Today’s panel at Lvl Up expo featuring voice actors Steve Blum and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn was the hit of the day. After a quick introduction by both, it went immediately into a Q&A session.
First, for those who don’t know who each are, let me share our favorite characters voiced by each actor:
Steve Blum- See a list of all his work here at Behind the Voice Actors
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn- See a list of all her work here at Behind the Voice Actors
They were not at liberty to discuss all the projects that they are currently working on but Mary Elizabeth McGlynn shared that she is directing a new animated 2017 Tangled series featuring the original cast of the movie plus Steve Blum as a new character. She is also the singer in Silent Hill. Ms. McGlynn also directed Naruto for 10 years, and is still doing the voice of Katsuyu, the “slug that has a sphincter for the mouth.”
“That is so hot” Steve commented, laughing, before telling the audience that he is working on some Toonami projects, some video games, the animated series Star Wars Rebels and Transformers Rescue Bots.
Here are some Q&A highlights:
If Spike met Space Dandy what would happen?
Steve Blum replies, “They’d probably fight and then go out for beers. That’s what I imagine. Yeah, and Spike would learn about the value of boobs, Spike doesn’t seem to pay much attention to them too much.”
Mary comments, “That’s because he’s in love with Julia.”
“That’s what it is, ” Steve agrees. “He’s in love with Julia. He only thinks of Julia’s boobs”
The response by Steve for the following question astounds me: Do you watch the anime you voice act in?
“Very seldom. I’ve seen a few of them. I’ve seen Cowboy Bebop for the first time 4-5 years ago out of sequence. I’m a terrible anime fan. I need to watch that again. The ones that I’ve watched end to end, I was working on as a writer. So Digimon, I’ve watched that, seasons 3-4. Naruto I’ve seen maybe 5 episodes. I haven’t seen Samarai Champloo (lots of gasping from the audience here!) I feel terrible about that, I know, I know. I have them carefully tucked away in my office, still shrink wrapped and carefully preserved so when things settle down and I have time I’ll do it.”
Steve Blum on Keaun Reeves, the script for Cowboy Bebop, and prospects of a live action film:
“Well there was a script written for Cowboy Bebop live action. Keanu Reeves was attached to that. And he was actually-” Lots of grumbling from the audience here.
Ms. McGlynn jumps in here. “No, he optioned it. He has the option.”
“Yeah, he has the rights for this thing, or he did at one time. Like you , I had the same reaction as you to this. This was many years ago, but I actually met him at an airport a few years ago and we had a conversation. First of all, I was shocked that he knew who I was. I was his fanboy and I had to have that moment. I see him standing there buying some gum or something and ‘Uh hi, I’m Steve and I worked on Cowboy Bebop.’ And he says, ‘Oh, I just watched the whole show, I know who you are man!’
And we had this great conversation, but I’m so impressed on how invested he was in the project. And just looking at him and his body type, his tall lanky body type…and the investment he had, he just had this child-like interest in the show. And for me, as an actor, when you have that kind of passion going into any project, I felt like he could have done a really good job. What he told me was that the script was so great, but it was going to be so expensive that he was afraid it would never get green lit, and if it ever did get the green light that he would be too old to do his own stunts. And that was really important, that he does his own stunts. So if it ever does get green lit, and he’s not a part of it, hopefully he’ll find somebody who can do all their own stunts.”
The fan asking the question suggested crowdfunding.
Ms. McGlynn then says, “That script is about $500 million, so that would be a big go-fund-me.”
“Yeah, he said it was massively expense,” Steve agreed. “But to do it right, it would have to be a very expensive film. It would have to have that epic, it would have to have a great soundtrack, you would have to get Yoko Kanno on board. I would have loved to do a cameo in it.”
A fan asked if Steve Blum could give us his favorite lines from Bulletstorm:
(sorry for the shoddy video people!) Watch it on YouTube here!
One fan asked what Mr. Blum would look like as a woman and what Ms. McGlynn would look like as a man:
“Well we know because we do it at home,” Steve Blum joked.
Ms McGlynn says, “I know I’d probably sound the same because I have a deep voice. Yes, I was an alto, that’s true! Um, I don’t know, I’d look like Troy Baker. I have no idea! In my mind I’d look like Troy Baker but in reality I might look like the comic book guy from the Simpsons. I have no idea.”
Mr. Blum replied, “I would still do you.” Which resulted in lots of laughter from the audience. “Oh, I said that aloud, I’m sorry.” Then answers, “I’d look like a female version of the Thing probably.”
Another fan asked how do you feel when you see people cosplay as characters you voice acted for?
“Squeeeee!” Mary Elizabeth McGlynn answered.
Steve Blum added, “It’s pretty awesome. It was so surreal to see that for the first time, when it first started happening. I’m finally getting used to it now. I still get really excited. I take pictures with those that dress up as my characters. Yeah, I love it. I think it’s amazing. I wish I could pull off the look of one of my characters.”
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn said, “We did go to the ren fair a couple weeks ago and I did dress up as Johanna from Diablo 3. I did go as a female crusader, which was really fun. She was a drunk crusader.”
Steve Blum said, “I’ve actually walked behind people and voiced them. I used to do that before I was a voice actor. I would do that at Disneyland. I would walk behind Goofey [does imitation of his voice] ‘Wow, you look great from behind!'”
So you want to be a voice actor? Their suggestions are to go to iwanttobeavoiceactor.com created by Dee Bradley Baker. Also, do a lot of reading aloud, putting voices to the different characters. And do it because you love it, not because you are looking to get rich off of it.
A couple comments made by the actors on their visit to Las Vegas: Mary loves Game of Thrones TV series but apparently the casino game devoured $20 so she doesn’t recommend it. (But thanks for that. Tourism revenue means we don’t have to pay state taxes in Nevada!) Steve didn’t particularly like the game either since the it doesn’t show a single boob.
If I had to guess, I’d say he’s a boob man! ;-P
As you can tell, it was a really great panel session with lots of laughs and lots of interesting conversation. They were extremely open to the crowd commenting on their reaction and it was just a really nice back and forth interaction. I would love to see more panels like this one at future events!