Joe Motiki- Information, Post Your Questions, and Answers

MarcFBR

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Cause we all like Medabots, and especially Metabee, Joseph Motiki will be showing up to answer any questions you guys have for him. He played Metabee in all of Medabots, was in Rescue Heroes, Bill Nye, and Magic School Bus (I'm not 100% sure about the last two, I THINK he was the host of the channel/block they were in in Canada, I've seen conflicting information). He's also Shadow in Spider Riders, hosted a few gameshows, been in Degrassi, and others.

I'm sure we can all come up with some interesting things to ask him.

So have at it (although I should note he won't be showing up until October 9th, so you have time to think of your questions).
 

SakuyamonX

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Thanks for letting us ask you questions, Mr. Motiki

What's the transition like from acting to voice acting?
 

MarcFBR

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Guess my first question will be regarding the conflicting info I found.

Were you in Magic School Bus and Bill Nye, or did you host them for a channel/block?
 

CyberDramon

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Hi Mr. Motiki! Welcome to the Boards!

For my first question: How did you get involved in Medabots? Did you apply for the part and, if so, which characters did you apply for?

What was it like playing Metabee? Would you play him again if you could?

Were you allowed to do any improv? Any creative ideas you put into the show that came through in the script?

Thanks! :]

"Gonna fly like a Butterfly - Sting like a MetaBee!"
 

B-mon

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Well, I guess I'll go before other people do so Motiki doesn't miss it.

Mr. Motiki, do you have any idea why the original voice actor for Ikki was replaced in season 3 with the Kilobots? Unfortunately I don't know either of their names, but the replacement played Hunter Steele with you in Spider Riders, which I found to be a nice gesture to Medabots. ^_^
 

jadenik

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I loved Metabee's VA , Mr. Motoki. Metabots was awesome.
 

SeiferA

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If you actually worked with the cast and/or crew for The Magic School Bus, what was the experience like with that?
 

MarcFBR

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Update
-------


Joe will be showing up on Tuesday, after the Canadian Thanksgiving.

So start getting those questions up.
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=SakuyamonX link=topic=5399.msg67426#msg67426 date=1190935714]
Thanks for letting us ask you questions, Mr. Motiki

What's the transition like from acting to voice acting?
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

Hey SX, for me the difference between acting and voice acting is minimal ... the biggest thing I've had to deal with is the transition from hosting to acting. I spent the first few years of my career hosting live television, where you have to think on your feet and be ready for anything - very "off the cuff". Acting is an entirely different discipline, where you follow a script (for the most part) and make your choices concerning tone, emotion, etc. before you go into studio. Also, when you're live, once something is done, it's done and gone for better or for worse. In acting, you may do a couple of takes, you may do several takes, you may do thirty takes of a line or scene depending on what satisfies the director.

For me, the move into voiceover work was smooth, but the real transition to be made for doing Medabots was that it was the first show I'd ever dubbed. Metabee's lines, along with the other characters, had to be shoehorned into allotted spaces where the original Japanese once existed. Depending on what the script called for, I'd have to fit Metabee's lines into the time given, whether it be as long as ten seconds or as short as a few frames. The first episode I dubbed took me a couple of hours; once the crew and I got into a rhythm I could do two episodes in as little as a half-hour or less, depending on how many lines I had. I was probably the most lucky of the Medabots actors Sakuyamon because I only had to worry about time issues, whereas everyone else also had to also deliver their lines in sync with their character's mouths. THAT can be a time draining exercise, so the producers would try to schedule my sessions after someone voicing a human character with a lot of lines - I would come in and get the recording day back on schedule. No lips on Metabee ... priceless!
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=godofchaos link=topic=5399.msg67447#msg67447 date=1190952662]
Guess my first question will be regarding the conflicting info I found.

Were you in Magic School Bus and Bill Nye, or did you host them for a channel/block?
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

It's the latter Chaos. I used to host an afterschool block of children's programs called The tvokids Crawlspace, which aired on TVOntario here in Canada (it could also be seen in some parts of the U.S., like Michigan, New York and a couple of other states). The block itself was geared to kids ranging in age from two to early teens. I would come on in between shows to entertain the audience with contests, viewer mail, characters and such, and keep them tuned in for the next show. Two of the block's most popular shows were Bill Nye The Science Guy and the Magic School Bus. I was never actually in either of those shows, but I did get to work with Bill Nye on a series of live performances to promote his show, which ended up drawing thousands of people to the Ontario Science Centre, and we once had a Magic School Bus picnic complete with a replica life-sized Magic School Bus, which was attended by 15 000 people at Toronto's Centre Island. Voice of Metabee, yes. Voice of Ms. Frizzle, no.
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=CyberDramon link=topic=5399.msg67482#msg67482 date=1190990603]
Hi Mr. Motiki! Welcome to the Boards!

