Today she does voice acting for animated shows and video games such as My Life as a Teenage Robot, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Stroker and Hoop, Xenogears, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Infamous 2. She's also done TV roles such as Pretty the Series and Dirty Work. Not to mention being a stand up comedian, lending her voice in audio books, doing various amounts of podcasts, and being a loving wife and mother. Due to her extremely busy schedule, I was able to receive her interview two days after I posted my Nickelodeon GUTS review, so thank you Moira for taking the time to answer these questions.
I hope everyone enjoys this very special interview with Moira Quirk.
Patricia- First of all, I really like your British accent. Where in the U.K. are you originally from?
Moira- I grew up in Rutland, the smallest county in England.
Patricia- What was your childhood like?
Moira- I was a happy kid. I was the mischievous kid, but all my friends parents thought I was really good. It was a handy combo!
Patricia- What were your favorite cartoons/shows growing up?
Moira- I loved a lot of Hanna Barbera stuff: Hong Kong Phooey, The Hair Bear Bunch, Scooby Doo. My first animation job was at the old Hanna Barbera Studios on Cahuenga. Magical! And when I got to play the villainess in Scooby Doo and utter the immortal "And I would have got away with it if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!" I was overjoyed. Made my lifetime!
Patricia- At what age did you realize that you wanted to be an actress?
Moira- Pretty young. I was in primary school. I did the Christmas play, and that was that.
Patricia- When did you move to America? What was it like living there at first adapting to a new way of living and culture?
Moira- I moved from London to Orlando. It was a huge adjustment, and sometimes I was very homesick, but obviously I liked it enough to stay. Not Orlando- sorry Orlando- but America. And then, of course, I met my husband to be.
Kevin- How did you hear about the Nickelodeon game show GUTS?
Moira- My agent just sent me to audition. I was there amongst a bevy of sporty, blonde goddesses, but they kept calling me back.
Kevin- What was it like working side by side with Mike O'Malley?
Moira- Mike was, and continues to be, the biggest source of energy ever. He could be the answer to global warming.
Patricia- What would be the process of getting a typical episode done?
Moira- Oh goodness, as I remember we'd shoot three episodes a day. I really can't remember if we'd have each set of competitors go one after the other, but that seems the most sensible set up. Doesn't it?
Patricia- How were the kids chosen to be part of Nickelodeon GUTS?
Moira- There were talent scouts. At first they just looked locally, then after the first season they went further afield.
Patricia- Where there any major changes that came from transitioning from GUTS to Global GUTS?
Moira- Yep. It was shot quite differently because each country needed their own feed with their own hosts. I got more time off!
Patricia- For the contestants for Global GUTS who didn't speak any English, where there any translators for them so they could understand the rules or interact with the other kids?
Moira- Yes, there were translators.
Kevin- What fond memories can you tell us when you were doing GUTS?
Moira- Many. I still have friends from my days on GUTS, and Mike and I keep in touch.
Kevin- Have you ever tried to do any of the obstacles whenever they were setting it up?
Moira- Of course!
Kevin- What was your reaction when you saw Mike on Yes, Dear, Parenthood, and Glee?
Moira- It's so funny, my elder daughter loves Yes, Dear. So I see of much of Mike now as I did then, although not in person of course. I thought Mike's work on Glee was extraordinary. It was a very well deserved Emmy nomination.
Patricia- What made you decide to go into voice acting?
Moira- I'd always been interested in it.
Patricia- What was the audition process like for My Life as a Teenage Robot?
Moira- I went in and met with Rob Renzetti. He had me read a few portions of the script. I felt it went well. I didn't hear for a while, but I was super excited to get the role. It was a great role to play and I totally loved the look of the cartoon.
Patricia- What was it like working with Rob Renzetti?
Moira- He's a really cool, really talented guy and very low key. It was the best.
Patricia- What was the experience like with working with talented voice actors like Candi Milo, Janice Kawaye, Cree Summer, Eartha Kitt, and Quinton Flynn?
Moira- Didn't get to meet Eartha Kitt, but all the above are awash in awesomeness.
Patricia- What would a typical recording session be like?
Patricia- What was your favorite episode?
Moira- Am I allowed to say all of them? It was a really fun show.
Patricia- What was it like voicing the character Jane for The Wild Thornberrys Movie?
Moira- That was another great time. Charlie Adler directed me, who has been such a wonderful friend and mentor. His was one of the first voice-over classes I took, so we both enjoyed the fact that now I was his employee really.
Patricia- You had voiced other characters in video games such as Xenogears, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Do you play video games? If not, is voicing a character in a video game the same as voicing a character in a cartoon?
Moira- I can't play anything too gorey or intense because, well I could say I'm sensitive, but I think a better adjective would be wussy. I'm wussy. More often than not for games, I find myself alone in a recording booth being directed by Skype. Animation you still have a chance of recording as a cast. I like having a cast, but I also love me, an engineer and a director just getting the job done and having a great time doing it. Because it is a job, although one that I love.
Patricia- When looking at your website, I had no idea that you also do comedy sketches. What made you interested to go into comedy?
Moira- I suppose it was a fait accompli. Making people laugh and being made to laugh were and are important things to me.
Patricia- Who are your comedic heroes?
Moira- I used to see Zach Galiafinankis (sp?) at this little coffee shop in LA, and I'm thrilled at his success. I liked a lot of comedic actors: Judy Holliday, Dick Shawn, Alan Arkin (obviously I watched a lot of old stuff). This is all of the top of my head. As a kid I loved Julie Walters and Victoria Wood and Jasper Carrott. If I were to choose to watch a comedy special of listen to a comedian it might be Eddie Izzard, Mitch Hedburg, Eddie Pepitone and Frank Conniff. It's quite a long list... I like Marc Maron's podcast and listening to all the comedian's stories.
Patricia- I read in Summer Sanders' blog recently that she had introduced her children to Figure it Out during the years that she hosted. The results were that 5 minutes into it, they wanted to watch SpongeBob. They were 3 and 5, so they were too young. Did you show your children when you were co-hosting GUTS? If so, what do they think of it?
Moira- They might have seen a bit. They know I did it, but they are always perpIexed if someone is excited to recognise me. I mean if your mother did it, it can't be cool can it?
Patricia- Finally, what are your upcoming projects?
Moira- I'll let you know when I find out! I do have a couple of web series. Dirty Work just got an Emmy nomination! If you want to watch it, please do here dirtywork.com, but, be warned, I play someone with a really, really filthy mouth! Filthy! I'm working on a couple of games, too. It could be a while until they are released and I've signed those pesky non-disclosure forms! I also do plays for radio for the BBC and with L.A. Theatre Works for syndication on NPR and to be sold as audiobooks/plays. You can find them online too. I just did Look Back in Anger, so you might still be able to stream that at latw.org.
Patricia- Thank you so much for answering this, Moira. I know that I said too many questions and I apologize, but I was really excited to have the opportunity to interview you. I grew up watching you on GUTS and I always loved watching you on TV. I love Mike as well, of course. Haha! Hope that everything goes well for you and your family. Thanks.
Moira- Thanks, Patricia. Please forgive my lollygagging.
You can find out more information about Moira and her amazing work at moiraquirk.com. Also you can find her at Twitter @moiraquirkable.
That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Take care and thanks for reading.
-Patricia and Kevin