Their passion and dedication to the craft has translated to over a decade in the industry, so it’s not surprising that picking their favourite roles isn’t an easy task.
“I feel like I’m choosing between all these beautiful babies,” Lauda laughs, as she reflects on some of the characters she’s played across Made in Abyss, Pokemon XY, Queen’s Blade and more.
But, Yahiko, a fox demon from The Morose Mononokean, stands out as one notable character.
“He’s a total brat – whiny and rude. He’s so fun to play,” she tells.
With credits including Yu-Gi-Oh, One Piece and DARLING in the FRANXX, to name a few, Shipman picks his character in My Hero Academia, Inasa Yoarashi, as one of the more memorable.
“I’m most proud of my work on DARLING in the FRANXX, just because it was a down to earth type of show, other than, you know, when we’re screaming giant robots,” Shipman says.
“In another way, I’m proud of my My Hero character because he just sounds nothing like I do normally, from a vocal challenge standpoint,” he adds. “I get a lot of people who I work with regularly, still being like, ‘I didn’t know you did that!’”
Both knew early on that voice acting was something they wanted to pursue. Starting in their mid-teens and building their network through acting classes and auditions helped grow their experience and contacts within the industry.
“I took a lot of acting classes and then when I figured out what voiceover was, I did a lot of research online, bought myself a microphone and recorded things from my own home,” Lauda says. “Taking classes always helps because you get to meet casting directors and your peers. You never know who is going to be in touch for a job in the future.”
Expanding beyond voice acting, Lauda and Shipman have increased their knowledge of the overall production process through directing and writing. They opened the company Kocha Sound, which focuses on providing quality voiceover for varied projects, while also writing scripts and directing shows for Funimation.
“I enjoy acting the most, but [directing and writing] help me understand the processes of the other jobs that the other people in the room are doing with me that much better,” Shipman says.
“It’s definitely helpful to know how to do all that stuff.”
Lauda adds: “It’s definitely different, but I really do enjoy directing – they are different but they are both great ways to get my creative side out there.
“When you are the one directing the show, you are the one with the creative vision and you’re putting all the pieces together – whereas when you are acting, you are just a piece of the puzzle for the director to create their artistic vision.”
The duo, who married in 2018, enjoy working together and while they may not necessarily record at the same time they are often working closely in some capacity.
“Several times I’ll write a script and she’ll direct it,” Shipman says. “Sometimes, if we are working on a project of our own, with our own company, I’ll be engineering it while she is directing. It’s fun. We are very much on each other’s wavelength and we know each other’s ability so it’s a very smooth experience.”
The standout show for both is the 2019 success, Dr. STONE. The sci-fi, post-apocalyptic Shonen anime features both of their voices and has only grown in popularity this year.
“It’s a really cool, sci-fi shonen, with a cool, mysterious plot – I just can’t get enough of watching it myself,” Lauda, who plays lead Yuzuriha in the show, enthuses.
Shipman started watching the anime “as a fan” before getting the call to join the show as Chrome.
“I’ve come out of every session in a good mood because I got to be wacky and have a good time,” he says. “We’ve still got plenty to go and I’m looking forward to it.”
The beloved voice actors are looking forward to visiting Adelaide and Brisbane for Supanova.
“Kangaroos are my favourite animal, so I’d really love to see some kangaroos,” Lauda says. “I like hiking and I’ve seen some beautiful pictures of Australian scenery so I’d love to go on a hike somewhere.”
Shipman concludes: “It’s crazy to imagine people know my work in a country I’ve never set foot in.”
Brittany Lauda and Matt Shipman will appear at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Adelaide (2-3 November) and Brisbane (8-10 November).