Australia’s first voice acting class opens at Japaneasy!
Japanese – English
YUKO is having a voice acting workshop at Japanese Culture and Art Festival on 25 Nov at North Melbourne Townhall!
Check here for details: http://www.facebook.com/japancultureandartfestival
The first voice acting class in Australia opened at Japaneasy on the 6th of October. We were lucky enough to be given the chance to interview teachers Yuko Miyamura and Christine. Yuko Miyamura has voiced numerous anime characters, and is particularly well known for her roles as Asuka in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Kazuha in Case Closed. Christine is an avid cosplayer who was selected to represent Australia in this year’s world cosplay summit.
What made you decide to move to Melbourne?
Miyamura: We moved to Melbourne four years ago because my husband decided to enrol in a circus school in Melbourne. It looks like we’ll be staying here for a while, as he joined a circus group this year.
Our interview with Miyamura’s husband, Takayuki Seki can be found here.
How is living in Melbourne?
Miyamura: Melbourne is a lot more laidback than Tokyo or Sydney. Since I lived in Japan I’ve always liked cafes and used to go quite often, so it’s great how Melbourne has lots of cafes. In particular I really like visiting cafes on the outskirts of the city. I find that they have a more relaxed vibe than the more popular cafes.
How’s your English?
Miyamura: I can’t speak it at all! (laughs)
When I talk to the students, I usually speak in Japanese and Christine interprets for me. I use simple phrases like “well done!” a lot.
What made you decide to start a voice acting class at Japaneasy?
Miyamura: I met Christine for the first time in 2010, and we started brainstorming ideas about how we could connect Japan and Australia through pop culture like anime. Originally I taught at a voice acting school in Japan, but because I didn’t think that there would be many Australians aiming to become voice actors, the idea initially didn’t occur to me at all. However, when I started thinking about it, I realised that voice acting classes would be a really good chance for Japanese language students to improve their speaking in an enjoyable way.
Because I’m not a Japanese language teacher, I can’t teach Japanese properly. However, you can study Japanese through the fun and catchy dialogue in anime!
How did the first voice acting class go?
Christine: There were a lot of people that came who love Japanese anime, so at the beginning they were very nervous to have Miss Miyamura there. When we started playing games during class everyone became much more relaxed, and I think they all really enjoyed themselves in the end.
Miyamura: I feel like there were a lot of shy people. But unlike in Japan, where there are many people who are consistently shy, in Australia the shy ones tend to become quite talkative once they get used to you. There are also lots of students with excellent vocalisation. I was quite surprised to find out that there were even some students who are seriously aiming to become voice actors.
What kind of things do you do in the classes?
Miyamura: In total, we have four parts to the course. In part one, we practice things like tongue twisters, then in part two we move on to practicing lines, how to read the script and how to use the microphone. In part three we rehearse post-recording, and in part four we put post-recording into practise.
The course is divided into beginner and advanced classes. The beginner class is targeted for Japanese language students, and the advanced class is for people who are already fluent in Japanese. In terms of the difference in class content, the beginner class uses relatively simple everyday conversation, taken from scenes in the schoolyard. On the other hand, the advanced class uses combat scenes, where much more difficult language is utilised. Both courses have small student numbers, so you can experience a lesson that’s nearly one-on-one!
You said that there are students in your class who are aiming to become voice actors. Do you have any advice for others who want to become voice actors?
Miyamura: As I originally started this class for Japanese language learners, so I was surprised to find out that some of my students really want to become voice actors. It’s not really a case of being suited for voice acting or not, I really think that if you have enough motivation you can become a voice actor. Don’t think that because you’re in Melbourne, it’s impossible! Challenge yourself to achieve your dream!
Voice acting workshop
The first round of applications for the voice acting workshop has unfortunately finished, but we plan on running the class next year as well! For more details, check out our Facebook page.
Translation: Meagan Sneddon