Doreen Mulman asks: What was the first role you ever played?
Mary Kay Bergman: My first job was a radio spot for an alarm company and I played a frightened woman. I was just awful!
Tyler T. asks: Do you prefer live-action or voice-over roles?
MKB: I love acting -- period! The beauty of voice-over is that I can't be typecast as easily (I get to play 7 year old boys, barking dogs, etc., stuff I'd never get to do on camera.)
Adam Gertenbach asks: You've worked on a wide variety of cartoon voice-overs, from "South Park" to "Scooby-Doo" to Disney. What kind of training did you need to do so many different styles and voices?
MKB: I took lots of voice-over classes, some specializing in animation, others in ADR/looping, still others in commercial and improvisation. I'm a big believer in classes. I also taught animation and commercial voice-overs for 6 years; unfortunately I no longer have time to teach -- I really enjoyed it!
Doreen asks: What do you do to prepare for your roles? Are you shown a sketch or told of a character's personality traits before doing a role? Are voice actors allowed to influence some of the character's traits as time goes by?
MKB: I always listen to the voice of the character if I'm matching a voice, I always read the script and/or look at the storyboards, if they're available before the session. Most of the time sketches are available to us and/or information about the character's personality. When they are not available, I read through the script to glean info about the character and how others in the story relate to the character I'm playing. Sometimes little things we may say or suggest can influence the character's traits; in most cases, the season's scripts (TV animation) are written well in advance, so we can't always change things. On "South Park," if it's funny, it stays in.
Paul Rudoff asks: Out of all the characters you've voiced, which is your favorite? Least favorite?
MKB: Talk about an impossible question to answer! I have several favs for different reasons: among them Herky the Helicopter ("Jay Jay the Jet Plane") 'cause the director & the show's creator let me go wild with his voice, Snow White (what an honor!), Daphne Blake ("Scooby-Doo") 'cause I grew up watching that show, Shelley from "South Park" 'cause she's so rotten, Banshee sure was evil, too, and I had lots of fun with her, The Bug Queen ("Men In Black") 'cause I got to base the voice on a male actor's voice and I've never done a part like it before, Pierre Donovan ("Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot") 'cause his personality is so warped, etc., etc. In fact, I can't think of a character I didn't enjoy voicing!
Nora Salisbury asks: You did an Irish accent for your role of Banshee on "Extreme Ghostbusters." Do accents come naturally for you? What other accents can you perform?
MKB: Yes, accents come very easily to me; I really enjoy using them, too. I also do Chinese ("Mulan"), Japanese (commercials/"South Park"), Australian ("Wanna Be A..." CD-ROM series), various English dialects and American dialects, French, German, Spanish, Italian ... you get the idea...
Tyler T. asks: When you did your "XGB" role, were you alone in the studio or did you get to act with the rest of the cast? If you did, what was that like?
MKB: I wasn't alone for these sessions, which I love, because you can interact with the other cast members and play off of each other. But on "South Park" and for a lot of the feature work I do and most CD-ROMs, I am all by my lonesome. What that means is, I have to use my imagination a lot; visualizing the reactions of the other characters to what I'm doing or saying, etc.
Riana Miller asks: Do you like to watch (or hear) yourself on TV and videos?
MKB: I don't think I'll ever quite get used to watching myself; it's easier for me to hear myself. I love it when I can fool my husband; that's when I know I've done a good job. I'm my own harshest critic; I can always find something to pick at!
Paul R. asks: Has there ever been a role that you've turned down that you've later regretted?
MKB: I can honestly say no. I've been very fortunate.
The Official Mary Kay Bergman Memorial Site
The Ghostbusters Fan Forum's Interview of Ms. Mary Kay Bergman -- October 20, 1999 --
Copyright ©10/20/1999 Doreen Mulman. All Rights Reserved. Page & pics by Doreen Mulman.
This interview may not be duplicated in whole, or in part, on any other site without permission. Thanks.