Interview with Jay Hickman at Anime Dallas 2023 Full Transcript

Jeremy – Anime Diet 00:28
Hi, this is Jeremy with Anime Diet. I’m here with Jay Hickman at Anime Dallas 2023.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 00:35
How is the con going for you so far, Jay?

Jay Hickman 00:38
I’d say pretty good Jeremy. We have had a really lively crowd, passionate crowd, a fun -loving crowd, and a kind crowd. So yeah, there’s lots of folks out here this weekend that are excited about the anime, excited about (just like we joke with the convention leadership) getting away from their families after Thanksgiving, getting a little break from that.

Jay Hickman 01:04
And so yeah, it’s just been a really nice atmosphere of passion and getting together

Jeremy – Anime Diet 01:12
So would you say that this is the true otaku Thanksgiving?

Jay Hickman 01:12

Jay Hickman 01:17
I think that’s a good term, as any. Yeah, this is, Anime Dallas has been around for a few years. It’s actually the fifth anniversary of Anime Dallas right now. Thank you. So, but since I’ve been doing conventions, this is the only one that has ever held on Thanksgiving weekend.

Jay Hickman 01:33
And it’s always done quite well for itself.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 01:37
Yeah, that was kind of a new one for me. Like, you know, you typically think of think of Black Friday and Black Friday shopping, but this is another thing to do. I mean, it’s actually been a really good turnout here though.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 01:50
Thus far, I’ve been very impressand. So, I’m glad I made it to come out and be part of this.

Jay Hickman 01:58
Thank you. Thanks for being here.

Jay Hickman 02:00
So, let’s just talk about a few things and I want to kind of go back in history a little bit. Because you’ve been in anime since very early on.

Jay Hickman 02:08
True enough, yeah. Guilty as charged. I started roughly 25 years ago doing anime and had just sort of happened into it. By chance I was already active in acting in Houston. I had an agent in Houston and was getting work doing local TV commercials, radio commercials and industrial training films and the bread and butter of a mid -market actor.

Jay Hickman 02:36
Having a go of it, I was a professional actor and that was all I did. I came across an ad in a back of our meet in this paper calling for actors to voice a cartoon character. So after a few attempts, I made it in.

Jay Hickman 02:56
I got an audition with this company. It turned out to be ADV Films, which was at the time the largest producer and distributor of English language anime in the country. They just happened to be in Houston.

Jay Hickman 03:09
So I started with them. After an audition they brought me in to do a tiny role in a show called Master of Mosquiton

Jeremy – Anime Diet 03:18
I remember that show. Actually, I really enjoyed that show. So when I saw that you played in it, I was like, wow, that’s pretty awesome.

Jay Hickman 03:25
Yeah, that was my start. I got a role as a British, they called him a British communications officer. They’re like, can you do a British accent? And I was like, what kind of British accent do you want?

Jay Hickman 03:40
So this guy had one line and he immediately dies. And they’re like, well, they’re like, great job. Well done. I’m like, thanks, I guess. And a few weeks later, they called me back for a slightly larger teeny tiny role, and it just slowly grew from there.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 03:57
Well, that’s how it starts…

Jay Hickman 03:58

Jeremy – Anime Diet 04:00
And here you are.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 04:01
Here we are, look at us.

Jay Hickman 04:03
So, actually I did find something a little bit interesting in your history. \

Jay Hickman 04:08
Just a little bit interesting, Jeremy?  Come on!  (said with a grin)

Jeremy – Anime Diet 04:10
 So, you had an extra role in the movie Rushmore.

Jay Hickman 04:15
That’s true.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 04:15
Can you talk about that for a second?

Jay Hickman 04:17
I’m delighted to. So one of the great things about Houston is for actors, they frequently do have Hollywood production companies come through town to film here because it’s a right to work state, it’s cheaper to film here.

Jay Hickman 04:38
And in terms of settings and geographies, kind of if you’re in the sort of center of Texas, you can reasonably easy get to Hill Country, Mountainous Region, the coast, big cities, plains, like whatever you need, you can find it not too far away from essentially located spot in Texas.

Jay Hickman 05:03
So we had, we did have a few movies come through town and Wes Anderson (based in Houston). And it was like, I want to.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 05:12
I did not know that and I consider myself somewhat of a Wes Anderson fan.

