Interview by Meredith Caudle
Edited by Samantha Hii
AWE Insider recently had the exciting opportunity to conduct an interview with prolific voice actor, ADR director, and script writer Patrick Seitz. Known by many for his role as Germany (Axis Powers Hetalia) and Jōji “George” Koizumi (Paradise Kiss), Patrick very talented individual who has been a longtime veteran of voice acting since 2001.
When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a voice actor?
I love voice acting, and I hope to keep doing it for the rest of my life, but in all honesty, it was something I sort of fell into. Which is my long-winded way of saying I never really had that moment where I thought to myself, “I want to be a voice actor!” That said, I did have the moment (maybe four or five years into my budding VO career) where I realized, “Hey…I can make a living doing this. This can be an actual career! Let’s make this happen!”
Who were your influences and inspiration when it comes to voice work and acting?
I’m lucky to be in a field with so many skilled people, it’s hard to narrow it down! Fred Tatasciore is definitely an inspiration, though–he’s so versatile and has such range, and then to top it off, he’s just the nicest dude in the world. I say–only partially in jest–that he’s who I’d like to be when I grow up. Another inspiration to me is an actor (whose name escapes me) whom I directed in “Kamichu” some years ago now. He was in his 80s, but looking and talking to him, you’d think he was in his 60s. He’d been a working actor for most of his life, and spent his free time doing things that he loved. I remember thinking what an awesome template he was for an actor’s life well-lived.
What was your BEST as well as your WORST VA experience?
I don’t know if I can narrow it down to a single best VA experience (I’ve been very lucky), but my *worst* was a session very early on in my career where I was on the tail-end of a fever and probably shouldn’t have been recording in the first place. I think there was a schedule issue at play, though–we had to get everything in the can, so I had to gut it out. I remember the producer giving me an acting note between takes, and even though I’d heard all the words, I had no idea what she’s said. And while I was still feebly trying to make sense of it, the pre-roll started up, signifying that I only had about a second or so before I had to record the line again. Needless to say, the take that followed wasn’t stellar. It didn’t get any worse than that, but I remember being sweaty and out of my head for the whole two or three hours I was there.
Through your work as a VA, have you ever gotten a chance to meet the creators of the work that you dub?
It’s only happened once or twice, at the larger conventions like Otakon that have a pretty healthy roster of Japanese guests. I got to meet the creator of “Hellsing” in passing, which is definitely cool.5. I know in some cases, VAs might be recorded separately or together during a session. Which method do you prefer?
I prefer getting to record with the other VAs in the room (which I did today, actually), but it’s a rare enough set-up that it’s not even really a matter of preferring it–it’s just usually not an option, for any number of scheduling/budget reasons. We’ve all gotten very used to recording our portion of the conversation piecemeal and by our lonesomes.
I’ve seen the list of the characters you’ve played and it’s quite long. Just how busy and frantic can your schedule get?
It can swing from one extreme to the other, often without rhyme or reason, and it seems to be true for everyone. I’ll have slow weeks, and then suddenly, everybody in the world needs me on the same Thursday afternoon. Things can get especially packed when I’m directing a series or a game–invariably, that’s when some other studio needs you in for a project. So I end up recording on that other project first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, or even during an especially long lunch-break (if I’m lucky enough to massage the schedule thus). For as hectic as some days can get, though, I love the variety. Doing the same thing at the same time every day would drive me nuts.
Considering the series you’ve worked on, have there been any series that you’ve becomes a fan of just from working on them?
Oh, definitely! That’s especially common when I’m doing script-adapting and/or directing on a show, because I’m in a position to watch the entire thing and really take it in. Monster, Sengoku Basara, Romeo X Juliet, Princess Jellyfish…there are so many good series I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. A lot of us don’t have the time or the gumption to pursue anime outside of what we’re actively working on, so when a particular show is work, you can kill two birds with one stone.
If you could become JUST ONE of your characters for a day, who would you pick?
There are a lot of tempting options, but I’d have to go with Motochika from Basara. I mean, he’s a pirate. The ship, the anchor, the loyal crew…? There’s no topping that. End of discussion.
What are your sights for the future? How long do you think you see yourself working in this field?
Looking ahead, I hope to keep doing what I’m doing–continuing to work with the companies and directors I know, and making progress with those I don’t. And with any luck, I’ll do this until they put me in the ground.
So, have any advice for aspiring young VAs out there? Do you have a list of what to do and what not to do?
Mostly, I would tell them to go out and do some theater and see if they even like acting in general. Voiceover is a niche, and anime and/or video game VO is a niche within that niche. Get on stage and interact with folks in real time and find out if this is something you *need* to do. If it’s necessary, you’ll find a way to scratch that itch. Perhaps it won’t be something you do for money, but what’s important is that you have that creative outlet if that’s how you’re wired.
Are there any other talents you have that you would like to share with us?
I’ve said many a time–and I stand by it–that I’m a pretty low-key guy with a really kick-ass job. My main skills are acting and writing, and I’ve managed to finagle them both into work. I’m a classically-trained singer, though I haven’t done much with it lately, and I taught high school (which is a definite talent, and mad props to those who can do it for their entire working career) for a few years back in my early 20s. My hobbies are all pretty pedestrian–reading, movies, video games, things of that nature.
AWE Insider would like to thank Patrick for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do an awesome interview with us. Be sure to visit his website and follow him on twitter!