You might recognise the name Spike Spencer from the credits of Neon Genesis Evangelion, League of Legends or World of Warcraft, but at his Supanova panel in Brisbane last November, the man himself wanted Supa-Fans to know he’s not just a voice actor. He’s a foodie, a total nerd… and a coach.
“Yes, I do voice-over coaching,” he said during his panel, “but I’ve been coaching for relationships — I’m a communication and connections coach — for businesses, and for people. I was also a dating coach for a while!”
You might also read the name of his coaching fellowship, The Reluctant Hero’s Journey, and assume Spencer is about to walk you through his portrayal of reluctant hero Shinji in Evangelion, or reveal the extent of his impact on the show’s writing and plot. But the reality is much more valuable than that.
“One of the things I like to talk about whenever I come to cons, [is that] there’s not a lot of self-help talks,” Spencer said. “It’s all about voice acting, video games, etc. but you don’t really get a lot of, ‘Hey, you know what, you’re empowered, you’re strong, you’re awesome.’”
The Reluctant Hero’s Journey is a life coaching service provided by Spencer himself, rounding out his portfolio as an everything coach.
“It is a membership that I have for coaching, and it’s predominantly for us — for people in our community… it’s about getting active help every day.”
Spencer also wanted fans to know that coaching and self-help isn’t a Goop-esque side gig for him; it’s a passion based in science.
“I’m not the kind of guy that’s like, ‘You know what, all you gotta do is have a positive attitude.’ I don’t do that. A positive attitude is great! But it goes deeper than that.”
During his talk, Spencer didn’t just explain the service — he gave fans a taste. He advised attendees to rethink their social media feeds, to use the ‘Block’ button on anyone who they don’t like to see there.
“Remember, that’s your site,” he said. “That’s your internet real estate… if somebody comes in and starts posting on your feed, you’re like, ‘Hold on a second. This is my house…. get out.’
“Feeling that way — that this is your house, this is your domain — gives you strength.”
He encouraged fans to talk to themselves like they’d talk to a friend, practice mindfulness, and, in times of struggle, remind themselves about what they’re grateful for.
“There are so many things going on, on our planet right now, and you get to witness it,” he told. “How you witness it is very important — how you come to your day is very, very important.
“What you say matters. When you say it, it goes directly into your subconscious… if you tell yourself ‘I feel great’, you’re going to feel better… You can shift the way you feel.”
“What you’re putting in your brain – it’s called ‘brain feed’. If you’re putting in negative, negative, negative, what do you think you’re gonna get out?
“If you’re in fear, what are you going to see more of?”
Some of Spencer’s more direct advice includes turning off network television, keeping good posture, and reading books on how others faced similar problems to those you’re facing in your life.
When a few audience members grow tired of Spencer not talking about anime and games, or start to nod off to the sound of Spike shouting “It’s science!” after a statistic or anecdote, something amazing happens. He starts talking about power.
Heads start to go up. The Supa-Fans are an extremely inclusive community, with LGBTIQA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities finding a home in cosplay and fandom. Many Supa-Fans are from backgrounds where we’ve been taught to accept our own powerlessness. For someone you admire to affirm your power at the convention you found a home in… means a lot.
Spencer continues: “We’re being taught that we’re victims, we’re not being taught that we’re powerful.
“You are either in power or you’re a victim. Most people: over here in victim world. You wanna be here: Power. ‘Cause you’re in charge.
“‘If it were 100% up to me, then I have the power to fix it, don’t I?’ Yes, you do. That’s empowering; that’s power; that’s when you say I am in charge of my life.”
“The power that you have is amazing.”
Lead Image: Spike Spencer on stage at Supanova 2021 – Gold Coast. Photo by Ewan Ly