Chicks On Anime
Page 2

by B. Dong, C. Brienza, R. Sevakis, Oct 7th 2008

Bamboo: You mentioned that at conventions that you mostly work on the podcast. What do you do back at the studio?
Margo: When I'm not producing, I work in the video department by putting all the video together, and making sure the editors meet their deadlines. I make sure everything is ready for the Blu Ray release, the DVD release, as well as the online download release. I make sure that they have all the assets that they need for people to download episodes online. So anything related to video. And scheduling, I guess. Because I'm good at scheduling.
Casey: For all the readers out there, that's what a producer does.
Margo: A producer does not have fun all the time. Like, before I came here for this discussion, I had to make sure the guys were at the Claymore panel, and knew what to do while I was gone. I hope they knew what to do. So yeah, I schedule things and make sure everything happens. Even when I go to industry parties, I'll hang out with everyone, but I have to make sure everyone gets up in the morning. You know, you've got to get going at 9 o'clock in the morning and have some breakfast, and what not. My mind's always going.
Casey: In your job, you must have to do a lot of networking. Is that something you enjoy?
Margo: I love networking. I mean, networking is what got me the job that I have, so I'm all for networking. Especially for women. I'm in Women in Film. Networking is big, especially in this industry, and in any entertainment industry.
Casey: We were talking about this earlier, and it seems to me that some people find it naturally easy to network, while some people are very uncomfortable with that kind of work. We were discussing whether you'd be able to learn it. You really have to be a people person in the first place.
Bamboo: You can learn it, I think.
Robin: It could be pretty hard for some people. I think it's something some people are naturally good at. Some people come in a room and can just talk to everyone, and other people are just shy and need to read note cards or something.
Margo: I think it's something you can pick up. When I first started, I was here for the Anime Awards at New York Comic Con. I'd been here two, three months and I was getting interviews with voice actors. I didn't know what they looked like. I just had a list of names and it's just putting yourself out there. Even if you just ask questions like, “I'm new, What do I do?” It's just kind of putting yourself out there and asking questions. It's kind of hard at first.
Casey: Do you have any advice for people who are interested in breaking into the industry, or just networking tips?
Margo: I think it's helpful to join professional organizations that'll hold events where you can meet people. People will go to those events and meet people. So if you go to them and don't know anyone, you can go up to someone and say, “Hey, what do you do?” Actually, that just happened to me two weeks ago, when I went to a Women in Film event. You've got to join those things and meet people. Industry parties, too. You do meet people there. Go there to have fun, but still know that you're networking. That's how I met Bamboo.
Bamboo: So going back to earlier when we were talking about how you have to talk to a lot of anime fans… One thing that I always thought was so cool was, when working on our ANN videos, I feel like anime fans, maybe more so than other fans, are so quick on the uptake. I've watched you guys film before and you guys ask some wacky questions. A while back, I remember watching Troy going around asking, “What flavor of Pocky would you be?” and fans would just spit out the craziest answers.
Margo: And it'd be on point.
Bamboo: I feel like those answers are so quick-witted, and the cosplayers are always in character.
Margo: Yeah, because they know. Sometimes, I wouldn't know what to ask. I'm there checking things off, and I'll think, “Wow, I never thought of it like that.” Guys like Todd Haberkorn and Troy Baker, who host the show sometimes, they're both voice actors, and they really know how to interact with the fans and with other voice actors. And they get really excited and their fandom comes out.
Casey: So, moving from the good of fans to the bad of fans, have you seen any real kind of egregious behavior at conventions that you feel is just inappropriate and people should not do?
Margo: You mean like walking into the bathroom and seeing fans barefoot in the bathrooms? Oh yeah I saw that.
Robin: Ew, that's nasty. It's kind of dangerous too. There could be nails on the floor; you don't know.
Bamboo: Or athlete's foot.
Margo: And at the end of the day…
Casey: That's a cosplayer who is devoted to her craft. Maybe too devoted. But there was some discussion at this year's San Diego Comic Con about sexual harassment that was occurring at the convention. Some people were saying that they were unable to find a system of redress at the con itself and the organizers had really nothing prepared.
Margo: Like with certain cosplayers getting touched? I've had people ask for my phone number. And you see a lot of cosplayers getting attacked, like with the whole glomping thing. People would run up and tackle people.
Robin: Random strangers, too. Not everyone wants to be suddenly tackled, you know. You have to be careful.
Margo: At Anime Boston, or maybe it was New York—our Shin (from Shin-chan) kept getting glomped. And it's a little lady in the costume. She got tackled, and they din't know there was a little lady inside. She got pretty bruised up and stuff. That wasn't nice.
Robin: I was going to ask… You work with several people on the job, and although you were new to anime when you started, and grew to like a portion of it—have there been other people you've seen come on and react more negatively, or more differently, when they learn about anime or anime fans?
Margo: Actually, no. We just got two new editors in our department. And they, sometimes we have to QC our videos before they go out for digital download. And then they'll start talking about it and they approach it like, “I can't watch this other episode, I need to watch them in order!” Everybody approaches it in that way, I think.
Robin: So no one's worked on something and decided they hated it?
Margo: I mean, they'll have personal preferences. They'll dislike one property, then watch another and decide they like that one, but it's never been a case of, “Oh my God, I cannot stand this. I hate anime forever.”
Bamboo: It's nice talking to someone who's fresh to anime and the convention scene. It gives a different perspective for those of us who've been doing this for a while.
Margo: I'm still getting used to it. I'm starting to know what the most popular cosplay outfit will be.
Bamboo: Let me ask you something. Do you find that your tolerance level for weird has completely changed?
Margo: Yeah. *laughs* Like people in bikinis—they're just being characters. When I first started, I kept thinking, “Wow, I didn't know you could do that.” Like put those contacts in your eyes, and wear those outfits. But now I can recognize their characters. And I can recognize good cosplay now. Before, it was a matter of processing that everyone was dressed up. Now it's more like, “Oh my gosh, that's really good.” When you start doing that, then you know. I love the group cosplayers, and how they're a team. Before it was just a bunch of people, but now I can look at them and say, “Oh, I know that character! And that character!” That's really cool.
Casey: How much longer do you think your enthusiasm will last?
Margo: At least another two years. *laughs* I don't know. I don't know what to do for Halloween. Should I have a normal Halloween costume, or should I dress in anime clothes? Because now I come to conventions, and I don't dress up.
Bamboo: Maybe now that you've crossed the point of no return, you'll have to start cosplaying. You'll be one of them. Anyway, thanks so much for joining us, and I hope you continue having a great time.
Margo: Thanks for having me.


Transcribed by: Keith LaPointe

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