Get to know the town: Pokemon voice actress Michele Knotz

MILFORD – Milford’s first ever anime convention is headed for the downtown area the weekend of Oct. 28-30. To help celebrate the occasion, Mirufodocon co-chairs Mike Perfetti and Mike Mead decided to make it big from the start.

Cosplayers like Katie Coe and Koralene will visit with attendees.

Titanium Wrecks, the Maryland First Robotics team, will show off their creations.

A costume contest and live music by Mal Havok, Deprived, Here for the Night and other musical groups will entertain crowds.

An anime-themed burlesque show will take place at Abbott’s Bar and Grill, according to Mr. Perfetti, while anime screenings can be seen at Arena’s, both within a short walk from the senior center in Milford which will act as center stage for the convention.

And one special guest will headline the whole event: Michele Knotz, the voice actress who plays the role of Jessie in Pokémon.

Advanced tickets can now be purchased online at www.mirufodocon.com. An unlimited 3-day pass can be purchased for $30. An unlimited 1-day pass costs $15. Tickets will also be available at the door; however, those details have not yet been released.

Get to know more about Ms. Knotz in this week’s Get to know the town:

mc-qa-micheleName: Michele Knotz

Home state:  New Jersey

Occupation: Voice overs

Tell us about your career?

“I do voice overs all the time. I’ve done them since 2003, so about 13 years. I do some script adapting from time to time (animations, live action, etc.). That’s when you have a show that’s in a different language. You have to match the mouth flaps or lip flaps.”

Where do you work?

“I still live in New Jersey. I went to school in PA but then I came back to New Jersey. I work primarily in New York now. I travel, too. I just came back from Texas recently. And I work on Pokemon. It’s in its 20th season.”

Tell us about anime?

“Anime is the short word they use for Japanese animation. Here they just call it cartoons or animation or anime. When we hear cartoons, [we think] cartoons are geared for children but that’s just not true. But anime is geared towards 7-14-year-olds. Here in America, not so much. They do have more adult shows like on Cartoon Network like Aquateen Hunger Force, Space Ghost which he passed away may he rest in peace, Robot Chicken… I’d say a lot of anime is geared towards adults like the 18+ crowd, but a lot of it is geared towards children like Pokémon, Kinta;9ro and stuff like that… more like teenagers.”

Is voice acting a tough career?

“Voice acting is extremely competitive. You have to have thick skin. You could do 100 auditions in a week and not get anything. It’s like any form of art; it’s extremely competitive because you have thousands and thousands of people that want to do this and you have to separate yourself from the norm.”

How do you do that?

“My forte or my niche or whatever is that I do cartoon voices. I travel to California and do video games out there, so it’s great that there’s other places I could work. I also do audio books, teleprompts, animations, video games, tools, medical things, industrial things… I also work at home and have my own ‘whisper room,’ which is what I’m in right now. I have a pretty good setup.

“You’re basically marketing yourself and running your own business when you do voice acting. It’s a lot of running around, unless you do work from home.”

Tell us about working in NYC?

“New York is very busy. I live in New Jersey because I’ll be honest, it’s cheaper to live here. I could never buy a place to live in New York. A little closet could be $2,300 for a closet and a bathroom. That’s all you get. It’s extremely expensive. It’s just easier to commute, buses, trains, etc. I can read a book or whatever. It’s a lot less stressful.

“I don’t know why people drive in New York, but they still do. It’s very busy, very fast paced. It’s starting to become pretty expensive around here, too, though. I read that New Jersey has as many people as the country of Austria, which is insane.”

What’s the commute like?

“It’s about 45-minutes to an hour. The thing that’s going on now are the stupid clowns. Go help out at the soup kitchen or do something with your life. You could do so much better for society if you didn’t do that stuff.”

What can your fans expect at Mirufodocon?

“Panels, autograph signings… Me and my boyfriend Chris, we do this great panel at conventions with Pokémon 3DS. So everybody come out to this. it’s going to be amazing. We give away Pokémon cards, manga and posters. It’s going to be awesome. We give out raffle tickets out of a hat; we have singalongs; we play who’s that Pokémon and we give away Pokémon through the 3DS. You can trade between people so we give away Pokémon that have really good stats.”

What are you most looking forward to?

“I’ve never been to a convention in Delaware before, so I’m interested in seeing the area. I’ve only driven past or flown over Delaware. So I’ll be interested in seeing where we’re staying in the area, check out new restaurants… that’ll be a lot of fun and interesting. I always like staying in new states to see what’s going on in that area.”

What are ‘cons’ like?

“I’ve been to really, really big cons and I’ve been to smaller cons where there’s like 500 people which is great because you can get to know all the people. I like the craziness of 30,000-50,000 people there, but I like the smaller cons, too. They each have different aspects.

“Come to Mirufodocon! I can’t wait to see everybody there in Delaware.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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