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Good afternoon, everypony, and welcome to MLP Forums and Poniverse's latest Community Guest Q&A!  Please join me in welcoming Elley-Ray Hennessy, the voice of Mistmane and a couple of other minor characters in MLP:FiM this past season.  In addition to her work on MLP:FiM, Ms. Hennessy has 79 total acting credits to her name garnered from over 30 years of voiceover, television, film, and theatre acting, including in shows like Goosebumps, Babar, and Redwall, and films such as It Takes Two and Phantom of the Megaplex.  This marks the first time that MLP Forums and Poniverse have ever had an actual member of MLP:FiM's voice cast as a guest, and we could not be more excited to have her joining us! :muffins:

First things first, I must clarify how this Q&A will be unfolding, so PLEASE read this carefully.  Ms. Hennessy will not be answering questions in the thread herself; instead, I and a few other staffers will be relaying questions to her and the answers she gives us in a Skype conversation to this thread.  If you see that I have quoted you in this thread, it is because I am answering your questions with her replies via my own profile.  Rest assured, Elley-Ray herself is coming up with any responses we post, and you should feel free to ask as many questions as you want as we always do in these Q&A events.  So please, ask away, but just keep your eye out for me to be the one quoting you any time one of your questions is answered.

Just a couple more things before we begin.  Seeing as Ms. Hennesy is an actual employee of both DHX and Hasbro on account of her work with the show, we have to lay some ground rules similar to when we've hosted guests like Ward Jenkins.  While you should feel free to ask whatever you want within reason, keep in mind that many questions, especially those that pertain to her work on the show, may be ones that Ms. Hennessy is unable to answer on account of confidentiality agreements with the studio and her employers.  We want to have a great time with our first VA guest, not get her in any trouble with her employers or act like obnoxious or self-entitled hosts. :derp: 

If you'd like to learn more about her, you can visit her own website here, her IMDB page here, and her Twitter page here.  That's all I've got for ya'll this afternoon, everypony, so without further, ask questions of Ms. Hennessy to your heart's content!

I'll start with a fairly simple and basic question to get the ball rolling: Ms. Hennessy, you've had all sorts of acting roles in a variety of mediums throughout your career.  What originally inspired you to become a voice actress?

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Hello Ms. Hennessy!

Were you approached for Mistmane's role or did you approach Hasbro/DHX yourself? And how easily did it go over for you?

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Hi Ms. Hennessy! Who is your favorite character you have ever gotten to voice? What about them made them so enjoyable?

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Ms. Hennessy,

Have you ever had any ideas for your own for a cartoon or children's show? If you have, can you tell us about it?

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Ms. Hennessy, did you feel like you could relate yourself to Mistmane? As in, did you feel like you really where becoming her when you voiced her lines :)?

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Ms. Hennessy, you've had all sorts of acting roles in a variety of mediums throughout your career.  What originally inspired you to become a voice actress?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I was always involved in storytelling when I was young, and went to theater school at the University of Windsor for Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater.  Told me to never do film or television because I was too tall, etc.  Told me I would never do voice work either because I have a raspy bottom-end to my voice.  When I graduated, I got invited to the Shop Festival in Canada, one of its major theaters, and my first big animation series was in the Alf Animated Series.  Just worked consistently in film, television, and theater ever since, and have even directed and cast series.  I've done close to 300 theater productions and over a hundred films and television series.  Never let anyone define who you are, your authentic hero lives in its ability to communicate with the world, and storytelling is the best form of communication in the world, I think.  If you're true to form and yourself, your world and fandom will react in kind and respond positively.

Our world is so quick to judge. We've developed some attitude chips in us.  I think we have to fight very very hard to love our fellows.  It's very difficult for us.  To reach beyond the veil to say you're supported, you're here.  There's so many wonderful storytellers in us, and so many in mlp.  There's a reason the show is so successful.  It's not just because people have the voices. It's what they're telling.  It's about coming together, supporting each other."

9 minutes ago, Woohoo said:

Hey Elley, how's your day going?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "My day is spectacular!  I always try to find the good in every situation.  I choose to be happy, and thriving, and successful, and love to share my joy with others.  So I just want to say Woohoo, I hope your day is going great too!"

6 minutes ago, Sunset Rose said:

Hello Ms. Hennessy!

