John Swasey has been a staple of voice acting in the anime industry for over 20 years. A veteran boasting over 250 roles from 194 titles, his most recent work was as the loud and arrogant Kumatetsu from Mamoru Hosoda’s latest work, The Boy and The Beast. We had the great pleasure of sitting down with Mr. Swasey to discuss his time in the industry, how he came to be in Hosoda’s latest work, and what’s next in his career.
Our interview is also available on Soundcloud
The Boy and The Beast opens in limited release on March 4th, 2016.
Projects Mentioned in this Interview:
Mith: So let’s just start at the beginning. How did you get started with voice acting?
John: Well, when I graduated from college in 1987, now you all know how old I am.
Mith: Age check!
John: Haha Well, I… uh… well my goal really was to be on Broadway, I mean that’s what I really wanted to do. But I moved back to Houston and I started doing some commercials and did a little stage work, film work, little bit of this and a little bit of that. Then one day I started doing voice work, and I was like, “Man, really something about this I really like.” Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t have to bathe, or didn’t whatever. So fast forward to about 1994 or 1995, and I really started to do some really intensive marketing of myself to entities like advertising agencies and production houses, things like that, and I was primarily doing voice over. That’s what I was marketing myself as, I was sending out demo tape. Of course this was before websites and all that kind of stuff so, I just sort of found myself getting more and more voice work. It turns out I was fairly proficient with it, and I ended up landing some really big accounts and got in with some big advertising agencies here in Houston.
So 1996, somebody said, “Hey, you outta audition for this company called ADV,” and I said, “Well what’s ADV?” and they said, “Well, they do anime.” And I was like, “What the heck is anime?” So I auditioned and I actually had a TERRIBLE audition. Because I didn’t understand the process of ADR, I didn’t understand even what I was looking at, I just didn’t get it. So they just said, “Thank you for coming in.”
Mith: Yeah our people will call your people.
John: Right, right, so I left and sat in my car for like 10 minutes. So David Williams, who was running the audition, and we’d talked about this at a convention earlier this year but, I got out of my car and I walked back in and asked “Can I give it another shot?” They were like, “Sure, but you’re going to have to wait though because we have other people,” so I was like, “okay”. So I sat there for like an hour just waiting to go back in and when I went back in I just started doing funny voices, and really kind of put all apprehension aside, threw caution to the wind and just went berzerko. And they were like, “Oh wow, well that was great, Thank you! That was much better. Yes!”
So I started getting cast at ADV and I just happened to be, along with a bunch of other people, just happened to be in the right place at the right time, starting with this new anime production company that happened to be based in Houston, Texas, and I happened to be there. You know, the rest as they say is history. So I came up along with Greg, Chris Ayres, Vic Mignogna, Lucy Christian, Monica Rial, Chris Patton, and you know we were all sort of this group.
Mith: Like the Rat Pack of voice actors.
John: Right! Exactly! We used to always joke about that, It’s too bad they don’t go to like, the old studio system, where they just hire us and then use us however they want. Instead of show by show it’s just you get salaried and we’ll pay you X dollars per week and we’ll use you and abuse you as we see fit. So that’s just kind of leads, historically in a linear fashion, to things changed and then FUNimation started to come on the rise. A lot of Houston actors, well not a lot again some, were going up to Dallas to work there in Fort Worth, I got lucky enough to go up there and started landing some roles. One of the things that’s always been good for me, I guess and my advantage, is that I can do a lot of different voices and I’m more of a character actor than I am a lead.
Mith: So you can put on different roles and different hats?
John: Yeah, I’ve been able to go up and do, “Hey we need an old guy, we need this character, we need that, we’ll get Swasey to do it,” so that’s kinda how it’s gone. Of course now they, it so interesting that the business has been more prolific than ever but there’s also more, literally thousands more actors available so you know it’s and I understand…
Mith: Stuff like YouTube just recording the voices and different avenues of getting there.
