In 1997, Star Blazers fandom found its dearest family member: Amy Howard, the voice of our beloved Nova. After years of obscurity, she found her way in via the internet and stayed in the fold for the rest of her life. Presented here are key parts of the actual electronic record of her homecoming.
Compiled by Walter Amos
Presented here is an edited collection of emails I was able to recover from 1997 and 1998. Besides Amy, the participants are myself, my friend Bud Cox and another friend named Steve Harrison.
I also came across some of the messages Amy sent to my CosmoList Yamato electronic mailing list, since she reconnected with Star Blazers casting director Kit Carter, and also got back in touch with Ken Meseroll for the first time. I figured that would be of some interest as well.
The first email from Amy to Bud’s Wave Motion Web Page, May 4, 1997:
Subject: Greetings From Nova!
I was surfing the net, and just for fun I decided to search for Star Blazers, very dear to my heart because I recorded the voice of Nova, way back when! To my delight, I found web sites galore! If you’d like to publish an English cast list, my name is Amy Howard. I’ll be looking for it – take care!
From Bud to Steve & Walter, May 12:
I thought you might find this amusing. I’m a little skeptical. I responded with a subtle invitation to provide me with something that might make me believe her. I suspect it is a hoax, or just someone trying to get his/her “name” on my page. Or, if she is the genuine article, perhaps she did the Third Season voice. (I don’t have any kind of list for that cast). Thoughts?
Well, if I recall correctly, SB3 was done by the trio of people who did Speed Racer years ago…I don’t recall an ‘Amy Howard’, I thought it was Janet Waldo….
Hey, it *could* be legit…stranger things have happened, right?
OTOH, who knows, it could be a new form of getting edresses for spamming. I really am not sure how to examine her bona fidies, dig? I suppose one could ask her questions based on info not posted on the web. OTOH, if she kicks out the name of the guy who was Volgar’s voice actor, that I can check.
Go ahead, why not? worst that can happen is we discover a poor delusional person, right?
Walter to Steve:
The voice of Nova for the 3rd series was that of Trixie, Corrine Orr.
Yep…now I remember…just after I hit the ‘send’ key, and your note arrived…:)
Well, as I suggested in my previous note, if we can get her to come up with that, or the name of the voice casting director (Kit Carter), or possibly the head of Westchester films (Claude Hill) that might help confirm her identity. Also I am trying to find out how I can get in touch with Kit Carter myself to try and confirm the name.
As far as knowing Claude Hill/Westchester….she probably wouldn’t. Remember, (for the sake of argument) she was an actress hired by a production company for a specific job…all she would logically know is the people she worked with, the guy who paid her, that’s it. All the other stuff would be ‘clutter’ and unimportant. Read the lines, get the money, network for future jobs, that’s the actor’s life.
Bud to Steve & Walter, May 21:
Today, I received the message below from Amy Howard. Please keep this to yourselves until we know more. But, she is beginning to look like the genuine article. What do you you guys think?
Hi Again! Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply.
When we did the voices back in the late 70’s, on my session days, I would go in and do sometimes 2 or 3 episodes, only seeing and dubbing my portion of each episode. Very often, unless I hung around to listen to the other performers do their thing, I didn’t see the entire show until it aired. As I scan my memory banks, I recall doing roughly 52 episodes. That would mean that I did Quest For Iscandar and The Comet Empire.
At the time, I was working for the Weist-Barron Television Acting school in NYC and they were contacted by Sunwagon (the producers) for actors and actresses to come and audition. They asked me if I wanted to go, I was the last one to audition and I got it! I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the names of the other performers and I’m afraid the only one I can recall at the moment is Tom Tweedy, who did the voice of Mark Venture. I’ve written to the woman who was my agent at the time, I’ll let you know if she can offer any assistance. I’m also trying to get hold of Tom, but no luck so far.
One very special memory I have of those days – the son of a friend of mine was a faithful watcher, along with most of his classmates and when he found out that daddy KNEW Nova, he asked if he could invite me in for Show And Tell! It was a first grade class and I was expecting questions like “was it fun flying around in a space ship?” Well, what I heard instead was “did you record the show in a studio in New York?” VERY sophisticated first graders, indeed!
I’ll be in touch when I have something to report – signing off for now!
