Sign In | Register

Sirena Irwin Interview

Date Interviewed: January 24, 2014

abney317: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us! It is really great for all of the fans to hear from a someone who has been with the show since back when it had just started.

abney317: How did you become a voice actress for the show?
Sirena: I believe it went something like this… And, of course, LUCK played a big part! One of my best friends from college, Snow Kahn, had just gotten her master degree from calarts where she had met and befriended Steve Hillenburg and his wife, Karen. I came to Los Angeles pursuing acting, etc. and was doing a lot of sketch and one person shows with tons of characters. Snow shared with me that Steve had just been given a green light for a pilot at Nickelodeon and she said I should send Steve my demo. Well, I didn't have a V/O demo, so I sent in a compilation of some of the characters I was doing at the time… He graciously passed my reel on to the casting director who brought me in to audition for Sandy, Pearl and Mrs. Puff. Of course I didn't get any of those roles (they went to 3 incredibly talented and awesome humans – Carolyn, Lori and Mary Jo!) but they said they liked my range and that they'd like to have me onboard for utility! Later I saw Steve's graduate thesis, Wormholes, which deals beautifully with the theory of relativity and being that my dad was a particle physicist at Stanford at the time and I'm a huge fan of physics, et al, we had a lot to talk about!

abney317: Who is your favorite character on SpongeBob that you have voice acted for?
Sirena: The Real Estate Agent was the first character I recorded so it holds a special place in my heart. I also, really enjoyed Squilvia, Mama Krabs and then, of course, singing the Road song as Spongebob's Mom was super fun! But I gotta tell you, everything they have me do – from little girls to old ladies to inanimate objects – I love!

abney317: Is it difficult to play so many different characters?
Sirena: I've always been interested in voices. Ever since I was a kid I can remember trying to mimic voices I heard that I thought were peculiar. Since being a kid I have sung in my mom's choirs and have always loved singing and playing with the voice in odd, unexpected ways. When I was with my dad, he and I used to walk around the Boulder, Colorado outdoor mall and follow people – taking on their walks, their voices, etc. and I thought it was so amazing how different you could feel by doing that. I never tire of listening to people and then trying to imitate how they sound. The difficult part can be remembering which voice for which character. But thankfully Justin, our super engineer, always pulls up an old clip of the voice if it's the same character they're looking for… Aaaww sweetness!

abney317: Have you ever had any real life experiences where you could relate to the show?
Sirena: A lot of the episodes are relate-able. I think that's part of why it's so popular. Even though its taking place in this make believe underwater world and the characters are sponges and starfishes and squirrels, the journeys the characters are going through are similar to our own! They are simultaneously far out and yet totally relatable.

abney317: Do you have any funny memories from the recording booth?
Sirena: All my memories of being in the booth with the geniuses behind Spongebob are fond and they are all full of laughs, too. Recording the Magic Conch episode was particularly funny because it's so absurd. The more far out the writers go, the funnier it becomes to record because it's all so very surreal.

abney317: What is your favorite episode that have been a part of?
Sirena: It's just too hard to choose!

abney317: Do you have a role in the upcoming SpongeBob movie? Is there anything you can tell us about it?
Sirena: I do, allegedly, have a part in the movie, though I have yet to record it. I have been on tour playing Lucy with "I Love Lucy Live On Stage" for the past 7 months while the rest of the clan has been working on the movie. I'm really looking forward to getting in the booth with them! I know nothing about the movie but my guess is, IT'S AWESOME!

abney317: Should we expect to be seeing more of your main characters (Mrs. SquarePants or Mrs. Krabs) in any upcoming episodes?
Sirena: I hope so!

abney317: Any words for the fans out there or anything we should be on the lookout for from you?
Sirena: First of all, Fans, you are the smartest, fun-est, funniest group of peeps out there! So, hip-hip-hooray for YOU! As previously mentioned, you can find me playing the role of Lucy in "I Love Lucy Live On Stage" on stages all across America (check out until at least June 2014. Life thereafter has yet to be determined! Oooohhhh the thrill of it!

abney317: Alright Magic Conch, what do we do now?
Sirena: Nothing!

All hail the magic conch!