John: Right right, and you know it’s like you just don’t have the, you know we need 6 different characters and just get Swasey to do em, well no we’ll just get 6 different actors. We don’t need, and I understand that, it’s a bummer in some ways but it’s, it is the reality and that’s why I’m really so excited about “The Boy and The Beast” because in 20 years of doing this, this is, to my recollection, this is the first LEAD character that I’ve ever had, this is certainly the biggest, the biggest role I’ve ever had.
Mith: Line-wise, but you did get Gendo Ikari, and you’ve been Hoenheim as well in the past correct, so you’ve had some of the bigger maybe noticeable characters just maybe not as many lines.
John: Absolutely, yeah I mean Lord Death in Soul Eater, and Crocodile in One Piece, there’s certainly a litany of characters.
Mith: Like people will be like, “I remember you from this or that” but definitely the presence in the movie you had the Lion Share.
John: Right, but to be the actual, one of the 2 leads, this has probably, now I’ve done live action, I’ve done a lot of leads, but those aren’t nearly as popular as anime is so. And I don’t say that with any regret or anything like that but I mean I’m, my wife puts it like, “If Vic Mignogna is the Brad Pitt of anime, I’m the Kevin Bacon”
Mith: Hey man, everyone loves Kevin Bacon.
John: I know right? So you can do Six Degrees of John Swasey in anime.
Mith: So speaking of voice acting, maybe when you went into it: What’s one thing about voice acting that you didn’t expect? What’s something about voice acting that really took you by surprise? Either positive or Negative?
John: I thing what really took me by surprise was, initially, the level of acting that you actually have to do. And now when I teach other people to do voice acting, it’s acting and if you don’t know it there’s sort of a feeling of, “Well I’m in a booth and I’m looking out a window maybe, and I’m in front of a microphone, I can just stand here and it’s all in my voice right?” No, it’s not. You’re on a stage you’re in front of a camera. It just so happens to be that you’re in a booth in front of a microphone, but it has to have the same level of intensity and the same emotional stake that you would need if you were in front of someone, so that was something that didn’t so much take me by surprise so much as I had to discover. Once I understood that, that it made the voice acting part a lot easier and it was able to manifest through your voice itself. If you can do things like physical what’s going on.
Mith: Making those gestures, move your arms around like you’re talking to someone directly.
John: Yes, exactly. Look and in anime you’re doing ADR, but look at the character, what is the character doing? Physically what is that character doing? And when they say their line what is that animated character look like? Mimic that! It’s very very helpful. So that was a great revelation for me.
Mith: So when you’re learning these things about voice acting, as you’ve been kind of evolving over your very long career, what’s been your most challenging role to date? And why was that such a challenge for you?
John: A lot of roles have been challenging for different reasons. But I also will say and I hope this doesn’t sound like a pompous ass but, it’s something that comes fairly easy to me, so I’m really stretching myself. I don’t think you always have to stretch yourself to make a good performance. I certainly don’t mean to imply that I can just phone it in and it’s going to be awesome, that’s not what I mean at all. I’m just saying that for me, I enjoy doing it so much that it’s not a workout, it’s not like, “Guuuh, when is this OVER?!!!”
Mith: Sure, a pro basketball player can sink a shot pretty easily, it’s not like, “That was the hardest shot I’ve ever had to make.” So after a while you kind of know the tools that you need to use.