For my first question: How did you get involved in Medabots? Did you apply for the part and, if so, which characters did you apply for?

What was it like playing Metabee? Would you play him again if you could?

Were you allowed to do any improv? Any creative ideas you put into the show that came through in the script?

Thanks! :]

"Gonna fly like a Butterfly - Sting like a MetaBee!"
[/quote]
___________________________________________________

INVOLVEMENT: Like most shows, I got an audition through my agent to read for the role of Metabee. I went early for "sides", which is the industry term for the script the producers want you to read at your audition. The notes on Metabee were that he was energetic, almost hyperactive, with lots of attitude. I did my best to portray that in my audition (I remember thinking to play him as a bratty Chris Rock), but also did my best to convey a sweeter side of Metabee as well, which I'd do when he would talk to Ikki's parents ... that helped to make him seem even more rude or unhinged when he was dealing with Ikki. I got a callback (2nd audition) and a couple of days later I was told I got the part. He was the only character I read for Dramon, but I did also get to do the voices for Kantaroth, the newer Hercules beetle-type medabot people mistook for Metabee (I went for a baritone, Barry White vibe with him) and Arcbeetle as well.

http://medabotsex.tripod.com/imagens/episodios/Medabots-Ep19.jpg

METABEE/IMPROV: Needless to say, Metabee was a lot of fun to play. In the first half of season 1 he's just a total jackass to Ikki, so I got to be over-the-top with the rudeness, but he also allowed me to play some cute and sweet moments without having to be mushy. After Metabee disses Ikki and gets smashed by Koji and Sumilidon in the city championships, they work out a lot of trust problems and slowly become friends ... slowly because Metabee still got to stick it to Ikki every now and then. Total fun. As for improvising, there were plenty of occasions where I'd do a take of what was in the script, then give an improvised line in another. If they liked it better than what they had, they'd use it, and the writers would encourage me to do so. Also, the scripts would sometimes call for "frustrated reaction" or "confused reaction" or "happy reaction" so I could do or say whatever I wanted, so long as it was within Metabee's personality, and it fit into the allotted time, as we were plugging in sounds to replace the original Japanese.

Two things I really got a kick out of doing:
1) Metabee's battle cry. The script would call for Metabee to yell - I wanted to do something consistent, instead of just a generic scream when he would robattle. So, I based his scream on rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube's opening yell ("Yay ee yay-EEEE") on his single "We Be Clubbin'". He also makes the sound in the chorus of "Pushin' Weight". I'd also do it when Metabee was pleased about something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCHzCFIlKrQ

2) Firing weapons. When I was growing up three of my favourite shows were Japanimation/anime programs: Star Blazers, Battle Of The Planets, and Force Five, which featured rotating super robots in respective series. One thing all the Force Five robots had in common was that they would announce the weapon they were using before they fired (which I wouldn't do 'cause it would tip off my enemy but that's neither here nor there). Now I don't know if it was an inside joke between the voice actors, but they all seemed to emphasize the final syllable of whatever weapon they were using, especially Grandizer, who was my favourite of the pack. "Screw crusher PUNCH!" "Rainbow BEAM!" "Double sic-KLE!" So, when I saw that Metabee did the same thing, I would say my lines with the same inflection. "Seeker mis-SILES!" "Laser can-NONS!" The producers let me do this peculiar read, and my friends (and I suppose old Force Five fans) noticed as well CyberD.
 

MarcFBR

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As an actor does it bother you that (at least in the USA), despite still airing past the 'death' of Fox Kids and making it onto abcFamily (I think) after they got all the airring rights to old Fox Kids stuff, the show ended up being cancelled with one episode left?
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=J.P. link=topic=5399.msg67826#msg67826 date=1191255617]
Well, I guess I'll go before other people do so Motiki doesn't miss it.

Mr. Motiki, do you have any idea why the original voice actor for Ikki was replaced in season 3 with the Kilobots? Unfortunately I don't know either of their names, but the replacement played Hunter Steele with you in Spider Riders, which I found to be a nice gesture to Medabots. ^_^
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

Ikki was originally played by Samantha Reynolds, who was followed by Julie Lemieux, who does indeed voice Hunter Steele and a ton of other characters as well. Samantha actually left the show when she decided to continue her studies and attend film school in Los Angeles. Medabots recorded in Toronto J.P. so she was unable to continue as Ikki. It was something Samantha really wanted to pursue and I believe she has graduated and is currently working on a couple of different film projects and is doing well for herself. As for Julie, we run into each other at records and auditions from time to time and have noticed how I've twice played the muscle to her pre-teen hustle.
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=jadenik link=topic=5399.msg68299#msg68299 date=1191461401]
I loved Metabee's VA , Mr. Motoki. Metabots was awesome.
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

