Over the weekend of Anime Boston 2012, I, and Zach Logan, a member of the Unofficial One Piece Podcast performed a group interview. As many know, these things typically follow a formula: One person asks a question, receives an answer, then the next person does the same in a round-robin styled affair. Usually, the final products are different, and the answers are so separate from one another that one would be hard-pressed to tell if they were even given in the same room at the same time. Sometimes, though, these interviews tend to grow into something special. Sometimes, instead of a neat, tidy pair of articles, one is left with a giant, lively conversation that, if separated, makes little sense on its own. A spark runs through, and the interviewers and interviewee begin to play off one another, building and growing the session into something that wasn’t entirely planned, but would be missed if it had never happened.
The interview that follows is such an event, where two wholly separate interviews combine, into a talk about food, travel, and life itself. I can only fathom just where the conversation would have taken us, if only we had more time to chat.
I want to thank Ms. Glass for her time, as well as Mr. Logan for helping to make the interview a truly fantastic experience.
Anime Herald: I guess we should start with the obvious: Why anime? Why did you get into anime voice acting?
Caitlin Glass: Oh, why? Because I’m an actor and I like to work! (laughs) That is kind of why. I was an anime fan already, ah, theater student and right place, right time. The opportunity presented itself and I had an on-the-spot audition, and that’s how I did it! And every actor likes to be working, and actually getting paid to act. It’s a rare thing. So I stuck with it, and almost ten years later, still doing it!
One Piece Podcast: As per One Piece Podcast, I’ll ask One Piece things! (laughs) How is it playing Vivi as a character that just comes into this huge storyline?
Caitlin Glass: I loved it a lot. When we started One Piece, we began not at the beginning, but kind of… where were we? Around episode 100-something, and I got to direct some of it, and then they said “Okay, we’re gonna do a movie, but we’re gonna do this movie from farther back in the story, so they had to cast more people. And I really, when the show was coming out, wanted to be Nami, like really really bad. But if you have to get beat by someone, I’m glad it’s Luci Christian because she’s fantastic! So, then when Vivi came along, everybody was like “It has to be Caitlin, It has to be Caitlin!” And I was very grateful to get to play her, and to direct some of the movie. Then it was a long time, like over a year later before we got to that arc and I got to play in full.
So it was interesting already knowing what was going to happen with the story, because the movie compressed the arc. But it was definitely fun getting to stretch it out, because I got to play Miss Wednesday, and she’s hilarious… I really love Vivi. She’s probably up there in my top, my favorite characters.
Anime Herald: Speaking of that, what would you say is your favorite role, and why is that?
Caitlin Glass: My favorite role was definitely Haruhi in Ouran High School Host Club because I love her! (laughs) She’s a lot fun to play. She’s just different. She’s a different character. You don’t see characters like her in many anime. And a lot of the time, while circumstances may be different, a character can be generally the same from one show to another. And there aren’t a lot of Haruhis, and I know that the opportunity probably won’t present itself again in my career. So ah, that’s why!
One Piece Podcast: There are many aspects that go into making an anime dub, like directing, writing, and voice acting. Which is your favorite role to do of this?
Caitlin Glass: Oh, gosh! It’s hard to say because I’ve done a little bit of writing, and that’s hard work. So that’s not my answer. Writing’s too hard! But comparing acting and directing, they’re two very different things! (sigh) Ah… I don’t really know. I can’t really compare the two jobs, because they’re so different. They’re related but… I guess, ultimately, I guess I’d have to say acting because it, I dunno… I don’t want to say “because it’s easier,” but all I have to do when I go in to act is just act. That’s all. When you’re the director, it’s quite a bit more stressful. The days are longer, obviously. It’s full days – you have to know everything, you have to cast the show, you’re listening, you’re watching, you’re… there’s a lot of multitasking involved. There’s a lot of deadlines, so the stress is greater. (laughs) So I guess, then, acting is my favorite.
Anime Herald: They say a good actress takes a little something from every role she’s in. What would you say you’ve taken from some of your “better” influences, like, say Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist, Yakumo from School Rumble, Erica from Sakura Taisen, and the like?
Caitlin Glass: What have I taken away from performing them? Gracious! I can’t honestly say that I know. I understand what you’re asking, like “do I take some sort of moral from the show and then apply it in my life, and my life is now greater.” I don’t really now that I can say that I’ve done that. But I take away personal moments with the characters, and those things are what become precious to me.
Like Winry, I know her. She’s like my friend. She’s very special and close to me because I feel she and I have shared very vulnerable moments together. And I know that I’ve grown as an actor because I got to play her. So that’s the kind of thing that I take away moreso than equivalent exchange, or some such thing like that.
