Sean-Ryan Petersen: Presenting a voice like no other
It takes a special kind of talent to bring animated characters to life. Luckily, Sean-Ryan Petersen has talent in spades. The Latin American actor has lent his vocal skills to numerous television shows and major video games like Fallout 76 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake. He is at the very beginning of a burgeoning successful career as a voice actor.
Soon Petersen’s voice will appear in the third season of Cartoon Network’s Victor & Valentino. Petersen has been voicing Valentino in the series since it began. Season 3 will see him act alongside guests like George Lopez and Felipe Esperaza.
We had the chance to talk with Sean-Ryan Petersen about his career, his love of animation and video games, and what he plans to do for the future. This is a voice you’ll soon be learning to recognize.
Tell us about your journey in acting. How did you get your start?
I grew up watching mostly animated cartoons as a kid. Shows like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and Digimon were what I watched the most, although my love for animated content has only increased as I got older. I got into the industry through meeting a lot of agents around my area and showing off whatever acting skills I had gleaned from playing pretend with my brother and watching a lot of cartoons. After a ton of classes and auditions I got into the full swing of being an actor relatively young.
What was it that first made you want to go into acting?
I wanted more than anything to be a voice on TV. At least at the outset that is what 8 year old Sean-Ryan wanted. As I truly began experiencing what it meant to be a voice actor and also familiarized myself with the people behind my favorite characters, my reasons started to evolve. I wanted to bring kids the same joy that famous actors like Tom Kenney and Dee Bradley Baker did for me. If it also inspired even just one kid to pursue their own career in voice acting, then I would feel elated as if I completed my own dreams.
You’ve got some extensive voice acting experience. What do you love most about voice acting?
The versatility of it all. Voice acting truly is the one medium where you can play anything that the imagination can put forth into drawing. From dragons to worms to door knobs, as long as you have trained and thoroughly filled your vocal toolbox then you can be anything.
In addition to working in shows and movies, you’ve also done some voice acting in video games. Are you a big gamer?
Absolutely, video games are my other major passtime, besides all of the animated content I watch. My family introduced me to video games and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that being a gamer runs in my veins. There isn’t a genre in existence that I haven’t played at least one game from, although I do have preference for Open world Role-playing Games(RPG) as well as Japanese RPG or JRPG. No bias of course but I love Final Fantasy 7 Remake as well as Persona 5.
What would be your dream gaming franchise to be involved in?
If I could be in the next Persona or Shin Megami Tensei game that would be stellar. Besides that, just more RPG games in general would be cool to be a part of as those are the kinds of games I play the most so I would be able to see the fruits of my labor, while literally playing.
If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be? That is an extraordinarily difficult question to answer and after thorough consideration I would probably play Fallout New Vegas as my one time game. There is an extensive modding community for that game that has been honing their skills for years on creating massive expansions and custom content for the game. I feel like even with the base game there is already so much to do that I haven’t discovered, so combining the original content with the mods, I would be entertained for years to come.
Your show Victor & Valentino is coming back for a third season. Can you tell us about how you got involved in that project?
Well I had initially auditioned for Victor when I first came to know the project. I received a callback and went into Cartoon Network studios in Burbank, but after the session received another callback for Valentino. Not even a day later during a family dinner I had received the surreal news that I had booked the role of Valentino. This was all over the course of two weeks. I was simply blown away as Cartoon Network is a studio I had wanted to work for since I started my voice over career. To be a major part of a project that offered authentic representation and exploration of the myths and folklore of Hispanic people is a special experience I will never forget.
What’s been your biggest challenge while working on the show?
I wouldn’t say that there are too many as Valentino and I are very similar. His voice is actually just my voice pitched up with a sprinkle of sarcastic intelligence. If I had to narrow down on the one slightly difficult aspect would be getting the Nahuatl pronunciation for certain words correctly.
Can you tell us what you’re most excited about in the upcoming season? There is very little I can say about what is coming up although I will say that the exploration of the deeper lore of Monte Macabre is not something anyone should miss. Tune in Saturdays at 10 am to catch band new episodes.
What do you hope viewers get out of Victor & Valentino?
I hope that people are entertained and educated while watching Victor and Valentino. In episodes like Los Cadejos we show a traditional folktale as well as a glimpse of a sibling relationship that I related to deeply. I want people to see the storytelling potential of my culture so that more people feel inspired to tell their own stories and have studios greenlight shows that tell an authentic latin story.
Do you see yourself continuing to work on the show for years to come?
I do as I know in my heart of hearts that Victor and Valentino has many stories still to tell and more of our culture to share.
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects?
Recently I was in a dubbing project for a show called Paraíso where I played the movie quoting wise-cracker Quino. Other than that the new superhero podcast I am a part of called The
Beautiful Liar released on Amazon Music and releases on all other platforms on 11/17/21. Beyond that I have to wait till I am able to share more.
What’s your five year plan?
Continue working at my craft by improving on my capabilities and tools, including expanding my vocal range. Hopefully this leads to work on new projects and the chance to meet even more of the people in the industry that I look up to.
What’s your mission as an actor? What do you want audiences to take away from the projects you’re involved in?
I want to entertain people by putting my all into my performances. To elicit a strong emotional response is something I hope to achieve in the work that I do. If the people who view my work take away simply some joy or improvement to their day then I am happy. If I inspire them to continue pursuing their own craft or even going into the voiceover industry then that is even better.
What are your favorite shows on TV right now?
I watch a lot of anime these days. Specifically I am hooked on the show Demon Slayer of which I have cosplayed the main protagonist Kamado Tanjirou. I have also recently started watching the show Jujutsu Kaisen which has wonderful animation and an opening by one of my favorite artists Eve.
Who are some of your current acting influences?
The versatility and insane range of Dee Bradley Baker is a constant influence and something that I strive for and hopefully one day achieve.
What music inspires you to get creative?
I enjoy video game soundtracks whether it is to get into a specific mood or simply to offer some pleasant background noise while I go about my daily tasks, there always exists a soundtrack that can offer such feelings. I like the smooth vibes of the Persona 5 soundtrack, or for a more upbeat mood than the Person 4 soundtrack is always nice, the Elder Scrolls Skyrim soundtrack is perfect for adventuring or inspiring me.
Do you think you’ll ever write a show of your own?
I hope one day to in fact write and pitch my own show. I’ve many ideas although I won’t share them here, but it is 110% something I want to do.
Do you have any advice for aspiring voice actors?
Voiceover is not an easy thing to do. There will be more projects you go out for then there will be ones you get the job for and that is simply the nature of the industry. That should not discourage you, if anything it should inspire you to give each and every role your everything so you know that you left it on the table and if it was truly meant to be, then the job is yours.
Thank you for chatting it up with me.