Brandon Kyle Goodman
Brandon Kyle Goodman is a voice actor whose voice you may recognize from the infamous series BIG MOUTH and now heard on its spinoff, HUMAN RESSOURCES. It’s safe to say that when you no longer have to worry about how you look on camera, the process takes a lot less time which also relieves a lot of pressure. Raised in an environment where performing and writing were very present, there was no doubt that Brandon would follow in the footsteps of his loved ones. Being “black, gay, and non-binary,” adversity is something that is “baked into his day-to-day life,” but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams. Also a writer, Brandon Kyle Goodman is truly a beautiful soul in this world who inspires change and reminds us to be true to ourselves and never give up!
As a voice actor, what do you believe are the benefits you get compared to normal acting?
I think the biggest benefit is that it doesn’t take as much time and you don’t have to worry about how you look. So much of acting, whether it’s on stage or screen, is about your costumes, make-up, lighting, being seen, and what you look like. All of that pressure is off when you’re doing animation. You can purely focus on the performance, and you get to use your voice in some exciting and fantastical ways that you don’t always get the opportunity for.
Share with us why you chose this career path.
I grew up with a minister grandmother and actress mother, so performance and writing have always been part of my existence. When I turned 14, I officially decided I wanted to pursue acting after playing Romeo in our 8th grade classes’ spoof of Romeo and Juliet. Since it was a comedic take on the tragedy I got to experience the high of making people laugh. As someone who has often felt othered and always searching for belonging, making people laugh was my superpower. A way to protect myself in many cases. Also, laughter was my way of escaping from the hard things. The chance to do what I love and am good at as a living was far too appealing to pass up.
What do you hope to accomplish as a voice actor?
I hope to be part of a collective of performers who are expanding the characters and voices that get to be in animation. It’s a cisgender heterosexual white male dominated space and has been for a very long time. I hope that alongside my colleagues and mentors I’ll be able to be part of expanding the representation in the field.
Tell us more about your time on “Big Mouth” and now its spinoff “Human Resources.” What drew you to these storylines?
I count myself as so lucky to be part of the Big Mouth universe as a writer first, and now a cast member. What drew me to Big Mouth before the opportunity to join the writers’ room was the raw honesty underneath the comedy. As hard as I was laughing, I was also moved. The show put to words these incredibly traumatic moments of puberty, which inadvertently gave me language and space to begin healing those wounds. That’s the beauty of incredible art—it reflects back our human experiences in a way that allows us to move forward and allows us to be better. Perhaps even inspires us to be kinder to ourselves and those around us.
Representing a queer character, in what ways do you believe this character helps make progress and change in the world of gender identity?
I think hearing Walter speak, you can’t deny his queerness, and even though he’s a Lovebug, you can hear my very Black cadence as well. Subconsciously, some Black kid, or queer kid or grown adult is going to connect to that– is going to gravitate to that and feel seen and valued. Walter gets to have a three dimensional existence on our shows and that’s also part of progress and change. The fact that he’s voiced by a Black person who is openly gay and identifies as non-binary is also a brick on that path to progress. Sometimes progress comes from being, sometimes it comes from doing. I think in the case of Walter, both are at play.
You are also a writer! Tell us more about what it takes to be a writer compared to being a voice actor.
Voice acting is the super fun part because your lines are already written, and you get to play in the booth for a little bit, say your lines a couple different ways, and then go about your day. Writing is far more intensive. There’s a lot of talking, a lot of unpacking personal experiences, a lot of debating characters, episodes, and the season as a whole, and tons and tons and tons of rewriting. As a voice actor you get to be a co-pilot on a plane. As a writer, you’re part of building the plane. There ain’t nothing for the actor to fly without the writers, animators, and production team.
What do you love about writing? Can you tell us more about the book you are writing?
I love telling stories. I’ve loved storytelling since I can remember so writing gives me this chance to take what’s in my head and share it in way that others can receive and hopefully be impacted by it. It’s also always been my way of reckoning and making sense of the world and my place in it. My book is called You Gotta Be You, and it’s part memoir, part guidebook exploring the ways in which I’m trying to get back to my most authentic self. The self I was before society and family told me who I should be. Through the chapters I reexamine defining moments in my life as it relates to race, gender, sexuality and their intersections, and share what I’ve learned or what I’m trying to learn. It’s been a labor of love to write, and I hope readers will feel my heart connecting to theirs as they read.
Growing up, did you ever imagine you would end up where you are today? Explain.
I had big dreams always, but I didn’t know how they would come to fruition and I certainly didn’t think it would end up like this. It’s beyond what I could have imagined. The version in my head would have probably required me to shrink myself and be closeted about my sexuality, gender, and other facets of my identity. In the version that I’m living out, I get to be myself. I get to be someone who can talk about mental health and anti-racism, alongside how to anal douche and give a better blow job. I get to be a full person and that’s the most important thing to me. It’s what I want for everyone and especially the Black, POC, and queer folx and the characters in media. We are more than our trauma. We deserve the space to exist in the fullness of our humanity.
Describe to us a time you were faced with adversity and how you overcame it. In what ways do you integrate social advocacy into your line of work? Everyday life?
I’m Black, gay, and non-binary, so there’s no singular moment of adversity. Adversity is baked into the day-to-day of my life. I think the key has been to not let that stop me from pursuing my dreams and achieving my goals. I do that by staying connected to my chosen family—the folx who champion me, love me, believe in me, and inspire me. For me, my advocacy happens all the time, and in many ways the most important work is when no one is looking. There’s, of course, value to public advocacy. We are stronger in numbers, and we can inspire, educate, and inform each other when we share our work. But as people, I think we should always be asking what are we doing to support and advocate for others especially when there’s no credit to be gained? How are we showing up or not showing up in those quiet moments, because I’d argue it’s those quiet, sometimes silent moments that we’re often needed the most. So yes, there are things I do very loudly—be it expressing opinions, amplifying organizations, raising money, etc. And then there are the things that happen in private—the ways in which I can lift others up because I understand one person winning is not a win. Winning happens when we all have a seat at the table. Winning looks like equity. I am where I am because there were people who believed in me, poured into me, gave to me, looked out for me with no expectation of anything in return. That’s how I choose to live as well.
Photography Drew Blackwell @drewblackwellphoto