job, so I'll take the director's word for it.
[21:14] Slingerland: forget those first couple of episodes where he sounded all different
[21:14] Slingerland: THOSE NEVER HAPPENED
[21:14] itsamike: Nah, that happens to everyone. Check out early episodes of the Simpsons when Homer still sounded like Walter Matthau.
[21:15] NeKit: Good morning, Mr. Pollock! I'm from Russia, so excuse me please.
[21:15] itsamike: So were my maternal grandparents.
[21:15] NeKit: In what game or video was it the hardest to sound Dr. Eggman? Everywhere he is a bit different.
[21:15] itsamike: And so is Gogoriki. Go on.
[21:15] itsamike: Excellent question.
[21:16] itsamike: I think the first game I did when I realized that the game character was so vastly different from the anime. It took me a few minutes to get comfortable with my darker side.
[21:16] itsamike: Now I ask you one. Do you watch Smeshariki?
[21:17] itsamike: Which we dub into English as Gogoriki?
[21:17] NeKit: Yes, I wathed they a few yeears ago?
[21:17] NeKit: *.
[21:17] itsamike: Excellent. I play Bigoriki, or Kar Karych to you.
[21:18] itsamike: Watch our version at 4Kids.tv
[21:19] BFSYusuke: Woo! Hi Mike! Fancy meeting you here
[21:19] itsamike: Small world, ain't it?
[21:19] BFSYusuke: Yes. Definitely.
[21:19] BFSYusuke: Anyway
[21:20] BFSYusuke: my question is, You said you try to get any job you can, but doesn't that cause a lot of shedule conflicts for you?
[21:20] BFSYusuke: For example, recording sessions landing on the same day, etc?
[21:22] BFSYusuke: er *Schedule, oops
[21:22] itsamike: It's actually pretty easy to avoid those problems. In case of a conflict, I can usually guess who is likely to be more flexible and can reschedule. I do sometimes end up at an audition that's running late when I have to be another audition or booking, but a quck phone call will fix that....
[21:23] itsamike: One unfortunate conflict is loving family. I've gotta mind the kids in the afternoon and evenings, and it's tough to record with a two-year-old in the room/
[21:23] itsamike: Excellent!
[21:23] itsamike: *my loving family...
[21:24] Ekoi: Evening Mike, I come from Shadow of a Hedgehog.
[21:24] itsamike: Ah, yes. Welcome!
[21:25] Ekoi: Are there any partictular lines you have played as Eggman that are your favorite or most memorable?
[21:25] itsamike: I've often said that I like the moments in the anime when Eggman would break the "fourth wall" and talk to the audience. I really liked the bit where he took a call from a viewer with a silly "Helloooooo?
[21:26] itsamike: "
[21:27] Ekoi: Now that you mention it, I think you answered a simular question the same back when you took Q&A on SoaH's forums.
[21:27] Ekoi: Silly me!
[21:27] Ekoi: 8D\
[21:27] itsamike: 'sokay.
[21:27] itsamike: I still like those moment.zs
[21:28] Ekoi: Thanks for the refresher, mang.
[21:28] itsamike: I'm a giver.
[21:28] Giantsonic: Hey, Mike
[21:29] itsamike: Yo!
[21:29] Giantsonic: I was wondering if you've ever had an audition where EVERYTHING goes wrong?
[21:29] itsamike: Yes. Here's one that comes to mind....
[21:29] itsamike: It was for some forgetful commercial product or other....
[21:30] itsamike: I was frazzled running from one place to another, and the lady running the auditioning was really liking my voice, but kept saying she wanted more of a Stone Phillips sound....
[21:31] itsamike: I read four or five times, and thought I was being all Stone Phillips, but she obviously disagreed.
[21:32] itsamike: What made it worse was that she kept saying she really liked my voice, but we were obviously not connecting on the read she wanted.
[21:32] itsamike: And the best part was when I realized I had forgotten to turn my phone off and it started beeping and ringing in the middle of the audition.
[21:32] itsamike: Needless to say, she didn't call.
[21:33] itsamike: But the awesome No Doz experience I had today makes up for that....
[21:33] Slingerland: how was the NoDoz commercial?
[21:33] Slingerland: what ridiculous things did they make you say?
[21:34] itsamike: In the audition, I heard the casting directors say "Bingo" to each other, and at today's session, the producers, clients and agency people couldn't have been nicer.
[21:35] itsamike: I can't go into detail until the spot airs, but I'll have a link to it on www.itsamike.com as soon as I can.
