Arielle DeLisle is a lot like most of the alumni featured in Red and White for Life’s Wolfpack Nation series in that she lives far away from North Carolina.
But in a way, the voice-over specialist and voice actor still lives in Raleigh by way of Phoenix, Ariz. “You hear me all the time,” says DeLisle. “I do all those Planet Fitness commercials.”
DeLisle owns Arielle Audio, her production company where she does voice work for radio commercials and video games. She records audio books and narrates e-learning commercials. And her voice might also sound familiar from the on-hold messages she records for companies whose customers call in for various reasons. “That’s an area where I have sat on hold,” she says. “So I think, ‘What is the only consolation?’ I am trying to be as authentic as possible. I feel your pain. The person is irritated to hear you, so you better be authentic.”
So how did DeLisle find her voice, so to speak? “My personality is one where I want to make people laugh and entertain people,” she says, adding that she first saw radio work as a possibility in high school. “I would do impressions. I would play with a tape recorder. And I would play with rudimentary audio programs on my computer.”
After what she describes as a kind of unofficial work experience at a Raleigh radio station during high school, DeLisle came to NC State where she majored in English and psychology, minored in Spanish and graphic communications, and cut her teeth as a DJ at WKNC.
One thing DeLisle has recognized in her years in the industry is the honesty her job demands, whether it’s a commercial for Verizon or the Seattle Aquarium. “It’s about having to emote,” she says. “There’s a level of authenticity. That’s where a real person is telling you about a product.”
DeLisle, 35, did stints at radio stations in North Carolina and New Mexico before landing in Phoenix as a production assistant. But she soon realized she could build a client list and do all of her own production. So she started Arielle Audio in 2011.
There’s something that excites DeLisle about any context in which she works. She loves that elearning allows her to present information with the voice of a knowledgeable expert. She likes the challenge of a commercial, of “doing everything right in that little piece of time.” And she likes being tested while recording an audiobook, which she compares to running a marathon, with a 10-hour (playback time) book taking 20-25 hours for her to record. Tea gets her through it. And lots of water, sprays and lozenges help, too.
“I was so excited to be honored with that,” she says. “That really cemented it. You get a good consumer review. Then a good industry review and an Earphones Award.”