Thanks Jadenik, he was a lot of fun to do, although I have to admit he could be a little hard on MY voice. I'm not "classically trained" or anything like that, so I put a lot of stress on my throat when I do v/o. Metabee was a strenuous role in that he was pitched, screamed a lot and made lots of funny noises, including his chimp squeals that I ad-libbed in the second episode when the script called for Metabee to "go crazy". The voice director thought it was funny and I'd bring it back whenever Metabee was super mad, going nuts or malfunctioning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82svByM4JmY at 2:46
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=SeiferA link=topic=5399.msg68607#msg68607 date=1191571001]
If you actually worked with the cast and/or crew for The Magic School Bus, what was the experience like with that?
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

During my time on tvokids (an afterschool children's block of programs on TVOntario), I must have introduced the Magic School a thousand times. I never did any voice work on MSB, but in '97 we did throw an event called the Magic School Bus Picnic on Toronto's Centre Island. I talked about it in an earlier post so I won't repeat it all here. The event went so well off-duty ferry operators had to be called in so they could triple the amount of boats carrying families and fans from the dock onto the island. Ms. Frizzle was also in attendance but it was just a local actress playing her and not Lily Tomlin, who voiced Ms. Frizzle on the show.
 

ToiletGecko

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Oh, wow. Guess I'll be dating myself a bit saying that you were a definate part of my childhood on TVOKids, Mr. Motiki.
I suppose as a followup/companion to Seifer's question, what was it like getting to work with Bill Nye?
And do you get recognized at all on the street as "Crawlspace guy!" or whathaveyou? It must be a bit strange to now be getting people in university (or perhaps even older?) recognizing you from their childhood, no?
Would you ever consider going back to a similar role like you had hosting on TVO, or have you pretty well settled into the voice actor thing now?
 

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With the new sets coming out if Shout! (the company doing them) contacted you about doing an interview for the set like they often do with actors of shows they release, do you think you'd do it?
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=godofchaos link=topic=5399.msg69231#msg69231 date=1191991765]
As an actor does it bother you that (at least in the USA), despite still airing past the 'death' of Fox Kids and making it onto abcFamily (I think) after they got all the airring rights to old Fox Kids stuff, the show ended up being cancelled with one episode left?
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

I didn't realize that was the case but if that's true Chaos then it sucks. I've been working thirteen years in the television business so I've seen lots of things happen that'll make you cock your head and mutter. As a performer, it's my job to do my best work for the people that watch my shows and the people that pay me to do so. You learn however that once you've done your job, the rest is out of your hands and out of your control. There are lots of reasons for a show to be pulled off the air, but to pull a show with one episode left, for any reason, bothers me on behalf of fans. If a show is underperforming ratings wise, and a network doesn't see potential for numbers to grow, it'll get pulled. You see cancellations all the time. A network like NBC, for example, sees potential in shows like Friday Night Lights and 30 Rock, so they bring it back and hope that the critical raves those shows receive will eventually translate into more viewers. Many shows these days are serials, which have continuing arcs and storylines, which generally reward a viewer come season's end. When these shows get pulled mid-season fans, however few of them there are, get mad, and might hold that against the network. But, if ABC can make more advertising dollars airing reruns of Desperate Housewives than continuing to air a program like The Nine, such is life. Today's television audience is knowledgeable ... they get the business end of things. But ONE episode left?! That's a bit of a prick move, especially if you can't even burn it off on your website, as networks tend to do these days with remaining episodes that they won't make room for in the schedule. The most recent case of that I remember was the second season of NBC's Last Comic Standing, when they decided to cancel the show with ... you guessed it ... one episode left. I understand there are execs out there that are smarter than me, but even if it's just a summer series and not one of your big tent pole shows, you are showing a lot of disrespect to people that made an investment in YOUR investment. Even if only, say, three million people were watching that show a week, that's 3M people who may think twice about investing in ... oh, I don't know ... 30 Rock perhaps? Maybe Friday Night Lights? Those are shows that would gladly take those 3M. Now I'm not saying one thing correlates with the other, but I guarantee you if Sci-Fi Network (Space here in Canada) decided to cancel Battlestar Galactica without giving me my final episode, I wouldn't watch anything they produced again, and I'd probably feel the same way if they'd cancelled Battlestar in its first season and waiting until the season finalé to axe it. Anime fans are a loyal bunch (as witnessed on these boards by you all) and not allowing people to watch Metabee kick the last bot goodbye in the final episode, if ABC Family did this, means I wouldn't watch Greek or Kyle XY or anything else they want to throw my way. It doesn't hurt anyone to give people their payoff.
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=ToiletGecko link=topic=5399.msg69241#msg69241 date=1191994282]
Oh, wow. Guess I'll be dating myself a bit saying that you were a definate part of my childhood on TVOKids, Mr. Motiki.
I suppose as a followup/companion to Seifer's question, what was it like getting to work with Bill Nye?
And do you get recognized at all on the street as "Crawlspace guy!" or whathaveyou? It must be a bit strange to now be getting people in university (or perhaps even older?) recognizing you from their childhood, no?
Would you ever consider going back to a similar role like you had hosting on TVO, or have you pretty well settled into the voice actor thing now?
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