[21:35] Slingerland: your turn, broham
[21:36] Honkey: Hello, sir! I hope you brought enough No Doz for everyone. Anyway, you mentioned earlier that you enjoy comedian roles, to you have a favorite in particular?
[21:36] Honkey: *comedic
[21:36] itsamike: Yeah. The fact that I was cast as Ella just had me in hysterics.....
[21:37] itsamike: And the truck driver voice I did for Meat in Ultimate Muscle, Bonaparte in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and Bigoriki in Gogoriki has always made me laugh. I love to play with that style of character.
[21:39] itsamike: Also the fact that no one believes that Ella and Eggman are played by the same actor just tickles me beyond belief.
[21:39] Slingerland: it's like the person who played Duke Nukem... he voiced Big the Cat
[21:39] Slingerland: or so I'm told
[21:40] itsamike: Um.... I can neither confirm nor deny. Not because I'm sworn to secrecy or anything. I just don't know.
[21:40] Naldrag: Hey, Mike.
[21:40] itsamike: Hi, Naldrag!
[21:41] Naldrag: not exactly the best question, but here goes. :P
[21:41] Naldrag: If SEGA decided to keep the original Genesis/Mega Drive design of Dr. Eggman, do you think the voice would be any different?
[21:43] Slingerland: and Mike, if you need a point of reference:
[21:43] Slingerland: ^that's what Eggman/Robotnik originally looked like
[21:43] itsamike: Hard to say. If SEGA wanted a change, I'd obviously comply. Or if the writing were suddenly vastly different in style or tone, I might consider a subtle shift. But I don't think I'd change the voice just based on a design change alone. Since I've been doing the games he's been tweaked visually, and I didn't make any changes based on that....
[21:44] itsamike: Besides, when we do the games we're usually working with rough animatics, so the characters sometimes don't have eyes or mouths.
[21:45] itsamike: And that's only for the movie sequences. The actual game play usually has no picture for us.
[21:47] gameboy121: Hi mike, nice to meet you
[21:47] itsamike: Likewise, I'm sure.
[21:47] gameboy121: What other career would you have done besides voice acting?
[21:48] itsamike: I've been a radio DJ and production director, as well as a radio comedy and song parody writer. I'd happily go back to any of those if the opportunity arose and time permitted.
[21:49] itsamike: But notice that they all have the common thread of voice acting. Coincidence?
[21:49] gameboy121: cool thanks for answering my question
[21:49] itsamike: Sure. And I'd gladly do stage or on camera work, if that should come up.
[21:50] Slingerland: Little Tug 2: Electric Boogaloo
[21:50] Kurokari: Hi, honor to speak with you
[21:50] itsamike: Little Tug was so popular a second copy had to be duplicated.
[21:50] itsamike: Hi there!
[21:51] Kurokari: I was wondering, as most unoffical voice actors probably woud, do you have any advice for aspiring voice actors?
[21:53] itsamike: Besides "Buy my book?" Yes. Do as much acting as you can, anywhere you can. School, community theatre, etc. If you can get some money together to afford a coach, get one. The training and professional demo production is worth it.
[21:53] Kurokari: cool, thanks.
[21:53] Kurokari: *walks off stage tripping on way off*
[21:54] Kurokari: i'm ok
[21:54] itsamike: Once you have a demo and you're shopping it around, never give up, These days there's so much dinky work popping up online, you'll get something. Especially if you don't mind working for slave wages.
[21:54] itsamike: Steady now!
[21:54] BlazeHedgehog: Sorry to say, looks like I have to run. Everybody who sent me questions, direct'em at Slingerland now. If Kat or Instant or one of the other ops wants to take over for me in my absence, go right ahead. I'll leave IRC running so I keep logging even when I'm not here.
[21:54] itsamike: Night, Blaze. Thanks!
[21:54] BlazeHedgehog: Thanks and stuff, Mike. :D
[21:55] itsamike: Anytime.
[21:55] InstantSonic: Thanks, from me and Kat, Mike!
[21:55] itsamike: The pleasure is mine.
[21:55] Bartman: Hey, thanks for taking time to speak with us tonight. (Today?)
[21:56] Bartman: Tell us what are your favorite past times, when you're not working or having to take care of personal matters...what would you be doing?
[21:57] itsamike: These days my loving family takes up much of my spare time, followed by web surfing and tv watching. My more esoteric hobbies revolve around radio, especially firing up the trusty old police scanner or scanning the shortwave set for pirate stations.
[21:58] Bartman: Police scanner, eh?
[21:58] itsamike: Sure. You haven
[21:58] itsamike: haven't watch Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve until you've watched it with the director in your ear calling the technical cues.