But ah, you mentioned Yakumo in School Rumble. Certain moments, I don’t wanna give anything away for folks who haven’t seen that show, but things near the end of that show were really special. I mentioned how much I love Luci, so getting to play her sister was something really awesome for me, because I really admire her as an actress. She’s like, extremely… she’s way up there, and she’s such an awesome person. And I don’t think I played a character that interacted that much with any of hers until that show. And then our characters are siblings, and they have such a close bond. It was really special, and getting to sing that closing song we do together as Yakumo and Tenma… that is precious to me. Things like that! (laughs)
One Piece Podcast: Speaking of singing, you also sang the song for the end of the movie for One Piece, as well. How did that come about, and how was it to record that?
Caitlin Glass: It came about because I’d been helping McFarland, Mike McFarland out for some time, occasionally singing songs. And then I started adapted them, but I don’t know when. I can’t remember. I did a lot of the One Piece themes: some at the beginning, and some at the beginning of our process. That’s why I’m getting the timeline all mixed up!
So I’d done that, and then Compass came along, and they decided that they wanted me to sing it because it’s kinda like Vivi’s song. It makes sense that it should be her. And I think he was just busy with other stuff, so he said “Why don’t you adapt it, also?” That was a hard one, ’cause it’s full length. Usually, when we do adapatations, it’s a 60-second song – a 60-second version of a longer song. And this was a full-on song. Like, the length of the credits, so many verses, and a bridge, and all of this stuff. It took me a long time.
Recording it was also really hard. I don’t know why, but I remember it taking a long time. We worked on that for a couple of hours, that one song, just to get it right. But I think it paid off, I think it sounds really good. (laughs)
One Piece Podcast: Oh, it does sound good! And I know it’s just on the Blu-Ray version.
Caitlin Glass: Yeah, that’s right! What happened? I remember that, now that you mention it! Something happened and everybody felt really bad. And they were apologize – “we don’t know what happened, they ended up authoring the wrong thing, and…” It was done! It was completed, and edited, and everything that needed to happen mixed and all of that. And that’s not the first time that junk like that has happened, so they’re like “We’re so sorry!” So they put it on the Blu-Ray and that was nice of them. (laughs) And it’s out on YouTube forever and ever, I guess!
Anime Herald: Is there anything that you do that’s special to prepare for a given role? Are there any special routines or exercises that you usually do before going into the booth?
Caitlin Glass: Ah, no! (laughs) I’ll be perfectly honest, there really isn’t! Sometimes, you’ve just gotta get your voice warmed up before you go, so that means talking along to the radio or singing. That’s the easiest thing. You know, the drive from my house to the studio, I’ll sing something, and that’s really about all. I guess if my voice was bothering me, then I would need to do something, like drink a certain tea or whatever. But it’s just about staying hydrated and warming up your voice, the way I would if I was going onstage. Because onstage, you need to project, and in the booth, you don’t. That’s what the mic’s for! (laughs)
One Piece Podcast: With Fullmetal Alchemist, you got to revisit Winry with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Are there any other characters that you’d like to revisit and do you think, with One Piece being as long as its going, do you think eventually that they’ll revisit Vivi? And if so, how do you want her character to develop?
Caitlin Glass: I sure hope they revisit Vivi! I know I saw an episode around, I dunno the numbers. What number are the up to now?
One Piece Podcast: Five hundred something, I think?
Yeah, somewhere in those 500s, where it’s like they visit practically everyone that’s ever appeared in the world of One Piece because, yanno, Luffy’s in trouble or something like that. And everybody, I haven’t been following the story to be honest, everyone is all doing different things and there’s Vivi for a few lines! And I went “Oh, there she is! I wonder if that means anything is going to happen with her!” But I dunno. If she comes back, I don’t know that it would be a big arc. I’m sure it would be some sort of, kind of like in Dr. Who, when everybody all of a sudden comes back to, like, help the-
One Piece Podcast: Everybody’s a Dr. Who fan! (laughs)
Caitlin Glass: Duh! (laughs)
Anime Herald: It’s a good show! (laughs)
Caitlin Glass: Yeah, it’s a good show. But if I had to pick something for her to be doing, I don’t know. She couldn’t be a pirate. That’s not really her thing. I mean, she’s supposed to be this princess, and helping her kingdom and stuff. So maybe she hooks up with Whats-His-Face with the glasses
One Piece Podcast: Kohza
Caitlin Glass: Yeah. Maybe, how about this? They go back to Alabasta for Vivi’s wedding. That would be good. She invites them all for her wedding, and she marries Kohza. And that would be nice! They need, you know, in-between story arcs. Here’s the end of one big, huge arc and before we launch into the next one, they go back to Alabasta for a visit.
