Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fantasy Day

I was raised on library books and outdoor play. Sometimes the family watched Bonanza together and, when the Beatles were on, The Ed Sullivan Show. We weren't allowed to watch TV as long as the sun was up.

But some people grew up watching TV. A subset of those people, who were weaned on TV in the mid to late 1990's, got hooked on animé. And a subset of those people fell in love with an animé called Tenchi Muyo!.

Animé is big business now, with conventions all over the country where fans dress up as their favorite characters, join in fashion shows, learn martial arts, buy products and meet the actors who bring the characters to life.

Tenchi Muyo! was one of the first Japanese animés dubbed into English. People remember it fondly as their "gateway animé," literally the one that got them addicted. I was fortunate enough to voice a character in it, the space pirate Ryoko. When I started I had no idea what would happen with the show or with animé in general. None of us did.

Here's a picture of the audience who came to the reunion of the "Ladies of Tenchi Muyo" at the Pacific Media Expo this past weekend at the LAX Hilton. I joined Rebecca Forstadt, Sherry Lynn and Ellen Gerstell for a Q and A. The room filled up more before we finished, and we got to meet many of these people and chat with them afterward at the autograph signing. They were delightful. Everyone--everyone--was nice. Some voice actors regularly visit these "cons" but as I've only voiced the one show, I hadn't been to one since the early days. It was awesome.

Rebecca and I joked in the green room about how after it was over we'd have to go back to our real lives. Yesterday I did some bookkeeping, uploaded a bunch of photos and tried to clean off my desk (ha!). I answered a question from my husband and autographed a couple of checks. It was awesome.

Not once, ever, have I dressed up like Ed Sullivan.

25 comments:

dive said...

Ed Sullivan cosplay! Now you're talking.

I wish I'd been there, all dressed up in the audience (though I'd have probably not chosen Mario … I'm more Totoro-shaped).
Having thoroughly enjoyed your radio interview yesterday I do hope that at least one of the people pointing video cameras at you will post footage on YouTube so those of us stuck on the other side of the world can enjoy the Ladies of Tenchi Muyo.

Looking at the photo of you all on Rebecca's website I am amazed you still look like your characters after all this time … er.
Yay, Ryoko!

Shell Sherree said...

So cool! Did they ever make a Ryoko doll, Petrea? If not, is there a petition somewhere I should sign?

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Anime makes for animated photos. I'm glad you had such a fun time at this event. Don't you carry around a little of your character with you?

Petrea Burchard said...

I believe there will be video online, Dive. I'll probably post it on Facebook if/when I know about it. The videographers were also all just great.

There are at least two Ryoko action figures, Shell, and I don't know how many dolls. I don't think they're easy to find these days but you might be able to find them at stores that sell manga.

WCGB: a little of my character...sure. I think all actors do because the characters come from us. But I wonder if you're getting at something else?

Last night I told John I couldn't remember ever being so adoring a fan of anything that I'd go to a convention. He had to say only two words: "Led Zeppelin."

Bellis said...

I'm looking forward to seeing you in Ryoko character at the next City Council meeting on soccer fields in Hahamongna. A space pirate should get their attention.

Petrea Burchard said...

That'll get the Council to take me seriously.

pasadenapio said...

Those costumed people are gutsier than I am! Like you, I never dressed like Ed Sullivan. Or Hoss Cartwright, for that matter.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'm glad you chose this photo. It's really funny. I'm jealous, when I go up in front of an auditorium, it's usually to defend my life (art - public approval).

Dam, I missed the radio show (and I was listening to one all day at the studio)

Petrea Burchard said...

PIO, I can't say as I never dressed like Hoss but only because he and I had the same sense of style.

PA, one can still listen to the radio interview because it will now be forever online, but you know what I sound like.
It would seem you should have an army to defend your art.

Susan Campisi said...

This is so great! I'm behind on your news. I had no idea you voiced an animé character. Look at those fans. I love it.

And what's this about a radio interview? I missed that too. Please fill me in.

Petrea Burchard said...

It's an online anime fan station Susan, right here: http://918thefan.com/2011/kanas-korner-interview-with-petrea-burchard/

Susan Campisi said...

Thanks, P. I'm listening to it now... so fun.

altadenahiker said...

Wow! Next time we meet, I suppose you'll have a posse.

(And I listened to your interview. Your voice is so darned appealing.)

Petrea Burchard said...

I won't have a posse, but I'll let you carry my purse if you want to.

Steven said...

In my best Ed Sullivan voice, "Right here on our ssshoww we not only have Topo Gigio but we also have Tenchi Muyo. We are going to have ten rounds of boxing using the Queensbury rules. May the best man win."

Petrea Burchard said...

Since neither is a man I have low expectations for this fight...

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing! Really wish I could have been there! I've never been to a con, but it sure does look like a good time.

Ms M said...

It sounds like it was a totally awesome experience! Yay for anime! Yay for Ryoko! Yay for you

Petrea Burchard said...

It was, it was. Today things are back to normal. As usual I dressed up like Mammy Yokum and went to Costco.

Margaret said...

I am just glad you were appreciated for being fabulous.

Ms M said...

Did you wear a hat with the price tag dangling from it? ;)
(Oh, I guess that was Minnie Pearl...)

Petrea Burchard said...

Margaret, that is a very sweet thing to say.

Ms. M, I wore bell bottoms and a silk shirt--wide open--just like Robert Plant used to wear in Zeppelin concerts.

Ms M said...

Cool! Next you'll have to get a (faux) leather fringe jacket like Roger Daltrey used to wear in concert.

Desiree said...

Love this! What a great ride for you, Petrea--

Petrea Burchard said...

That'll be your outfit, Ms. M!

No kidding, Desiree. A very special day.