I have to admit. Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personalities. Back in the 80’s when we were working on tons of weird Japanese animation projects, we didn’t have a contract with the union. It wasn’t until Robotech came along that we realized that maybe we should protect ourselves and most of us came up with fake names. Mine was Reba West. For some reason it stuck. Just last week I attended a screening for a documentary we made at Harmony Gold as a tribute to Carl Macek, the brains behind Robotech. I was credited as Reba West and signed some autographs with that name.
I always feel kind of funny doing that because it’s not my real name. Rebecca Forstadt is my true moniker. Reba is derived from Rebecca and West was the name my grandmother used when she was a headliner in vaudeville in the 1920’s. (Mirium West) She was 16 at the time.
After we were able to create a decent contract, I went back to Rebecca Forstadt. Unfortunately, our contract hasn’t changed much in the last 25 years, so it’s not as decent as it was back then. It’s odd because dubbing requires much more technical skill than doing original animation. We are hoping to up the ante, but it doesn’t look good considering that anime projects are not making the billions they used to when Haim Saban got rich doing Power Rangers. (which I also worked on) He did honor our contract though and I have to say, those were the good old days. Internet downloading has taken it’s toll on the industry in general but especially with dubbing work.
That’s OK though. Life goes on. I think at the next anime convention I attend I will have to have a T shirt made saying “My name really isn’t Reba West.” (Sounds kind of like a country singer to me. . . LOL)
Thank you to all the fans who came out for the documentary screening. It was lots of fun, the food was excellent and it was great to see everyone all dressed up. Here’s a picture a fan took and put on Facebook.