Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 10

Hey there!

Go ahead…ask me all about storytelling, and how important it is to your VO career to develop and hone your storytelling skills.

It’s essential.

So, every so often, I like to roll out items from this list from Emma Coats, who used to work at Pixar as a story artist, and who serially tweeted Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

I’m giving you one of these rules every so often as we move through the next several months, along with how you can apply the rule to your VO artistry.

Today, Rule 10…

Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

And this rule is all about your VO brand.

How many times have we heard casting directors telling us that, just because it says in the breakdown that a line is supposed to be voiced a certain way, or a character has certain attributes, that the actor that got the part was the actor that was most authentic, most true to their brand, and not a slave to what the breakdown said to do?

A lot.

The waitresses that are all perky get beaten out by the waitress that couldn’t care less. The dumb jocks that say all their lines like Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High get beaten out by the dumb jock that can turn a phrase and make us think.

And all of the VO artists that audition for that same part you’re auditioning for better bring their A game if they’re going to compete with you – because you’ll be bringing you to the party, and your authenticity will skyrocket if you do.

Say the lines the way YOU say the lines. Not the way you think THEY want you to say them.


Next rule?

Sing out, Louise!

I’ll share that with you next time.

2 Responses to Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 10

  1. Lini Evans June 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Fantastic advice. For both voice and onscreen acting I couldn’t agree more that we’re most often cast closest to our “true” self versus what we can “attempt” to be. Thanks much for the reminder – we all better get crackin’ at figuring out exactly what we truly are ;)

  2. Veleka Gray September 19, 2017 at 2:21 am #

    I played Louise. It was a pivotal moment in my career because the director saw me as The Girl in “Seven Year Itch” and just cast me in “Gypsy.” Just like that.

    What I like best about this rule is that I’m going to start using it. Thanks, David!

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