Anime Omnitude: Thanks alot for agreeing to answer these questions, sorry if there's alot, I can imagine you have alot of interviews to fill out but these are questions the fans wanted to know. Sorry if the seem as if they haven't been ordered. I will order them when I put them on the site
Anime Omnitude: How is it working with the other voice actors, are you guys like one little family or are you slowly getting to know one another.
Michelle Ruff: When a new face appears on the scene we slowly get to know them...who they are, what they do, are they my competition??? LOL! Joking. It's definitely a close knit community. I would say, yes we're like one BIG family but once or twice removed...like cousins.
Anime Omnitude: What inspired you to go into the voice acting business?
Michelle Ruff: I used to work at a talent agency in Michigan when I was going to college. My boss talked me into going up for a radio audition that I subsequently booked. That was the beginning of the end of my life as a normal person.
Anime Omnitude: How do you get into characters so well that each one has a unique voice?
Michelle Ruff: Practice Practice Practice!!! And...each character's "characteristics" help create the voice.
Anime Omnitude: What interested you in voice acting for Bleach?
Michelle Ruff: I was called from the studio to come and audition. I had no idea how big it was til afterwards...which is probably a good thing. Otherwise I would have been nervous! Then, once I found out about the show and it's story line, I was really interested in being a part of it. Rukia and I have a lot of similarities in what we believe and how we think. I really connect with her.
Anime Omnitude: Did you initially audition for Rukia/Yuzu or was it given to you by the producers?
Michelle Ruff: Audition!!!
Anime Omnitude: What has been your favourite role to play over the years?
Michelle Ruff: I really love this role of Rukia. I loved playing Chi from "Chobitz" and I love Naomi on "Zatch Bell". And also Fujiko Mine from Lupin the 3rd was a blast.
Anime Omnitude: Do you sometimes visit fan sites when you are auditioning for a character to understand more about them?
Michelle Ruff: Ummm. No.
Anime Omnitude: When you voice an anime do you base your voice in the Japanese dub?
Michelle Ruff: Sometimes. When I auditioned for Rukia, I didn't hear the Japanese dub. Sometimes I do. But I have heard some of the Japanese Dub during recording to get a feel for where she is in the story.
Anime Omnitude: What is it like when you audition for a role?
Michelle Ruff: Depends on the situation. The clients, the producer, the director...Sometimes It's super fun. Sometimes not so fun. I just try and give it my all. I'm usually exhausted afterwards because there will be like 5 or 6 different characters I'm reading for. Usually, you'll get to see the scene the character you're auditioning for is in. You'll get the character breakdown and the lines before you go in to the studio. I usually ask lots of questions beforehand about the feel of the show, they style of anime it is and the general story line.
Anime Omnitude: What kind of voice will you be doing for Rukia, will it be a kind of tomboyish voice that you have done before or something different?
Michelle Ruff: I'm not thinking tomboy when I play her. I'm thinking more otherworldly, intense, intelligent, somewhat detatched from her emotions. She's all business most of the time. She's definitely in my lower register.
Anime Omnitude: How do you feel about working on an anime that has had such recognition in Asia and now in the West?
Michelle Ruff: I'm absolutely THRILLED! And honored to be a part of it. It's gotten recognition for good reason. It's an amazing show and we're really trying our best to do it justice in the american dub.
Anime Omnitude: Rukia is probably the second character to change a lot in the series(other than Ichigo) At first she is really serious towards him but then she starts to respect Ichigo and has much care for him. Do you think changing your voice and emotion as the series progresses will be hard?
Michelle Ruff: We've actually already gotten to some scences that involve a character arc. And I'm enjoying the change up. So far, it hasn't been difficult.
Anime Omnitude: Before auditioning for Bleach had you researched the character you were going to play?
Michelle Ruff: No. I actually auditioned for all the female characters. I had no preconceived notion about any of them before the audition. I went in and got my sides and the character breakdowns, had some time to prepare them and went in to the studio to record my interpretation of them. The character I've created for the show is a little different from my audition. A bit more intense.
Anime Omnitude: How does it feel to be a voice actress with celebrity status? I mean you have a lot of fans and I imagine you must be surrounded with fans at conventions
Michelle Ruff: Aww. Shucks. I guess I don't think of myself as having celebrity status. Ya know? I just really appreciate the fans sooo much so when I actually get to see them and talk to them about shows and what's new in anime I'm coming from a gracious place. Gratitude is an important element to my happiness.
Anime Omnitude: Any tips for someone who wants to get into the voice acting business?
Michelle Ruff: Take acting lessons. Take improvisation classes. Take Voice over classes. Practice Practice Practice...ask questions, network...and don't take anything too personal. It's just business.
Anime Omnitude: Will you be at any upcoming conventions?
Michelle Ruff: Yes, I'll be doing a voice actor panel for Bleach in October at the convention in Northridge, CA.
Anime Omnitude: Anything you want to say to the fans?
Michelle Ruff: You rock.
Anime Omnitude: Thanks for answering the questions Ms. Ruff
Michelle Ruff: You're welcome!
Miles Benjamin (Milezy) - http://www.animeomnitude.com