If you’ve ever watched a cartoon or played a video game, you’ve probably noticed that the characters speak. Aside from this painfully obvious observation, you might not have known that people make careers out of grunting into a microphone – and Griffin Puatu is one of those lucky few.
Puatu began developing skills for his career before he even realized it. From a young age, Puatu would recite lines from his favorite movies and television shows, perfecting them in front of his family.
“I grew up in a family of five kids, and we watched a lot of movies. To make them laugh, I would quote the lines (exactly) as the character, or it wouldn’t sound right … My parents laughed, and that’s all the encouragement I needed.”
Growing up in Santa Clarita, Puatu and his family moved to Idaho at the beginning of Junior High. Throughout his teenage years, he got involved with musical theater and fell in love with acting.
While in college, Puatu created a makeshift sound studio in his dorm closet. At the end of his freshman year studying computer science in Nebraska, Puatu’s life changed directions. While waiting to hear about the status of his college scholarship, it clicked.
“I had all of this free time,” Puatu said. So, (I thought), ‘Why not give this voice acting thing a try?’”
Eventually, Puatu landed an internship at Bang Zoom Entertainment, a recording studio based in Burbank, and the rest was history.
So far, Puatu has worked for notable shows like “One Punch Man” and “Hunter x Hunter.” He even lent his voice for several video games, the most recent being Just Cause 4, a popular video game recently featured at the E3 video game conference.
However, working as a voice actor can be unpredictable, according to Puatu.
“There are never any guarantees in this business as an entertainer. Normally, I get up, check my email, and see if I have any auditions or bookings, or, I’ll go to a recording studio and record,” Puatu said. “Each day is its own challenge … Nothing is ever concrete or the same every day. You try and keep a routine to keep your sanity.”
Not only does his work schedule tend to be unconventional, but so are his work days. Video game projects often involve spouting bodily noises and various sounds.
“It’s not linear. Depending on what they do, you have to do a bunch of ‘efforts,’ like fight exertions,” said Puatu. “For this game, there’s a fair amount of ‘GRENADE!’ and ‘GET DOWN!’. You do about a hundred lines per hour. When you’re in there for four hours, you don’t have time to think about it.”
After just three years of working in the business, Puatu quickly learned that voice acting requires a certain disposition.
“Be friendly, and be easy to work with,” Puatu said. “You are just a voice, so they can replace you. If you are difficult and not easy to work with, they will find someone who is.”
In the future, Puatu hopes to finish his schooling at College of the Canyons, eventually earning a teaching credential.
“Teaching is something besides acting that I find challenging,” Puatu said. “I enjoy working with kids, while communicating an idea with someone and seeing growth.”
To follow Puatu’s voice acting endeavors, go to linktr.ee/griffvoices.