Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 21

Hey there!

I get really enthusiastic when some asks me 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 sharing with you one of these rules every so often, along with how you can apply each rule to your VO artistry.

Today, Rule 21…

You gotta identify with your situation/characters, you can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

Storytelling as a VO artist, as we discuss in the VO2GoGo class called Mutual Muscles, is no different than any other form of acting.

You always act “as if.”

As if you were the villain in that animated episode.

As if you were the car salesperson in that commercial.

As if you were both the narrator and all of the characters in the book you’re voicing.

And you bring to the table the exact situations you would experience, and your reactions to those situations, “as if” they were actually happening to you.

NOT how you think they might happen to someone else. Bring YOU to the story, the work, the experience. Your brand is the important element – how you would act in those situations.

Do that, and the VO production world will put out a banquet for you.

And I happen to know it will.



Next (and last of the 22 rules) rule?

Economy and essence.

I’ll share that with you next time.

3 Responses to Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 21

  1. Mark August 11, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Great reminder, David!

    “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
    ~ Henry Ward Beecher

  2. Tim Carter June 17, 2018 at 6:16 am #

    You’re so right about “your brand”. Drive home that point till the cows come home.

  3. Veleka June 17, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

    Good one!

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