John: Exactly, that’s exactly the right way to put it. I know the tools, I know what tools to grab, I know how to equip myself to get a certain character or performance. now I WILL say, that there was one character named Gozaburo in My Bride is a Mermaid directed by Ian Sinclair, who’s a fabulous director with FUNimation, and a fabulous actor, he’s also in The Boy and the Beast as a matter of fact. He was directing me in “My Bride is a Mermaid” and Gozaburo’s character is the father, and every line… I mean EVERY line, he screams or yells at the top of his lungs. Like blood spewing forth kind of yelling. So when we recorded, and I’m going to say have 6 hours of recording, and it really turned out to not be 6 hours of recording lines, it was about 2 hours of lines, but we had to stop every 15 minutes of lines to take a 30-45 minute break, just so my vocal cords could rest, because I would ruin my vocal cords, and he understood that. Every single line was just, “RAH RAH RAH RAH.” That was a really challenge, that one was hard. That’s really where a challenge can be physically demanding. Other challenges can be finding the right voice, but that’s nothing to freak about about. I know when we did Soul Eater, and Zack Bolton was the director, I did not know the show at the time and I was thinking Lord Death, okay well he’s going to be like everything else I do, just, “GRAH GRAH GRAH,” and Zack was like, “No, listen to the Japanese.” I was like “Oh! so he’s more up here (much higher pitch voice) it’s silly!” Well even once we found that voice and we started recording and I was cast, we would record maybe 30-40 minutes, and he said, “You know what? You’re in the zone now, I’d like to go back and start over, and get those first 30 lines again now that you’re in that mode.”
Mith: Channel what you’re in now and bring it back to the beginning.
John: Exactly, so we had consistency and continuity to it. Zack’s a fun director to work for.
Mith: So with dubs, I think in the anime industry, and you’ve been to a lot of conventions and a lot of panels, so I’m sure you’re familiar with this concept of subs vs dubs, a debate that’s been going on forever, at least as long as anime has been in the states. What do you tell people that insist that they don’t enjoy dubbed work? What do you do, are there shows that you would point to and say, “Here’s a really good quality dub, give it a try.” Because as you mentioned, you came up with a lot of really great voice actors and I’m sure that you want people to hear their work, and all the hard work that they’re doing. So what kind of things do you point to, what kind of things do you say to help?
John: Okay, the FIRST thing I tell somebody who would come to me at a panel and say, “I don’t like dubs I only listen to subs,” the first thing is say is, “Why are you at my panel? I’m a dubbing actor! Why would you be here?” In all honesty, I have not really run into that. I certainly know it exists, and I know there is that sort of eh… I feel it’s a little pretentious to go, I only look at the subs, but if you do, that’s fine. I’m a big proponent of the Japanese actors create the role. We’re simply dubbing in the English. We sort of owe it to the production, and certainly to the actors that originate the role, to be as close to their performance as possible. Because they created that performance, we just put it into another language. It’s not, “Okay, I’m going to be the best Lord Death ever.” I need to listen to what that actor did, and I need to be true to what that actor did. As close as the director here will let me. There’s obviously going to be some nuances and changes just because of the language. You’re going from Japanese to English. The other thing too, and I’ll say this is something that I used to not really think about, because we’re dub actors, but I think if you look at the proliferation and popularity in anime right now I think you would be very very in the wrong and remiss if you did not attribute some of that popularity growth to the dubbing world. You might love anime, but if you don’t like watching subtitles, you’re probably not going to watch it. So I think that the dubbing community has played a hugely significant role in the growth of the industry, and I think there are people, lots and lots of people, who like the Japanese, but also really like the English. I think the reason behind that might be, and this is pure speculation on my part, might be because we speak English here, and it gives us a little bit of ownership of the property. Not physical, but now I have something invested in it. So I think if you’re someone who only looks at subs, then fine, good for you! As a matter of fact, The Boy and The Beast is being released in Theaters March 4th, but it’s in a dual release of sub and dub.
Mith: This is the first time they’re doing this right? Or has dual release been done previously?
John: You know, I don’t know. I think this is the first time. I’ll just say it is because I want to be part of something that’s the first.
Mith: I think Morgan (Berry) had said something about that. So what is your favorite dub work?
John: Well it would have to be The Boy and The Beast. Kumatetsu is extraordinary!
Mith: Haha! Own work excluded, how about that?