[21:59] Bartman: Sounds pretty entertaining.
[21:59] itsamike: I can't convince my family of that, but I've convinced some friends.
[22:00] TwinbeeMkII: Hi Mr Pollock! First off it's a total honor. I'm a major fan. I hope I can break into VA work someday when I get on my feet financially, and you're an inspiration (your Sonic 06 work was amazing). Sorry to hear about your Hollywood troubles. I hope my slowness isn't bad. Typing with a wiimote is tough :p I'll try to keep my inner fangirl in check :)
[22:01] itsamike: You're doin' fine.
[22:02] TwinbeeMkII: How do you feel playing such an iconic, famous and all around beloved role as Dr Eggman, and what would you say to all the fans (like me) who have supported your portrayl?
[22:04] itsamike: It's been a great honor so far, not only wearing the mantle of the good Doctor, but also following in the footsteps of my forebears. When I watch the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my two year old daughter, I smile knowing Jim Cummings and I have a character in common.....
[22:04] TwinbeeMkII: Thanks alot Mr Pollock! I wish you success and happiness in all you do and look forward to hearing you in the future! *sneaks in a quick hug*
[22:05] itsamike: And I'm nothing without fans. I never forget that. I'm extremely greatful for everyone's support, no matter which character of mine you may like best.
[22:05] itsamike: *grateful.
[22:05] Slingerland: I'm out of newcomers, so people want seconds.
[22:06] H_Hog: So yes, I've had another question... I know you said that for 4kids, you usually voice act separately from the other actors. However, as I understand, not every voice acting gig is done that way, and for instance, during the creation for shows such as Animaniacs, a lot of the fun came from the interaction between VA's. So I was wondering... Are there any voice actors you would like to have a chance at working together on a project with?
[22:06] itsamike: Put an E on that hug to get a HUGE one from me, Twinbee!
[22:06] H_Hog: Also keeping in mind what you just said about Jim Cummings. And aaw =)
[22:08] itsamike: All of them. I love to see my colleagues at work if I happen to arrive early for a session. And I've had the pleasure of recording en masse on a couple of TMNT episodes, and that was a magical experience, and everything I imagined a pre-lay session should be. So no, I don't have a particular choice of someone to work with. Anyone would be great.
[22:09] H_Hog: Heh, neat. Ever had a chance to work with Rob Paulsen? I'm a big fan in particular of his work =)
[22:09] H_Hog: (Sorry to sneak a second one in there)
[22:10] itsamike: I'd really love to work on stage with some of my 4Kids friends, but they never call at casting time. And never worked worked with Rob Pauslen. It's an East Coast/West Coast thing. We're like rappers.
[22:11] H_Hog: Ah. Hope there's no rivalry involved there, haha! I've yet to hear of a voice-actor driveby shooting :P
[22:11] itsamike: We would scream in all different voices.
[22:11] H_Hog: *knock on wood*
[22:11] itsamike: And do the AK-47 SFX ourselves.
[22:12] H_Hog: Haha! I can imagine that.
[22:12] H_Hog: Right, thanks for the answer - and the good laugh =)
[22:12] itsamike: Which reminds me: What do you use to shoot a mme? A silencer. Thank you. I'm here all week.
[22:13] Slingerland: what's the deal with airline food?
[22:13] itsamike: ha!
[22:13] xNight: What was college for you like? Any stand-out experiences or notable stories?
[22:14] itsamike: I wish I had been more memorable to the hallowed halls of Syracuse University. I often think about calling to see if they'd consider me one of their famous alumni they're always promoting.....
[22:15] itsamike: I majored in TV/Radio/Film production, while realizing that I really wanted to be the talent, not the producer....
[22:15] itsamike: I wanted to minor in theatre, the theatre snobs wouldn't allow that. "You have to devote your full time to the craft of the theatre...."
[22:16] xNight: I don't want to double up, so disregard this if need be, but did you end up switching from producer to talent during or after college?
[22:17] itsamike: Luckily SU had a non-theatre major's musical theatre group that did lots of shows for (scour Facebook for some pics) and that was great fun....
[22:17] itsamike: Excellent question....
[22:18] itsamike: Halfway through school I started as an intern at a pair of radio stations in the Syracuse. I was officialy an intern for the production director, so I got to appear on a bunch of commercials, as well as producing them.
[22:18] itsamike: I also wrote and produced for the morning show for a time.....
[22:19] itsamike: In Syraucuse and Rochester I got a bit of freelance voice work, too. Then, when I was back in NYC at the radio prep service gig, I got my demos together and sent them out and my freelance career really took off.
