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A Muse On A Mission - Elley Ray Hennessy
Inspires To Recognize 'Our Powerful Magic'
November 23, 2022

By John Florian
MAVO2022 photo

In the hotel hallway of the MAVO2022 (Mid-Atlantic) Voiceover Conference she dashed across our vision in a kaleidoscope garb of colors, pointing the way with large eyeglasses secured to the tip of her nose. A comet tail of students hurried to catch up.

Bystanders grinned and shrugged.

A few minutes later the entourage whooshed by again, tacking back to wherever it was they'd come.

This was of course, unmistakably, voice actor/coach Elley Ray Hennessy leading a class in voice acting through a memorable experience.

Just the evening before, conference leader Val Kelly had presented Elley Ray with the 2022 MAVO Muse Award for her "outstanding contribution to the voice over community.

"Elley Ray is an excellent coach and mentor and is helping to change the vibration of our planet in a positive way every day!" Val said on the opening night of the November 11-13 annual conference in Herndon, VA.

Yet in accepting the award, Elley (pictured with the award) insisted that the award belonged to everyone in the room.

"We are all deserving of the award," she explained later. "There is no one individual that is more deserving than any other in this field of dancing amid the stars. We are all stars. The energy in the room was deserving of the award, and we cannot play the game without every team member."


A Merriam-Webster definition of "muse" is "Any of nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences."

A muse is also one whose creative work inspires others.

Elley Ray does have a mythical mystique about her. And the arts definition fits.

While we see her chiefly as a voice over coach, her bio notes Elley "astounding audiences with her unique blend of MAGIC for 45 years in film, television, radio and stage: acting, writing, directing, producing, casting, teaching, jurying - you name it!" In voice over, animation characters are a mainstay.

With popular voice actor/coach Deb Munro she's co-founder of the Get Mic'd voice over training company. And the duo is currently hosting Take 3 of the wildly successful The Ultimate VO Survivor competition, which is building to a grand finale at VO Atlanta (March 23-26, 2023).

Need more? Elley Ray teaches VO privately as well as at several universities, and holds a Doctorate of Laws for her contributions to the arts and humanities. More about Elley Ray.


So, what advice does she share about voice acting and a VO career? In an email interview, VoiceOverXtra asked:

Q: Elley, you project so much energy and passion for voice over and the VO community. What's the spark for that?
The spark is the audience!
There is no "I" in TEAM, and what you give out you receive. We are vibrant musicians, alchemists, wizards and wizardesses, heroes and sheros, muses, gods and goddesses, soldiers of the word. There are infinite possibilities in various characters to ignite words and create story!

The applause and eager response that comes from true engagement is the lifeforce that is communication - and that is the human connection.

I celebrate every moment that I am able to draw breath and transform fear into LOVE. How powerful is that? WOW!
Q: One of your MAVO2022 sessions was titled 'Nothing Can Stop Your VO Success But You.' What do you mean by that?
The only thing holding back every being is not celebrating their WORTH!

We have been institutionalized to behave and BE a certain way in life, so we risk very little, for fear of failure. Then we judge ourselves, comparing to others, which causes great disdain, guilt, blame, etc.

We live in FEAR of not succeeding, which holds most creators captive. Fear leads to anger and then depression. We shut down and remain neutral. The key is in the ignition, but we are sitting in the driveway in neutral and not going anywhere.

But we can actually choose a life of JOY and LOVE, where we RISK everything and play authentically. If you live a life of EASE you will be successful!

We must love ourselves and recognize our POWERFUL MAGIC that will change the vibration of the planet.
Powerful and magical, indeed. Thanks, Elley.

PS: For more about the MAVO conferences, membership and earlybird tickets to MAVO2023 (November 10-12, 2023) visit:

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Comments (1)
Dave Johnston
11/24/2022 at 7:48 PM
This article was amazing!! Thank you, Elley - it has given me fuel for the fire of voiceovers. Always wishing you the best in all your endeavors.
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