Category Archives: tips

Voiceover Insider for August

Recently I was selected to review Julie Williams’ new version of “How to Make Money in Voiceover, Even If You Dont’ Live in N.Y. or L.A.”

I enjoyed the opportunity to review these 5 cds, and WOW! I was blown away by all the information.

Here is my review for “H2MMIVO”:

“How to make money if Voiceovers”…is 5 cds PACKED with valuable information for the Voiceover Pro – at whatever level you might be.

I remember being told that if you invest in a product to improve yourself, and you get One good idea that you can implement, you have made a great decision on your purchase.
I have two plus pages of ideas to implement for my VO business after listening to “How to Make Money in VO…”.
This Audio Presentation/Course is terrific!!


I could not believe how up to date all the information is in these CDs. As I listened, I heard that there were at least two earlier versions of “How to make Money in VO…” previous to this one.


Well, Julie has lined up an all star cast to really give Voice Talent a genuine look at the industry ,plus, the most benefit for their money.
Who is in this program? Stephanie Ciccarelli, Jason Sikes, Frank Maranzino, Larry Maizlish, Krisitine Oller, Gabrielle Nistico and Robert Sciglimpaglia (say that one 5 times fast!). These interviews are filled with marketing tools and information that are so helpful to up and coming talent. I thought about who I believed was the most “useful” interview for me, yet looking thru my notes and ‘potential tools’ to implement, I learned something from every interview.


Julie’s experience in VO shows as well; she brings together so many marketing ideas from the ‘30,000 foot view’: SEO, Websites, an honest short take on Unions, legal aspects of the business, setting up your studio…I could go on and on, but I need to go back and listen again to hear what I missed the first time!




You can see more reviews in the August 08 Voiceover Insider from Julie Willams.






Eat What You Cook: Voiceover Lessons from Sam Walton


My favorite buyer program is one called Eat What You Cook. Once a quarter, every buyer has to go out to a different store and act as a manager for a couple days in the department he or she buys merchandise for. I guarantee you that after they have eaten what they have cooked enough times, these buyers don’t load up too many Moon Pies to send to Wisconsin, or beach towels for Hiawatha, Kansas. – Sam Walton p. 288,289


Is it outlandish to think that every VO should have an experience on the “other side” of the Mic?


Being a VO with a history in radio, I have written copy, produced commercials, worked with voice talent, and been a voice talent.


I think that experience on the ‘producing’ side is really beneficial to me as a performer. I can relate to the whole process a bit better, not just my “copy”. I may not have written the commercial, but I know what went in to writing it, also what went in to auditions and the hiring process.


Sam required his buyers to go out and manage the department they bought for.


What if as a VO, at least once in your life, you had to produce One project. I think it might change you.


You might appreiciate the whole process a bit more.


You might understand what directors and writers and producers have to deal with.


You might love it and want to do more of it, and learn all about it as well. You never know. 


Mabye that’s just the ‘Radio guy’ in me, but I think it might be beneficial. 




All quotes are from Sam Walton Made in America by Sam Walton and John Huey, Bantam Books 1993


Do you have a book that I might like to read? If it pertains to the world of Voice Over, Creativity, Leadership or Marketing, I would gladly read and discuss it on the Creative Mouthpiece blog! Email me at stu (at) stugray (dot) com

Constant Improvement: Voice Over Lessons From Sam Walton

He gets up every morning bound and determined to improve something…he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. – David Glass, Former CEO, Wal-Mart, about Sam Walton (p.50)


*What have you improved today?

*What decisions have you made about your business?

*What are you procrastinating on?

*What HAVEN’T you made a decision on that you really need to?

*Have you read something outloud (EVERYDAY!)?

*Have you worked on your marketing?

*Have you called old contacts that you made 5 years ago?

*Have you sent emails to friends in other cities?

*Does everyone in your family, on your street, in your church, know what you do?


Check everyone out who is our competition. And don’t look for the bad. Look for the Good. If you get one idea, that’s one more than you went in the store with, and we must try to incorporate it into our company. We’re really not concerned with what they are doing wrong, we’re concerned with what they are doing right, and everyone is doing something right. – Sam Walton (p.81) 


*Have you listened to every demo on
*Are you listening to radio commercials, Television commercials, listening to audiobooks?
*Are you learning from people and their techniques?
*Are you listening to podcasts, reading blogs and making contact with other Voice talent?

I always carry my little tape recorder on trips, to record ideas that come up in my conversations with the associates. I usually have my yellow legal pad with me, with a list of ten to fifteen things we need to be working on as a company. My list drives the executives around here crazy, but its probably one of my more important contributions. – Sam Walton (p. 149)


*Do you write down ideas that you have when you hear something you enjoy?

*Do you have a list of potential clients you are interested in pursuing?

*If you had five minutes with your ideal “VO” person (the one who you look up to most…) What would you ask them? (are those questions written down somewhere?)

