Published on May 17th, 2024 | by Andrew Bistak

Brian Beacock Interview: On finding your inner voice (Oz Comic-Con)

It’s almost Oz Comic-Con and what better way to celebrate than with an interview with one of their upcoming guests, the awesome Brian Beacock! Brian has an impressive range of talents that include actor, writer, producer, VO actor, singer and musician. Of course for Oz Comic-Con, fans will know Brian from series such as Digimon, Bleach, Naruto, Sailor Moon where he lent his voice to some of these amazing characters.

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to pursue voice acting?

It actually wasn’t really on my radar to be honest when I started my acting career.  I had been doing lots of theatre, television and film, theme parks, etc, and when it happened and the VO jobs, started, my voice-over career kind of “carried me” into it, rather than my direct focus. But of course, I’m so glad it happened and it’s opened so many doors for me in other avenues of the entertainment industry.

Transforming passion into prospects, how did you break into the industry?

I was working at Universal Studios Hollywood, in Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Musical Revue as Phantom of the Opera as my “day job” while also doing theater at night.  At that time I was in a 1-man show called “Fully Committed” where I played 32 different characters, no costume, no makeup just my voice and body language. REALLY difficult show but I loved it!  Well one of my fellow theme park performers, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (who played the Bride of Frankenstein), saw me in the play and said “You should come audition for this show I’m directing the 3rd season on, it’s called “Digimon Tamers”.  So I went and auditioned for the role of Takato, and after 3 months of waiting for the phone to ring, I got the call to say I booked it. That job started the snowball effect of my career.

From an outsider’s perspective, the concept of voicing so many different characters, how do you pair a character with a voice? Or does it work the other way in some cases, where the voice comes first?

So many different answers to this, all depending on if it’s an established character you may be replacing if it’s original animation or dubbing. Lots of time, in dubbing of course you have the original Japanese voice to go by, but lots of producers may want to try something entirely new, rather than just keeping voice type and range the same. The visual for the character helps, for anime, you can see the original Japanese. For video games, sometimes they’ll have artist renderings of your character. Then beyond that, it’s the character description: Old, young, heartfelt, aggressive, soft-spoken, that will help guide our collective choices (actor, producer, director, network) for the voice.

With so many years in the industry up your sleeves and so many characters served, is there a particular moment that stands out as a favorite?

Probably my favorite moment, where I really felt like I was good at my job, a good actor, and giving an important performance was Takato’s final scene in “Digimon Tamers” where he was essentially saying goodbye to Guilmon. Very sad, we were all crying in the studio, as it was also the last recording day of the season. I can remember so much about that session.

You resonate with so many fans as a result of the characters you play but was there a character that got away? Did you audition for a role that just wasn’t meant to be?

Not really, I mean, I was up for the role of Tails in a new Sonic series (years ago, not the newer ones now) and the money was CRAZY! Video games, series, you name it! All original animation (which pays more than dubbing) and I had several callbacks but didn’t get it. I didn’t necessarily want the “role” as much as I wanted the security of that kind of money while being a starving actor in Los Angeles. I also had about 4 callbacks to be the singing voice of Aladdin in the Disney musical “Aladdin.” That’s when I first came to LA and was so excited and nervous, which is probably why I didn’t get it, haha!

Is there a moment from your time in the recording booth that has particularly stayed with you? For example, it could’ve been a changing character arc or a moment when you and the character really connected.

Aside from the “Digimon Tamers” final scene moment, I’d say any time I’m recording Akutagawa in “Bungo Stray Dogs” or when I was voicing Monokuma in the “Danganrompa” Game Series, I felt connected and in tune with myself and the character.  They are both so well written and fleshed out, to begin with, and I really love playing them, so I go into the session prepared to honor them and work hard to make sure the fans of the show will be happy.  I’ve several times asked the director if I could do another take cause I knew I had something better in me.

Australia’s anime scene is fast evolving, playing a larger role year on year in the pop culture sphere, being embraced on a far wider scale than that of a decade ago. It’s happening globally but why do you think it’s growing exponentially?

Such a hard question to answer.  I know there’s so much more content out there, maybe the diversity of the content is also finding larger audiences. Also, when I started conventions, the whole world was “fringe.”  Cosplayers did not have the visibility and fan base that they do now.  Of course, social media is helping that, the whole world of cons and cosplay, anime and any kind of entertainment is so easily reached now. I’m so happy it’s happening.

Do you think any essence is lost when an anime is dubbed? Or does it simply open up new opportunities for another audience

I am a hardcore anime dubbing fan.  (Obviously, it’s my bread and butter haha). But for original content, I usually watch the original language audio and read subtitles. (Even though I DO voice-over for those as well!) But I have heard that there are fans that watch anime when the original Japanese is released, and then watch again when the English dub comes out, so I guess that’s the best of both worlds for them.

Tell me about Australia… you appeared in Perth last year for Oz Comic-Con. How was that and what are you looking forward to most about Adelaide and Melbourne?

LOVED Perth!!!  Got to see many Quokas!!! I had always wanted to go to Australia so when last year’s con happened I was thrilled.  But, I had never heard of Perth! I am crazy excited about Melbourne and really don’t know much about Adelaide but everything I’m researching tells me it’s a pretty amazing place as well.  I love travel, and trying new things and food. So I’m hoping this will be a great experience.

About Brian Beacock

Brian Beacock is an actor, writer, producer, VO actor, singer and musician from the San Francisco Bay Area. After completing the National Tour of Les Miserables, he moved to Los Angeles where he has created a diverse career including numerous cartoon series: Digimon, Bleach, Naruto, Sailor Moon, Durarara, Bo-bobo Bo-bobobo, Dragon Ball Super, Blue Exorcist, Doraemon, Battle B’Daman, Code Geass, video games (Monokuma in Danganronpa Game Series!) Lloyd Irving in Tales of Symphonia, Digimon, Naruto, Arcade Wars, television appearances on Kath & Kim, CSI, General Hospital, Passions, Imagination Movers, and NBC’s The Rerun Show, films such as Mulholland Drive, Buying The Cow, Circuit, and the upcoming films To The Beat, Racing Colt, and horror feature Hollow Scream. Theater credits include: the West Coast Premiere of Elegies, Naked Boys Singing, When Pigs Fly, the insane one-man show Fully Committed and as a Broadway Axl Rose in Andy Prieboys’ cult favorite, White Trash Wins Lotto. He has been a musical guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and sang for Betty White’s Birthday on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Show. He is currently in pre-production for Season 2 of his Primetime Emmy award-winning series “Acting Dead”.

Brian will be appealing in Adelaide and Melbourne in June for Oz Comic-Con, meeting fans and passing on invaluable knowledge from his time in the industry. Oz Comic-Con Adelaide is taking place on June 1st & 2nd, followed by Melbourne on June 8th & 9th.

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

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