Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – Rule 18

Hey there!

I live to talk 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’ve been sharing with you one of these rules every so often, along with how you can apply each rule to your VO artistry.

Today, Rule 18…

You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

This rule ties in with last week’s “don’t do 10 takes on an audition” rule, with a slight twist:

Don’t overthink things.

Your brand rules. Whoever you are, rocks. Let that be something you rely on, rather than thinking (or over thinking) “What do they want here?”

Who cares? Give them YOU.

Sure, you want to make sure that the you you give them will work for the script – but give them YOU. Don’t try to analyze what their brand has had – they might be wanting to change things. Or what their brand could use, and if you could pull that off.

Just voice the copy with your brand shining through. And have faith that that is more than enough.



Next rule?

Don’t cheat.

I’ll share that with you next time.


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  1. Great article, David!

    It’s funny how I find myself over thinking things in auditions. It’s true that when I just “let go” y reads come out a lot better – more believable. Thanks as always for the tips!

  2. David, I am so glad you reinforced this idea, because I was just agonizing about my read for an audiobook client. If she hasn’t complained so far, she must be satisfied, but I was still worried about my read. It is really such a waste of precious time to be second and third guessing everything you do! Doing what just comes naturally to each of us is the only way to survive.

  3. Excellent advice. We newbies need to trust what we bring to the table and not waste time trying to morph into what we imagine they might be looking for. Sure we’ll get turned down…but then we’ll end up doing the projects that are right for us.

  4. Just to hear someone say that who I am rocks, and to have faith in myself, is so empowering. Thanks, David, for being the bearer of the good news. It’s also a great reminder to be selective in who and what one listens to.