Were you approached for Mistmane's role or did you approach Hasbro/DHX yourself? And how easily did it go over for you?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I put My Little Pony on my mission board, my bucket list, and wanted to be on the show.  I spend a lot of time in Vancouver, and after I got an agent there, I put it on my mission board because I'm best friends with Tabitha St. Germain and learned about it from her.  I eventually got an option for the show, it was almost fate.  Since I have a raspier voice I usually do Changeling voices, but the voice director loved me and I got a callback audition and got Mistmane.  It was incredible for me that Mistmane was introduced by my best friend's character, Rarity, and the character is close to my heart because of what she gives up for those close to her.  I hope to have an ongoing contribution to the show, and you have definitely not seen the end of Mistmane, but I am also looking forward to doing other characters in the show.  Thank you very much for that question, Sunset Rose."

4 minutes ago, Prospekt said:

Hi Ms. Hennessy! Who is your favorite character you have ever gotten to voice? What about them made them so enjoyable?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "Mistmane.  And I have done thousands, but it was a dream of mine to be on the show, and when I got on the show was magical enough.  But what the character stands for, to me, is so vital to me, and I am so, so proud to be a part of the show.  I love the message, I love the character, and I love the fandom and all of the fan art, paintings, sculptures, etc., that they produce.  It makes me proud knowing I can affect a group of people like that through one of my characters, and it makes me feel like I'm a part of something quite profound actually.  Some roles stick with you longer than others, but you love them for all kinds of different reasons no matter what because they're an expression of yours."

2 minutes ago, Sunset Rose said:

Ms. Hennessy,

Have you ever had any ideas for your own for a cartoon or children's show? If you have, can you tell us about it?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I have ideas all the time, Tabitha and I are always coming up with stuff for fun because there's so many ideas that you can come up with and bring to the table.  You can bring limitless ideas to the table.  I've got this idea where the aliens meet the animals meet the humans meet the gods.  They all meet on the same level.  You take the soul of the extraordinary thing.  They all meet on the same level.  My students have an exercise where they all do inanimate objects. Rake, chair, door.  And they put a name on it.  And these, if you could see the phenomenal characters my students have created.  They all have personality. They're alive. (like beauty and the beast)It could be a pear, tree trunk, shoe... it might have human features, you created, there's something phenomenal in that.  You don't want to be involved in gender, age, sex, colour.  It includes everything and everyone.  It's all the same, it's just energy."

5 minutes ago, Mickey Adaptus said:

Ms. Hennessy, did you feel like you could relate yourself to Mistmane? As in, did you feel like you really where becoming her when you voiced her lines :)?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "This makes me cry. You get really involved in her. I got really involved in her.  She went to magic school, came back powerful, it broke her heart to see her friend turn to the dark side.  She had to save her friend, to save everybody.  You have to fight for light ,beauty, love.  When I voiced it you transcend yourself in a weird way.  This character is what we all want to become. Selfless, faithful, etc.  I hope in my heart I try to do that in my life.  So there are lessons. The beautiful thing about voicing these characters is they're archtypical. She's a legend, mother theresa, she did something great.  When you voice a character like that, it changes you. It makes you aware of what you're required to do."

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What was your opinion on My Little Pony before joining the cast?

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Ms. Hennessy, who is your favorite princess and why is it Twilight Sparkle?

Also; every thought of voicing a villain in MLP at some point? :)

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Ms. Hennessy,

You said that Tabitha St. Germain is your best friend, so I have a good idea what the answer to this is, but how long have you been watching FiM?

 

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Hello, Ms. Hennessy! I sure you've heard this before, but we're honored to have you take time out your busy schedule to answer questions. I myself have two questions I'd like to ask, if that's okay.

1) I have a friend who would like to get into Voice Acting. In your opinion, what would you say is the hardest part about getting into Voice Acting?

2) You're friends with Tabitha St. Germain? That's awesome! I bet she's a joy to work with, isn't she?

Okay, that last one wasn't really a question, but still... 

Edited by PoisonClaw
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Okay well honestly I've always had these questions waiting to be asked to someone on the show but I guess it's about time! :)

1. So would there eventually be an episode that would be focused on people's OCs from the community?

2. What would you think if our society became a utopia in the near future where us and the ponies from the show were living together and we were constantly getting inspired by the ponies?

3. Do you think it would be possible for a universal OC that's a combined of the main six to end up being created as someone's ponysona?

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Hello Ms. Hennessy, I managed to catch you as Mistmane and I think it was amazing.

 

I wanted to ask, who was your favourite voice actress to work with?

Edited by TheRockARooster
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Ms. Hennessy,

If you had a cutie mark of your own, what do you think it would be?

