Vic Mignogna is one of the loudest, most animated people I’ve ever met – which makes sense, him being a voice actor and all. When he takes a break to come chat with us, his face is sparkly (“I think someone who hugged me had sparkles on their face!”) and is particularly hyped up because someone has asked him about a (now debunked) rumour involving him massaging someone under a table with his feet.
Vic has done a lot of different things in his career, including working as a producer, a teacher and a police officer. Of course, right now he’s busy doing a whole lot of voice work in anime, as well as playing Captain Kirk in webseries Star Trek Continues. STC continues on from the original series, and can be viewed on their website.
But considering Vic’s storied career, is there another career change on the horizon? “You know, I’ve been thinking of taking up foot massaging, thinking I might try that as a career. Because you know I have a lot of experience in that. Here’s the way I see it: I sit as a table, a client comes in, I go: ‘Hello. get under the table’. They get under the table, I take off a shoe. The rest is magic.” He decides to call it a Mignogna-ssage, “patent pending,” and does apologise for the foot massage joke (it’s not the last one we hear). “I have to laugh, because I get a kick out of the crazy rumours I hear.”
Star Trek Continues is perhaps one of the most impressive fan-based Star Trek projects to date. There are three episodes released as of Supanova Sydney 2014, and the level of detail and faithfulness to the original program is stunning. The main cast includes Grant Imahara (Sulu), Kim Stinger (Uhura) and Chris Doohan (Mr. Scott). Vic notices Grant Imahara’s name on my notes and we have a good chat about him: “I love Grant. Isn’t Grant awesome? He’s taller than me, he’s huge!. He’s another one of those huge guys. It’s embarrassing. When I do Captain Kirk with him, I’m like: “SULU! Would you please…sit down? You’re too tall, I can’t see over your head! We do the forced perspective. So Sulu is actually ten feet behind me, but we look like we’re the same size.”
We get back on track eventually, and he calls it a “dream come true. And you know what, it doesn’t matter that I don’t make any money at it, because that wasn’t the goal in the first place, it was just to have fun, to do something that I always wanted to do since I was a little kid, giving foot massages at my school. It was one of my dreams, and I’m doing it.”
Vic is the voice of numerous anime characters, including Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club and Fuen in Naruto Shippuden. He’s definitely done a lot more anime than Western cartoons, but for no particular reason: “It’s just the way it went. Someone encouraged me to audition for an anime company, and then I went and did it, and I enjoyed it, and they liked what I did, and so they hired me again and again and again. Most of what I’ve done is anime, and I’m completely fine with that.”
Voice acting is often looked down on, says Vic: “Sometimes people tease. They’re like, ‘oh, anime is kind of like the red-headed child of voice acting,’ which is funny because it’s actually harder than most prelay cartoon stuff.” Prelay cartoon means that the voice actor performs the lines and the animators animate the character to his performance, and “that’s a piece of cake.” In anime, the animation is set for the Japanese: “To deliver a believable performance that’s gonna move people while at the same time confining your performance to an already set locked animation, that’s a very hard thing, but I’m very very grateful to be a part of it. I don’t mind if I’m not the star in the next big Pixar movie, or if I’m not on Family Guy, I’m very blessed.”
However, he’s not opposed to Western cartoons. In fact, he’s a big fan of Pixar. “I loved Up, what a beautiful film. I would even be one of the balloons in Up, I would voice the balloon if there was a voice for the balloon, because I would love to be part of anything they do. But I’m not gonna be one of those people who always looks over the fence like man, I wish I could do that, or if I could just land that, no, be grateful where you are, for what you have now, so that’s my mantra.”