Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
We at ComiConverse are pleased to present an interview session with G.K. Bowes, the voice actress who is currently playing Melinda the Mermaid on Doc McStuffins, and who has enjoyed many years of success in the industry.
CC: Thanks for talking to ComiConverse with us! What got you into voiceover work?
GKB: Voiceover work is something that has interested me since I was a kid. However, being a good Asian girl who desperately wanted to please her parents, I went to university with plans of becoming a doctor. Then I came to my senses and followed my dream.
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CC: You have voiced many characters in your career but who is your favorite?
GKB: Man, that’s a tough one. I love voicing Melinda the Mermaid on Doc McStuffins, but I will say my favourite anime character is Mairu Orihara on Durarara!
CC: I’m the biggest Saints Row fan, and I remember your awesome voice work in the sequel. Would you ever return for future games?
GKB: I would if they ask me to! Lol!
CC: In terms of Anime, what was that like? Was it any different from video games and movies?
GKB: The Japanese are very talented with their craft.
Anime is different in that it’s all done to picture. The performances are already done and animated, so the English speaking actors can be limited in their creativity with a character.
CC: Outside from being a talented voice actress, what else are you into? Long walks, reading comics, etc?
GKB: I am a huge geek, I’ll admit. I love sci-fi, math, Rubik’s cubes (I can solve one in under 2 minutes!), Star Wars, comics; I love geek culture! I also love languages! I can speak 4 or so pretty fluently, and another 3 or 4 conversationally.
CC: Earlier last week, major video game actors considered strike action. What’s your opinion on this?
GKB: I appreciate the fans who love and respect our work. This is a tough one, though. I understand both sides of the argument. Game developers spend years slaving over their work, while a voice actor comes in and does a few hours on a game.
Voice actors are such a small part of the game in the big scheme of things. However, we do work our butt’s off as well. If voice acting were easy, everyone would do it. Often times, video game sessions are very vocally stressful; sometimes leading to lost work for commercials or other types of voice over.
CC: You played Barbie, what was that like? Fun fact, while growing up I actually collected them.
GKB: Booking a role as the iconic Barbie for was a dream come true! Truly! It was so much fun, and to this day, one of my favorite jobs!
CC: Doc McStuffins is doing really well. Why is that do you think?
GKB: In addition to the enormous amount of advertising Disney puts into their shows, I think one of the reasons why Doc McStuffins is doing so well is because of the ethnic diversity displayed in the show. It’s overcoming many racial stereotypes. I love that little girls of all colors love playing with a little black doll!
CC: Favourite voice artist? Mine has to be you and Nolan North.
GKB: Awww! Thank you! I’ve always loved Cree Summer and Peter Cullen!
CC: Do you think more black talent is needed in your industry?
GKB: This is a tough one for me. Now, before you hate me, please understand that I represent a number of people of color with this…um…situation. I am a mix of Polynesian, Native American, Latin, and Middle Eastern. I guess you could say that the Middle Eastern–which is actually Asia Minor– would “qualify” me as part Black, however, I have never identified as Black. My mother is French Polynesian and Middle Eastern (from Asia Minor), and my father is Native American and Cuban.
Would you say Rosie Perez is Black? Or how about Rosario Dawson? They both identify as Latina. I always joke that when I’m in New York, I’m Puerto Rican, in Florida, I’m Cuban, in California, I’m light-skinned Black, and in Hawaii, I’m Polynesian. I mainly identify as Polynesian, since I grew up highly influenced by Polynesian culture. Now, all that being said, to answer your original questions, yes, I do think not only Black talent is needed in the industry, but more talent of color. 🙂
CC: What is next from you? Anything you want to plug for the ComiConverse community to watch out for?
GKB: I am hoping against hope that Disney decides to give me a role in their new Polynesian-based film, Moana!
CC: Thanks for taking the time to ComiConverse with us!
Jordan Samuel is the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @LoadingBa