Interview with Lisa Kossey
Explain what you did exactly as a Casting
Coordinator and Supervisor, to those reading that are unsure of what that
In a previous email, you mentioned a few abbreviations- (EMR, SAG, ADR, etc) What do they mean?
"Basically a Casting Coordinator job is to assist in all duties related to the cast.
What are your fondest and craziest memories working on CatDog?
"There are so many! I loved Tuesdays at 2:00 PM- that was record day. (Thanks Horta!!)
Working so close to the cast, did you find yourself sometimes going home quoting Cat or Dog or any of the characters?
“What are ya, Nuts!” Of course, and still do… “Hi-ho-diggety”. I still find myself singing “Pretty Little Piece of Paradise” anytime I hear the word paradise. But I think Winslow had the most “behind the scenes” catch phrases of all. (Can’t tell ya those, Heh heh!). My favorite quote from a show is, “My name is Dog with a duh!”- It’s a Wonderful Half Life. My favorite recording studio quote, “My bad”.
Is most of the cast reading done separately, or do they do it together? To get the whole CatDog togetherness feeling, did Jim and Tom read and act together a lot?
"We would try to record as much of the show with as many of the actors together as possible. The CatDog cast are some of the busiest voice-over talent in the biz, so sometime we had to work around each others schedules.
The cast of CatDog is absolutely incredible and talented, was there a lot of improvisation? Did the cast come up with any catch phrases? Or was that strictly the writers and Peter?
"It’s hard to remember who wrote what, and who made it up but Peter and the writers came up with most of the catch phrases, but the way they were said had a lot to do with the actors improvisation. Your right, the cast was incredibly talented and funny. The actors did instinctively ad-lib often and we did end up using a lot of what they said. You should have heard the ad-libs we couldn't use!! The writing never stopped during a record, the script was being revised up until the last take."
Which CatDog characters are your all time favorites and why? Is there one in particular you can relate to real well?
"That’s a hard one, I really liked Little Cat- from Dummy Dummy. I loved seeing Dog in his cowboy outfits (I like seeing anyone in a cowboy outfit!). I guess I would have to say Dog, his innocence is so loveable."
Which episodes did you enjoy the most during your CatDog experience?
"My favorite is “It’s a Wonder Half Life” I loved the style of the animation in that show along with the music. I also like “Do Wop Diggety”, “The Island”; my favorites change. I think more about the production process of the cartoon rather than the story- If I happen to catch a episode of CatDog on TV and remember what we were talking about during the recording session or how many changes the show had I don’t watch them as shows, but as little diaries that they bring back memories. At the time when ever I saw we had a song, I would dread record sessions, songs required a lot more time and preparation, but in the end those show are my favorite ones.
Did you work with all episodes from season 1 on up to Season 3?
I worked on every single show! No"t
the original pilot- but we added a short to that one later."
The question everyone asks, which side of CatDog do you relate with most, and like better?
"I would like to say I am more like Dog, but I know I have some of Cat in me too! In the beginning I really liked the character of Dog better, but Cat’s charm started to grow on me."
When did you decide to get into the cartoon world? Do you also enjoy drawing and writing? What did you do before CatDog?
never aspired to be in animation at all, I rarely watched cartoons as a child.
I was really lucky and my cousin (Dawn Hershey) that worked on Hey
Arnold told me Nickelodeon was hiring a receptionist- had an interview, got
the job. I don’t draw very
well, and don’t enjoy writing, (I suck at writing-just ask Peter).
Before CatDog I worked on Angry Beavers as the receptionist."
Besides the movie, which episodes seemed to take a lot time and effort to put together? Any episodes that were particularly difficult for any of the cast?
Mutiny”- for some reason, I think I remember a lot of time spent on this
one- it kept changing.
Perhaps this is more a question for an animator, but were any of the characters inspired by some of the actors looks? (For example I saw Maria's hilarious standup on Comedy Central, and she's petite and blonde just like Shriek. Do cast looks inspire some of the characters features?
worked at Nickelodeon as a receptionist and an assistant before she was the
voice of Shriek. Maybe Peter
thought she resembled Shriek, but Maria’s voice was Shrieky- that’s how
she got the part. All the
main characters were basically designed before we cast-ed the show (but a few
changes were made after “Dog Gone” the pilot”, Lube’s look changed a
bit). When it comes to
personalities; I would say Jim reminds me more of Cat, and Tom definitely is
more Dog. Carlos is more Winslow
than Lube, but Billy doesn’t remind me of Rancid, Randolph or Mr. Sunshine
in person. Do cast looks inspire some character features?
Kinda, I don’t think too much in the beginning, but as the show
progress, I noticed some of the facial movements of the actors were reflected
in their character, or maybe it was the actor becoming the character??
Steven mentioned that Ray Pointer inspired "The Amazing Ray", did the animators draw a character that looked like you too? Do you remember anyone from the staff that was drawn into the show?
"No, I don’t think I ever inspired anyone to draw me as a character (I tried!). We did use names of staff in shows, Princess Kitaen, - from “Spaced Out” (Kim Kitaen was our Production Manager) but the princess didn’t look like her (she is much prettier). We had a few Eric’s on our show (Evil Eric- won’t say which one was evil :) Angry Beavers did a bowling show based on their staff, I thought it was great. I tried to push the idea- I had no pull!"
Did you come up with any of the show's ideas, such as a character quark dialogue idea, or an episode idea?
"Nope! We would brain storm in record sessions over a phrase or something, but I don’t think any of my ideas made it past. (Good thing too!)"
"In the beginning of 1st season I had to assist with script changes (just retyping and numbering of lines- no creative changes) until our (not so faithful- he quit 3rd season) Neil Martin joined the team as the script coordinator."
Did you or any other Nickelodeon staff members ever get to do voices that made it on the show?
"Yes, we would bring in a bunch of people that worked in the studio and do “Walla”. That is all the background noise you hear in a crowd. We found some hidden talents in many of the CatDog crew, Carolyn, Linda Barry, Vic Wilson, Steven Banks, Neil Martin, Don the Parking Guy, Peters Kids, Justin Brinsfield, Rob Porter and many more.
Is there anything else you would like to add before closing?
doesn’t get any better than CatDog”