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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Real-Life Surfer Boy

Vic Mignogna has voiced many popular anme characters. Photo by John Kane.
Vic Mignogna has voiced many popular anme characters. Photo by John Kane.

Vic Mignogna, a voice actor based in Texas, is best known as the voice of Edward Elric, one half of the Elric brothers in the anime “Full Metal Alchemist.” Attending Anime Boston 2006 as a guest, the way we met was a little unexpected. I walked into the convention’s pressroom where he was sitting with another reporter who was showing pictures of an event. I listened to see if his voice rang any bells. I asked, “Excuse me, are you Vic?” He looked up and with a smile, he said, “Yes I am.” I asked for an interview. We took our seats at the press table and I started firing questions away. Well, let me tell you what he told me.

Mignogna had been acting most of his life. When he auditioned for ADV Films, one of the anime dubbing companies in Texas, it was for the role of Vega in the “Street Fighter” anime. It has been said that he, fellow guest Greg Ayres, and Chris Patton are “The Three Musketeers of Voice Acting,” due to the number of times they have been cast together. I mentioned how he puts a surfer accent in some of his roles; he laughed and said, “Thanks for recognizing.”

He has said that various times, he wanted to play the lead, but was cast as the supporting character, later realizing he liked the less significant character more. “There have been rare times that a voice actor makes a living off voice acting,” Mignogna said. Many have a second job. Mignogna himself is a full-time musician, and does sound work and composing. As for availability, he makes himself available whenever they need him. As for characters that changed him the most, the role he just finished, Ed Elric, he says changed him most.

“What advice do you have for people who want to be voice actors?” I asked. He got serious and said, “Let me tell me you something. There is no such thing as, ‘I want to be a voice actor.’ They wanted to be actors first.” He mentioned that many voice actors were union workers. But his advice is to develop your skills as an actor first. “Community Theater, school plays, anything that has to make you act,” he said.

The most tedious audition he has ever gone through was one in which he sent in his own audition, and they told him to change it. He did and when he sent it back they told him to change it again. In the end they chose someone else. He learned that the other voice actor did the audition much like he did and got the part. Being a busy worker, Mignogna never sees 80 percent of his work.

Although he never sees his work, he is still appreciative of his fans (in other words, he likes being mobbed!). He says he never realized how anime would be a part of his life and how he would become an important part of the biz. A devout Christian, he sets it straight for those who believe anime is satanic: “There are good and bad anime. Just separate the good from the bad.”

Like the fans, he also feels that calling anime a cartoon is offensive. A few weeks later after thisinterview, he did a “Full Metal Alchemist” game for the Playstation Portable, and on Sept. 26, 2006 a full-length “Full Metal Alchemist” movie hit theaters. All in all, Mignogna is cool guy, he is thankful and grateful to his fans and it shows in his fan clubs. To check out his convention schedule, go to Vic’s official website at www.vicsworld.net.