Who is Barbara Dunkelman?
Barbara Dunkelman, popularly known by the nickname BlawnDee, is a Canadian voice actress, and internet personality who gained fame for her work as part of the Austin based American production company Rooster Teeth. She is currently the Director of Social and Community Marketing at the company. She also serves as the Program Director of the Rooster Teeth Expo or RTX. She is the executive producer as well as primary host of the "Always Open" podcast, in which her friends and colleagues often feature as special guests. Since 2013, she has been a main voice actor on the 3D web series RWBY, and also performed as a motion capture actor. In 2014, she started voice acting for the comic sci-fi web series Red vs. Blue in its 12th season, and then wrote the episode "Head Cannon" in the 14th season of the series. She has been a part of live-action projects, such as Rooster Teeth Shorts, Immersion, Day 5, Ten Little Roosters, and The Eleven Little Roosters. The podcast Internet Box, which she co-founded, won three Podcast Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2015. In May 2013, she and her colleague Jack Pattillo were featured on Microsoft's "Xbox Live Stories".
Barbara Dunkelman first learned about the comic sci-fi web series, ‘Red vs. Blue’, during her teenage years, after she saw her older brother and his friends watch the series on the computer in their basement. A fan of Mario and Zelda, she was immediately hooked to the web series and signed up as a community member at the Rooster Teeth website in 2004. The website, known for its robust online community, became a safe space for the teenage girl, who wanted to be involved in everything related to the web series. The next year, she attended the Toronto Red vs. Blue (RvBTO) fan event. She continued to attend the event in the following years, and met and became friends with a number of people from the community. In 2008, she started to serve as a co-host and coordinator at such fan events. She has also served as a hostess for Canada based video content producer WatchMojo.com for a few months during 2010. In 2011, during the first Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX), she attended the event as the head of volunteers.
In September 2011, she co-founded the podcast show, ‘Internet Box’, along with Rooster Teeth employees Michael Jones, Ray Narvaez, Jr., Lindsay Jones, and Kerry Shawcross, and community members Andrew Blanchard, Mike Kroon, and Dylon Saramago. Soon, she became the most-followed member on the Rooster Teeth community site. In December that year, she was eventually hired by the company as their community manager, tasked with organizing RTX with Gustavo Sorola, one of the founding members of the company. She was also responsible for developing community features and managing the social media sites of the company.
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Starting as a fan, Barbara Dunkelman not only became a hired staff of the company, but also proved a valuable asset, doing voice acting, motion capture, and even script writing. In fact, she has been so popular that she has reached the status of a celebrity. A huge number of fans invest their time and energy to draw fan art and write fan fiction based on her. She is, however, best known for her bad puns, which even earned her the nickname "Barbara Pun-kelman".
Interested in both video games and comedy since her teenage years, she often expresses how proud she is to be a woman in the gaming and entertainment industry. At times, she has been called a "booth babe", implying that she was hired for her looks. Identifying herself as a feminist, she often speaks against such negative treatment that women receive on the internet and in the gaming industry. She also doesn't shy away from expressing her political views on the internet. She follows Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on Twitter. She has been vocal about her support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States election. In turn, she often criticized Republican nominee Donald Trump for his extreme views.
Barbara Julie Dunkelman was born on July 2, 1989, in Montreal, the largest city in Canada's Québec province. She comes from a Jewish family and has an older brother and a younger brother. She attended John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing in June 2011. After she secured a job at Rooster Teeth, they sponsored her H-1B visa, following which she moved to Texas. She is now a permanent resident of the United States. She is currently in a relationship with Aaron Marquis, who is also a voice actor and writer at Rooster Teeth.