Location: Anime NYC
Interview Date: 11/17/2018
Anime Herald: Now that you’ve reached the pinnacle of your profession as the Subway Announcer in Persona 5, how do you stay motivated?
Ray Chase: Hell yeah! We recorded that role for about five years. Going over training for it, coming up with different accents, doing it in different languages. I delved into the character’s backstory and became a subway announcer on the circle line in Tokyo. I had a lot of fun with it, a really good career, a wife and some children. Then I divorced her to come back here and meet with my adoring fans for Persona 5.
Anime Herald: Totally understandable. Do you feel your work as a wall prepared you for such a challenging and dramatic role?
Ray Chase: Ah, you’re talking about Mass Effect, very good. I played the announcement wall in Mass Effect Andromeda, one of the first voices you hear. I think that Wall and Subway Announcer, along with Shopkeeper in a show called RE:Zero. You’re good, you really found my best work. I appreciate it.
Anime Herald I’d say those were your second and third best works. We’ll get to your best shortly. A voice actor has to eat, so let’s focus on some of your lesser roles. You played Final Fantasy XV’s protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum.
Ray Chase: I don’t know who that is, but sure.
Anime Herald: Have you played the games? If so, did that affect how you handled the role?
Ray Chase: I played the non-voiced games back in the day. I was not aware how the Final Fantasy games sounded. It was something that did help me book the role because they were looking for someone who didn’t sound like anybody else. Coming into the audition process being clueless kind of helped me with that one. I did grow up playing Final Fantasy games, so yeah.
Anime Herald: When you are playing roles as different as David Shield, Vlad III, or Eve, what do you do to mentally get yourself in character for these different ranges?
Ray Chase: David Shield, Vlad III, and Eve were all very different recording processes. They were all dubs, but all in different ways. Eve was one of my harder roles because he’s screaming all the time and transforming. We did Nier in a day because he doesn’t have that many lines, but we re-recorded them many times because we were trying to get a feel for the character and figure it out. So he was very hard.
Vlad III, we know what a vampire sounds like, so he was pretty easy. David Shield, there’s two Davids: younger and older David. We worked on separating the ages between those two.
Anime Herald: You work in a variety of different mediums, such as games, movies, television, and video shorts. How do you prepare to handle these different roles? Are there any things you have to do to get ready for one specifically?
Ray Chase: Usually you don’t get sent scripts ahead of time unfortunately, so you kind of are in the director’s hands. As soon as you show up you have to rely on them to figure it all out. There’s a lot of improvisation.
Anime Herald: I’ve mentioned we’ve covered your second and third greatest roles. Now let’s talk about your greatest, although it wasn’t actually a role, it’s just your greatest work. How did you come up with the genius move of sticking a finger in your mouth to nail the voice of Billy Quizboy?
Ray Chase: Billy Quizboy! You mean my Youtube channel! It definitely helps because I’m not capable of creating a lisp like that on my own. If you know my obscure stuff, which you definitely do, Bottersnikes and Gumbles which is an Australian TV show that Robbie Daymond and I both did. I played the main bad guy King Bottersnipe. I held my nose to create the voice, which ended up being a big mistake because it ended up being 52 episodes long. *Laughs*
Anime Herald: If you were ever to get a role on The Venture Bros, would you want to be a hero, a villain, or a small side character accidentally killed by Dr. Venture and then immediately forgotten?
Ray Chase: Just because you’re killed doesn’t mean you can’t come back as a clone. I’d like to be a cool villain because the heroes on that show aren’t very good.
Anime Herald: How did you get the stage name Danny Boston?
Ray Chase: I threw it out of a hat. I don’t think I thought about it very much. Stage names are something you just come up with.
Anime Herald: “I can do emotional for about an hour and a half, then I’m done.” -Ray Chase
Was it your ability to do emotion for about 89 minutes longer than most men that led to your breakthrough into the industry? If not that, how did you get into voice acting?
Ray Chase: When did I say that?
Anime Herald: I think it was a Reddit AMA.
