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Interview with the voice of the Japanese bullet train, Tokaido Shinkansen

How and when did you get this job at the beginning? 

"I auditioned for it alongside lots of other women at a studio in Shibuya. There were a lot of people from JR there. They played the English announcement and asked me to sound exactly like the previous woman. I loved mimicking my teachers at school so I was able to copy and sound exactly like her!She was a Canadian voice actress (using a British accent!) who had moved back to Canada and they wanted to find someone who was living in Japan long term."

Did client tell you why they chose you? or was it an audition? 

"I think it was because I was able to sound exactly like the previous woman and take direction that I won the job, and that I was planning to live long term."

How did the recording go? 

"The original recording took 3 days, recording for 3 hours each time. I booked a massage every night as I was so tired from “smiling” and talking in a gentle, ladylike voice AND pronouncing the Japanese correctly. This was in 2003 and then in 2005 I had to redo everything because they added the Shinagawa station. Since 2005 I just do yearly updates to add notes about wifi, storing luggage, suspicious persons etc."

How did that job impact your life? 

"It’s been wonderful. I have so many great memories of “doing” the Shinkansen voice at parties or for people who then video it to show their friends later and laugh. I also got a great voice acting role, iDroid in Metal Gear Solid, because the director Hideo Kojima liked the Shinkansen announcement. 

“Doing” the Shinky voice brings smiles to people’s faces and that is always a big thrill for me too."

Any side story about this Shinkansen voice job experience?

"Most Japanese and in fact even American people using the train, have no idea that the accent I use in the Shinkansen is Cultured Australian, which sounds similar to British English. It is not the same as Crocodile Dundee which is outback Australian! I’m proud to be raising awareness of Australian English, which fellow Aussies Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman do too! Only they are slightly more famous than me!"



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