One Piece Podcast: I’ll just say in One Piece, you never know because there was a guy that was in a scene for a minute, just a background character, and then he became a major character like 400 episodes later.
Caitlin Glass: What character was that?
One Piece Podcast: Ah, Rayleigh.
Caitlin Glass: I don’t even know… where was he?
One Piece Podcast: They’re nowhere near that.
Caitlin Glass: Where was he, though? When did he show up the first time?
One Piece Podcast: Ah, he showed up towards the very beginning, with Buggy the Clown, the flashback. He was the guy that stopped Buggy and Shanks from arguing about which side of the Earth is coldest.
Caitlin Glass: (laughs) Are you serious!? Wow! Okay! And didn’t Oda say that now he feels he’s halfway?
One Piece Podcast: He says that every couple of years.
Caitlin Glass: Oh, gosh!
One Piece Podcast: So (laughs).
Caitlin Glass: Wow. It’s gonna go on forever, but I’m sure no one’s complaining!
One Piece Podcast: Hey, he keeps thinking of neat things!
Caitlin Glass: As long as he stays healthy and alive, so we can find out how does it end?! Right?
Anime Herald: The second part’s the important one, by the way. (laughs)
One Piece Podcast: (laughs)
Caitlin Glass: (laughs)
Anime Herald: I notice that you have a few gaming roles under your belt, like Cammy from Street Fighter IV and Carmen from Rune Factory 3. Are there any real differences between going in for a game and going in for an anime-
Caitlin Glass: Yes.
Anime Herald: And which do you prefer?
Caitlin Glass: I think I, it’s hard to say, I’ll be honest. Video games make more money, but there’s usually less story involved, which is hard to imagine because when you’re playing one of those long RPGs, there’s this huge story. But I’ve only done of that kind of game, where there’s a story to follow.
So, and video game work is a lot slower, so it’s really tedious, and a lot of waiting, and that’s difficult. That’s no fun. The actually acting out the character, that’s fun stuff! I dig that. But perhaps it’s because my main experience is with Street Fighter, because it’s such an iconic game, there was a lot of involvement with Japanese approval. Like, they would be on Skype listening in and they would have things to say, and it just took a lot longer. I mean, it’s cool ’cause it turns out they really liked my voice, and they told me that in Japan they turn Cammy on in English, and listen to everybody else. And I’m like “Wow, that’s neat!” But it’s hard work! Also, you do a take of something two or three times in a row on purpose, and that can just get really taxing when it’s screams and shouts, and stuff. So..
Anime Herald: I remember hearing from Laura Bailey a few years back that every time they put out a new version of, like, a Street Fighter you have to go back in to record the screams again.
Caitlin Glass: Mmhmm. that’s true. Everything. Even, like, the comment attacks that you always yell. You do it again for the new game.
One Piece Podcast: I guess, going towards Fullmetal Alchemist, how is it, ah, they did a new movie and, going back. Do you think they’ll keep doing that?
Caitlin Glass: Ah, if they do just keep making movies every year or few years, that’d be cool. it’d probably keep the fans happy. I heard there’s some OVA, another one. We already did some OVAs.
One Piece Podcast: They’re coming out in May
Caitlin Glass: In Japan?
One Piece Podcast: No, in the US.
Caitlin Glass: Oh, those! Those OVAs. Yeah, I know about those, ’cause I recorded them. But since the film, the Sacred Star of Milos, I’ve heard that they’re in more stuff in Japan. I’m like “really?!” It’s almost getting ridiculous! I kind of do secretly just want it to be over! (laughs) I mean, I love her, I do! And it’s a character I’ve played since I became a voice actress, and that’s really neat. And not many people can say that about characters. Not in the dubbing business, yanno. We’re not the voice of Bugs Bunny or something where you can say you played them for your lifetime. So Winry’s the closest thing I’m gonna have to that, but it’s it’s getting a little silly. (laughs) Because you try and say goodbye to a character, and there’s no sentiment anymore. Because I’d go in, like “okay! It’s the last episode of Brotherhood. Time to say bye to Winry”, and McFarland’s like “No, actually, there’s some OVAs.” Argh! Great! “And then there’s a movie.” Argh! So there’s no, I don’t even know. Maybe I’ve recorded her last line ever. Who knows? (laughs)
Anime Herald: They kinda piledrive the sentiment into the ground there (laugh)
Caitlin Glass: Yeah. (laughs)
Anime Herald: What would you say the hardest role you’ve had to take is?
