Montreal’s Otakuthon 2014 has wrapped up, and we’re going to have to wait another year to submerge ourselves in anime and Japanese pop culture goodness. We had a blast at the convention, and the cosplay game was superb.

We also got to sit down and chat with two amazing voice actors in the animation industry about beginnings, careers and how it feels to have played some of the most popular characters in animation.

First on the docket is Shelley Calene-Black whose vast career includes voicing Cortana in Halo Legends, theatre experience and even being on my ultimate guilty pleasure show, Drop Dead Diva! Intimidating as her experience may lead you to think, she was an absolute sweetheart and was eager to share her experiences of the industry with us.

Check out our interview with the talented lady below!

Shelley Calene-Black

shelley calene-black. Image via Otakuthon

shelley calene-black. Image via Otakuthon

“Named one of the “Babes of Anime – America’s hottest voice actresses” by Anime Insider Magazine and featured on IGN, Shelley has voiced hundreds of characters for anime series, films and games. Most recently, she won the 2012 Behind the Voice Actors award for Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in an Anime TV Series/OVA as Hamyuts Meseta in The Book of Bantorra.

Shelley started her voice-over career with ADV Films in the late 90’s voicing lead female characters in Sin: The Movie as JC Armack and the Sorcerous Stabber Orphen series as the obnoxious, though lovable, Cleao. Some fan fave roles (and Shelley’s too) over the years from ADV, Sentai Filmworks and Funimation include: Mirielle in Noir, Captain Jonah in Starship Troopers, Cortana and Dr Halsey in Halo Legends; Kalifa in One Piece; Canaan in Canaan; Nike in Appleseed Saga; Mariko in Summer Wars, Kyou in Clannad; Sakuya in Red Garden; Kiyoko in Gilgamesh; Jennifer in This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Mother Ant in Oh! Super Milk Chan, Leda in Cashern Sins, as well as live action films including: Dark Water; Gamera; Conduct Zero, Synesthesia and Yesterday.

In addition to anime, Shelley has voiced numerous television, radio and television commercials, as well as maintains a healthy on-stage and on-camera career. As an award winning stage actress, Shelley has performed at a number of regional theatres including Stages Repertory Theatre, the Tony Award Winning Alley Theatre and Catastrophic Theatre in Houston (where she was an original company member alongside Emmy Award Winning actor Jim Parsons). Television and film roles include: Drop Dead Diva, Memphis Beat, Puncture, Playing House, Garrison, Esthers Diary, and Deep Terror” (via Otakuthon)

Stay tuned for our interview with Spike Spencer!