Zero's english voice actor, Lucas Gilbertson, has generously taken the time to answer a plethora of your submitted questions! Major thanks to all who sent in questions and to Lucas for answering them.
Without further adieu, the Q&A:
1)Was it hard to act as Zero? I mean, getting the voice right, and just putting yourself in the position of a fictional, red machine?
Lucas Gilbertson: It's a bit hard on the nerves at first, you just really want to do a good job, but after about 15 minutes or so the adrenaline kicks in and you're just having fun. I didn't really think about him as a robot or anything, just as a badass with a beam saber, I just imagined I was actually doing the things he was doing on screen.
2) Zero is known to yell A LOT. Was it a tiring process to constantly yell and scream or was it enjoyable?
LG: Hahahahaha WELL many VA's hate the screaming parts 'cause they're afraid for their voices (pussys). BUT I absolutley love screaming, I don't think I've done a major role that hasn't relied on me dropping a lung at some point. Something about being allowed to let loose and scream as hard as I can makes me happy. I like playing psychotic characters so the more screaming, the better. One day I hope to get a character that does nothing BUT scream.
3) Do you work alongside your fellow voice actors? Surely working side by side with them enhances your own performance!
LG: It would definitley enhance the performance, but sadly when dubbing everybody records alone. Theres the recording engineer/s, directors, producers and clients there too at times. But at Blue Water Studios where I recorded Zero it's just me, the engineer and a director over headset from Ocean in Vancouver. When recording prelay, or original western cartoons, typically the actors will record as a group. But I DO get to hear the other actors performances played back through my headset as we record my part... unless I'm the first to record.
4) In the Mega Man X Collection, was there a re-recording of the dialogue in Mega Man X4 and X6? As far as I know, a Capcom rep explained that it was stripped for the Maverick Hunter X remakes but those never saw the light of day. I just want to confirm whether or not there was going to be a new voice track for those games and whether or not you participated in those voice tracks.
LG: As far as I know nothing was recorded for X4/6. But the actors are pretty much the last people to get filled in. I first learned of the possibility of those rerecordings through you guys on the internet! You bastards got me all excited and then....... nothing.
5) I heard you're quite the artist Mr. Gilbertson; where do you find inspiration for your art?
LG: It sounds terrible but most of my art is derived from tragedy. I thought it would be a good idea to show what I was talking about... that link is to a picture i made about 4 years ago now when I first began getting back into art, a starving african child with a halo. But I also do alot of stuff that is much more introspective... although not in a typical way like this. But I think the best way I can sum up my inspiration is mostly just a consuming drive to make something that provides me with some sort of cathartic releif, and therefore maybe the person viewing it as well.
6) i'm an art nut myself, do you have any advice as to how I should go about getting my work in the public eye? Thanx!
LG: Ugh, If I knew the answer to that question I'd be way more.... artified in the public eye. You can go around to coffee shops and ask them if they'd like to display your work. Network and connect with other artists, I put up my art as the stage decor for my friends local gigs if they play in bands, or in the lobby of their plays. Find a good busking zone and set up a table with your work. Have buisness cards ready to hand out to people with your contact info, website etc. So that if they buy something they can tell other people about you. Give art away as gifts to all your friends and family for a couple years, you'll start to gain a reputation amongst them and their friends. But above all, be creative, there's no one way to go about doing it. Just keep your head up and put your will to it.
7) Do you plan on continuing your role as Zero since your voice acting was excellent?
LG: I would definitley be Zero again if it was offered! It would be amazing. There's just so much stuff that goes on thats beyond my control when it comes to things like that.
8) Was there any kind of research done to prepare for your numerous roles in the Mega Man franchise? Did you pick up on the original Japanese performances?
LG: Hahahaha, pretty much the only preparation at first was just a picture of zero looking over his shoulder, printed off the computer, given to me. But I was familiar with rockman anyways. It all happens so fast that there really isn't too much time to prepare, I usually grab a couple references off of the internet of the original japanese, but they give you those in your first session as the character anyways. It's a little bit like "ok you got the part, you're Zero... aaaannnd GO" and then you have to go. Thats why the directors and Clients and producers are so helpful because they fill you in on all the nuances that you haven't figured out.
9) Do you play any of the MegaMan games? Isn't it awesome to hear yourself in a video game?
LG: I struggled through CM and I'm STILL hacking away at X8. I pretty much suck, these games are freakin hard. I swear, I'm good at other games. I don't have a PSP so MHX is out, but I downloaded the Day of Sigma off of the net a while back, so at least I have that. It IS fun to hear myself in video games... until I hear a line that I think sucks. Then it's really embarrasing. "awww that WAS really surferish". I make all my friends buy the games i'm in, they hate that.
10) As an amateur voice actress trying to get into the field, I'd love to hear how you got your big break and what you might be able to suggest to those like myself who would love to try their hand at this business.
I was extremely fortunate in that my eldest sibling, who's about 12 years my senior, is an established actress and singer in Calgary where we live. She got involved with Blue Water and then a while later she told me that they were having open auditions. That was in August 2001. I auditioned and then two weeks later I got my first part, which was in a Gundam cartoon. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is make a voice demo, about 1-2 minutes long (or 3 depending on who you talk to) with nothing but your best voices. You can do that yourself if you have the equipment or pay a studio to do it, just do some reaserch. Then with that demo you can apply for agency representation, get someone that specializes in voice acting. You can research all the major dubbing companies to find out when they're having their open auditions (if they do that) look for any open auditions in fact. keep in mind that there are plenty of different places to look for work as a VA, commercial, poetic, etc. There'll always be tonnes of small studios peppering your city that noone knows about, these are great places to start.
Also, a couple of quick Command Mission questions for you. Being that CMX was my first major game in the X series that I could actually play through and beat (yes, all of you old-school gamers can laugh at my inability to play traditional platformers) I found the storyline and gameplay to be wonderful, as well as loving the English voice cast.
LG: The entire thing! it was my first chance to be Zero! In the beginning of the game theres this part where Zero jumps up to attack epsilon and then gets thrown off a balconey or something like that. It wasn't much but there was an element in that attack, and the preceding conversation that really helped me figure Zero out. Which is good, since it's so early in the game!
During the interview, it was also revealed that Mr. Gilbertson is hard at work at redubbing Iris' infamous death scene in MegaMan X4 (WHAT AM I FIGHTING FORRRR). So, in preparation, Mr. Gilbertson wants to know if you guys would like a serious redub or a funny redub. What will it be?
Thanks again to Mr. Gilbertson and all who participated!