John: So I’m 51, I’ll be 52 this year, I grew up on Speed Racer. But I missed Robotech. That was in my college years, I was just not into that at the time. I was a little too old for that, I missed it. You know, I don’t know, the dubbing process has evolved so much, it’s so precise and efficient and it’s not cheesy, and I love Speed Racer but, nobody in anime now goes (Awe voice sound).
Mith: They don’t have those filler sounds of shock or whatever.
John: Yeah, it’s more real. The stuff they’re doing right now is really good, and companies are precise about working at FUNimation, they’re very particular about the lip flaps, almost to the point of, “Really? they’re not paying that close attention,” but when it comes to that kind of thing, let’s not give anybody reason to think that the dub is off. Truth be told I don’t have a favorite dub. To be honest, just because of the good fortune of being who I am and where I am, there aren’t that many that I’m not in. Unless it was done on the west coast or Pokemon in New York.
Mith: So yeah, let’s transition into this most recent work…how did you learn about The Boy and The Beast?
John: Well it’s a great story, to me. Back in like, September, or something like that, I got an instant message from some fan and it said “Hey I just saw that FUNimation got the rights to The Boy and The Beast and I think you would be great as Kumatetsu!” I responded “Well I’m sorry to disappoint you that’s not the way it works but thank you very much that’s very kind of you.” I immediately closed that and opened up a text to Mike McFarland and I said “Hey I heard you guys acquired The Boy and the Beast and I was just wondering you know has it been cast or what’s the story and he let me stew in my own juices for a couple of days and you know – and I’m thinking (now it’s been a couple of days) that it’s been cast. Also, I didn’t really know the uh…the level of the show. I mean I knew it was Hosoda but I didn’t know how big of a deal it was. Which probably worked in my favor. Anyways, a couple days later he shoots me back a text and says, “Yeah, nothing’s been done so far but I’ll let you know when we have auditions…” I say, “Great,” didn’t think anything of it. About a month goes by and I get an email from FUNimation saying that Mike would like you to audition for the role of Kumatetsu and I was like oh sweet!
So a good friend of mine Afshar, who used to be my engineer at ADV when I was directing there; we worked together on a lot of various projects here in Houston… So I called him up and I said, “Hey man I have this audition…” and his studio is equipped like he does a lot of stuff for FUNimation down here if they need 1-2 lines or pick ups or whatever instead of bringing the actor to Dallas they send them to Afshar to get it done. I went over there and I started – I had done a little bit of research on it and really kinda started to get the gravity of the situation and I was like, “You know, this is a big deal…” this is a lead character so I spent a day or two doing research and working on a voice and finally I went over to Afshar and we spent a couple hours I think working on it and then I sent it off with the proverbial, “And if you need anything else let me know I can change anything you don’t like – ”
Mith: Right…”Please love me!”
John: Right, the pre-ass kiss you know…So then I guess that was around early November. Around 2, 2 ½ weeks later I get an email saying, “Mike needs to book you for like 24 hours of recording for The Boy and The Beast. I looked at that email and I just sat there for a minute. Usually when I go up it’s for like 7 hours at a time 2 hours on this show, an hour on this show, 3 hours on this show, 30 minutes on that show I’m just studio hoppin’. I sat there for a little bit and I said okay either I don’t know the movie well enough or this means I got the role so I texted Mike, “Hey I heard you need me for 24 hours does that mean what I think it means?” and again he let me stew in that for a day or two…
Mith: What a jerk!
John: He replied back and he goes, “Yes it does, congratulations.” What I didn’t know was that all the voices had to go back to Japan and be approved by the Japanese director. I really felt that I had done good. This wasn’t just, “Hey I work for FUNimation they like me I like them, John’ll be great for it.” No, this had to go back across the world and the director picked the voices who would do the English and I was like wow that was the biggest –
Mith: It goes back to what you were saying before: these actors they create…and the directors even more so…right they create that role and for Hosoda to hear your voice out of all the auditions and say, “Yes, that’s Kumatetsu’s voice…” must have been a real honor.
