[Interview @ PersaCon 2009 Day 2 (Saturday)]
Zippy: It’s PersaCon 2009 and I get the privilege to talk to the extraordinary voice actor Kyle Hebert. How are you doing today sir?
Kyle: I’m having a great first time at PersaCon. I know it’s been in existence for seven years and I can see why. It has a lot of great fans, a lot of great panels, a lot of activity, and I’m having a blast here in Alabama.
Zippy: Well it’s my first time here too and while I’m a lot closer to here then you, since you’re out of L.A. now, I’m definitely glad to be here as well. Tell us just a couple of things that you’ve done so far [in your career]?
Kyle: Ok well in my voice acting career I’m probably best known as the Narrator from Dragonball Z! Next time! Last time! Previously [in narrator voice]. I’m that guy. Also Teen Gohan, West Kaio, Pikkon, and Ox-King. I’m also known as the voice of Kiba in Naruto [in Kiba’s voice] and Aizen on Bleach [in Aizen’s voice]. Most [recently] the biggest role I’ve gotten, even though he doesn’t talk much, is Ryu on Street Fighter IV- the answer lies in the heart of battle. [in Ryu’s voice]
Zippy: Well you definitely get to play a lot of cool characters.
Kyle: Thank you.
Zippy: You mentioned in your panel today that voice acting is actually something you wanted to get into primarily. How did you get your start, more or less?
Kyle: Basically it evolved from a lifelong dream really. Most voice actors will tell you they never sought to be a voice actor, [and that] they just kind of fell into it but this is something I’ve wanted since childhood. Two goals in mind: I wanted to be on the radio being a DJ and I wanted to do cartoon voices, been a lifelong fan of cartoons. Obviously being a kid I was exposed to Disney and Looney Tunes, but Looney Tunes really resonated with me. I love Bugs Bunny and everything and my dad told me that Mel Blanc, one person, did all of those voices and that really struck a chord with me and I kind of decided that’s what I wanted to do. So I ended up getting a degree in college for radio and was working at Radio Disney, children’s radio format that’s nationwide, and it was based out of Dallas at the time. Some station co-workers took a tour of Funimation, [because] they were looking to partner up with them to get some giveaways like DBZ toys and stuff, and I found out there were open auditions and they knew my lifelong dream was to do animated voiceover, so they gave me their number. I went and tried out and got lucky. A couple weeks later [I] started in doing bit parts and the first role I actually tried out for was Teen Gohan and I was awarded the role a couple months after doing bit parts on DBZ and the Bardock special. It twisted off from there, from Blue Gender, Yu Yu Hakusho, to Fullmetal Alchemist, and then a couple other shows, and then I moved to L.A. in 2005, made friends with Steve Blum, who you guys may know as the current voice of Wolverine on ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’, also known as Spike from Cowboy Bebop and Tom the Toonami robot, RIP Toonami. He basically got me in the door with Bang Zoom studios and Studiopolis where we do Naruto and Bleach and I owe my L.A. career to that man. So basically I’ve been just trudging along doing a lot of auditions, whenever, wherever, for video games, for anime, for cartoons, for commercials, and so far most of the work I’ve done thus far has been [in] anime and video games.
Zippy: Well it’s good to hear that somebody can really, truly live the dream that they’ve been trying to go for. Not everybody can say that and obviously for us it’s not only exciting to see someone acting but even wanting to start off as a voice actor all along. I know also in your free time you get to do the Big Bald Broadcast, so would you like to tell us a little about that? Not as many people may know about that, or maybe they do?
Kyle: Well [I’m] hoping to spread the word. I’m a co-host of a geek news podcast, so we talk about everything geeky whether it’s video games, comics, movies, tech., everything in between. I have a couple of co-hosts, Otherworld Steve, who designs my website [and] maintains it, and Mark Swint is our engineer and he also kind of co-hosts sometimes. We have a site called TheBigBaldBroadcast.com where we host our archive of well over one hundred episodes from the past four years. We also stream live on Stickam, so if you join us basically on Friday nights typically we’ll do a live stream on the webchat site Stickam.com, and there’s an actual link right on the main page of the Big Bald Broadcast. You guys can join the chat room, you can call in the show via Skype, sometimes we have guests, other times we just chill and talk about the latest geeky news that we found on the internet, give our opinions, let the folks in the chat room chime in, [and] make it a little more interactive, and yeah [we’re] hoping to also expand the brand of the Big Bald Broadcast and start doing either pre-recorded or preferably live panels from conventions and help build the buzz that way.
Zippy: That’s really cool to hear. You do so much. Just reading the back of your [business] card and seeing all the ways to [contact] you it’s almost ridiculous, but it’s good to see that someone’s as out there [with your personal presence] as you are. Well I will let you get back to the con. I just want to thank you for your time!
Kyle: Oh sure, thanks for having me and good luck with your show. You can check me out at my official website, it’s KyleHebert.com. You can find the links for everything you need to know about my voice credits and all that stuff, and thanks to all the fans for coming out and supporting me. I have a great, great time coming to these conventions and thanks for the opportunity to talk to you.
Zippy: Thank you very much.