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We are a glorious team of alchemists, wizards, magicians, wizardess, heroes, and sheroes! The miraculous voiceover and the storyteller! We are Soldiers of ‘the word’ who battle daily to ignite a dying light! We have slowly, over time, fallen prey to the lethargy of spirit that has invaded the planet. You are all astounding vehicles that lie dormant. The key is in the ignition; however, we remain neutral and do not travel/journey anywhere. Our world has changed in the last 45 years, and I have had the joyful opportunity to voice act in that time. Storytelling has changed along with it the industry!

Gone are the days of sitting around fires, singing, dancing, and sharing fable. This is because the ever-present digital screen has become our obsession! Communication is the human connection; we are disconnected from the very thing that enlivens and inspires us. I hope to re-awaken response-driven dialogue with discovery and opinion. Here we can enter our studio and deliver the script in whatever genre is required with the purpose of reconnecting and uplifting humanity. We, the voiceover artist, and the storytellers, must transcend the mundane reality and passionately arouse our peers, who wait to hear the voice of the heroes and sheroes!

The Magic of Storytelling

We must dispense with institutionalized training because it pulls us away from our uniqueness and demands us to try and be like that which is current or has succeeded before us. Each voice is wondrously unique and authentic. It does not require alteration, only liberation from the fear of correctness. We are here to share and activate responses to listen and respond with generosity and familiarity. We must remember to play and celebrate each mighty moment with immense joy. Storytelling in all genres is magical and alchemical have the power to heal us all.

The Voiceover Audience

Your audience is the key ingredient! The voiceover and the storyteller forget 98% of the time the audience is there. The audience is waiting to be inspired and to chat with you. Remember your audience, see them, feel them, know them, and love them. Create the scene and become intimate with the audience in whatever emotional capacity you see fit. Authenticity is key; replication or regurgitation of an overworked audition will bury you. This is because you have made it about you and not your audience! Remember, we are asking you to authenticate your most celebratory self. When you come to the microphone, remove all resistance, and celebrate every moment in response-driven, joyful dialogue with your audience! When you remember your audience and celebrate all you are gloriously offering, you will Inspire and win the job every time!

Voiceover Artists Must Play

Characters are infinitely available to every voiceover and storyteller. It is what we allow, not what we think. When children play, do they think about how to do the characters they are playing? No, they do not! They are spontaneous and liberated from the left side of the brain and do not think about how to ‘do it right’ (which is impossible because there is no right when using the left side of your brain)! Play, allow, ignite, excite, evolve, change, and let go of institutionalized training! Breathe in and out very quickly and deeply, then laugh until tear stream down your face, snort, guffaw, chortle, then shout woo who! aspirate in, oink, belch, choke, honk, bark, bellow, scream, and sing. infinite choices of expression as you celebrate in performance!

Remind yourself how you felt when you had the best moments in your life; maybe you won an award, reached the top of a mountain, were given a new car, got a huge cheque, had a baby, or finished a marathon. Remind yourself of exactly how it felt and recreate those feelings in you; get giddy, overjoyed, ecstatic, liberated, dancing, be assertive and alive, be free and successful. Recreate that sense of pride and reclaim the abandoned joy! You oversee how you feel, so why not choose this feeling all the time? We are ridiculously silly and delightful when we are happy with ourselves but worry when trying to create for an audition! Remove that resistance and play. As Nike said, ”Just do It” you know you want to, and the alternative is to think-bah-humbug like Scrooge. Release your child-like, responsibility-free magician and just play!

Celebrate the Storyteller and The Voice Over

There is no ‘I’ in a team, yet voice actors self-promote from an institutionalized idea of what they are expected to do for themselves, not for the team! There are no rules in creativity, and that is what voice actors are best at. Voice actors do not make themselves equal to the directors, casting directors, agents, writers, or producers. Instead, they feel less than that and somehow need to prove something. nothing could be further from the truth. Walk up to anyone in the industry and buy them a beverage. They say you are formidable, I am impressive, and let us do extraordinary things together what is your poison? Hand them a business card, and then go away. People try too hard (yikes, it is horrifying – the sell) and try to overcompensate and share too much about themselves in the industry. I recommend you do not do that!

You’re a fabulous, brilliant individual, so talk about how you just took a flamenco class or climbed to base camp in Nepal. Or share how you wrote a children’s book (and give them a copy). Talk about their new baby (supposedly, you’ve done your homework) and your child’s experiences. Talk about dogs, cats, and any other topic which builds a genuine relationship. If you are at a convention and know they love chess, whip out a mini chess board and challenge them to a game. If you see them in an elevator, do a 15-second singing telegram, hand them a card and disappear (I teach this at conventions) – just play with your teammates and enjoy the opportunity to sit and relax. Do not want anything from them; just celebrate them, and you will be celebrated in return.

Live the Dream of a Voiceover and the Storyteller

Live your dreams! If you can think of it, you can create it! Visualize your desires! Write a positive wish list that is a contract with yourself. Make a dream board. Inspire yourselves daily. Just play! Surround yourself with that which brings you great joy, be it animals, flowers, music, travel, art, dance, love, and so on. Wake up each day and play the gratitude/abundance game, where you list all the things for which you are grateful.

Remove resistance, bad self-speak, denial, fear, anger, resentment, judgment, disdain, lethargy, confusion, and so on.  Your self-worth needs to be platinum. Know you are necessary and required to change the planet’s vibration! Shine up your sweet selves and remember you are brilliant magicians, wizards, heroes, wizardesses, and sheroes who are authentic storytellers capable of magical delivery! You are in charge of how you think, feel, and manifest! Believe in the power of possibilities and watch them become a reality.

The Storyteller Business

Elley has juried the Emmys for the past 15 years and is currently jurying The Ultimate VO Survivor- Take 3 with her company, Get Mic’d, and Deb Munro. This will be live for the finale at VO Atlanta 2023. Elley Ray teaches internationally and for several Voice Schools and universities. She is writing her third book-PAPOO #2 (the first two, Butterfly Kisses and Fly with Eagles, on Amazon). She also recently received a MAVO muse award for her contribution to the VO Community, as well as a lifetime achievement award from CAEA for her 45 years of theatrical contributions.

About Elley Ray, the Voiceover and Storyteller

Elley Ray is an international, award-winning; doctor, actor, VO, writer, director, teacher, and many other things. As well as playing the lead on various TV shows, Elley Ray currently voices several voice characters, including; Grandma Figgy and Hippy Pony in My Little Pony, Judge Jowls in Go Dog Go, Alice Lovely in Ghost Train, and Oyster Cookie in game as well as many other things.

Voiceover and the Storyteller – elleyray.com

Contact Colin Doyle at [email protected] for all things voiceovers.