On Friday, December 30, 2016, I attended Marvelous Nerd Year’s Eve in Dallas, TX, the newest convention experience from Geek Expos. The atmosphere that day was decidedly calm compared to most Cons I’ve been to, which allowed me the opportunity to interview a couple of celebrities at the event for Geeks Under Grace. One of those interviews was with Kevin Sorbo (interview found here), and the other was with breakout YouTube star, Brian Hull. His breakout video “Disney and Pixar Sing Let It Go” video on YouTube has over 26.6 million views, as of this writing, and it’s available to watch at the top of this page.
Before that video, Brian was a student from Mansfield, Texas, and he was enrolled at Dallas Baptist University; his channel was primarily a way for him to make his impressions readily available to his friends who requested them often. After hearing of a contest to win a $100 Disney Store gift card, Brian videoed himself singing the hit song from Frozen using 21 different character voices from various Disney & Pixar films. After that, everything changed, and the world began watching.
Since his big hit, Brian does weekly YouTube videos, and has moved to Los Angeles, California, in pursuit of voice-acting roles in film, television, and video games. Thus far, he has landed work in Pup Star, Rescue Dogs, and World War Toons. He also now regularly attends pop culture conventions across the country, and, from someone who has attended several, I can say that he is one of the kindest guests I’ve met. I noticed while visiting with him that he wore the same necklace that appeared in his breakout video: a “shield of faith,” emblazoned with a cross. In a field where many are ashamed to represent anything, Brian represents his faith to all he meets. While still early in his career, Brian has the drive and God-given talent necessary to see his dreams come true.
Q. Would you attribute your faith in any way to your success thus far?
Brian Hull: One-hundred percent, because I wasn’t even trying to be a voice actor. I was not even trying to be a YouTuber. I made a video just to maybe win a gift-card, and then God gave me a career. He gave me an entire business through YouTube that I was not expecting. He did everything, and I’m just kind of along for the ride.
Q. How has your success and faith impacted your journey thus far?
Brian: It’s really been great to help monitor it. Making sure that I’m accepting the right roles and going out for the right auditions. Making sure I’m putting up the right stuff on my channel, and at all times. Since I’m new to this and kind of just fell into it, I have to lean on Him to make sure that I’m doing it the right way, because I sometimes feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.
Q. Is there anything that Hollywood, in your opinion, could do to appeal to more of a Christian market?
Brian: Sometimes, I feel like Hollywood goes out of their way to get the quote-unquote “shock value,” so much so that it’s just like the heart of story doesn’t matter; the moral of the story doesn’t matter. As long as you can “shock’ people” that’s all it takes, and I’m, like, “No. The best stuff is the one that has the best heart and people relate to the most, not necessarily the biggest ‘shock’.”
Q. I noticed on IMDb that your work, thus far, is really centered around animation and children. Does work with kids’ properties appear to be something that you wish to focus on from now on, or is it just at this point you’re at?
Brian: Animation is definitely the one place I want to stay. That is the number one place I’m trying to get into, so the more I do with animation, the better. My favorite stuff just is family films; I adore them so much, but if somebody came up and had a more adult role to do, I wouldn’t necessarily be against it.
Q. You’d consider it?
Brian: I’ll definitely consider something more adult, but that’s where my heart is is family films.
Q. Any advice to readers or fans that will be reading this or that watch you on YouTube? Any advice for their own careers? Like you said, it seems almost like God just gave you this opportunity. Is there any advice you would have for them, as far as hard work, determination, anything like that?
Brian: Yeah, there’s a phrase that I came up with in high school just to get me going, and it has been my mantra for my entire life. It is: Be better than you were yesterday. You don’t have to be perfect right now; in fact, if you are perfect right now, that’s a miracle. So, just work very hard, and if you are–if you can say you are even slightly better than you were yesterday, no matter how miniscule–pat yourself on the back. You’ve had a good day.
Q. Do you have a favorite Bible passage/Scripture, favorite book?
Brian: Definitely one of my favorite books is Lamentations, which, for a lot of people, is weird. They’re just like, “Why? It focuses so much on death.” It’s like that at the beginning, but when you get to chapter 3, and it’s just saying through all of this madness and through all of this crud: I’m still gonna worship God. And it’s just saying, like, no matter what we go through, no matter what we face, God is always gonna be there, and that is the most comforting thing that I can possibly think of.
Q. Our website is for and centered around geek culture, but to appeal to a Christian audience. What is the balance that you think someone could be a “Christian geek”? Is there certain things they should or shouldn’t engage in, certain fandoms–is there a balance?
Brian: I definitely think that there is a balance, just because, as a “Christian geek” (laughs), there’s definitely some stuff out there that I need to stay away from, but at the same time, I have other brothers and sisters in Christ who can watch that same thing, and it does not affect them in the way it does me. I say you need to know yourself; know where your struggles are and make sure you stay away from that content that can trigger it. You know, don’t cause yourself to stumble. If there is content in a thing that is really bugging you, even if you really like the show, stay away from it. Find something else; I promise you there is something great out there for every nerd.
Q. Is there anything you “geek out” about, like, in particular?
Brian: Disney is the number-one thing I “geek out” about. I adore it more than any other source of entertainment. I love it!
Q. Thank you for your time.
Brian: No problem.
After the interview, Brian and I saw each other in the lobby of the adjoining hotel, and we struck up further conversation. In many cases, people are just faces in the crowd, but he remembered me and we were able to talk even more. I commented to him that it is encouraging to know that an unashamed believer is making his way in Hollywood, and I stand by that statement. I wish him the very best in his endeavors, and who knows? Maybe there could possibly be some collaboration with Geeks Under Grace down the road? I know I would love it.
To keep up-to-date on all that Brian has in production, be sure to look him up on IMDb, or visit his YouTube channel by clicking here. Like us, Brian also has a Patreon page if you would like to be a monthly supporter of him on his journey, which goes towards offsetting travel costs to Cons and events, making it possible to hire others for musical accompaniment tracks for song videos, and allowing him better equipment to make even better content. If you would like to follow Brian Hull online, he is on all major social media outlets:
Featured image credit to montagensgabrielcx.