John: Right and that was one I listened to that Japanese actor and I tried to just really nail it… and I guess I did. That was a big, big thing. Then I went up to Dallas and I’ve got some friends up there and I stayed there and I started to learn about I don’t know if it worked but they were trying to submit it for Academy Award consideration I think they had done it with Summer Wars and they made it to a certain level and it didn’t go beyond that. To be fair it’s not the dubbed version it’s the movie itself. If it would’ve made it or won it wouldn’t have been because of the work I did. Just to say I was associated with it would’ve been a cool thing.
For the month of December I was floating on a cloud because I was up in Dallas recording, and now it’s coming out. It’s just been great. I hope it’s going to be as well-received as I hope it will be. I’ve certainly heard nothing but exciting things about it. Thank you all for the wonderful write up that was such a nice thing, made my kids thrilled.
Mith: Is that right?
John: Well it made me thrilled.
John: No, it was cool. I know things like that don’t come lightly so I feel like – I gotta tell ya and I really mean this from the bottom of my heart: this project was so much fun. Mike McFarland is so much fun he was the very first director I worked with at FUNimation when I worked on Fullmetal Alchemist. He is a director – and they’re all good directors. We get that question: “Who’s your favorite director?” Well they’re all my favorite they’re all fun to work with on this one, just the level of intensity and it seemed like everyone knew what was at stake and it ended up not happening but the Japanese were supposed to be here for the recording of at least Kumatetsu and um…
John: Yeah. So, that ended up not working out…which is fine because that would’ve driven me nuts I would’ve been so nervous…
Mith: Were you at the premiere in LA? Or no?
John: No, no…I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t think it was – I don’t know but I got the feeling it wasn’t a big big premiere. I think it was a smaller thing.
Mith: Mostly for media outlets like ourselves…
John: Right right right…
Mith: To get a chance to get a peek and tell everyone how awesome it is.
John: Did you go? Were you there?
John: Well you tell me: How was it?
Mith: Ok so Morgan told me the same thing: so you still haven’t had a chance to watch the movie?
John: No, the only thing I’ve had a chance to see is the trailer.
Mith: Oh my God. Well, you read my review. You saw how much I liked it!
John: Yes and apparently I walked away with the hardware so thank you for that.
Mith: You did an amazing job and I really look forward to your opportunity to see it in the theaters because it’s something really special.
John: Well thank you…thank you –
Mith: I think that’s really strange, well not strange but like I imagined all of you would finish up your work and say, “Oh that’s a wrap,” and everyone just goes into a room at the end of everything and sits down with a bucket of popcorn and just says, “Here’s our project!” but uh, I guess I’m learning a thing or two about what that process looks like…
John: The actors when we’re done there’s still so much work to do and I know Mike spent a great deal of time on the mix and that sort of thing and the actors aren’t generally involved the only time the actors are involved would be if there were pick-ups or something like that. I was hoping and I’m still kinda holding out though uh…that ship may have sailed… but I was hoping they would at least have a Dallas premiere and invite the voice actors up and say, “Hey, let’s do this.” Because FUNimation has always been really good at that type of thing. They like to do a little pomp and circumstance and show off how awesome their properties are and I was like, “Well that’d be fun.” I haven’t heard anything –
Mith: Maybe you should send a text to McFarland and see if he lets you stew in those juices for a couple of days before he gets back to you
John: Exactly…exactly. I’ve asked him about it and he said “Well I think we’re doing something but I’m not sure.” And then he’s like, “Well I’m off to LA to go see this!” And I’m like, “Ok well have fun…”
Mith: “Have fun without me!”
John: I know you can’t bring the whole cast but maybe you coulda brought me…
Mith: “Maybe you coulda brought me and Eric (Vale – Voice of Kyuta). Hmm…” Anyways…Speaking of your work as Hohenheim, as Gendo Ikari and Kumatetsu you’ve had the opportunity to voice a lot of these “father figures”. As a father yourself, what are some things that you think about when you’re voicing these roles? What sort of inspiration do you bring to them?
