Marisha Ray is most recognised for playing Keyleth and Beauregard as part of the cast of Dungeons and Dragons web series, Critical Role. She is also a Creative Director, voice actor and all round badass. So, to celebrate Marisha’s birthday today I am going to be talking about some of the things that I think make her an awesome human being.
With early roots in dance and theatre, Marisha pursued on-screen roles when she first moved to Los Angeles from her childhood home in Kentucky. After spending a few years hustling and working in film and television, she found herself in the voice over world with her now-husband Matt Mercer. Marisha was encouraged by friends to put together a voice over reel after she expressed some doubts about crossing into Matt’s field. It was a successful endeavor; she has been voicing characters in video games since 2014.
In 2015 Critical Role hit our (very) small screens – I watched most of the first campaign on a mobile phone. I was instantly hooked and couldn’t wait to see Marisha and her fellow VAs Matthew Mercer, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe and Ashley Johnson playing D&D together again. Luckily, I started when the team were well into the campaign so there were plenty of episodes to watch. In its infancy, the show was part of Geek & Sundry, where Marisha later became Creative Director. Now, she is the Creative Director of Critical Role as an independent body.
Keyleth and Beauregard are completely different and equally brilliant. Keyleth is reserved and naïve, whilst Beauregard is more outgoing and experienced. Marisha’s ability as an actor brings her characters to life and her commitment to role playing makes them endearing and enjoyable. The prominent trait they do share, however, is strength. Seeing Marisha Ray portray strong women in two completely different ways is a huge inspiration to me.
I hope Marisha Ray realises that she is an icon. She brought about an important breakthrough in ending my fear of ‘gatekeeping’, and I wouldn’t be writing this without the help of her conviction. After spending her life challenging and breaking female stereotypes she is thriving in multiple male dominated fields. To me, she represents what modern feminism should be.
So, please join us in wishing her a happy birthday, she deserves it!
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