Jay Hickman 05:16
He went to high school in Houston and he was at a private school and wanted to do something around that experience. And so that’s sort of as you watched, I’m not an expert on Wes Anderson but I’ve seen interviews about that film and that was the inspiration for Rushmore.  It was based on his experience in high school in Houston, Texas.

Jay Hickman 05:42
So, yeah, I would frequently get opportunities to do things.  My agent would sometimes be like, they need extras would you mind… So I was working. I was getting real roles in commercials and what have you.

Jay Hickman 05:58
Not a lot of movie work, occasionally I would have some real life work as a, you know, as a real role in a film that came to town. And this one was just like, that’s extra. It might turn into something bigger, like I don’t know, we don’t know, like it’s fine. Sounds fun. I’m a fan, you know, a fan of his films. I’m a character, I’m just a cast, sounds super cool.

Jay Hickman 06:20
So yeah, we were down on set, I think all the wanted me for was… it was in the audience scene of the final war film stage performance in the movie.

Jay Hickman 06:35
So I was in there, since they needed extras to be in the audience.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 06:40
How old were you in the film? Roughly.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 06:43
Hmm… Late twenties. And this was, this was amusing, the fact that I was that age because they were trying to put extras together in a way that made sense, like who goes to a play together, where we got family, so we might have a couple, and we might have a mother and a daughter, maybe we could at the play together, like no one’s going by themselves to watch a play, like friends, a family, the parents of the actors, and so they, they like sort of grouped people together and paired people up.  So then there was me and Alexis Leddle, you know from Gilmore Girls, she was there as an extra, and she and I had kind of connected and were just palling around, like throughout the day waiting for the shots, and so we were just kind of hanging out, and they were like, you two, you guys just sit, Uh, you’re, uhh… I don’t know, a date, maybe you’re the older brother… I don’t know… like she was, you know…

Jeremy – Anime Diet 07:48
How happy were you about that?

Jay Hickman 07:50
Perfectly happy, like she and I were pals, like we had not met before the set, we were just, she’s an enjoyable company, and she seemed like me okay, so we were like cool, I get to sit next to my new friend, like that’s fine, it was just like, they didn’t quite know how to, she’s like, she’s 18 years old or 19…

Jay Hickman 08:08
Oh yeah, I guess that would be right…

Jay Hickman 08:08
I was 27 maybe, and they were like, uhh…. you guys sit together, it doesn’t matter, just sit together.  So like we pretended we were dates at the play, and so the camera is panning across the front row, because the point of this whole shot was we wanted to see everyone that had come to see Max’s, like everyone throughout the movie, everyone whose life in touch shows up for this, his great, you know, his great work of art.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 08:39
 His magnum opus.

Jay Hickman 08:41
His magnum opus, exactly!  And so the camera is panning across the front row, and everyone that we’ve seen in the movie so far, and Bill Murray is there, and Brian Cox is there as his former dean or principal headmaster. And, I’m right behind Brian Cox, and me and Alexis are right behind, and so we know what to do, we know how to be extra from the movie, we’re just sitting there, sitting there, sitting there, and we see the camera coming, and we’re like (pantomimes having an very expressive conversation)

Jay Hickman 09:07
And sometimes the director will be like, guys, can we..?

Jeremy – Anime Diet 09:16
Tone it down..?

Jay Hickman 09:16
Not that time. They were happy to let us go.  So it was a lovely scene, and I was clearly visible and people freaked out when I saw me.  And THEN at the end of the film they are at the dance, or at the after party of the play. And Alexis is there dancing with the Scottish kid (not her date).  So I was not in that scene at all amd I’m like, what the heck, Alexis!?  And then she went on to become super famous, and I’m like, well, great, good for you.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 09:54
So basically she dumped you the Scottish kid?

Jay Hickman 09:55
Yeah, so that she could get ahead in the business, and I guess it worked!  I guess.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 10:02
Must be the accent.

Jay Hickman 10:05
(Putting on his best Scottish Accent) So if only I’d thought to try it out while we were talking in the audience, well, things may have worked out differently from me.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 10:15
You’ve heard it here folks. The history that could have been.