Don't worry about dating yourself Gecko. We're not getting older, we're getting better. Beli'e dat!

NYE: Bill Nye was a really genuine guy, and super bright. As a host, one of the best professional and personal compliments I get is that I'm "the same in real life as I am on T.V." I won't say that about a lot of people, but I'd say it about Bill Nye. I remember him smoking me in a competition to recite the International Radio Language alphabet the fastest ("Alpha, Bravo, Charlie ... Yankee, Zulu."). He shared with me his love of space and his attempts to become a part of a shuttle mission and some of the testing he'd done with NASA. Here's a page from my site with some old tvokids pictures, including one with Patty, Kevin and The Science Guy himself.

http://joe4life.homestead.com/PhotoGalTVO.html

GETTING RECOGNIZED: Yeah Gecko, since I retired from tvokids in '99, I've been called everything on the streets: Joe, TVO Joe, tvokids Guy, Arthur, Jamal (from Ghostwriter), Kratts Kreatures Dude, Pingu and yes, Crawlspace Guy. I do get stopped a lot (being on T.V. every weekend for four years will do that) but it's not strange at all. It's actually a really good feeling when people feel comfortable enough to just come up and call me Joe and start talking to me like they know me 'cause, well, they do. Making those connections is what I love about hosting and if people react to me that way, it means I'm good at it. I recently found out about a fan group on Facebook for me where people have some nice things to say ... it's all good. As for the age of the fans - yes, I've got twentysomethings coming up to me at bars, clubs and pool halls telling me they used to watch Arthur. Not enough space to tell you all the stories here but a couple of summers back, I was in Grand Bend, which is a little beach town a couple of hours north of Toronto. It was three in the morning and a BIG dude, maybe 21 or 22, came up to me hammered out of his mind. As he towered over me, he told me about how I was a big part of his childhood and that his dad wasn't really there for him and how I'd helped to raise him ... his words. Then he asked me for a hug. Honestly, getting to do television for a youth audience is a trip, and I'm proud of the stuff I've done and flattered by reactions like that. Medabots has been off North American television for at least four years but when kids find out I was Metabee and I do the voice for them, they flip. So it's nothing I take lightly Gecko. As for doing another show like tvokids, I'd do it in a second. Voice acting is a ton of fun and I've got a couple of new animated series coming down the pike, but I've never stopped hosting shows 'cause it's my special skill and I love it. There's the second season of a travel show I'm hosting that I'm currently prepping for, and I've got a family game show running here in Canada on YTV. But would I do an afterschool block again, live or otherwise? The answer is yes. Some people feel youth-oriented shows are just a stepping stone to other gigs but I've always disagreed with that. Young people are the BEST audience to have: they're passionate, loyal, will dis you if you stink but will appreciate what you do well forever. Tom Cruise, a Britney Spears or a LeBron James have LOTS of fans that have made them wealthy beyond their dreams, but they're always one wrong move away from losing their support. I'll take my tvokids fans and Medabots viewers and POV Sports fans and 7th Portal data raiders any day of the week. Joe Nation always has my back ;)
 

Joseph Motiki

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[quote author=godofchaos link=topic=5399.msg69366#msg69366 date=1192072106]
With the new sets coming out if Shout! (the company doing them) contacted you about doing an interview for the set like they often do with actors of shows they release, do you think you'd do it?
[/quote]
__________________________________________________

Definitely, as voicing Metabee is one of my most favourite gigs, but speaking objectively I don't know how much I would add to the proceedings. Dubbing anime doesn't make for a lot of sexy stories, and because we all recorded our voices separately we didn't get to work off of the other actors' performances, although the final product was pretty seamless if I do say so myself. When we were working on Rescue Heroes, for example, there were lots of times when we'd have the whole cast do episodes together, when schedules would permit. That said, I'd be game. Always fun to spin some tales of using the medaforce and of robattles past.
 
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