Caitlin Glass: I don’t know! Haruhi was difficult at first because I had never done a voice like that. There are difficult aspects in a lot of roles. At the time, when I first got Winry, there was hard because it was hard! I knew there were these great expectations for the show, and she’s really emotional, so portraying all of that was hard. Other things are hard, like literally hard on the voice, like Claymore was difficult. Even One Piece was difficult because Vivi just screams and screams “Please stop the fighting!” You know? Like, I don’t have a voice now! So there are difficult aspects of almost every show.
One Piece Podcast: Going on into a more fun note, I know you usually leave bombs for each other. Is there any favorite bomb that someone’s left for you, or that you’ve left for someone during recording?
Caitlin Glass: They got me a lot in Black Butler because everybody recorded before me. I did half of it when I was home visiting, and the other half, like months and months later when I finally moved back from Spain. So everyone had recorded except me, so there were bombs all over the place, usually involving Hannah’s breasts. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. And funny noises that people would make for them. But I’m really bad at myself about leaving bombs. I never really think about it. Hardly ever, so sorry. Nobody gets many bombs from me at all.
Anime Herald: What do you think you’d be doing right now if you never fell into acting?
Caitlin Glass: I cannot answer that question because I’ve been pursuing acting for so long. I don’t know! I don’t know. Ah, when I’m not acting, which is often (laughs), I teach English as a second language. And that’s what I went to Spain to study to do, and since I’ve come back, that’s become my job also. And that is actually what pays the bills. I’m not doing a lot of voice acting at the moment.
So I really, I don’t know. For a lot of us who are actors, we’ve known for so long that not just that’s what we want to do, that’s what we have to do. Some of the best advice I ever got from a professional actor was that “if you can imagine yourself being happy doing anything else, you should do that thing, because this is a hard job.” But I can’t imagine being happy doing anything else. And the only reason that I can even be happy teaching ESL is because I’m also still acting. You know? So, I honestly don’t know what I would do if I weren’t acting. Cry, I guess, and be miserable. (laughs)
One Piece Podcast: What inspired you to teach?
Caitlin Glass: Really, my husband and I love to travel. We love just experiencing other cultures, and we wanted a way to do that, and still pay the bills, and not just eat up our entire savings trying to gallavant around the world. So we got certified to teach English as a second language so that we could go places, and not just visit on vacations, but go and live in other places. And I will say that it’s probably one of the best decisions we ever made, because I never feel lost, like I don’t have an opportunity. Things are tough here, in the United States! When we came back, it took us a good six months before both of us had jobs. Like, real jobs not at FUNimation where I’d get called in once every few weeks. But I’m never afraid now. Like, well, if we both get fired and everything is horrible, we can go do this. We can go move to another country where what we have as being native speakers is an asset. So it was a great decision, and I recommend it really to anybody. Anyone, everyone should do it! Everyone should go to another country, not just on vacation, and your world will be expanded greatly.
Anime Herald: I know you’ve been talking about your English as a second language, basically, your second career, I should say, because they kind of go side by side. Have you been to any other countries outside of Spain?
Caitlin Glass: Yes! France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, I’ve been to Peru, Bolivia, Panama, Jamaica, Mexico, Canada… (laughs) Who hasn’t been there, right? Maybe somewhere else- China! I’ve been to China!
Anime Herald: And is there any country you’d really say you particularly enjoyed working in or living in at that time?
Caitlin Glass: Definitely Spain. We wouldn’t have stayed for a year and a half if we didn’t like it. I loved the country and I country and I could see myself settling down there when I’m old, like going there to retire. And I really loved England. I finally got to go for the first time in the fall. And I’ve always known that whenever I went, I would never want to leave, and that was also true. It was so hard to just get back on the plane! (laughs) Like “Why am I leaving!?” What else was awesome? I really liked Germany because they’re very efficient, and everything’s organized, and the food is really good. (laughs) I could say wonderful things about every place that I’ve been.
One Piece Podcast: Ever been to Japan?
Caitlin Glass: I’ve never been to Japan! Isn’t that awful? That was honestly the point of getting certified to teach English. We were going to go to Japan once we were certified, but we liked Spain so much that we stayed. And we just kept staying. We kept extending the trip, so I don’t know if we’ll ever make it to Japan to live. Sure would live to. Now we have a dog, though. and they have a lot of restrictions about bringing animals into the country. You have to quarantine them and… I mean I get it because they’re an island nation, and they have be careful about a lot of stuff. But the thought of quarantining my dog for up to six weeks is just, it’s heartbreaking to me! Poor guy! (laughs)
One Piece Podcast: If you ever get to visit, though, the cherry blossom season is just amazing!