Jay Hickman 10:18
Yeah, I’ve learned my lesson.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 10:20
So actually though, did you get a chance meet Bill Murray?

Jay Hickman 10:22
I did.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 10:22
How was that?

Jay Hickman 10:24
He was really great. He’s kind of renowned for being like that every man who likes to go to the bar and just like sit down with some people or buy some a drink. He’s a notorious for like crashing a party and he’s never kicked out of the party like Bill Murray is here at our party. What do we do…?

Jay Hickman 10:47
And so while he was in town filming this I had some friends whose gardening crashed. Bill Murray just showed up at our party. I’m like, cool… But he’s very generous with his time and so he was cracking jokes on set and on the day that day was his final shot.

Jay Hickman 11:07
That’s all he was needed for was to attend the movie to meet up with his love interest holding the intermission and be like, oh I didn’t know you were going to be here. And so they wrap up there that day.

Jay Hickman 11:21
And so they were like, he finished his last shot, we were extras from the scene and they were like, well Bill Murray’s wrapped everyone but see what’s going on. And we’re like, whoo! And so he had a receiving line where before he left set people just walked up and meet him.

Jay Hickman 11:36
And so he was very nice, very kind so I definitely got in line. I was like, thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for making this laugh. And thank you for the Star Wars cantina song. Thank you for that it means alot.

Jay Hickman 11:55
He was like, “You’re welcome.”  Like he is super nice.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 11:58
Yeah, but everything I’ve heard has been that way. Yes. I had a chance to actually meet him once at the screening of  Lost in Translation. And I was, star struck and I didn’t know what to say. and actually he was just standing there twiddling his thumbs kind of nervously.  So it was just one of those what -if situations as well.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 12:18
So on that note, in a what -if situation… Is there anybody that you haven’t met that you would like to meet and you just like to be like head over the hills to spend time with?

Jay Hickman 12:33
Um, yeah, I mean, there’s a, there’s a scores of like, directors and actors that I admire in the business.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 12:41
One of your top five?

Jay Hickman 12:45
Oh, I mean, you know, Scorsese, Spielberg, like, you know, some of those guys that have just been pioneers and giants in the industry and such amazing creators. It’s like, they get a chance to talk to them about where they come up with their ideas or how they solve the problems, how they make it work, how they weave a story together.

Jay Hickman 13:06
Like, that would be a pure spun gold, I’m sure. I don’t, you know, I don’t really chase celebrities very much. Like, you know, the idea of fame is such a curious thing to me. We’re all just folks, but I think like, you know, the people that are big movie stars, they’re there for a reason.

Jay Hickman 13:28
Like, they’ve got charisma. I bet Tom Hanks would be a great hang. I wouldn’t mind sharing a meal with him, I’m sure that’d be loads of fun. But, yeah, generally, like, I’m a fan of actors that I am, movie stars.

Jay Hickman 13:44
Like, the people that really know their craft and really know how to tell a story. Journeyman, as you might say.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 13:53
Billy West expresses a similar thinking about that…

Jeremy – Anime Diet 13:57
So, yeah I feel a kinship there.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 14:02
I could sense that when you were talking with him at the panel. You both seemed to have a good  rapport with each other.  It was really good panel. The conversation you guys had was, very enjoyable.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 14:06
How long have you known him?

Jay Hickman 14:14
Um, three months, like we met when he came to Anime Houston, which is the sister convention of Anime Dallas.  Um, and so that was his first time to be at Anime Houston, and I was, uh, selected my name drawn out of a hat, like, who can we have moderate this panel.  I’m like, I’m glad to do it.  There are other people who could do it, but I’m glad to be with you, they’re like, go ahead.

Jay Hickman 14:41
Um, so I met him there at Anime Houston in September of this year, uh, two or three months ago. Um, and so, uh, they were like, well that went reasonably well, let’s do that again, so this is my second time hanging out with him.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 14:57
He is extremely personable.

Jay Hickman 14:58
Oh my gosh.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 14:59
I’ve met a lot of different people in the business and he’s on the top of the list.

Jay Hickman 15:01
No doubt. It’s a very easy to talk too.