Steve, to Bud & Walter:
It’s feeling more genuine…one thing that might be worth asking is if she had gotten any other work with Sunwagon…it was around that time (within a couple of years) that GI Joe and Transformers would go into production…
This could be a way cool thing…imagine actually finding most if not all of the original voice cast… but then what? I mean, I’d love to do interviews, collect an oral history for the future, and the silly, impossible dream of bludgoning VEI over the head to spend the money to re-dub Yamato III and make dubs of New Journey and Be Forever.
(come on, you know that if the guy who did Desslock’s voice is still alive, he’d groove on New Journey…”Hm? It’s *my* movie, mostly? wow…”)
More conversation takes place; having agreed that Amy was genuine, we discuss inviting her to cons and my private Yamato email list…
Walter to Steve & Bud, June 18:
It definitely sounds to me like this lady is the genuine article as far as Nova is concerned. Are we agreed on that yet? If so, what further action should we take? Should we invite her to join the list? Should we let the list know? Is it OK if *I* write her a personal email (i.e., does she have an idea you’re sharing this correspondence with us?)
Bud to Steve & Walter, June 18:
She does not know I have shared the letters with you (I would have told her, except that I was using them as a confirmation, and I did not want her to know that I had doubts, you understand). Let me ask her if it okay to share. Then I’ll let you know when it’s okay to send. It may be a day or two before she replies. In my last message, I’ve already laid some groundwork for introducing her to the List. Basically, I’ve asked if she is even aware of the adult fan force out there. We will see.
Steve to Bud & Walter, Jun 18:
OK, first step, IMHO, is let her know that there’s us three, working as a ‘brain trust’…the reason being that the quest for finding the original SB voice actors has been such a long and fruitless one, we wanted to do all we could to establish her bona fides. No disrespect meant to her, but it’s easy to get burnt nowadays, there are so many scam artists in the world. Second step, we wish to get in contact with the others she knows, to document their memories of working on the show-either directly, or via her. the reason? To give credit and honor the unsung heros of Star Blazers, the voice actors.
So, feel free to forward this note, if you think it’ll help her understand my (our?) thought process. Or shall we discuss more, in case my ideas and goals conflict with you guys?
Whatever works….I’m kinda excited about this….:)
Bud offers to invite Amy to join the online Cosmolist discussion group, July 22:
There is an e-mail distribution list devoted to Star Blazers and Yamato. It’s a forum for Star Blazers fans to ask questions, share ideas, and make acquaintances. It has members from all around the globe: Japan, America, Canada, Italy, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Britains. I invite you to join.
There are about 5 messages per day on average, in case you have concerns about the flow of traffic. If you’re interested, I again urge you to check it out. News about Star Blazers often comes through this channel before it hits newsgroups or Web Pages.
I would be delighted! I’ve set up a special screen name – NovaMail
This way, there will be no chance of fan mail getting missed. I also wanted to give you a great big THANK YOU for being so considerate and asking me first. I truly appreciate it.
Bud, July 23:
Okay, good. I will inform the List owner that your subscription request will be headed his way. It’s a semi-public list, which means that the owner needs to process the application. That way, we don’t get junk mail flooding through the list (which I think everyone appreciates not receiving).
You will need to send a message requesting subscription. I believe that you can specify the address at which you want to receive. If this is not possible, I will ask the list owner if he can somehow cross some wires and get this done for you. But, I suspect there will be no problems.
Bud puts Amy in contact with Walter and he informs her about conventions.
Amy to Walter, July 23:
Nice to meet you. Thank you so much for taking care of my subscription details.
I think the convention is a fabulous idea! I do hope we can make it happen! I have made several attempts to contact other cast members, but as yet, haven’t had much success. I won’t give up though, and will be in touch as soon as I know something definite.
A 4-month gap here; this email was to the Yamato list after her first convention experience at Anime Weekend Atlanta…
Amy, November 17:
Subject: Talk About a Cool Experience! 🙂
Well, I was treated like Royalty, got VERY little sleep (there was too much fun going on!) and just generally had the time of my life!!! I may come down from this high in a day or so, but I sincerely doubt it! To be in a room with people I’ve never met and to feel as though I’m in the middle of a gigantic family reunion is something that I will treasure forever. Hank, Jim (the best bodyguards a girl could wish for! ;-)) and Mariam (my dear dinner companion!) took such good care of me and everybody went out of their way to make me feel like a bud! I am truly blessed.
