Check out our interview with Dynamic Voice Actor & Queen of Anime Arryn Zech who is best known for her work on the insanely popular series ‘RWBY” has been taking Hollywood by storm with her diverse voice work as she prepares for season nine of her series being released in 2023. Also known for her work on various other series including “Girls Frontline,” “The Detective is Already Dead,” as well as video games including SMITE and PALADINS, we would love to arrange an interview with you and Arryn to discuss her current anime series, her other current projects, including music, as well as her career overall.
Debuting in 2012 and still running stronger than ever with a large worldwide fanbase, “RWBY” follows four teenage girls form Team RWBY and train to fight crime and monsters known as the Grimm, while the world of Remnant remains on the brink of an all-out war. The story takes place in the world of Remnant, which is filled with supernatural forces and shadowy creatures known as the Grimm. Arryn’s character ‘Blake Belladonna’ is one of the main protagonists of RWBY. She is a Huntress, having been trained at the now-defunct Beacon Academy. Her weapon of choice is a Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe named Gambol Shroud.
Follow Arryn @ArrynZech
Hi Arryn, please tell us a little about you?
I never know how to answer such big questions. I guess I’m a bit of a dork, who loves my dogs and the squirrels that come by my balcony in the mornings. I love gardening, playing videogames, and watching The Office on repeat. I try my best to be a mental health advocate and use what little platform I have to amplify things that are important to me, like Civil and Animal Rights.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, caring, and imaginative.
How did you get started with acting?
I started acting at a tiny theatre in New Braunfels in a production of A Bugs Life. I was a fly and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of my life. I continued working in local theater and I attended the North East School of Arts in San Antonio for Musical Theater in high school. I was always the kid creating weird voices and characters, and I picked up accents really well, so it really only made sense that voice acting sort of fell into my lap in college. I auditioned for the show RWBY and my life just kind of took off from there.
How has this changed your life?
In immeasurable ways. I really don’t know what I would be doing with myself if I wasn’t an actress. I considered going to law school to be a civil rights lawyer, which is a part of why I am so vocal about things like Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, and LQBTQ+ issues, but I am forever grateful to be where I am today.
How do you prepare for a voiceover project?
It depends on the project really. I’ve been doing RWBY for so long, it’s like putting on your favorite pair of slippers. Vocal warmups are really important for a healthy voice. And doing the “homework” for each project is always going to help you feel more confident. I do something that might be weird, I like being barefoot in the booth with low light. It just makes me feel more comfortable and free to be as physically expressive as I want or need to be to get the scene just right.
Tell us about the experience on working on the insanely popular series ‘RWBY?”
It’s been an absolute whirl wind. We’ve been working on the show since late 2012, with a premier in 2013. I feel so lucky to get to work with people I love, like Kerry Shawcross and Eddy Rivas, two directors on the show. Every recording session I have, I end up laughing so much. The show’s also taken me across the globe, getting to meet fans from France to New Zealand. I really love getting to talk to people and hear what the show means to them or how it’s helped them in a darker time. I feel really proud to be working on RWBY.
How different is to work on a movie, series, anime or a video game? And if you have a different preparation for each.
Video games have always been the more strenuous projects to work on. In SMITE, there was *a lot* of line repetition with slight variations. And in games like BlazBlue, you’re yelling lines as though you’ve been electrocuted, or fell thousands of feet, just a practice of using a skill you’d really never need outside of voice acting. Movies are actually shorter, usually one or two sessions for 4 hours each, whereas animes and series’ can be seven or eight 2-hour sessions. But, I mean, every project is different, that’s the fun of it. It never gets boring.
What other projects you have been part of?
I also play my favorite doctor, Doctor Emily Grey, in Red Vs. Blue, the world’s longest running web series. And, if you didn’t blink, you’d have seen me briefly in Lethal Weapon, the TV series. My career really took off after that. lol
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I love them all really. It’s fun, in voice over, when I get to use a fun voice or accent. I’ve also really loved being in really intense and dark projects, because it’s so different to who I am and my life. It can be really cathartic to get to have all these big emotions. But honestly, I’d love to be in a period piece of some kind. I’m a sucker for Pride and Prejudice.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
It brings me joy. There’s a magic to being on set or being in the booth, making something with a group of passionate people. Telling stories in the hopes that people will feel something from your performance.
What’s your advice for the newer voiceover actors?
Practice and have fun.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
Sometimes being an actor opens you up to harsh criticism, so confidence in yourself and who you are will make those moments easier to work through. The hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in this industry so far hasn’t been the work, it’s been to not care what people think. People will always have an opinion, and as long as you’re proud of your work, proud of yourself, proud of what you do, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
How would your best friend describe you?
Let me ask her…“A cat who sometimes is on the hunt for love and adventure but sometimes gets stuck up a tree. But also would be ok lounging by the window all day at peace.”
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
“Just Another Friday Night Watching The Office”
What’s next for Arryn Zech in 2023?
Well, RWBY Volume 9 premieres February 18th, which I’m VERY excited about. I’ve also started writing my first EP, which has been so incredibly fun. I sort of lost my voice there for a few years, so it’s been really energizing to find it again. There’s no set release date as of right now, and I’m so nervous about putting out something so vulnerable after the last few years, but I’m excited about it.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I properly love spinach. I can eat a can of spinach like Popeye. But proper meal? Tomato, spinach, and goat cheese egg white frittata. Drool.
And your favorite cheat food?
After battling for years with an eating disorder, a battle that still lingers, I can’t let myself think of any food as cheat food. I don’t think anyone should. Let yourself enjoy food. You’re only here in this life once. Eat the pizza, eat the carrot cake, eat the whipped cream out of the can.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I know I should probably say someone like Einstein or Teddy Roosevelt, but I’d love to meet Marie Antoinette. I bet she has some insane stories…
Best advice ever given?
Don’t let the actions of others destroy your inner peace.
Do you support any charity?
I do, a few actually. The bigger ones include the ACLU, Trevor Project, ASPCA, and AAPI. But I’ve also done fund raisers where we’ve raised money for National Eating Disorder Association, Everytown, Black Girls Code, No Kid Hungry, Futures Without Violence, Covenant House, Alzheimer’s Association, and more.
What do you think of social media, and where can we follow you?
I left Twitter, which has been a game changer for my mental health. I am on Instagram though at @ArrynZech.
Book: Too many good ones honestly. I just suggest reading in general.
Quote: Something dumb like “that’s what she said” or “wow” in the voice of Owen Wilson
Movie: Moulin Rouge
Tv Series: The Office
Favorite Food: Carbs
Travel Destination: France
Photo Credit: CKM Photography