[22:20] itsamike: I wish radio hadn't gotten so crappy, but that's a story for another time.
[22:20] xNight: yeah
[22:20] xNight: Well, thanks for answering my question with such detail :]
[22:21] itsamike: Sure. Thanks for letting me ramble and reflect.
[22:21] itsamike: Six minutes we'll never get back.
[22:22] Lotushopper: Alright. Now, while I try to dig around for those pirate radio stations seeing if they have Satellaview Soundlink broadcasts, I'm reminded of a Nintendo-related question.
[22:22] Lotushopper: Pollock, you were the voice of the Pokemon Narrator from... Johto to Advanced Battle, yes? Do you have any interesting details on what caused Nintendo sorta... diss 4Kids?
[22:22] Lotushopper: The whole incident seemed to make F-Zero: GP Legend vanish off the map.
[22:23] Lotushopper: Something I'm kinda sad about.
[22:23] Lotushopper: 4Kids never got to dub a Falcon Punch.
[22:24] itsamike: It was the money. They found other companies and talent who could produce the shows cheaper. Our two year non-compete with 4Kids has run out, so I'm back to playing bit parts on Pokémon again. My career has come full circle.
[22:24] Lotushopper: Ah, I see. There's been a few rumors that it may have been tied more with what came about from the F-Zero dub.
[22:25] Lotushopper: Obviously though, we'll have to take your word for it. :)
[22:26] RingtailedFox: we all know that sega's bound to eventually want another cartoon show about Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends, or even a feature film... would you ever consider going back and voicing anyone if offered the chance?
[22:26] itsamike: I don't think there was a connection. It was Pokémon USA's deal.
[22:27] itsamike: I seldom turn down work, so in the words of Sarah Palin, you betcha,!
[22:28] itsamike: Totally unrelated: Here's Pirate Radio Central:
[22:29] Slingerland: and Mike, he's a related question to your pirate radio
[22:29] Shinginta: You mentioned pirate radio before, and you've brought it up again now.
[22:29] Shinginta: So I'd like to ask your opinion on net neutrality, the censorship of certain things on the internet
[22:30] Shinginta: since I sort of see it relating to the restriction of airwaves
[22:30] itsamike: Ah, I'll put on my Think Tank hat.
[22:31] itsamike: The internet should be as free as all outdoors. Your computer has an off switch. You're free to use that, too.
[22:32] Shinginta: So you don't believe in ISPs limiting what sites their customers log in to, or any of that?
[22:34] itsamike: No. I also have problems with TV networks having standards and practices departments. As adults, we should be free to hear all the dirty words and ugly concepts we want. Same for radio...
[22:34] itsamike: However, as a parent, I also appreciate the safeguards a midly censored media brings. My kids don't necessarily need to be exposed to hard core potty humor just yet....
[22:35] itsamike: That's why I can go online or to cable or satellite if I want.
[22:35] itsamike: I happen to be a fan (and sort-of-friend) of Sirius Radio's Lynn Samuels. She does a very funny show but she also curses like a sailor.
[22:36] itsamike: I love to listen to her in the car, but I wince when I do so with the kids, sometimes.
[22:36] itsamike: Let the net be free, but let parental control software be free, too. Go on.
[22:36] Kurokari: Have you ever gone to a recording for one character and accidently started using one of your other voices? If so how much of a problem did it cause?
[22:38] itsamike: Once in a great while I'll mix up a voice. A more frequent problem is forgettng the voice of a new character from week to week. That's what most good studios keep reference files handy to refresh my memory.
[22:38] itsamike: Here's a tidbit for you.....
[22:39] itsamike: I just got called in to fix an Eggnan like from an episode for an upcoming promo that trouble Standards and Practices....
[22:39] Slingerland: tell me you said something borderline offensive
[22:39] Slingerland: in your Eggman voice
[22:40] Slingerland: that would be hilarious
[22:40] itsamike: I hadn't done Eggman in a while, so the promo guys had me do several takes until they were satisfied that I was a match with my original portrayal.
[22:40] itsamike: Oh, no. I'm liberal with my outtakes, but this wasn't of those times.
[22:41] itsamike: But let me tease a chat I've got Friday, if I may, which may have a voice component to it....
[22:44] itsamike: Friday at 8p ET, Jason and I will be doing our first joint chat (not that kind of joint, Dudes!) via Yahoo! Messenger. Email your Yahoo! IDs to [email protected] for an invite.
[22:44] SonicTweaker: Will there be an extremely corny face-off between Sonic and Eggman?!