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Ms. Hennessy,

1. Who is your favorite pony?

 

2. What is your opinion of the brony fandom?

Edited by Rhythm Red
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1 minute ago, Woohoo said:

What was your opinion on My Little Pony before joining the cast?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "It was for awhile a wild, unexplained universe for me.  Like I said earlier I mostly knew about the show because of my BFF Tabitha, and I would see the response she'd get from the fans, and that just made me want to be a part of this crazy, huge universe and the pony fandom.  It's incredible and unlike anything I've ever seen, and I've been doing this work for 37 years.  Never seen anything like the MLP fandom.  It's like a comet hit and everyone exploded into sparkle dust and friendship, and I love that anyone can be in this fandom and be whoever they are and no one is disrespected.  I've always been outside the box when it comes to what I put on, so I love that you can be a big Army guy, muscle-bound, over 300 pounds and wear a tutu and unicorn horns and no one bats an eye."

 

Just now, Sunset Rose said:

Ms. Hennessy,

You said that Tabitha St. Germain is your best friend, so I have a good idea what the answer to this is, but how long have you been watching FiM?

 

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "From the beginning in 2010.  Started out with me just supporting Tabitha, but then I realized that I loved the show so much, and it's great seeing how much the show has changed since it began."

1 minute ago, PathfinderCS said:

Ms. Hennessy, who is your favorite princess and why is it Twilight Sparkle?

Also; every thought of voicing a villain in MLP at some point? :)

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I love all of the ponies so much because they're so different and such great friends.  I have such a hard time picking one, but Twilight Sparkle, for sure, definitely my favorite princess.

Ya know what's so funny?  I have on my audition board playing a villain on MLP, because I've already played a great hero and legend on MLP in Mistmane, and now I want to play a female villain and find the heart of her, see her get reformed."

2 minutes ago, PoisonClaw said:

Hello, Ms. Hennessy! I sure you've heard this before, but we're honored to have you take time out your busy schedule to answer questions. I myself have two questions I'd like to ask, if that's okay.

1) I have a friend who would like to get into Voice Acting. In your opinion, what would you say is the hardest part about getting into Voice Acting?

2) You're friends with Tabitha St. Germain? That's awesome! I bet she's a joy to work with, isn't she?

Okay, that last one wasn't really a question, but still... 

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "Thank you so much for that, bless you, that's very nice of you to say and I feel that giving back is so important to make you guys understand that you guys are a part of us and this show as much as any of us who work on it are.  I'm giving this time because you're giving me the time.

Voice over work requires being a good storyteller.  We tend to read lines nicely, but not so much with an emotional response.  Find a mentor, a teacher, a coach.  Work with them on it. Go get an agent.  If you want to change the vibration of the planet, the joy is in the risk taken in the play.  If you want to be an Olympian, you gotta work every day.  You're gonna fall down, you'll not always be perfect.  You gotta do it because you love playing the game.  You love watching the game. But you know what? Coach will say get on the field.  You'll be scared auditioning, so once you start doing it, it doesn't matter how you do, if you fumble, you do it because you care.  You gotta be disciplined.  Pro golfers hit 2000 balls/day for 2 years to start to be a pro.  Do it every day, do it at home.  Voice memos, do it on your phone, doesn't matter what the character is, just do it!  I teach to hundreds of students all over the world.  They're all full.  The students want to be storytellers.  Go to university for four years, they tell you your're never gonna voice. Did that help? No.
Don't just sit back in your apt.  Ask someone.

Tabitha St. Germain is unlike anyone I know.  She's the most generous and talented person I know on the planet.  Everything about her makes me a better person.  It's a total celebration to know her.  Her and I did a lot of theater shows.  Stage shows, animated series here in Toronto.  She's on the West coast, I'm in the middle of the country, and it's a huge country, 6-hour flight but I get out there and we see each other all the time."

2 minutes ago, Techno Universal said:

Okay well honestly I've always had these questions waiting to be asked to someone on the show but I guess it's about time! :)

1. So would there eventually be an episode that would be focused on people's OCs from the community?

2. What would you think if our society became a utopia in the near future where us and the ponies from the show were living together and we were constantly getting inspired by the ponies?

3. Do you think it would be possible for a universal OC that's a combined of the main six to end up being created as someone's ponysona?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "These are the things you should send to Hasbro, tell them this is a great idea that they should do!  That is a phenomenal idea, but VAs and such, we don't have any control over that.  Hasbro needs to hear that straight from the fans and community, and I absolutely think that they should do an episode where the show ponies meet lots of the fans OCs.  I think that is such a great idea, I would literally contact Hasbro and tell them they should do this.  It would just be so awesome to see the fans and show coming together in a way like that.  I love that idea, Techno Universal, get on that!

