The Heroine’s Journey of Cheryl A. Alleway

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Performing voice-over is simply joyous, and I am not someone known well in the industry, but I consider myself as capable and as diverse as idols from Mel Brooks and Robin Williams. I say that humbly because I have never had a career from it, it is a love I have for a very special reason. My father loved characters, and before he passed, we found a new relationship quietly that we never had before. This is why at 52 I put mine out to the world; to keep his heard through me. There is joy in amplifying our voice to communicate information, educate and of course, entertain. It is an ancient element to who we are as humans.
Our voice can be performed naturally, or coloured and amplified through characters. I find this to be the most positive experience. It is acting without the camera and brings back memories of the joy of my younger days in high school theatre, a time of discovery and adventurous minds. My father and I had this in common. Along with my fellow students, we were encouraged to close our eyes and imagine the character before we presented it on stage. We were taught to be so quiet in our thoughts that we could hear our own hearts beat. It was a way to have us connect to someone or something else other than ourselves, and in essence, I believe it created empathy. I have always
said, that voice-over performers may not be in front of a camera, but we are just that, performers in
our own element, moving hearts and minds through tone, lilt and emoting.

For writing, I write for just that…the writing, at present and since I began my humble journey. Working within a secondary career and then writing for the endearing connection I have to words, is what I love best about my storytelling journey. It provides me with a place where I go to connect with my own humanity and think. The other benefit is that others can share in that, and my hope has always been that even one person may find solace, adventure, and of course their own internal human. We all interpret the elements of creative writing with a subjective view as with all creative ventures. Storytelling/writing is one of our basic ancient methods to purvey thoughts and ideas. The ancient storytellers were some of our first news anchors, teachers and movie stars and of course…writers.

What is my idea of happiness? One word; peace

What is my greatest fear? Other people forgetting how wonderful peace can be and allowing it to disappear from the human experience.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Not being able to turn off my mind at times: Many creative people can be empathic as well and think very deeply. We are very ‘environment’ sensitive because of our mindful awareness of the world around us. It can be an utter blessing, but with our world sometimes turning on a dime, the thoughtful mind can also become arduous. Without it however, I wouldn’t be who I am either and so I can’t really say it is something I deplore, but it is a challenging attribute that requires focus to balance at times.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Professional admiration is an interesting emotion. It can come from so many directions and for so many different reasons. Based on that, it is hard to answer, but I admire anyone who has held onto their basic humanity and self worth, no matter what corner of the arts they are in or how much wealth they have or have not. Making an impact on others for the good is for me valuable on a level that is not monetary. For those who may not and never will be ‘famous’ or well known, but who continue to add their form of art to the part of the world they themselves are able to touch, I tip my hat. I live in an area of the world that has a large number of talented artists who are not on billboards or screens daily. Yet, they don’t give up on their talent or skill because of expectations or the perceived successes of others. They take a more humble road, but find that what they do is still affecting a smaller group of people and that is a positive thing. Cause and affect show us that as a ripple hits another ripple, there is another and another and a wave begins. And so, I can’t really list specific names, because I admire so many people for their inspiration they provide. If I did, my list would be enormous, if I’m being honest.

What is my greatest extravagance? A favourite meal. Food is an extravagance to so many in the world and I believe in viewing it that way because of that. It’s a privilege to have access to food when so many do not. Many of us forget that and it is taken for granted. Yet, if we were faced with having none, it would suddenly become an extravagance…a small example of perspective when it comes to those who are fortunate enough to even know what the word extravagance means.

On what occasion would I lie? The word lie is a scary one on so many levels. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” I was once told by one of my elders in life this very thing and we have all heard this famous piece. When telling the truth could hurt an innocent person’s heart or damage their physical being or self worth, telling them or someone who threatens them a lie to protect, then takes on a positive connotation, but that is the only way a lie is ever valuable to people. If someone is doing something wrong or immoral, telling someone the truth to help mediate or repair that situation, is the right thing to do, but there are times in life where you can end up doing more harm.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Not everyone has the same access to opportunity, regardless of what others may say about chasing your dreams. Sometimes real life requires you to work with what you have. That can be very challenging when you are not close to all the action and contacts. On the upside? You will know if you truly love your work if you pursue it regardless of your challenges or lack of opportunity, because that drive in of itself could actually bring opportunity to you. And so, in essence, the very thing you dislike about your work, may be the beacon of inspiration you need.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Peacefully creating in the quiet of the evening. At night, many creative minds work the best. There is something to be said for the solitude of it. It is me, my thoughts and ideas with no distractions or bustle of the world around me.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I am who I am and therefore, changing myself would take that away from me. True self awareness and self love is a huge goal in life for each of us and so improvement is an alternate word that may be more achievable. To want or need to change however, you’d personally need to have something that you can not live with about yourself. I am content with who my parents raised and who I’ve become, but I will admit that improvement is always something I am open to even as I get older.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Reaching someone else’s heart and helping them see something that maybe they didn’t see before about someone or something in their world.

