"This past weekend, my wife and I were at breakfast, and the couple next to us was arguing," says Bro, 35, who grew up in
Bro (yup, that's his real name) operates thebroshow.com, where his irreverent shorts -- including the miniseries "Stuper Powers" and "The Crazy Misadventures of Christ" -- can be viewed. He has been drawing since he was a kid, but animation didn't gain a toehold until he began studying at
"I discovered I didn't enjoy doing computer animation, but the 'bug' of animation and of making people laugh always stuck with me," Bro says. He has developed a distinctive style of hand-drawn animation that, when effects are added later, resembles a cross between hand-drawn and computer animation.
A big fan of TV's "Bob's Burgers," Bro finds himself attracted to television more than feature films because TV is a better fit for the kinds of stories he likes to tell -- some of which are drawn from everyday life and some of which feature his own celebrity impersonations.
By day the manager of a design team that creates apps, Bro says his dream would be to get a gig creating animation for, say, Comedy Central or the Cartoon Network. In the meantime, he's more interested in getting all his ideas on film than in making them pay.
"My real goal is just to have more people watching and enjoying my shorts, and if I can figure out a way to monetize it with T-shirts or memorabilia, great," says Bro, whose partner on "The Bro Show" is his wife, Jessica. She is his biggest supporter, says the animator, and he owes her big-time.
Q. What would you do if you had a million dollars?
A. I'd take my wife on a big vacation because she is awesome. I'd definitely quit my day job. I would keep working on animation, for sure. I'm not making any money on that, anyway, so the million wouldn't change that. I'd get a nicer computer and hire some people to help me. And I'd buy a Playstation 4.
Q. What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
A. In 2012, I won the best animated short prize at the
Q. What's the best thing about your work as an animator?
A. Finishing a short. When you finish and it is as close to what you envisioned in your head when you first had a glimmer of an idea in your brain, that is the most satisfying feeling. It's almost like a high.
Q. What's going through your head as you begin a short?
A. It's hard to decide which idea to do. You know if you're devoting a lot of hours in the next month or two to this one project, you want it to be something you'll enjoy. Coming to that decision is challenging, but it's also like a torture that is enjoyable because it's all part of the process.
Q. Who would play you in a movie?
Q. What's your favorite place to be?
A. In my studio, or at the end of the dock at my family's cabin (in
Q. What was your first job?
A. Pizza delivery boy. I've also been a lifeguard. I taught at a weightlifting camp. I was a busboy, a waiter, a cook. Out of college, my first job was operating graphics on a live news broadcast.
Q. When did you know you wanted to do this?
A. Fairly early. I was always drawing and writing when I was a little kid, not knowing that I wanted to combine those skills in one art form. When I realized I wanted to do animation was when I got sick of just drawing one still frame of a story at school. I always wanted to complete the story, and animation allows you to do that.
Q. Who do you admire most?
A. It sounds like a cliche but my parents. They always created a situation, growing up, that allowed me to pursue creative outlets and be a silly kid. They've always been supportive in everything I've wanted to do in my life.
Q. Do you have a motto?
A. It's the
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