Justin Gross | Voice Actor

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Rice University Spot

December 27th, 2012

Rice University: Challenging Convention

This is a spot I did the VO for. It’s for Rice University in Houston.  It’s one of my favorites from by “body of work”.  I just like the visuals, the music and the fact that I sort  of got to do a unique voice for this spot. It’s not a VO style that I usually get to do. But I think it works. It matches the spot perfectly.  It was created by Ken Benitez out of Houston.  I really think this guy is exceptionally talented and I know he will be doing tons more work in the future.

Over the course of my VO career, I’ve been very fortunate to have some amazing jobs and work on advertising campaigns that were cutting edge.  Back when I first started, I landed a major VO campaign for Saturn cars.  Well, it started off as one commercial, then ended up being the whole campaign for about a year.  But the folks at Hal Riney heard something in my voice that they wanted for their ads.  It was an honesty and a straightforwardness that wasn’t being done often at that time.  Younger male voices were coming into vogue and I was riding that wave of discovery.  Right place at the right time, I suppose.  The Saturn ads were turning more serious. They were moving away from their quirky past and going for something more honest and real.  So it was a thrill to be plucked up and handed that campaign.

Another set of ads that I loved doing was for Starbucks.  I have been a huge Starbucks fan for some time.  Several years back, I landed two national TV spots for Starbucks.  Starbucks has never been a huge TV advertiser and I was absolutely thrilled to learn I landed those VO gigs.  Getting to do the voice over for one of my favorite brands of all time is quite an honor.

I think just about any job that I get picked for is an honor.  It’s extra special when it’s a brand or product that I really enjoy.  But just having a producer or ad agency pick me to be the voice of their  spot is always a thrill. And I’m always grateful for the opportunity.  I always do some mental work, too, when I get ready to voice a spot.  I envision the product or the brand in the most positive light possible in my mind.  I associate every good feeling I can find and imagine that feeling and the brand having an intertwined relationship.  It’s part of the job of a voice over actor.  I must infuse the brand, or what we are selling or promoting with awesome energy and goodwill.  I think about how people will find enjoyment and usefulness out of the brand. How the brand positively impacts people’s lives through employment and charity.  There are thoughts and energies that go into this work which cannot be articulated.  And that is fine with me.  It’s part of the magic that goes into voice acting.  Because after all, this is acting…just in front of a microphone.

I continue to love what I do and do what I love.  I am blessed and fortunate.  If you are an advertising professional or a producer, consider me. Let me bring my brand of voice over to your project. And you can rest assured that you have a professional that is on your side and is loving every moment of the work we are creating together.

Voice Over Talent Reliability

December 19, 2012

Is your voice talent reliable?  I recently had an amazing week in Maui.  It’s my annual Maui trip that I cherish.  But as a voice over talent, I always have the concern about missing work.  You see, I have ISDN at my home.  So I’m always available to my clients and my agents know that.  But when I travel, I don’t always have access to ISDN.  I don’t yet have Source Connect, but it’s something I’m seriously considering to make jobs and traveling more compatible.  Ah…reliability…

The day before I left for my vacation, I did a job for a huge tech company.  It was a business narration for an important product launch.  Well, the next day, in Maui, I got word that the client had added more copy.  Because I LOVE what I do, it was no problem for me.  If we could find a studio, I’d be there.  Whatever they wanted, I would have done it.  So they found a studio and I got myself there.  The client was happy.  The very next day…the same thing. The client added more copy.  So, the same routine. I got myself to the studio.  The client was very apologetic about taking time from my vacation. But they were thrilled to be able to get the job done. To me it was no problem at all.  I’m committed to what I do and nothing will stop me from making the client happy and getting the job done.  So, in short, I’m a very reliable voice talent. I didn’t even think of it as an interruption to my vacation.  It actually enhanced it. It was cause to be thankful for my abilities and for the gifts that flow to me in this business.

