Recently Jalen K. Cassell ADR voice director for Viz and voice actor did a Reddit AMA interview where he talks about his decent track record and credentials that deserve him his own Wikipedia page. Such as voice acting work and longtime behind the scenes involvement ADR stuff with the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise since Stardust Crusaders, One Punch Man, Magi, Hunter X Hunter, The Fate Series and his current ADR project: Welcome to Demon School Iruma Kun!
On how he got into voice acting and does it require theatre experience.
Theatre experience isn’t required, per se, but it is very beneficial as, in theatre, one develops the tools to bring characters to life believably. I personally studied theatre in high school, as well as in college!
On the thought process of writing an episode or a script.
When I’m adapting to a project, I try to watch as much of the show/movie/etc. as possible before receiving materials. In doing so. I’m looking for how the character is portrayed in the OJ (original Japanese version), any verbal tics they may have, their relationships with other characters – really the things I’d look for as an actor/director.
Once receiving the translation, I’ll read through it for content and client/studio notes, and from there, I try to write the dialogue in such a way that it flows from character to character, as a conversation would IRL.
It’s my hope, that doing so will help the actors drop into character more quickly and fully, and the director won’t have to worry much about adjusting lines on the day 🙂
On tips to be a director.
If there’s research that can be done, try and ingest as much as possible! Learn the craft of storytelling – acting, composition, story beats, objectives, the works!
Be present when watching media, and if you find the acting particularly good in something, find a behind the scenes look and try and learn what got it to that point.
And, as much as possible, try to clearly communicate what a scene/moment needs to the actor in front of you as succinctly as possible.
In short: Be prepared. Communicate. Be concise. <3
On his longtime collaborations with Tony Oliver who’s worked with him in the Jojo Franchise since Stardust Crusaders.
Tony was one of my first voice over teachers and was instrumental in my journey to become a script adapter. He’s a patient, focused director, impossibly knowledgable about the craft, and a dear friend!
On his favorite Jojo character and Stands aside from Okuyasu of Jojo: Diamond is Unbreakable.
Double answer! Character-wise, I would have to say, Joseph! I do miss writing for him; but as a combo, I love Mama (Guido) Mista and his Bullet Babies! ABBACHIOOOOO
On the challenges of voicing Okuyasu.
The biggest challenge going into playing Oku were twofold:
First, finding the right vocal placement. I’m an enormous fan of Wataru Takagi, and his performance is the stuff of legends! I wanted to honor that, whilst still finding a placement that I could maintain for the full season, and was age-appropriate.
The second challenge was overcoming any perceived notion of how the public would receive the performance before it aired. I was petrified in the weeks leading up to it, but the fanbase has been so loving, and the entire experience was a joy and then some!
On how Jalen and the staff maintained chemistry between Josuke, Okuyasu, and Koichi in Jojo: Diamond is Unbreakable.
Great question! For Part 4, I went into it with the mindset: “These kids are kind of like Ed, Edd, & Eddy but put into this bizarre adult world” and tried to approach the already stellar storytelling from that angle (as a 90’s kid, myself)! For Part 5 (Golden Wind) we have a wonderful Italian Language Consigliere (Paola Giovanna Cresti) and between her and the client, Matthew Hunter, they provide a great deal of vocabulary that I try to judiciously place 🙂
On the thought process of changing Stand/character names for the Jojo Dubs due to copyright reasons and favorite changed Stand name.
I typically receive a document at the beginning of the season with the original Stand names and what they’ve been adjusted to. It’s decided by our clients ahead of production beginning the dubbing process.
While I do love King Crimson, Emperor Crimson has a pretty nice ring to it!
On how he got to work on the Code Geass movie.
IT WAS A DREAM COME TRUE!
I’ve loved Code Geass since Jr. High, and when I got the call asking to be part of the movie, I was over the moon.
I was ostensibly in for incidentals, and when I auditioned to voice match Kanon Maldini (on the spot), I never imagined it would end up in the final release!
Happy tears were shed in the theater that night 🙂
On what character he enjoyed writing in Demon School Iruma-Kun!
Asmodeus! Azz Azz is a gift, and my phenomenal JoBro, Billy Kametz, slays it every session!
And finally What Actor would he love to work with someday.
A great many! However, working with Keith David on a project would be out of this world ^^
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to come and chat, and many thanks to the Toonami Subreddit for having me! This has been an absolute blast!
Be well, stay safe, and love one another <3 <3 <3