John: Um, that these anime children are far better behaved than my actual children.
Mith: Awww…really? All of them?
John: No. No. No. Not at all –
Mith: Not even a little bit.
John: I do tend to play a lot of fatherly figures: some good, some not so good –
Mith: Some, worst ever. I don’t know if you read my Evangelion 3.33 review but um, Gendo is constantly in the running for worst dad ever.
John: Yeah…yeah. But you know, but then you could look at it like maybe by being such a jerk and so hard that it’s helped his son you know?
Mith: It builds character.
John: Right. Again, I’ll go back to…um…we can draw from those experiences but ultimately we have to go back to what the original actor did and you know how did they perform the scene. I couldn’t sit there and go, “Well I didn’t really agree with the way that was voiced I’m going to do it my own way because I see Gendo’s arc going like this.” You can’t really do that…
Mith: Right. Like, “This is Gendo’s inspiration, this is how I’ve decided to bring him to life.” There’s more of an obligation to –
John: Right, and I’ll be honest with you Gendo’s a really great example, as is Hohenheim: they’re two very similar things for me in that both are characters that I replaced the original actor. In both cases it was like well first of all try to sound like the guy.
Mith: Right, you’re not replacing – You’re not subbing in a Japanese voice you’re literally replacing an English voice.
John: Yeah. With Gendo I was replacing Tristan MacAvery who was let go. In Hoenheim I’m replacing Scott McNeil because he can’t get a work visa, ya know. It was never like, “We want you to mimic that voice,” but it was really try to capture the essence of what that voice is. That’s what led me down those paths. Being a father you can certainly understand that even in anger there is love, and even in love you can get angry. There can be all kinds of emotions that run the gamut of your body and your soul as a parent. Ultimately, and I even think with Gendo, I think it’s there. Ultimately there is some degree of love…
Mith: Uh huh.
John: Unless you’re just a complete monster.
Mith: Which…it could be. It could be.
John: Right, yeah…
Mith: Well, we’re just about done here but I wanted to give you an opportunity to talk about any projects you’re currently working on, conventions you’ll be at…where people can come and see you and tell you how much they loved you in The Boy and The Beast…so yeah if you just want to share what’s next for you?
John: Sure, well I live in Houston, Texas and um, you can just come to my house and tell me how much you love me. I’ve got beer in the fridge here and you’re welcome to make yourself at home. Well thank you very much. As an actor you know we’re always working on projects. I’ve got two projects that are very near and dear to me. One is I’ve co-written with a friend of mine, we’ve written a children’s book. It’s the first book in a series called Jungleburgh and um, we’re doing a Kickstarter campaign and I’m not sure when this is going to air but I would think that our Kickstarter campaign will have ended by then, so I don’t need to pimp that –
Mith: When does it end?
John: Wednesday at 4 o’clock.
Mith: Ok, it might be up for about 12 hours.
John: Ok well if you go to Kickstarter and look up “Jungleburgh” with an H on the end, if there’s still time please give. Even if we don’t make it I’m not worried about it, we have a plan B and that kind of thing. Basically it’s a children’s book for children that are learning to read and it has an audio component with voice actors and things like that. Not just the narration but that act out the story and um, the ultimate goal is to do about 3 books a year and um get in the hands of little children and hopefully inspire that love to read. One of the tenets of our existence in this enterprise is that there’s really no substitute for a physical book in a child’s hand. We’ve got readers and we’ve got tablets and computers and screens and blah blah blah. Holding a physical book and turning the pages is something that will be here forever and we think it’s important. The first book is about Zeke the spider monkey, who needs glasses, because he keeps swinging into things. Luci Christian is one of the voices, Jay Hickman is another voice, Blake Shepard is doing another voice and he’s also our illustrator. Eventually I would love to see this turn into an animation one day down the road once we’ve gotten enough stories completed, so that’s one project. The second project is a deal I’m working on with Jay Hickman and a couple other folks and it is a movie called The Perfect Khan. This is a CG animation that we got the rights to and we’ve re-written the entire thing. It’s very adult humor type of spy whodunit double criss-cross, double-cross deal. It’s very funny and we’re in the final stages and hopefully it’ll be out sometimes towards the end of summer if not sooner. Those are the two deals I’m working on right now. Convention wise, going to anime crossroads in Indianapolis. Going to AFO in August. Going to anime matsuri, er Matsuri-Con in August. Got a couple other cons: Bayou City Con in Sulphur, Louisiana, which is not far from here so I’m looking forward to that. A couple other ones…
Mith: Are you going to make your way out to the west coast at all? Going to come out to Anime Expo? Comic Con? Anything like that?