Read the first post in this series here


All quotes are from “Sam Walton Made in America” by Sam Walton and John Huey, Bantam Books 1993


Do you have a book that I might like to read? If it pertains to the world of Voice Over, Creativity, Leadership or Marketing, I would gladly read and discuss it on the Creative Mouthpiece blog! Email me at stu (at) stugray (dot) com







Bettye Zoller in Nashville Information

I recieved this press release in my email this morning and wanted to pass it along regarding Bettye Zoller Coming to Nashville June 29!

Nashville Private Hours are Sold Out But You Still Can Enroll in Our June 29 Evening Nashville Voiceover Workshop

Dallas, Texas: June 19, 2008. We are announcing today that our private one hour consultation appointments while we are in Nashville TN are SOLD OUT. However, there still is time and room to enroll in our VOICEOVER EVENING in NASHVILLE on JUNE 29 at the GUESTHOUSE INN (directly across from Opryland Gaylord Hotel).This evening offers fellowship, networking, Bettye Zoller’s instruction on How to Make Money With Your Voice and Voice Acting Today! You’ll receive take-home packets featuring articles, national agent lists, business information you’ll use to succeed, and much more! Cool refreshments in a small group setting. Plenty of time for questions and answers too. 




Enroll today in our Nashville Voiceover Evening June 29. Please share this information! is an educational company dedicated to personally advising and instructing voice talents and providing voice and speech improvement and career consultations. We maintain and operate our recording studio in Dallas, Texas specializing in voiceover demo CDs and audio programs of all types.

Fee: $159. Use MC or VISA to enroll in online store at and if questions, contact Executive Assistant Brian Fine at or phone 214-638-TALK and leave message.



I get by with a little help from my friends…

A big thanks to Bob Souer for posting about his cool audio players and how to get them to work on WordPress blogs.

If you are reading this post on my “blog proper“, you’ll notice a new link under my header labeled “Stu Gray’s Voice Demos!

I have been wanting to do this for a while, so after Bob’s helpful post, and digging around a little bit in WordPress, I actually made it a reality!

My VO demos are now a part of The Creative Mouthpiece Blog.

Regaining Passion in Your Life











Its getting hot. And not that ‘Dry heat’ that my parents always talk about in Arizona.

I’m talking heavy air hot. Cut it with a knife hot. And its just the beginning of June.

When it gets hot like this, I notice my grass beginning to turn yellow. It just dries up. To me, thats not so bad a deal because I dislike mowing.

But what happens when you dry out in your work?

If you feel dried up and yellow like my grass, here are some thoughts to add some water and nutrients to what you do:

1 – Do something Different – You can’t always change the place you work, but you can approach your work diferently. Choose to enjoy it. Choose to enjoy people. Solve a problem for someone. Be a servant. Its not all about you.

2 – Make Stronger Choices – Make a decision. Don’t let life happen to you. Happen to Life.

3 – Spend time discovering and rediscovering what you like and don’t like. Explore your house, neighborhood, town, city, state, country…Go back to what you loved as a child and rediscover a piece that you lost when you grew up.

4 – Take Action. So what. Just Do it.“The Art will teach you how” -anon . (see numbers 6 and 7)

5 – Don’t make excuses. (See number 4)

6 – Quite worrying about great results. The results will take care of themselves if you make every day your masterpiece and work your hardest to perform at your best in all situations. How are you performing today? Stop looking at the scoreboard. Show up and produce something.

7 – Be content to make crap first. “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly first” – Roy H. Williams. Take the time to get good. Perhaps you fail thousands of times before you make a lightbulb (Edison), perhaps you lose many races before you become president (Lincoln).

8 – Take Action. So what. Just do it. Action cures Fear.

9 – Consciously fill your well. What fills you up? Solitutde? Movies? Books? Time with Friends? (go back to number 1 from above – take in a new restaurant, new magazine, new place to hang out.)

10 – Work on You. Increase your value to the marketplace. Learn something about your craft, your vocation. Become the best you you can be.

11 – Write it down. Thoughts, Dreams, Goals…”if I put it on the page, it’s only a matter of time before I put it into practice” – Julia Cameron

12 – Take Action. Procrastination is just fear. Kill fear by acting.

How do you get past your dry spells?
Other Posts you might enjoy:

How to Get to Wow!
Who is Stu Gray?
33 Things, 33 Years
Learning Customer Service from a Fast Food Visit

You Control You


I was reading back over some old journal entries of mine from last year. I came across some interesting things that I had written…some thoughts, and various quotes all kind of jumbled together.


Here’s the first one:


You control You.

You can not control others.

You can not control the score.

“The Final Outcome”

You control You.

You control the effort you make.

Did you do your best?

Only You really know for sure.

You can fool others. Not yourself.

Did you give your all?

Take all the shots?

Give more than you are asked to give?

Were you a valuable resource?

Did you solve problems or did you create problems?

Did you serve?

Were you reliable?



A positive influence?

Did you encourage?

Were you selfless?

Did you play well with others?


Don’t fret the outcome.

Always Give your 100%.

Thats all you got.

You control your 100%.

You control You.