Jay Hickman 15:07
For sure. As he said in the panel, he could talk for five hours. I believe it. But yeah, he’s a delightful, a ball of energy and generous, kind and good. Like, for sure. It was easy for me to do.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 15:22
Also, let me just say a couple things. I don’t want to take up too much of your time.. I appreciate the time that you have given me.

Jay Hickman 15:25

Jeremy – Anime Diet 15:25
But, and just everything you’ve seen from starting in the industry, where you called in from the newspaper ad. I read somewhere you kind of just got that on the first call as you called in and suddenly like, hey, you won, come on in.

Jay Hickman 15:41
That is not accurate.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 15:43
Actually, you know what, I’m sorry. That was the second time what I read on your AMA that you didn’t get to call back the first time when you called in, they did want you to come in. I could be wrong on that, but that seems like…

Jay Hickman 15:59
You’re getting closer. It’s a lengthy story, but I think I can do the lightning round. I called twice and left a voicemail. Never heard back. I was like, well, so be it.  Like, I was already acting. I was doing my thing. I wasn’t fussed about it.

Jay Hickman 16:18
Couple months after that, those two calls that went nowhere, I’m with my girlfriend, at her apartment having lunch, she’s leaving through the paper. She is a singer. She was in town to study voice.

Jay Hickman 16:32
She was getting her master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Houston. So she’s like, already world -class talent, actress, and singer, but wasn’t doing the same stuff I was. But she’s got chops.

Jay Hickman 16:45
So she’s leafing through the paper. She’s like, oh my gosh, it’s an ad for actors to do cartoon work. That would be perfect for you.

Jay Hickman 16:51
I’m like, oh yeah, that, I think I’ve seen that. It doesn’t look like it’s meant to be. I’ll let that go.

Jay Hickman 16:58
She’s like, well, I think I might call them. I’m like, you should call them. You do it.

Jay Hickman 17:03
So she picks up her cordless phone. She’s like, (imitates dialing noises). And I’m just waiting for her to leave her voicemail and be done with this so we can get back to lunch.

Jay Hickman 17:11
And she’s like, “yes, hello? Hello? Yes. Uh -huh. Yes, hi. Yes, I was calling about the ad in the, yeah. Um huh. Yeah. Yes, a little bit, yeah. Uh -huh. Yeah, oh, Friday? Friday’s good. Sure. Two o ‘clock? Sure. “

Jay Hickman 17:34
“Yeah, where are you guys? Yes, my name is, my number is mm -hmm, yes. And yeah, audition Friday at two o ‘clock. It should be fine. And what do you need me to bring? Do you bring something? Whatever you need to prepare?”

Jay Hickman 17:48
“Uh -huh. Yeah, okay, okay. Well, great. Well, good. Then I’ll see you Friday. Well, that sounds great. Yeah, okay. All right, well, thank you. Oh, I’m sorry. So before I hang up, I’m here with my boyfriend and he does all these amazing voices.”

Jay Hickman 18:05
Oh, oh no. Oh, okay. Oh, I see, I understand. Well, that’s fine. Okay, well, see you Friday. Click.

Jay Hickman 18:14
And I’m like, what.. just… happened?

Jay Hickman 18:17
She’s like, they don’t need any boys. They’re just auditioning actresses.

Jay Hickman 18:21
I’m like, ah, well, I can’t argue with that, I guess. She’s like, listen, I have no idea what I’m doing. Can you come with me to this audition. Like, yeah sure, boyfriend of the year… I’ll go with you to your audition.

Jay Hickman 18:35
So Friday at two, we pull into this parking lot. It’s in a, just a kind of warehouse district business park. Lots of non -descript one -story buildings all next to each other. We pull up to suite 34B or whatever it is.

Jay Hickman 18:51
Walk in, and it turns out that is ADV films. As mentioned earlier, the largest producer distributor of anime in the United States. And we walk into what’s like a pretty normal waiting room for an audition.

Jay Hickman 19:04
It’s like 12 by 12, square room. There’s chairs all around the wall. Some people are sitting in some of the chairs, and there’s all the way of needing off somewhere. And so we have a seat couple minutes in.

Jay Hickman 19:17
A production assistant walks in with a clipboard. She’s walking around the room to the people in the chairs, like, and you are, and you are, and you are.