Message from Amy to the Yamato List re: having met up with Casting Agent Kit Carter, January 29, 1998:
Subject: I Saw Kit!
Hi Gang –
She doesn’t have the cast list anymore BUT she did remember a couple of names – the guy who played Captain Avatar is named Dave (and she see’s him every now and then!) and Starsha was played by Lydia Leeds. I will try to get in touch with Lydia and Kit said the next time she sees Dave, she will let him know what’s happening.
I’m even more certain now after seeing her that we WILL find the rest of the cast (those members worth finding, that is)! Little by little, word of mouth, etc. Even the Disney project will help – even if it turns out to be a dismal failure – it will get publicity and that’s the name of the game!
Some later messages from Amy on the quest to find the other actors; note the error in Eddie Allen’s name…
Amy, August 25, 1998:
Subject: From Weist-Barron’s Newest Student 🙂
I was in New York City yesterday seeing some friends (show biz contacts, actually!). I also went back to Weist-Barron (where it all started….), sat in on their Voice Over class, auditioned and was accepted for the fall session!
Speaking of Weist-Barron, Ed Hayes (Our dear Leader Desslok, bless his little punkin’ head – and God, I hope I’ve got his name right…) may have been a student there or worked there as I did (one of those latent memory flashes…). I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone who worked there when I did – BUT – I may have a lead on him! I’ll follow up on it when I start class on 23 Sept – maybe someone will be able to dig up old records!
I also went to see Kit – she said that Chris Latta did in fact do one of the voices (said it probably was Knox…) maybe more, and she also heard that he passed away. The list is growing, at least, memories get jogged, etc. Keep a positive thought!
We Will Never Give Up Hope!!!
Message from Amy to the Yamato list after finding Ken Meseroll, August 29:
Subject: Fasten Your Seat Belts!!!!!!!
I just hung up the phone with Ken Meseroll. Who is Ken Meseroll, you might very well ask?? Well, he’s only the voice of – wait for it – DEREK WILDSTAR!!!!!!!!
I’m freaking out, ladies and gentlemen. I got an e-mail from our own Dave Merrill – he told me that a friend of a friend of his is working with a guy who said that he did Wildstar’s voice, so I called him and sure enough!!!!!!!!!
Not only that, BUT – he also heard that Eddie (Ken only remembers his first name for sure too, so like I said – I’ll follow up at Weist-Barron) may be out in California too – he’ll see what he can find out thru his contacts! Did I mention that I’m freaking out???????
He *may* even be able to attend AWA! He’s shooting a movie out in California and the two may conflict – but we’ll see what we can do!!!!
He doesn’t have e-mail at the moment, but that may soon change – I told him all about what’s happening and he’s just as amazed as I am. Stay tuned for further developments!!!
I will stay in regular contact with him. I should tell you also that I’m freaking out!!!!!!!!!
A Cosmolist member named Mike, August 31:
This is AMAZING!!!! This is really _really_ amazing!!! Two years ago it was nothing but a pipe-dream to even know the names of you guys, then we considered ourselves lucky to just be in contact with you. This is more than we could even ask for! Amy, you’re wonderful!
So what did you two talk about?
Bless your heart! The conversation can best be described as frenetic!!! We talked about anything and everything – what he’s been doing, what I’ve been doing – trying to cram 20 years into an entirely too short conversation! He told me that he’s homesick for New York and plans to come back as soon as he can. Since we have to use snail mail for the time being, I’m sending him a bunch of stuff about the cons and everything, so it can be as real for him as it is for me. I’m hoping he has an 8×10 to spare so I can scan it and you can see him in the meantime!
A Cosmolist member named Logan, August 31:
Yes, I’m freaking out too! I’m freaking amazed, I’m freaking excited, I’m freaking elated and I’m freaking whatever superlatives I can drag from my thesaurus!! ^_^
Amy, August 31:
Sounds like you’re describing me, dude!!! I was sitting in the living room when he called me back (I spent a couple of days getting busy signals and was finally able to leave a message). The first thing I heard was this crazy fool humming the theme song!!! When we hung up, I literally flew up the stairs to my computer – screaming as I went! I couldn’t have kept this news to myself if I’d wanted to! 🙂
This is the end of the electronic conversation record, but there would be many more amazing results in the years that followed. Click here to Read about some of them.