John: So right now…I was just talking to my wife about this, I’ve got my schedule out and I’m in the process of contacting conventions… I’m gonna kinda let March – I think I’ve got one in March but I’m very involved in the Houston livestock show and rodeo and that runs through most of March so I’m gonna probably not do – I’ll be contacting conventions. To be honest with you I’m really hoping that once The Boy and the Beast comes out that will kinda elevate my stock a little bit –
Mith: They’ll come looking for you right? That’s the goal…
John: I’ve found though, with conventions, and I gotta say this too about conventions because I feel really strongly about it. When I started doing this in 95-96 there might be 2-3 conventions a month somewhere. Now there’s 4, 5, 6 a week…all over the world. When you go to a convention – and I went to one in Toronto one time – it was the 2nd or 3rd time I was there and I remember someone asking “What do you think the state of anime is?” and I’m like, well, we’re in Toronto and there’s 27,000 people here. This exact same weekend in Boston there’s Anime Boston and there’s about 22,000 people. So, you know, if you lived in between the two in that area of the world they draw from each other and apparently there are 50,000 people at anime conventions just between these two. Nevermind what’s going on elsewhere in the world. So I’m gonna say that anime is going just fine. It’s going great. But really it’s shows like you, it’s people like you and it’s conventions that are growing these communities and of course it’s the dub actors…Nah I’m just kidding
Mith: I wasn’t going to argue with you…
John: I really think it’s these conventions that are growing these communities you know. Also you would have to admit there’s a lot of becoming more prolific in the cross-pollenation of sci-fi horror, anime, comic you know.
Mith: The geek culture is becoming a lot more prominent/acceptable. I don’t know if acceptable’s the right word.
John: No, it is. It’s like, oh you like this and I kinda like that so we can get together, we can be friends.
Mith: Right, I mean 15 years ago, 20 years ago when you started voice acting if you said, “Oh I’m a fan of anime.” They would be like, “Oh you’re one of those people…” That level of geek that was inaccessible to the mainstream whereas now you can say, “Yeah I like anime.” Oh yeah I’ve seen some anime oh yeah I’ve seen that. There’s more open-mindedness about it where they’ll say, “Oh let me know about that series that you liked” or, “Let me check out this movie you said was good…”
John: I can go to my kids school and at least once a week I’ll have a kid come up to me and say, “Mr. Swasey I’m so sorry to bother you but I’m a huge fan.” My kids are like, “Yeah, that’s my dad.” And it’s a small private school…Geekdom is spreading its wings and becoming a formidable force and I think that’s fantastic.
Mith: Well John, thanks again I really appreciate you taking the time. We look forward to hearing about your exploits from the convention this weekend. Again, The Boy and the Beast coming out on March 4th, you can get tickets at Funimationfilms.com. Thank you again John we really appreciate it.
John: Well listen guys thank you I don’t have that many yet but I’m trying to reach 10,000 twitter followers and I have 1,004.
Mith: We’re trying to get to 10,000 as well! We’re at just about 4,000. We have that goal together and I’ll definitely put that out there, see if we can send a few more followers your way.
John: Alright, likewise, thank you all so much. You all have a great night.
Mith: Thanks John have a good night!