Ray Chase: I did some crying stuff and there is only so much that you can cry without stopping. I did that for Yukiatsu in Anohana :The Flower We Saw That Day. I had a long crying scene. We spent about two hours recording that. Charlotte was another one we did for about an hour. Final Fantasy was about an hour of straight crying. It’s definitely something you need to do and need to be able to go back and do retakes while keeping the emotions high.
Anime Herald: “My dream roles at this point are to get into the performance capture projects at the level Naughty Dog does.” -Ray Chase
Do you have anything on the horizon that has that level of depth?
Ray Chase: I have done some motion capture, not for Naughty Dog, but for another game. It hasn’t come out yet but next year it should. I’ve done a lot of auditioning for motion capture projects.
Anime Herald: Last July we were both up in Winnipeg. You were at Ai-Kon with Loud, Annoying, and Very Annoying. I happened to stop by. You’ve also done Madfest in Perth. How did you get your career to span the entire globe? What led you to travel so much.
Ray Chase: The fact that I have two buddies who also have extensive resumes and are really down to earth guys I think really helps because then we’re able to go to cons as a package. If one of us gets invited, we bring the other two guys. That really helps us be able to go to a lot more cons than you would be able to just working by yourself.
Anime Herald: All for one, one for all. I love it.
Ray Chase: Exactly, yeah.
Anime Herald: Can you pass the Mel Blanc test:
Ray Chase: What would you have me do?
Anime Herald: OK, let’s try Subway Announcer doing Noctis.
Ray Chase: Breathy “Now arriving Shinjuku station. Now arriving Shinjuku station.” *Laughs* So wild.
Anime Herald: Do you miss your Japanese family?
Ray Chase: No, I never speak to them.
Anime Herald: How did you first fall in love with, or are you in love with the voice acting industry. What attracted you to it?
Ray Chase: I’ve always been aware of it. Reading the credits of cartoons or video games back in the day, seeing Charles Martinet’s name everywhere. It’s always something I’ve been aware of and something I knew I could do. It wasn’t until the last year or so that I’ve actually been able to start meeting other voice actors, doing these conventions. I really don’t meet too many on the job because I do a lot of video games which are always solo.
Anime Herald: Would you be interested in doing more television work?
(Editor’s note: Unless you’re asking a movie star this question, any actor will always say yes. For example, Ray Chase.)
Ray Chase: Absolutely. I audition for it every day.
Anime Herald: So it’s just hard.
Ray Chase: Yes.
Anime Herald: When did you feel, or do you feel, you’ve made it in the industry? When was your first “Wow I’m doing this for a career” moment?
Ray Chase: It still happens all the time. Most of the jobs we do don’t pay any residuals. We always need to be booking more work. I don’t think I ever feel comfortable yet.
Anime Herald: Have you ever been interested in doing stage or theater work?
Ray Chase: We do our LAVA show at almost every convention that we do. LA isn’t a great theater town unfortunately.
Anime Herald: Is there anyone working today whose work has really impressed you or blown you away?
Anime Herald: Do you watch anime or read manga?
Ray Chase: Yes. I watch anime. I don’t read manga.
Anime Herald: What are you watching these days?
Ray Chase: I have ten episodes left of My Hero Academia. A few episodes left of Mr. Osomatsu. I just finished watching [Sword Art Online Alternative] Gun Gale Online, which I’m in. I want to watch Jojo Part V for sure.
Anime Herald: What are some of your favorites from growing up?
Ray Chase: FLCL. The fact that I got to work on the show was insane. Dragon Ball. I’ve done some weird stuff for them. I’ve been able to work on some cool stuff.
Anime Herald: Are there any jobs where you’ve showed up when the director gave you some instructions and you were like “This wasn’t what I was expecting at all.”
Ray Chase: Fire Emblem. They fire you from a cannon into the field and then you fight as them. It made no sense, and it’s a huge success.
Anime Herald: Do you have any questions for us?
Ray Chase: Did you go down my IMDB and just look for the weirdest stuff you could find?
Anime Herald: I checked out your IMDB, but a lot of it came from the YouTube rabbit hole. Stuff like FML.
I’m afraid the interview went off the record at this point. It was a pleasure speaking with Mr. Chase. Thanks to Anime NYC for making this interview possible.