Caitlin Glass: I have to go. We have to take a trip. that will happen. I don’t know when, but that will happen.
Anime Herald: Basically outside of your job, outside of teaching, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies, anything you like to do in your free time?
Caitlin Glass: (dramatic sigh) I don’t have any free time! I really don’t! It stinks not having free time. Mostly, when I do have free time, I just like to spend it with my husband. We both work so much and when we have time to be with each other, I don’t care what we do. Usually we end up watching soccer. We watch a whole lot of soccer. (laughs) And play with our dog, and just do dumb stuff, yeah, nothing. I don’t have a hobby like “I ride motorcycles” or something like that. I wish I did, but not a lot of time. When you’re a teacher, if you do have free time, you end up lesson planning in your free time, so it’s not really your free time. So when I do have it, I just like to spend it with my family.
One Piece Podcast: Out of all the places you’ve been, what’s been your favorite food, and from where?
Caitlin Glass: Oh wow! What place I’ve had my favorite food. Okay, in Shanghai, in China. Obviously. Everybody knows that’s where Shanghai is! (laughs) They’re famous for a certain kind of dumpling that I’ll pronounce incorrectly, but it’s basically like “xiaolongbao”or something like that, and it’s a soup dumpling. They’re soup dumplings, and basically the filling is like pork, and onions, and a gelatin that’s firm. It’s like soup in gelatin form, and then it’s wrapped in the dumpling dough, and you can have them steamed. And the steamed ones are a little bit bigger than a quarter around, and then the fried ones are, like, the size of a child’s fist. And when they heat them, they cook them, it melts the gelatin into soup. So it’s like a little ball of pork and onion with soup inside. And the small ones, you can just put the whole thing in your mouth. And the fired ones, you bite a hole in it and such the soup out. And I have dreams about those things! They’re so delicious! And when we got back from China, we spent months and months trying to find places, like in China Towns in the cities that we go trying to get those dang dumplings. And some places have them, but they’re just not the same! They’re just not the same, because Shanghai is apparently where that kind of dumpling originated, so they know how to do it right. (laughs)
One Piece Podcast: I just wanna ask something quickly:when you travel, do you kind of look at “hey, this food is good in this place so when we go to this place we should be trying this?”
Caitlin Glass: Yes, exactly. And we’re really frugal travelers. We don’t like to spend a lot of money on fancy restaurants. We kind of find out where the locals eat and go eat that. We’ll eat food off the street, we’re not afraid. In Peru, my favorite thing is called anticucho, and it’s ox heart – cow heart. Which sounds weird, it just looks like beef, though, like it’s cut up. It’s really tender, and they skewer it. It’s sliced pretty thin, they kind of load it onto a stick with a potato on the end of the stick, and they cook it over a fire. And you can buy this for the equivalent of, like, 15 cents for each stick of meat. And oh man, is it ever good! So, yeah. We try to find out what’s the specialty, and eat that, and where can we get it for cheap. Where do the locals like to eat it… it’s usually cheaper that way, too! (laughs)
Anime Herald: I actually only have a couple of questions left, so I’d like to shift things back to acting for a moment.
Caitlin Glass: Sure!
Anime Herald: Given the chance of any role, anything possible, anything that’s come or gone, what would you take and why?
Caitlin Glass: I wanna be Sailor Moon. ‘Cause she’s my favorite! (laughs) ‘Cause she’s my favorite! She’s awesome!
Anime Herald: What would your favorite anime show be, and why?
Caitlin Glass:Wow! That is hard! You mean just show, not necessarily one that I’m in?
Anime Herald: Right, in general
Caitlin Glass: Well, I’ve already mentioned Sailor Moon, but I love it in a different way from other shows. Like, I don’t even compare other shows to it. It’s kind of the show that got me into anime, so it’s always going to be the most beloved. But others that have come along that I really like, I have a soft spot for the romantic shows. I really love His & Her Circumstances, love it, love it, love it. And another show called Honey & Clover, love it, love it, love it. And those are two of my favorites that people don’t really talk about very much.
Anime Herald: And my last question, do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Caitlin Glass: Well, hey, readers! Thanks for reading! And keep watching anime, and supporting the North American anime industry! Don’t buy bootlegs, don’t watch fansubs, and thanks! (laughs)