Stephanie “Sugar Lyn” Beard is best known simply to Canadians as “Sugar” from YTV’s “THE ZONE” and also as the voice actor of Rini / Sailor Mini Moon. Sugar joined Anime Revolution 2012 as part of a special 20th Anniversary Sailor Moon Celebration Panel.
Check out the following interview where Sugar talks about her hosting and voice acting career, including YTV and Sailor Moon.
AR: We’re at the Anime Revolution 2012 in Vancouver. This year, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon, and I’m sitting here with Sugar Lyn Beard. Who plays the voice actor for Rini.
S: Yes, I do. I’m sorry for all that shouting. Whenever I have a mic, I always feel like your sidekick or whatever. Like I want to just jump right in.
AR: You got to get comfortable.
S: Got to get comfortable.
AR: Get in the Zone?
S: Get in the Zone~
AR: So Sugar, is this your first time in Vancouver?
S: This is not my first time here in Vancouver. I have a brother, and his name is Adam. They call him Beard. And Beard lives right here in Vancouver. So, I’ve been out here a few times to visit him. I’m a huge, huge lover of Vancouver.
AR: That’s great. And I’m sure Vancouver loves you.
S: I hope so.
AR: Yep. And so I know your real name is Stephanie. How did you get this nickname of Sugar?
S: Well, I grew up in Scarborough, which is outside of Toronto, and you know, I kind of grew up in a hip-hop world where we all had nicknames. And it was a gentleman named Kwamster Monster who gave me my nickname which was originally Suga BayBee. And just because I’m just sweet. I think. Sweet little Sugar BayBee.
Yeah. And so he gave me this nickname and he was a radio DJ. And he brought me on his hip-hop show and I started to use my name Suga BayBee on air. And then when I got to YTV, I decided to cut it down to Sugar, and that’s who I am.
AR: Right, speaking of YTV. I’m pretty sure everyone who is watching this has grown up with watching you in The Zone and hosting it. I know I did. I actually remember the first episode you actually came on. I think it was Pat?
S: Yes, Pat Kelly.
AR: He built this box outside the studio, and he’s like ‘I’m not going to do it until I get a co-host’ and that’s when you showed up.
S: That’s right. He stayed in that box for quite awhile. He smelled bad by the time we got him out. And yeah, it was… aww man, Pat was amazing. He really introduced me to the whole game over there at YTV, and gave me such a warm welcome. And he actually only ended up staying on with me, I think, it was maybe 8 months we worked together. And then he left, and then I was there by myself for maybe 6 months. Then along Mike Carlos, and we were together for almost 5 years I think.
AR: And I think Carlos is still on?
S: Carlos is still on.
AR: What a trooper.
S: Yeah. I would like everyone to know that I gave him his nickname. Because everyone calls him Los. I gave him Los and Loti. So I think. I definitely gave him Loti. Now that I’ve said it out loud. Carlos did I give you the name Los? I don’t remember.
S: Probably. I like pretending like I’m completely responsible for Carlos.
AR: So in terms of hosting a radio show or hosting a TV show, or something like The Zone. How do you like it compared to voice over acting?
S: I mean they’re so different from each other. I loved hosting. I really love acting as well; I’m continuing that in my life. The thing about the The Zone in particular was that I got to do a lot of different voices while I was there. I played so many different characters. So it kind of helped me develop my different character voices. But there was a certain freedom about being in the voice booth, where I get to just kind of…be wild. And they want you to be big, experiment, and try just different characters and voices. And there’s something about being in that booth that makes it kind of easier to become those characters. Because it’s not like there’s a huge audience, nobody is videotaping you, so you can let loose and just find your voice.
AR: That’s great. So I know you played Rini. That was before you got into The Zone. How did you end up with that role?
S: It was, yes. It was actually my very first voice audition ever. Yeah, which was pretty amazing. I didn’t even have a voice agent really at the time. I had gone and met with this woman, Julie Lafontaine, who called me at the radio station because I started in radio, as I mentioned. So she called at the radio station and was like ‘You know, I’ve heard your voice and I think you would be great for cartoons’. So I went in and met her, I didn’t sign with her right there because I didn’t know what I was getting into and in that meeting she was like, ‘Listen, you don’t have to sign for me. But there is this audition for this show Sailor Moon. And you know, I think you’ll be great for this Rini character.’ And I went in and then she called me three weeks later and was like, ‘Are you going to sign with me?’ And I was like ‘Yeah, I think so’. And she’s like ‘I think you should, because you booked the role of Rini.’ So that’s where Rini began.
AR: Would we be able to get a little snippet of Rini?
S: Sure! She’s a little bit higher. She’s like: Serena! I don’t wanna eat those cookies!!! Or.. Her big one was always: Piiiiink Sugarrrr Heart ATTACK!
AR: Wow, nice!
S: There’s some Rini for you. He’s laughing their heads off back there.
AR: That’s great! So now there’s the new Sailor Moon series that going to be coming out. I know you’re probably not allowed to talk about any of that. But if you were to be cast, would you want to play the same role. Or would you want to be a different one?
S: I would want to play the same role.
AR: Same role?
S: I don’t want anybody else to play Rini but me ever again. But I don’t know if that’s allowed or what’s going to happen. But I would only want to play her. She and I are… we are bonded. We are one.
AR: So with this con, Anime Revolution. It’s the first time it’s been here. What do you think stood out most to you about this convention?
S: Umm.. What stood out most? I don’t know. It kind of for some reason like with everyone working at the con and even the guests. There’s some sort of like family atmosphere at most. Like I feel after the first day, and this does happen at cons, but because this was Anime Revolution’s first time, I think that there was maybe a little bit more heart or something. Because we all sort of came together. And I feel like- it was like a family camping trip or something. Family anime trip.
AR: Yes, anime family.
S: Anime of-…ani-family…ani-ly.
AR: So just to finish off. For any aspiring voice actors that want to do voice acting for animations, is there any advice you can give them?
S: Yes, I think that a really great way to get kick-started right now, is that there’s a lot of really cool online sites that you can upload your voice demos to. And they cast right there off the site. So from there, you don’t need an agent right away and you can kind of ease in and see how your voice lands in the industry. See if anybody calls. But the first step is to make a demo reel. I would put maybe, you know, six voices on there. Go onto something like voice123.com, a really good voice-casting site, and listen to other people’s demos and make your own. And you don’t have to spend any money. You can record, close yourself in your closet at home and record on your computer mic. You can do it that way, and edit it yourself and upload it to these sites and see who bites.
AR: Awesome! Well, thank you very much joining us.
S: You’re welcome. I want to talk to you about my movie before I go. I need to tell you guys this movie is coming out. It’s rated R, so if you’re not old enough, please close your ears. It’s a comedy, it’s called ‘For A Good Time, Call…’ and it’s going to be really funny. It’s a really different side of me, but it’s going to funny, so check it out.
AR: It’s going to be awesome, so check it out.
Interview and video production done by Hype Life Films.