Bryce and I had a very interesting conversation about what happens behind the scenes. Also we discuss on the nature of being a voice actor and how his past has contributed to who he is today. Enjoy the interview everyone and please check out his Facebook and website, www.brycepapenbrook.com.
In later posts, I will provide a video and written version of this interview.
Chris: Hello, this is KHPlanet in association with Pines Gaming, and here today we have Bryce Papenbrook, voice actor of Asbel from Tales of Graces and Zidane from Dissidia Final Fantasy. Welcome!
Bryce: Hey, how are you doing?
Chris: I’m doing great. I’ve been playing Tales of Grace just recently, and I was going through it. I just been wondering how can you manipulate your voice for Asbel? How did you learn to change it for Asbel’s age and personality?
Bryce: Well, there’s a director there that’s what (incomprehensible) the whole time always keeping me in line; making sure I sound like myself, but basically I saw a picture of the character and a description of what they were looking for; and I gave them what I thought would be best for the character; and once they chose me for the part. I went into the studio and would give them a sample. They would say ‘you know maybe a little bit younger ‘, and I would try again ‘maybe a little bit older than that’; and we just worked at it until we found something that everyone liked; and once I found that voice. They had it recorded so they would play it back to me, and I would match it every time; I went back into the studio.
Chris: So, do you have anyone else with you in the booth? Any other actors?
Bryce: Well, it’s just me in the booth, and it’s a couple other people outside the booth, director, a client, and someone working the machine recording; and they tell me what to do.
Chris: So, how did you start a career in acting? I know your father was a voice actor before you.
Bryce: Well exactly that’s how I started. I used to go and watch my dad work. I was about eight years old. The first time, I got in the booth. I was watching him work on Power Rangers. We used to go to (incomprehensible) at all of the rubber suits of the monsters. I used to love to see, and I was watching him and the director said ‘hey we need a kid’s voice is he an actor (incomprehensible)oh yeah he’s a pro throw him in there ‘, and (incomprehensible) I watched my dad a couple times; and I had a little bit of an idea of what I was doing; and it sort of worked out; and ever since then, I’ve sort of been around the business and the last couple of years. I’ve taken it a lot more seriously and fortunate enough to book some nice parts.
Chris: So, I know you’ve been busy with a lot of projects recently. Can you tell us what you’re doing or can you give us a slight hint?
Bryce: I wish; I could tell you more but unfortunately I signed contracts so I can’t hint too much on those sorts of things.
Chris: Do you think there’s going to be a third Dissidia for the PlayStations Vita?
Bryce: You know as much as I know on that one (incomprehensible) I mean that game is awesome; I grew up playing Final Fantasy so that was like my dream job!
Chris: Yeah, I’m pretty jealous about that.
Bryce: It’s so secretive when I got casted and called in; I didn’t know; I was working on Final Fantasy until the first time I was there; and I looked at the character. I’m like this character looks very familiar.
Chris: Did you play Final Fantasy 9 or (incomprehensible)
Bryce: I didn’t play through 9. I mean; I played like Final Fantasy 1 like way back in the day. I did play through 10 more recently.
Chris: I always liked Square Enix titles, but I imagine more toward the Tales series now and Namco Bandai; so can you actually convince everyone at KHPlanet to get go get Tale of Graces?
Bryce: You know what, it’s an awesome game. I picked up a copy myself, and I’m hooked! I’m hooked! It’s really good.
Chris: Yeah, the whole of my family have actually been playing the game, and they have enjoyed it immensely including myself.
Bryce: That’s awesome! Yeah, I’m a big RPG fan, and I actually haven’t played any of the Tales Series before this one. I might have to go out and pick up some other ones.
Chris: Yeah, I’ve actually played Tales of Symphony on the Wii before, and that was my first one; and now Tales of Grace is my second one, but Tales of Grace is my favorite out of the two.
Bryce: It’s interesting trying/playing the game through, and of course there are things hidden in the start of the game. I already know some of what’s going to happen.
Chris: We have a question from Angel, a member of the forum. She said that ‘you are the shizz’ for your work in anime so it says ‘some kind of boundary of what you will and will not partake in.’
Bryce: I mean; I’m a working actor so I go out, and I see roles that are out there for me; and I’m trying out for them just like everyone is, so I want to work. I want to do obviously; I want to work on good projects but when you’re starting and competing with so many talented actors (incomprehensible) you don’t really (incomprehensible) the choice to choose ‘I want this exact role’. It’s impossible to choose that so I never know where I am going to end up. I go up for all sorts of things and all kinds of characters; and I’ve sort of ended up in the kind of roles that you’ve seen me in, those animes like Durarara and like Zidane in Dissidia. They’re similar ages and (incomprehensible) wacky attitudy characters that’s just sort of where I’m at right now. The kind of characters I’ve been casted in, but I think you’ll definitely see in the future coming out different sides of me and more of what I can do.
Chris: Your website brycepapenbrook.com, it’s very interesting. There are a few demo reels of your voice. You can really change it in some parts.
Bryce: Yeah good stuff everyone should definitely check that out and definitely follow me on Facebook too. I’m going to be working on some new stuff this year laying down a new demo and messing with some voices ;and I’ll definitely put that stuff up there so everyone can hear it and let me know what they think is best.
Chris: You and Asbel share a characteristic. You both have followed the ways of your fathers, Asbel followed the Ad Libitum of the guild of Lhant, and you have pursued voice acting as your father did. Do you ever relate yourself to the characters you play? Is it a positive or negative habit in your own opinion?
Bryce: Well, I definitely do, and you know especially in that case; I even in the booth with people around me. I feel comfortable with. It’s still very easy to let yourself go to much some times and some of the scenes are sort of rough for me even though I lost my dad a while ago now it’s been six years still feels fresh (incomprehensible) We miss him a lot. He was a lot of fun, and he left us a lot of good memories
Chris: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a voice actor?
Bryce: Well, I would definitely say never give up. It’s an extremely competitive business, and there are so many talented people all fighting for very few roles.
Chris: Yeah, I remember in drama class. We had someone come in, and they said that there was only a 2 percent of actors actually make it to the big business going thing like actually are successful and are able to earn a good living.
Bryce: I mean. You’re right. It’s a very small percentage that makes it in the business. I always say to myself if I audition a hundred times, and I book one out of the hundred auditions. I’m doing well. I’m making it so that’s really what you have to do just get out there and never stop and it’s all a numbers game. If you audition more and practice hone in on your craft and get better and better sooner or later. It’s going to work out. You’re going to hit something. Everything is going to line up and work.
Chris: Thank you that’s very good advice, so what’s has been your favorite role to play throughout your whole career?
Bryce: Alright, I had a lot of fun doing Tales that definitely was one of my favorite roles. It was almost like I was living at the studio. I recorded it over such a long period of time cause I had so many lines in this game, and it was at a great point in my life also. It was right around my wedding so I started recording before my wedding as I was planning. I got married and went on my honey moon and then came back and recorded more Tales, so that was definitely a good time; and I have a lot of good memories recording. Another one, I had a lot of fun with was Masaomi in Durarara just cause he’s so wacky, and he’s always trying to pick up on girls and stuff and (incomprehensible) the kind of things that he would say that was fun.
Chris: Well, it’s been a pleasure Bryce! Thank you for your time, and good luck on your current projects!
Bryce: No problem Chris. Thanks for having me. Keep following me, check me out on Facebook. I’ll keep you guys updated with the latest stuff that I am doing as much as I can and talk to you guys soon. You’ll be seeing a bit more of me coming out soon.