Christine Marie Cabanos has taken the voice acting world by storm, bursting out of the gate with such marquee roles as Madoka, Azusa from K-On!, and my personal favorite, Squid Girl. We had a chance to sit down with her at Anime Central to find out what made her tick. Here's what she had to say...
Christine has loved anime since the 6th grade, when she would drag her parents along to LA's Anime Expo. She would cosplay as Final Fantasy characters, or as her favorite character, Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura complete with painted rollerblades. Before Sakura, Christine had watched and enjoyed Sailor Moon, but didn't really realize it was part of a separate animation genre... she had just assumed it was another cartoon on TV. But Sakura is what truly launched her passion for Japanese animation.
Christine has had years of vocal training, mostly for singing, but the idea of voice acting was always in her mind. It one seemed natural to her to combine her years of training and her love of anime into a career. In fact, she enjoys it so much, she simply can't imagine doing anything else. It's as hard as it is fun, though, but she feels she was prepared mentally for it, as it's all she wanted to do.
She began by practicing with the anime episodes she knew by heart, turning down the sound and practicing the voices. She did some online work to practice, even scoring an Iphone app gig in Australia. Then it was on to 'Adventures in Voice Acting' workshops with Tony Oliver, after which Tony recommended she go to a studio and start doing background voices. What began as small roles like 'Schoolgirl A' and 'Schoolgirl B' quickly became an audition for K-On!, where she landed the role of Azusa.
Along with her anime successes, Christine also voices video games, including Reverge Labs' recent hit 'Skullgirls', in which she voices Filia. She enjoys voicing video games, especially the 'react' sound effects of being hit and whatnot, but admits the sessions can be tough. Because there's so much content being recorded in such a short amount of time (sometimes as little as 2 hours), there referred to as 'bloody throat sessions'.
The character she has the most fun recording is Squid Girl, though Azusa is still her favorite. Admittedly, she says, it's probably because she is her first major role, but she also identifies with Azusa more than any other characters she's voiced. She was excited about the role of Madoka purely from the cover, as it played to her Sakura-inspired love of the magical girl genre. As we know, though, Madoka is hardly a typical magical girl show. After she was cast, the casting director told her 'you might want to watch the show before we start' after which she realized it turns whole genre on its ear.
This is her first Anime Central, and she enjoys it. She especially likes the cosplayers, and is still delighted when she sees someone cosplaying as one of her characters.
As for advice to voice-acting hopefuls, she implores them to always practice, and to train locally and I workshops. Of course, location is an issue for this career, so you really need to be in Texas, New York, or LA. Always be prepared for an audition, and most importantly, stay with it. It can be scary, as you never know if you're going to have work, so you have to be prepared mentally for the ups and downs.
Christine is hoping to someday work on Disney or Pixar films, but anime is still her main love, and she wants to one day work on a Miyazaki film. She couldn't tell us anything about her next role, other than it's a comedy... so let the speculation begin.
All in all, Christine is a lovely woman, and was fantastically nice. We at Roboguzu wish her the best of luck. You can check out her official website here.