It’s not the first time I’ve been on vacation and this has happened.  I was once on vacation in Prague and got word from my agent that the fine folks from Nokia wanted me to voice some TV spots.  I was having a great time with my friends, but once I got word that a client wanted to book me, I made other plans.  I told them the very next day, I would be in London and the studio of their choice.  They made arrangements and I got myself there right on time.  Yes, I left my friends and some good times behind.  But I’m a professional voice talent and when I get a call for service, I make it happen.

Is your voice talent reliable?  If you need revisions, are they willing and able to do what it takes to get your project done?  I’ve been in this game for over 10 years now.  I have no plans of getting out.  Just last month, I had a client ask for revisions to a spot they did back in 2006!  And I was here to get the job done.  I voice matched it perfectly and they were very happy.

So when you want a younger male voice talent that is reliable and will be here for your project when you need it: here I am.  It is something to think about when hiring a talent.  Are they reliable and will they be available in the future?

Post-Thanksgiving Thought

November 26th 2012

Just a thought post Thanksgiving: I have cause to be truly thankful for all things in my life. Yes, all things.  I have cause to be thankful for the good and the challenges. The good sustains me and the challenges make me stronger.  But I have to say, that the goodness in my life, by far, outweighs the challenges.  I’m thankful for my family and my home life. They are beautiful.  I’m thankful to be very healthy and to desire outlets and consumption that is good for me.  I’m thankful for my home & my home studio. I’m thankful for my travels. And I’m thankful for my line of work; voice over.  Voice over has changed my life completely.  It allows me to live the life I always desired.  A life I envisioned and prayed about several years ago.  And it manifested.

Voice over is what I do and it’s what I love.  It is something I’m passionate about and something I would do all day every day.  A voice over job came up on Thanksgiving morning.  It was for a client in Amsterdam and they needed voice files the ASAP.  They asked me if I would be willing to work on an American holiday.  I said I would be happy to do it.  Because it signified something to me: Thankfulness for Opportunity.  On a day of giving thanks, I had something to do that I love doing…and I was thankful.

 

I had a fantastic day working in San Francisco yesterday.

November 14th, 2012

I had a fantastic day working in San Francisco yesterday.  I had some TV spots to lend my voice to. The spots were created by Red Ball Tiger.  Let me just say, that Greg Wilson, the man behind this production is a genius.  I’ve watched some of his creations on YouTube and I’m in awe.  My work in the studio with him was quick.  I always find that the creatives that truly know what they are doing work fast and know what will work when they hear it. But I love his approach to the work, especially how he works with VO talent.  Before walking into the VO booth, he says, “Let’s play.”  I LOVE that approach.  I want to adopt that as my catch phrase.  Because it is about playing.  To play is a creative activity.  And when we as voice over talents lend our voices to a project, we are, in effect, playing.  So Mr. Wilson’s approach to working with his voice over talent makes us feel like collaborators.  Well, that’s what I felt like.  He’s genius. And I love to work with creatives like that.

It’s a pleasure and a thrill to be a voice over talent.  I love what I do and am so thankful that I’ve been able to maintain this line of work for quite some time now.  I am always grateful when someone hears something in my voice that they want for their creative project.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a national TV spot or a web explainer video or a phone greeting, by hiring me to be a part of the project, they allow me to practice the activity I love doing.  So I’m always truly and deeply grateful.

So…if any creatives are in need of younger male voice over and you need a unique and fresh approach: email or call me.  I’m at your service.

 

October recap

October recap

As I posted earlier, October was a pretty busy month for Justin Gross Voice Overs.  I was thrilled to land 3 jobs from Voicebooking, an agency in Amsterdam.  I have only had one client in my career that was outside of the US, and that was job for some sort of Italian MTV program.  So my 3 jobs from Voicebooking were 3 different B2B projects.  I felt so worldly by getting paid in Euros!  It’s the little things in life.