Jay Hickman 19:24
She gets to us, and she’s like, yes, okay, good. I got you on the list. We have four in about five minutes. Here’s some audition scripts. If you wanna look those over. Pretty easy. She’s like, great, thanks.

Jay Hickman 19:32
So the production assistant leaves. My girlfriend and I go over her audition scripts to help her prepare.

Jay Hickman 19:43
Like, we talk and listen to each other and She’s ready to go. They call her back five minutes later. And off she goes to her audition. So… pretty soon, the production assistant comes back around, a few new people have arrived.

Jay Hickman 19:56
She’s walking around, and you are, and you are. And she gets to me, and she’s like, were you auditioning? I’m like, no. She’s like, oh, were you, did you want to? I’m like, oh my God, I’d love to.

Jay Hickman 20:07
I just understood you guys were full up for auditions. She’s like, well, I’m actually running a little bit ahead today. Like, we could probably squeeze you in if that would be alright… Oh my God, yeah, that would be fantastic.

Jay Hickman 20:17
She’s like, hey, let me go check. She’s back in a bit and she’s like, yeah, we can do it. Here’s some audition scripts. All right, so I’m brushing up on the audition scripts. My girlfriend returns.

Jay Hickman 20:32
I find out how it went for her. I tell her the great news. Five minutes later, it’s my turn. I go back, and they are auditioning us for, it’s a scene from Dirty Pair. It’s like they’re in the middle of a battle.

Jay Hickman 20:43
Some fighter pilot or something. There was lots of yelling, that’s all I remember. Lots of yelling. And so I yell and yell and yell, and they’re like, great, good stuff. Thank you. And I’m like, alright, bye.

Jay Hickman 20:54
And like maybe two weeks later, I get the call from Master Mosquiton

Jeremy – Anime Diet 20:59
And the rest is history and you owe your girlfriend for the win.

Jay Hickman 21:02
So the denouement to the story, is that my girlfriend who went through all the proper channels never received the call. However, I married her. So, nice consolation for her, right?

Jeremy – Anime Diet 21:02
Win win

Jay Hickman 21:02
Sure, we can say that.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 21:19
Awesome, well you better marry her after that right?

Jay Hickman 21:19
Yes, it’s clearly meant to be.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 21:19
Congratulations on all of that.

Jay Hickman 21:27
Thank you very much.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 21:28
Well, so that leads me to a wrapping up question. Since being in the industry for so long, you probably are well aware of how totally different things are now.  Billy West talked a bit about this a bit too. Back then it was such a totally different scene compared to now.

Jay Hickman 21:46

Jeremy – Anime Diet 21:49
Where do you think it’s progressing to? And what changes have you seen in recent times?

Jay Hickman 21:58
I’d say certainly it’s become way more mainstream, like it was very niche at the time of starting. I had not heard of the anime. Like back then they were calling it Japanimation. I was like, okay…  like obviously a new speed racer.

Jay Hickman 22:16
I knew what the thunder cats were and I liked that stuff, but that was, you know, there was not too much more than that. State -side, and so I was just like, hey, I’m an actor and we need actors and we can work together.

Jay Hickman 22:32
This is great. And it took like five years working in it before I was invited to a convention. I was like, there’s conventions for this? Cool. So I was learning about the scene, the industry, and the fandom.

Jay Hickman 22:49
But all of it was so new to me. And these days, you can’t turn a corner without coming across anime something. So I mean, it is very much in the US, American zeitgeist for sure now. So that’s been a big change.

Jay Hickman 23:04
I think technology has progressed to the point that lots of actors now have their own studios and they can match in. And I don’t avail myself of it much now. You know, sometimes it’s a necessity. I mostly go into the studio, but that is an opportunity now.

Jay Hickman 23:31
It’s certainly something that has changed. And it certainly has opened up the world to this. So directors can assemble their cast from almost anywhere. At that time, Houston had an active art scene. There’s strong theater companies in town and there were actors like me that were doing on-camera work in a market that was big enough to host production studios coming through.

Jay Hickman 24:02
So it was a good actor base for them to pull from. And maybe that’s why Houston was a place where it started because there was a rich pool of town. But these days, you could probably live anywhere.

Jay Hickman 24:16
So that’s been a notable change

Jeremy – Anime Diet 24:19
Is there anything that you miss from that period?

