Sharon Noble Interview
September 7th, 2010
1. How does it feel to know that there are still fans of this show?
I’m delighted that it was that popular. I so much enjoyed recording the show, and I’m so happy that the viewers enjoyed it as well.
Are you currently working on any projects today? If so, would you care to share them with us?
Yes, I just finished shooting an episode of the Discovery Channel’s Hardback Mysteries. I think it airs in November. I also narrate audio books for AudioLark. I have a very long one that I’m working on right now. I use a different name for my narration work because I also write romance novels under my own name.
2. You have a great deal of passion for writing. Do you remember how you got started in this field?
Yes, I was sitting at my computer one day when a line of conversation ran through my head. Then, when I was walking my dogs, I heard another few lines that moved the plot forward. I wrote down what I heard, and then, like a movie running in my head, I saw characters and heard them talking. After I finished that novel and polished it up, I listened and, sure enough, I heard and saw the beginning of another I actually sold the second one, Autumn Desire, before the first one. The Wild Rose Press published it in paperback and electronic format in June. It’s available on Amazon.com and TheWildRosePress.com. Then I sold Velvet and Topaz to Freya’s Bower, and I expect it to be published sometime in 2011.
3. Do you ever do any conventions or autograph signings? If so, where do they normally take place?
I’ve never been contacted, but I would be very happy to attend a convention or autograph signing. I’d love to meet the people who watched the series when they were children.
4. Aside from MASK, where there any other shows you did voice work for?
Yes, I was the voice Gina on Dennis the Menace for a year, and I also did other various children’s voices as well as women on the show. I was the voice of Pancake Popple on The Popples. I was the voice of a Cajun girl on an episode of The Real Ghostbusters. I’ve done several animated series – dubbing into English. I’ve played all sorts of animals and animated objects. I’ve even voiced a singing alligator for an insurance company. I’m the voice of a GPS system; I’ve recorded motivational tapes and telephone operating systems. I spent several years working on radio drama for the CBC in Toronto and Winnipeg, Canada.
5. How did you become involved with MASK?
A fellow on the beach at Santa Monica just happened to mention that DIC Enterprises was casting for a cartoon series. My husband and I auditioned, and we both were cast in several continuing roles.
6. You had mentioned that you played all the female and child roles except for Scott Trakker. Was it difficult for you to transition between Gloria, Vanessa, etc?…
Actually, the transition from Gloria to Vanessa was easy because I had a very clear picture of those characters, and they were very different. Gloria was a young, dedicated, energetic member of the team of “good guys” Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, so I knew her voice immediately. Vanessa was an older, more experienced, and definitely evil member of Vile Evil Network of Mayhem, so her voice came to me right away. I had no difficulty voicing the boy children, but sometimes I struggled with the girl children or the multitude of women that showed up each week with a different accent. We were very fortunate that, each week, when the characters were in a different country and we had to do very different accents, there was always someone in our little group of six that could do the accent and could, very quickly, teach it to the rest of us.
7. You also played the voice of the MASK computer. I would assume that your voice was altered to produce the computer voice correct?
Actually no. Before I went in for the audition, I decided how I thought the computer should sound. When I auditioned, that was the voice I used, and they seemed to like it. I always wanted to make sure the computer voice was consistent and sounded identifiable as the MASK computer.
8. Do you recall how many others auditioned for female lead in the show? Was it a difficult process to obtain the role?
I don’t know how many women auditioned, but the audition holding room was crowded with actors, and I know it was a lengthy process. Of course, DIC wanted actors who could do many different roles, so the audition process was complicated, but it was exciting. Our natural voices were taken into consideration as well as other voices we could create on the spur of the moment in the studio.
9. Out of the characters you played on the show, which was your favorite?
Vanessa, of course. She was as bad as Miles Mayhem, and, I think she would have loved to take over from Mayhem if she could. She was beautiful, strong, clever, and definitely a potential leader of VENOM. Also she’s a redhead, and I’m a redhead.
10. Are any of the characters you voiced close to your original voice?
Not really. I tried to keep my natural voice out of the show altogether. The characters themselves helped to create the voices. When we received our storyboards from Japan each week, we examined the pictures of the characters, and the voices seemed to arise organically from the pictures. It was a very rewarding experience.
11. How long did it normally take for you to do your voice recordings for each show?
We met twice a week for four hours in the studio. Each show took about four hours. If we didn’t finish in the four hours, we stayed until the segment was completed. We loved working on this series, and we had great fun in the studio.
12. Were you provided with artwork or any back stories for your characters prior to doing their voice? Did that help you come up with each of their voices?
Yes, we had beautifully-drawn and colored animation cels as well as clear storyboards with the action provided. We conjectured about interpersonal relationships between the characters and came up with some interesting ideas that could have been interesting back story. For example, had Miles Mayhem and Matt Trakker know each other as young men? Was there anything between Vanessa and Mayhem or perhaps a hankering between Vanessa and (could it be) Matt?
13. The first season of MASK went 65 episodes while the second only went 10. Did you like the transition into the second season?
For us there was no transition. We just recorded 75 episodes of a series that we loved.
14. When you signed on for the show, do you recall if they informed you that the show would only run 75 episodes?
Yes, but we knew it would run in syndication and on video as well as television. We hoped that it would continue for many years, and indeed it has. It’s been renewed year after year.
15. If you can recall, which episode did you like the most?
Magma Mole, not because it was the best necessarily but, because it was so early in the recording, we had strong creative input into it. And we had particular fun with that one – making up names and experimenting with voices
16. If MASK where to be brought back today, would you want to be involved with the project? Do you feel an animated cartoon movie would do better than a live action movie?
Yes, and yes. If MASK were brought back today, I would hope the original actors would be brought back. After all, we still have all of our voices and our enthusiasm for the project. I don’t think the series would work well as a live action film because the ready-made fans already know what the characters look like as well as the sound of their voices.
17. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your experience with MASK?
Just that it was a collaborative effort between six actors and a production company that strives for excellence in all their undertakings. Their directors are actor friendly and understand the process that actors go through to create and sustain strong and interesting characters that touch the young viewer’s imagination.
18. Do you have a website or anything you would like to promote?
I write romance novels, and I paint. My website is www.sharon-noble.com, and I welcome visitors. My novels are available on Amazon.com and TheWildRosePress.com.