[22:44] itsamike: I wish I did, but I don't really. We don't hang out nearly as much as I'd like us to. I've got 4Kids gossip, but that I can't share at the moment. Sorry.
[22:45] itsamike: Yeah, Jason Griffith and I. Who knows what could happen.
[22:45] Slingerland: so, you and Jason... this Friday... 8 PM EST on Yahoo Messenger
[22:45] itsamike: You're all invited.
[22:45] itsamike: Yeah, Email that guy for a private invite.
[22:45] Bartman: Oh also er...
[22:46] Bartman: Soup or muffin?
[22:46] itsamike: Soup. I hate muffins. Especially a nice cold fruit soup. Unless this is some kind of Pingas question, in which case, go to Hell.
[22:46] Slingerland: Sonic forums loves to fight about who the better Sonic voice actor is for no good reason
[22:47] Slingerland: it's really sad
[22:47] Bartman: I dont even know what a Pingas is!
[22:47] SonicTweaker: oh god pingas
[22:47] Bartman: So I'd say you're in good hands
[22:47] SonicTweaker: by far the worst thing to happen to the ineternet
[22:47] SonicTweaker: the internet, even
[22:47] itsamike: I know. Jason can handle it. And I'll defend it.
[22:47] Slingerland: good
[22:47] Slingerland: because that would be complete shit if people started assailing him with insults
[22:47] itsamike: I'm trusting that that was a legit question about my food prefs and that's all good.
[22:48] itsamike: I know, And I think he knows, too.
[22:48] SonicTweaker: Well, my suggestion re: the yahoo chat in case you hadn't though of it already would be to use a different screenname--maybe a secondary one--just for the event
[22:48] Bartman: Oh yeah.
[22:48] SonicTweaker: Brenda Ross had her AIM screenname available to the public once
[22:48] SonicTweaker: she got FLOODED
[22:48] itsamike: While you're at it, you can debate who was the better Darren on Bewitched.
[22:48] SonicTweaker: *public
[22:49] itsamike: Mine's already public enough. I'm not worried.
[22:49] SonicTweaker: Ah, fair enough then
[22:49] Slingerland: you're already reachable
[22:49] Slingerland: plus, you're open to the fans
[22:49] Slingerland: and incredibly cool to us
[22:49] Bartman: I'd say that makes him one of the coolest VAs there is...
[22:50] itsamike: Thanks. I even have a phone number up on my website, and that's only been abused a couple of times.
[22:51] Slingerland: so, what made Griffith come around?
[22:51] Slingerland: he has been stingy about interviews, so I've heard
[22:52] itsamike: Nothing. He's just a Luddite who never IMed or Skyped or anything.
[22:52] itsamike: He's also tough to reach. He just did his first con because someone managed to track him down though his agent.
[22:53] Bartman: In a way, I thought this would be on Skype
[22:53] SonicTweaker: It was last year, wasn't it?
[22:53] Slingerland: group interviews are better in chat
[22:53] Slingerland: last year was a selective thing
[22:53] SonicTweaker: apparently Skype has a mute function
[22:54] SonicTweaker: I mean you can mute other people
[22:54] SonicTweaker: as the conversation host
[22:54] Slingerland: Skype interviews are hard only because people have bad connections or whatever
[22:54] itsamike: Skype would be better if it didn't drop calls constantly, but that's just me.
[22:54] Slingerland: ^that's why
[22:54] Slingerland: people's quality varies
[22:54] SonicTweaker: Yeah, true enough
[22:54] Bartman: That hasnt been fixed in recent updates?
[22:54] SonicTweaker: well it has everything to do with microphone and connection quality
[22:55] SonicTweaker: so it's not something you can really "fix"
[22:55] Slingerland: so, Mike, I'm out of questions
[22:55] Bartman: and I asked 4 or 5 of them
[22:55] Bartman: Which makes me the leader
[22:55] Slingerland: it's 11:55 and I bet your bed is waiting for you
[22:55] Slingerland: (central time, that is... it's probably Thursday for you)
[22:55] Bartman: Yes, and work is going to be pretty angry at me for staying up late again
[22:56] Bartman: But...I get to talk with Mike Pollock! They have to understand!
[22:56] Slingerland: I'm up because this game is in the 14th fricin' inning
[22:56] SonicTweaker: Kero, apparently.
[22:56] itsamike: Thank you so much. Another fine chat, as usual, I see.
- As it is now nearing midnight the questions end and eventually itsamike signs off chat.
- Original Source of interview (Defunct link)