Jay Hickman 24:25
No, and because there’s a much of that that’s still present today, like the heart of it is still there. I don’t think there’s any difference in the passion of the people that are making this in march.

Jay Hickman 24:39
That is certainly matched, note for note, today. You know, the one thing that I would say has vastly improved for me is my knowledge of this art form. And again, like I said, at that time it was an acting job. I didn’t really know what I was doing. These days I have more understanding of the subject matter. And so I think I’m able to lay more passion to the work I do today, which is certainly an improvement for what it was.

Jay Hickman 25:09
But yeah, I don’t think there’s anything that was present then, that is not present now, that I was like, sure would be better if we could go back to XYZ. It’s almost uniformly benefit for us.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 25:24
So I had a couple of challenge questions for you. I’m debating on which one.

Jay Hickman 25:27
Oh wow, now you have a challenge first.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 25:30
So, one that I would ask you that I’ve asked all the guests this far that I’ve talked to you, in an alternate life, if your life took a different turn, what do you think you would have been doing instead of voice acting? Or maybe something that you just like, would not have wanted to end up doing and fear you might have?

Jay Hickman 25:50
Haha. Yeah, I had all sorts of crazy odd jobs, starting in high school. Like, the whole summer vacation thing, my mom was not into. She was like, no, you’re not loafing around the house all day. And you’re like, you’re gonna get into a job.

Jay Hickman 26:07
So I worked at a grocery store as a bad boy. One summer I worked at a Christmas tree farm, pruning Christmas trees. That was great (said with clear sarcasm). And so I definitely got a chance to see what life was like, working a job that did not require a degree.

Jay Hickman 26:29
Didn’t care for that terribly much. But there is, as they say, there is dignity in work. So I mean, every job I had, I was glad to have, there was reward to all of that. But like, yeah, I mean, there were, you know, I probably wouldn’t do well full time on a Christmas tree farm.

Jay Hickman 26:52
Yeah, if I’m being honest

Jeremy – Anime Diet 26:54
I think the world would be a bit robbed if you did.

Jay Hickman 26:58
We can go with that. But yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I discovered along the way, you know, I’ve got an artist’s art. There is something about me that is completed by having some art to work on or create or contribute to.

Jay Hickman 27:18
So I think if it wasn’t acting in anime, it would be something in the arts. I would think I would wanna find a way to have an end in that. Like I sing professionally. So, you know, I was doing that for a while.

Jay Hickman 27:34
I worked at a restaurant that featured singing leaders, which is where I met a girlfriend of mine that I mentioned earlier. She was an opera singer. So all of these things happened for a reason. But yeah, I loved that.

Jay Hickman 27:48
Like so, something in the arts, if visual or performing arts, I think I would just end up finding my way to that regardless, like one form or another.

Jay Hickman 27:58
So, the going forward is there anything fans can look forward in the future that you can accomplish with me.

Jay Hickman 28:07
I mean, yeah, there are no spoilers here, but I think probably the things people can look forward to the most, which I certainly look forward to myself is whatever projects comes along that involves me, John Swayze and Kyle Jones.

Jay Hickman 28:24
Like, we are attached to the hip, which we can’t do without each other. So we work on stuff, we work on side projects all the time. One that you might be aware of or that your audience might be aware of is a little project called Lake Texarkana Gamera that came from a real live Gamera movie that Kyle Jones was directing for ADV films.

Jay Hickman 28:51
It’s a full length Kaiju movie. In the 90s, they revisited the Gamera property, the 200ft tall flying fire breathing turtle. And they’re like, let’s give this another run. So they did a trilogy of films in the mid 90s featuring Gamera.

Jay Hickman 29:10
And it was pretty good. The effects were pretty slick for the mid 90s. And so ADV films bought the rights to dub those in English. They gave the second one to Kyle Jones. And they’re like, there you go, do your thing.

Jay Hickman 29:25
And yeah, Kyle, if you’ve got any ideas for some DVD extras, we’re going to need probably a cast commentary, a thing of off, put in the extra list, director commentary. Think about stuff like that. So he came up with an idea to have a short version of the film.