I voiced 2 yet to be released apps for Disney based on two of their movies.  These will be games for children. I shouldn’t name the games until they are released.  I worked on more Mystic Aquarium commercials through my friends at Baker Sound in Philadelphia.   Some GE industrial spots for my friends at Videobred in Kentucky. More Big 10 Tire radio spots for Zimmerman in Florida, Toccoa Falls College in Georgia, and instructional videos for Haas Automation in Southern California.

I was fortunate enough to do a promotional TV spot for the American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ album debut.  He won season 11.  I’ve listened to some of his songs on YouTube and I think he’s got something going on!  I loved it.  I was happy to be part of the promotion. Thank you to Popflash for sending it my way.  Popflash Productions is THE place for record companies to get their album promotions produced. Randy Edwards does amazing work.

Another job I did in October that I was thrilled with was a spot for Rice University in Houston. It was produced by Kenny Benitez. His brother Stephen Benitez did the music and Katy Bomar wrote it.  It’s for Rice University and I want to say that the production value is top-notch.  The music is phenomenal.  It was the first time working for Kenny Benitez and I hope it’s not the last. Check out his work on Vimeo and you’ll see he is doing some high caliber media.  I’ve worked for Katy Bomar in the past. She’s a lovely and talented writer and producer in Houston.  Anyway, I just loved this spot and was so proud to be a part of it.  Here’s  link: http://vimeo.com/52647237

I did many other gigs in October.  Too many to list.

Rounding out the month was a political spot for Sen. John Tester in Montana. I rarely get political gigs. I wish I could do more of them.  I think that those that produce political spots should start skewing their VO to younger audiences.  Since I do have THE younger male voice, I should be getting lots of these…but most of the political spots produced sound very old school to me.  So this is an open invitation to political spot producers:  Here I am!  A younger male voice for all of your political spot needs.  Well, I’ll know if my invitation worked sometime in early 2014.

October: A Great Month for Justin Gross Voice Overs

NOVEMBER 12TH, 2012

Thank you to our country’s veterans!

Focus and right attitude in any endeavor seems to produce positive results.  My October voice over bookings were great.  Going over my booking book, I always can see what months have been the best over the last year.  My June and July books were off.  Down from where they should have been.  But my focus just wasn’t on voice over for those two months.  In May of this year, we bought a home.  It was perfect. A cute little two bedroom home in the town I grew up in; a historical gold mining town with Victorian architecture in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The property had an extra room off the house that was perfect for my office/Voice Over studio.  The only problem was: it was a MAJOR fixer upper.  And we got busy.  June and July were spent completely remodeling this house and the studio space. So my focus was pulled away from voice over and put on getting this house and studio completed.  Once we moved into the house in August, things started picking up.  My ISDN line was installed, my voice booth assembled, and the equipment was set-up.  The amount of bookings started to sky-rocket!

So was there a difference in my mind-set between June and September?  You bet!  June and July had days filled with the emotions that go with doing a major remodel on a home.  Keeping track and doing the work we did and the work that we subbed out became a full-time job. I wasn’t thinking about voice over, I was thinking about getting the house done so we could move in.  Once the work on the house was completed and the studio was up and running, it was as if the Voice Over switch had been activated, once again.

I’ve experienced other times in my voice over career when my focus and intention wasn’t on voice over and I experienced results that were commensurate with such focus and intention.  I guess the take away is this: In order for any of us to bring about the energy of the work we desire, it’s important to nurture thoughts and actions that allow the desired work to flow our way.

I’ve been very fortunate to have a career as a voice over talent.  I’m thankful it came into my life and I’m thrilled to the core with each and every job that I have the pleasure to voice.

I guess a blog would be cool…

Even if nobody reads it, I suppose a blog would be a cool way for me to just write about voice over. I love doing what I do. So I’ll write about my career as a voice over talent.

This is definitely a unique business.  I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now!
So…I’ll do more entries here at JustinGross.com as I see fit.
Godspeed.

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