April 6-7, 2024
November Supa-Star Jen Brown, known for roles such as Pyrrha Nikos in RWBY and Agent Carolina in Red vs. Blue, wears a lot of hats as an actor, writer, producer, podcaster and gaming streamer.
“I saw Jawbreaker when I was a teenager, and I just knew I wanted to be an actor like [Judy Greer],” Brown says, recalling what inspired her to take the career path she did.
“You know, someone who can really lose themselves in roles… Not literally, figuratively!” she laughs.
Brown ran a theatre company in Austin, Texas for six years and learnt a lot about the differences between theatre, camera and voice acting during that time.
“In general, theatre tends to be bigger, and film tends to be a lot more pulled back. Commercials are kind of an in-between, because often with commercial work they want you to be big and presentational.”
With it comes to voice acting work, you might be surprised how much physicality comes into it.
“Pyrrha Nikos in RWBY is much more reserved than I am, so with her, I always find it easier to get in character when I get on my tippy toes.
“I really make sure to stand up straight and hold in my core and control my breath when speaking as Pyrrha because she just has this very commanding and graceful presence that feels almost regal and I feel like I need to be in a very poised state to reach her appropriately.”
Brown had already been playing Agent Carolina in Red vs. Blue for two years before Rooster Teeth approached her for the role of Pyrrha.
Whilst playing around with some potential voices, she found the answer to what Pyrrha should sound like from an acting friend.
“I just got inspiration from her tone and started pitching the beginnings of the Pyrra voice that we know now, and [Rooster Teeth] was like, ‘Oh! We had not considered that but we really like it.’ It was this really nice little evolution.”
Sadly, Pyrrha met her demise at the end of season three.
“It was supposed to happen at the end of season two but then they decided to break everyone’s heart and extend it to one more season so she could get a little bit more character development and it could be extra sad.
“I had to keep it a secret the whole time and watch people’s really sweet faces and read their really wonderful reactions about how Pyrrha was their favourite character and how they hope nothing bad ever happens to her. I knew the whole time and it was awful.
“I absolutely grieved, I’m still grieving, I’ll be grieving forever…I honestly broke into tears when it happened. I think just the emotion of realising that I wasn’t going to play her anymore and that it was coming to an end, it was very overwhelming.”
Brown has very honest advice for those who want to pursue acting: “If you wanna be an actor just know that it’s very hard. It’s very hard. I try not to sugarcoat it. It’s a very, very difficult thing, and you have to be the kind of person that can handle a lot of rejection.
“One thing that I’m going to say is to be open to changing your path. I started out believing that I was going to have a theatre company, which I did, however, I thought I’d have a theatre company and it would grow to be a larger theatre company. That I would get to New York and be producing huge shows off-broadway. I had all these huge, huge plans. Those didn’t happen. However, I’m very, very happy with where my career is right now!”
You can catch Jen Brown at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Adelaide (November 2-3) and Brisbane (November 8-10).