Where would I most like to live? Truthfully, having a home is a true blessing that I don’t take lightly. So many people are going through so much and have had so much taken from them, including their home, and so it is a humble subject for those who are grateful. If I were asked without all of this in consideration, I have a love for Wales, and it is a place I find most endearing as it is a part of the world that our family came from. Its history and resilience are a source of pride to me. I once stood on the high-street in a small Welsh town where my grandfather grew up in and I cried tears of pride. It was a moment I’ll never forget.

What is my most treasured possession? Compassion

What is my most marked characteristic? Empathy

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The nature around us and the natural sanctuaries that still exist and are accessible. There is one in particular that was purchased and is maintained by a local charity club that has numerous types of trails, a water fall and small river, large swaths of untouched forests and a place for people to release. May it live on for future generations, to clean the air and vanquish the noise of modern life.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? Our home. As much as I’ve been fortunate enough to experience restaurants around the world, home is where food and drink are the most enjoyable. We cook a lot in our home and food as I’ve mentioned above is one of life’s real valuables to me. Where this comes from is having conversations with wartime survivors…people who didn’t have a home or have food and had everything taken from them. I never turned down food when offered by them and felt so much love and comfort in their home, because I knew how valuable it all was to them. That being said, we have a small family restaurant that has not changed much except for their décor. The food is well made, consistent and of course delicious. It is clean and it has a community feel as you sit in the single room. Almost every chair is always filled.

What books influenced my life and how? So many, but Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is always there in my mind, because I read it when I was a young teenager, and it was a very mature book to read then with mature content and it required me to grow up that summer as I read it and added to my ‘old soul’ way of thinking. There was an odd sense of empathy that began to develop and reading something less deep in nature may not have had the same affect on me.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day? 1960’s and 1970’s easy listening. Although 40’s and 50’s are also up there. Even though I love many styles, these 4 decades were playing in the background when I was a child, and my mother was working around the house. She loved the gentle themes and softer musical storytelling. What better memory as your last, than your days of innocence?

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Very hard to answer however, I have taken a bit from the movie versions: Hero – Frodo Beggins for his sense of adventure, loyalty and courage – Heroine – Liesl von Trapp from the Sound of Music for her innocence and desire to grow, and then her love for her family, in the end who were the ones who were the most honest with her. She followed her heart but learned to be wiser and more aware.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My parents, and those who have to face their own demise through darkness of any kind that they do not deserve. Any life-threatening life experience is one where true heroes and heroines are born. In contrast, those who are the gentlest at heart are heroes and heroines to me as well…for they are maintaining their goodness through all of the adversity and expectations that surround us.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? All Quiet On The Western Front

What role play stories in my life and work? I am one who has a hard time answering this. I think this comes from being a dreamer. I find so many people so interesting because I always wonder how it all began for them. I suppose my answer is, again anyone who is unique. I will keep it that simple.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me? You and only you are responsible for your actions and your choices that form your path. But we must also allow ourselves to understand that we are human and can be influenced. To realize this is to come of age and it is how we then become our own storyteller. Only when we understand both of these things, can we put them together and move forward with the story on our own terms. Some achieve this early in life and others much later. It is the realization that matters most and we all deserve time to learn, make mistakes and become our own narrator.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My significant other for certain.

Which people or companies would I like to work with? I am of the adage (and the age) that life has given me what I need in the working world. If what I do now brings an opportunity, then I am open to anything that may mirror my own ethics and values. I can’t answer this one specifically either because of this. To work with so many that I respect would be too long a list if I’m being honest again. With a base career elsewhere keeping my foundation strong, I embark into the creative world as something that has not been for much profit. I voice and write for myself first, and if people are interested in me joining their journey, I’m available for them. I love the creative community for just that….the creativity and the inspiration it brings. If I could however, I’d love to work with producers who look for the voice behind the movie or documentary narrator. I love the storytelling matriarch voice when listening to stories and have developed my own signature character for just that roll. I’ve honed it to be a part of me when I use it. Because there are so many companies that could offer this type of job in voice-over, it is hard to put down, but Disney, or National Geographic would be a dream come true for certain. To be the voice for their content would be a life’s achievement for me.

What project am I looking forward to work on? The next story or voice-over part, whatever that may be. At my age in life, the next creative journey is always my favorite.

Where can you see me or my work? You can visit my podcast Story Opus and listen to the storytelling.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It’s part of you and never leaves the truly passionate person. It must be who you are.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? Diana Wilde, a fellow Linkedin member who I’ve found to be so inspiring as a person and a creative talent. There are many more, but Diana has a heart like mine.

How can you contact me?
You can reach me at or visit the Story Opus podcast and send me a message
on Spotify. You can also find me on Linkedin.

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