Category Archives: voice over

The Creative Mouthpiece is changing locations

This is an exciting day for me!

After working on this for a while, and alot over this last weekend, I am ready to announce that this blog is moving addresses.

I am moving from wordpress over to my own website… so please bookmark this new address.

Also, you could subscribe to this blog thru feedburner here.

I will continue to post to this blog until the end of the year, and most likely will keep it up for a while until I get all the links changed over!!!


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.





Batman: The Dark Knight

I have always been a Batman fan, and I am really excited about The Dark Knight which opens on July 18.

Being a VoiceOver performer, I have continued to wonder how, or if, overdubs were required after the filming was complete. With Heath Ledger’s tragic death, the need to find someone else to do overdubbing for the Joker, I assumed, would be needed.

As I was reading this article in Entertainment Weekly online, Director Christopher Nolan says that most overdubs and reshoots weren’t neccesary.

Perhaps that is just hype (many times VO’s aren’t given “credit”), but perhaps not.

Either way, I can’t wait to see this movie!!

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

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



 Rolls Out the Bling Bling for Summer

….And its not Gold or Silver…it’s Platinum!

This looks like a cool new service for working VO talent with lots of benefits and links on several new niche VO websites all from the creative minds of!!

More info about the Platinum service is right here.

Great Time in the Old Town Last Night!

Bettye Zoller is in Nashville this week teach classes for the NATS conference, and last night she took on a handful of Voice over talent to talk about the business of VO.

What a great time!

Everything from Aftra to agencies, marketing and demos, setting rates and Character Voices… We really touched on alot of major aspects of the Voice industry.

It was great to meet Bettye and other talented folks from the Mid-South Like Clinton, Jerri, Philip, Angela, Jake, Lyle, Cathi and Beth. 

Bettye knows what she is talking about, and brings her real life experience to class. Its fun to hear VO stories from folks who have been at it, and been successful doing it!!

There were many nuggets of wisdom that I learned from the class, but the one that comes to mind first is this:

“You have to continue growing your business while doing your business”

I can keep working with the clients I have, but if I am not marketing myself and growing my business, my current clients could dry up…and then where would I be?

Up a stream with out the much needed paddle!!!

I look forward to keeping in touch with new VO friends and also joining Bettye in another class sometime in the future!!