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FUNimation holds auditions for Jigoku Shoujo: I was there!

11:15 PM on 05.02.2007 // John Martone

Jigoku Shoujo
Look, I talk. Sometimes those words are put here, for the pubic's edification, but in general... I just love to speak. Sometimes I even share my voice with the website (Podtoid no Jutsu!), but yesterday I tried to share it with FUNimation. My tragic and uplifting story after the jump. First things first, the stuff that applies to people who care nothing about the process of voice acting auditions... Funimation is casting Jigoku Shoujo! News you may have been "loosely" aware of through other means has been brought to you by my own eyes. The company is aggressively pursuing the localization of the series, and they seem to have a really good idea about this gritty, yet oh so delightful series. Back on the subject of my personal account. Housed in North Richland Hills (an anamorphous subsection of Fort Worth, Texas), FUNimation's office has a rather unassuming look to it. For starters, I figured that the suppliers of hopes and dreams would have a much more lavish and intimidating building. Over sized busts of Goku were nowhere to be found, but rather a cozy looking environment with the occasional comfy couch and large looking television. However, I kind of wish the building was canvased in self promoting banners, since I ended up getting lost. A professional yet apologetic call to the office later I was back on track, which sadly changed getting there "twenty minutes early" into "five minutes late." The process was amazingly painless. They requested no resume or reel, in this instance they merely asked for the applicants to fill out a contact sheet and perform a selection from a cold reading binder (A book of characters with example dialog picked out, tailored to the particular show.) I'll spare you all the self deprecating details of my own experience, but it could have gone better. Not because I did particularly bad (I was fairly happy with my performance), but because I will be judged on my own merits. Sans a resume, portfolio, or any form of personal conversation, I feel like I lost the opportunity to excel in anyway other than my voice. While I appreciate the fact that this system is completely fair and rewards sheer talent on an opening audition, the actor in me despises any level playing field. Boo, hiss... I try and accrue contacts and forge business relationships for a reason!
Anime recording sound booth
There was a coincidence in auditioning for Jigoku Shoujo, as it was my "admission" paper to the website (only read by DMV as far as I know.) The audition itself took place in a sound booth like the one pictured above (except cooler because I was in it.) A pile of of bulky machines everywhere you look, the area had an energy all its own. I regret being so frantic as to forget the name of the director of proceedings (I missed his real title) and the sound engineer, as they were both incredibly nice and encouraging people. The director started by jokingly dismissing my late arrival as professional sabotage, and talked me through the process. Good times. While it'll probably be at least until next week before I hear anything, I'm not "too" concerned either way. It could have gone better, but hey, I wasn't expecting to get noticed right out of the gate, but it would have been nice. Hope you guys enjoyed the segment, and here to the hope there'll be a part two.

John Martone,
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