Jay Hickman 29:41
It’s a 90 minute film. It was like, I think he cut out a bunch of stuff and now I’m like, he condensed 15 minute version that sort of hits the highlights at least. And I think I’ll do it with everyone as a Texas Redneck.

Jay Hickman 29:55
Yeah, let’s do that. So that’s, he’s like, here’s what, he went to the production team. He’s like, here’s what I’m thinking. And they’re like, Okay, we can try it. We’re gonna have to get permission from the Japanese studio, but… Alright, alright Kyle.

Jay Hickman 30:13
So we did this on a Saturday. He had actors in. He brought in a cooler of beer, a couple of pizzas.

Jay Hickman 30:19
He’s like, alright gang, we’ve basically ad -libbed all the way through. Like Kyle had a few setups that he gave us. He’s like, so here we’ll be talking about.. And so we just, totally, you know off the top of our head.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 30:40
It sounds  a bit like the Mystery Science Theater of Kaiju films…

Jay Hickman 30:43
It definitely had that. that feel to it like.. I think Woody Allen did,  What’s Up Tiger Lily.  That preceded us. We were aware of that. We’re like, that’s, that’s very much in the vein of that. So we did that, and then it was hilarious, and they sent it to Japan. So we’re just like… I wonder if they’ll like it? I dunno…

Jay Hickman 31:08
I don’t know. So word came back, Japan loved it. In fact, they wanted to know who could do the entire film that way. We’re like, okay… if you’ve got more beer and pizza….

Jeremy – Anime Diet 31:22
Well, I think that was probably in the budget.

Jay Hickman 31:24
Yeah, they were able to be able to scrape together some money for that. So we had everyone back in for a longer session of beer and pizza and cutting up, and we made the whole film as a Texas Redneck version.

Jay Hickman 31:36
We called it Lake Texarkana Gamera, and we bring that film to conventions to screen it. It was released on the box set of the trilogy, but you can’t find it anywhere else.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 31:52
Is it out of print?

Jay Hickman 31:52
 Yeah, I mean, we haven’t been able to get like contact with the original owners to get licensed, to like release that by its own.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 32:03
Licensing in Japan can be very complicated.

Jay Hickman 32:04
It’s very complicated, but we’re certainly allowed to screen it at conventions, and so we do that. Like that’s how we’re able to share that with the world. Anyway, during that process, we discovered like, I had worked with Kyle, I had worked with John, John had worked with Kyle, all those pairings and it was a good food and been delightful.

Jay Hickman 32:23
When the three of us got together to do just something, woo!  Something in the air.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 32:29
Would you consider yourself a kind anime version of the Rat Pack?

Jay Hickman 32:31
Sure, we can go with that.

Jay Hickman 32:33
Like there’s just some special chemistry there that we all recognize and enjoy so much and we’re like, well we just need to figure out a way to keep doing this. So we have, we’ve done many such projects and we’re always thinking of whatever will be next.

Jay Hickman 32:47
So that’s, I don’t know what it is, but it’s coming up. Something else. Yeah, we’re cooking up something.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 32:57
We’ll be looking forward to it. I hope we will one of the first to here about it.

Jay Hickman 33:01
Fair enough. I will hand you on the shortlist. Once we figure out what it is. We don’t even know.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 33:07
Thank you so much for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Jay Hickman 33:09
Of course Jeremy, thank you. It’s been fun.

Jeremy – Anime Diet 33:12
Alright, that’s it folks. We’re going to wrap it up here and I’m going to go enjoy the rest of the convention.

Jay Hickman 33:18
Bye now.  (holding up his Anime Dallas mug cup in a cheerful kampai

Author: Jeremy

Jeremy was first introduced to anime with heavily edited versions of Mazinger Z (aka Tranzor Z in the US), GoLion (aka Voltron) and Macross (aka Robotech) while growing up in the 1980's. Since then his tastes have evolved into a fairly eclectic mix of anime with a soft-spot for underdog shonen stories, psychological/cyber-punk stories and select love comedies. Jeremy was also the head organizer of Anime Souffle anime club in Los Angeles. It was at an Anime Souffle meeting where he met Michael Huang and eventually was invited to join as a guest co-host for Scattered Cells Podcast episode #6 in February of 2007. Afterwards he became an official part of the Anime Diet crew.

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