On the outside, Bryce Papenbrook is an energetic, fun-loving and positive person. But once behind the mic, his voice takes on a persona of its own. It channels the rage of Erin in Attack on Titan. It growls with the stubbornness of Rin in Blue Exorcist, and echoes the lonely apathy of Kirito in Sword Art Online. The characters’ personalities come alive with emotion and nuance—each of them unique, but all of them undeniably Bryce.
Bryce started his voice acting career at the age of 8. His father was Bob Papenbrook, who garnered fame for his voices on various iterations of the Power Rangers television show as well as many Animes. One day, while accompanying his father to a recording session, Bryce was pushed into a booth to do the voice of a child in the background, and that marked the beginning of his career. Bryce gives full credit to “being at the right place at the right time.” He remarked that he feels blessed for the opportunity, noting that many other actors he knew were not nearly as lucky getting their foot in the door. If there is anything his 20 years of experience has taught him, it’s to always have a good voice demo ready. “It’s like your business card as a voice actor,” he stated.
Bryce’s Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Voice Actors:
If your goal is to making a lot of money, don’t go into anime. If you have a passion for it do it and let that be your motivation.
Once you know you have the passion, start by making your demo tape. Be honest with yourself about your abilities and limitations, and think about the direction you’d like to go. Think of what characters you would like to voice. Then lay it all out, and see how it sounds.
Have a someone you trust (and who can be brutally honest with you) listen to your tape. Listen to their advice, and don’t hesitate to use it to improve your performance.
Lather, rinse, repeat as many times as necessary to make a good quality demo that even strangers enjoy hearing. Remember, you only have about a minute to show off your skills before you lose your audience.
Put it out there. Send it to agencies, scouts, and anyone else in the industry. This is just the beginning of your journey.
Don’t quit your day job. Always have a backup plan, even if it’s just to pay the bills. When not putting his voice to work, Bryce does web design on the side.
“You can start with something and blow up, or you can audition 1,000 times and never work as a voice actor. It is scary and thrilling all at the same time.”
No one’s story is the same. There is no “Step 1 + Step 2 + Step 3 = PROFIT” formula that will work for everyone. It can be both thrilling and daunting to know that every time you audition, you will be up against crowds of people who are just as talented as you. Just strive for it that much harder, and hope it sticks.
When Bryce talks about his own work as a voice actor, a huge grin never leaves his lips and his eyes are filled with passion. He is proud to follow in his father’s footsteps as as voice actor, and he is grateful for the chance to make a name for himself in the industry. Like his father, who has done so much work from American anime fans, Bryce will leave a vocal legacy for new and future generations of American Otakus. Watch for Bryce’s latest role: he will lend his voice to the main character, Staz, in the English dub of Blood Lad.
Another piece of awesome from Papenbrook at the conventions he would take over a bar and watch anime with all of his fans. to share his work with them. Here is a picture everyone taking over the Hilton bar.