As far as I'm concerned, the ponies already exist alongside the humans in the fandom, and how it operates.  The way in which it has inspired so many in the fandom, that's the utopia made real already.  Look at how big the fandom is, how much the movie grossed.  People don't realize how big it is, and how many people are invested in this show.

As for your third question, why not?  I think anything is possible, and that would be insane.  She'd be like the hoof-goddess, some kind of combination of all of their elements.  I could see her being like a Galadriel."

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Ms. Hennessy,

Are there any fan theories about Princess Celestia that you would like to see adopted?

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18 minutes ago, TheRockARooster said:

Hello Ms. Hennessy, I managed to catch you as Mistmane and I think it was amazing.

 

I wanted to ask, who was your favourite voice actress to work with?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "Tabitha.  We were all in studio for all of the MLP episodes we did and all the shows we've done together in Toronto.  There are so many great voice actors and they are all so spectacular, I don't want to leave anybody out.  But I love my friend, and she is devious and funny, so when you record with her she plays games that make everyone laugh and keeps the energy high for everybody.  She also always brings cookies and treats for everybody when we record, which makes the sessions even better."

18 minutes ago, Sunset Rose said:

Ms. Hennessy,

If you had a cutie mark of your own, what do you think it would be?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I would have the letters 'L-O-V-E in a circle and wings projecting from the V going around the circle.  I believe that words have energy, and it would look like a pretty eye with wings.

What would your cutie mark be, Sunset Rose?"

17 minutes ago, Rhythm Red said:

Ms. Hennessy,

1. Who is your favorite pony?

 

2. What is your opinion of the brony fandom?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "Honestly I can't pick.  That's like asking what my favorite color is.  I even like the villains, I just love all of the characters.  I love Rarity because of Tabitha being my bestie, but I love Derpy and I love Luna too, I love Andrea's characters, I love Cathy Weseluck's characters, all of them.  So I'd have to put my favorite character as 'all of the above.

The brony fandom, I think, is phenomenal.  I love them, I keep saying they are my people and that I have found them.  They're all my people!  This fandom, it's the world I want to live in."

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Just now, Batbrony said:

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I would have the letters 'L-O-V-E in a circle and wings projecting from the V going around the circle.  I believe that words have energy, and it would look like a pretty eye with wings.

What would your cutie mark be, Sunset Rose?"

Ms. Hennessy,

I've actually got one! It's a rose-tipped quill over a sheet of parchment. A personalized symbol of my passion for literature.

 

How difficult do you think it would have been for the bearers of the elements of harmony to accomplish the same things they have if they were only half the age are now?

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Okay soo... :)

1. What would you think if my ponysona OC that was 100% based off myself in real life was an alicorn stallion that was a combination between all the elements and theoretically could possibly be the original creator of equestria?

2. How would you react to Hasbro liking the head canons and theories of a young adult from the fandom so much to the point that they invite them to be one of the new head writers for the show?

3. Would you think that the storyline of the show in the future would more focus on what real threatening problems there are in our society so the show could actually be interpreted as something that we can follow to save ourselves from possible extinction?

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10 minutes ago, Woohoo said:

What are your favorite episodes of the show?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "That question is hard for the same reasons that the favorite characters question was.  I love every story, I love stories and going to the movies and just being able to watch them unfold.  I tend to like the ones I was in the most since they meant something to me, but I think all of the episodes have a great message.  Some are sillier, more fun than others, some are quirky and outrageous - like when Rarity was the punk rocker - and I love when the writers switch things up and make things different.  The Season 7 finale was great for me and seeing what the writers did with it.  Some of the finales are better than others, and I thought the Season 7 finale was pretty great.  I love how all of the Pillars are so different and have all of their different strengths and backgrounds."

6 minutes ago, Sunset Rose said:

Ms. Hennessy,

Are there any fan theories about Princess Celestia that you would like to see adopted?

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I'm not sure what you mean, could you clarify what you mean by fan theories?  What are some of the ones about Celestia?"

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1 minute ago, Batbrony said:

Elley-Ray Hennessy: "I'm not sure what you mean, could you clarify what you mean by fan theories?  What are some of the ones about Celestia?"

Any unconfirmed fact about her that isn't immediately clear in the show. Some of the ones I know of are that Celestia really loves cake and struggles with her diet because of it. One saying that she actually wrote the old storybook that Twilight was reading in the pilot of the show. (I don't know if this one is confirmed or not, but) whether or not her use of the elements of harmony on Nightmare Moon was when her hair changed from the pale pink color to that pastel rainbow she has now.

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Any chance we'll see you at any conventions this year?

Also; open to voicing any deer if they show up in the show? ^^

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Since you can voice act, can you sing as well?

Also, am I asking too many questions? :confused:

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