Meet Benny Fife
Benjamin / Benny Fife began his narration career at the tender age of 8 or so when his mother insisted he practice reading aloud to eliminate the insertion of “uhh,” and “umm” when reading. He went on years later to wow his 8th grade drama class with a dramatic reading from the spoiler scene of The Empire Strikes Back. Benny continued with Drama through high school and particularly enjoyed learning the International Phonetic Alphabet and beginning to study various accents and dialects, a hobby that he has held onto throughout his life.
Putting his Reading chops on the shelf for a while, Benny majored in music at the Lionel Hampton school of Music in Moscow Idaho. Benny met his partner of more than 20 years in their freshman music theory class after she heard him discussing Star Trek with one of their peers. Together they multiplied each other’s geekiness and love of literature.
They now reside in the mythical realm of Bingham County, Idaho with their brood of half dozen aspiring geeklings, numerous cats, goats, dogs, and spiders. When their offspring was very young, they began a tradition of a nightly read aloud that has included classic titles such as Jane Eyre to lesser well-known gems, like Hank the Cow-dog. Benny honed his narration chops on his family with Everything from Harry Potter to Seven Years in Tibet.
After years of pursuing many other things, Benny began narrating audiobooks professionally in 2018 and went full-time right when covid hit in 2020. Benny thoroughly enjoys voicing a wide array of genres and styles, including Fantasy, Classical literature, Sci-Fi, Health, Activism, YA Literature, Visionary Fiction and many more. His versatility as a storyteller resonates with the multitude of accents, ages, and characters to whom he has admirably lent his voice. He enjoys a good challenge and has bravely conquered words ranging from eicosatetraenoic acid to floccinaucinihilipilification.
Benny is best known for his narration of the 10 book (and counting) series by Maria Grace, Jane Austen’s Dragons.
Storytelling has been around since sapiens started speaking. From the time I first started reading, there would always be ‘voices’ assigned to certain characters as I read. When I met my wife 20 years ago, part of what drew us together was our love for literature. In the ensuing years, we’ve read aloud to each other and our children hundreds of books.
Before I began narrating books professionally, I was commuting for about 90 minutes a day for work. I’ve listened to narrations by some extreme beginners (as I was just a few years ago), listened to text-to-speech versions of e-books, and on up to some superb professional performers like George Guidall and Ann Larkin. The time saving nature of listening to a book (I can listen anywhere – on my drive to get groceries, on my morning walk, in the middle of doing other tasks – dishes, yardwork etc.) has probably more than quadrupled the amount of books I’m able to read.
As an avid audiobook listener, performer and aspiring author, I feel that the true art of storytelling is a three person partnership - the author, the narrator or performer, and the audience. The best performers will bring something to a story that the author may have not even noticed. And ultimately, the picture being worth a thousand words is what plays out in your mind with the addition of your own imagination. Thanks for letting me be part of that creative partnership with you!