Greg Campbell - The Changed Podcast Episode 46
9:32PM Sep 2, 2021
Today I am talking to a voiceover artist who is the voice for the 2021 Emmy Award winning documentary Shaw rising about the oldest HBCU in the south. He's done nationally aired commercials for Ford during the Kentucky Derby, and Kuhmo tires featuring NBA All-Star John Wall of the Houston Rockets. He's the brand voice behind Community Bank, aired regionally in the south. And he's the brand voice for a new apparel company called Shux, I'm talking to Greg Campbell. I'm Aden and this is The Changed Podcast.
Greg, Hello, welcome to The Changed Podcast.
Thank you for having me as a guest. I really appreciate it and been looking forward to it. So I'm very excited. Very exciting.
Wonderful. Well, I can hear in the timbre of your voice why you are a professional voice actor, you Your voice is like butter, my friend.
Thank you appreciate it. I've had this voice since the eighth grade, believe it or not.
No way. That's hard to imagine walking through the halls in eighth grade and somebody being like, you know, I like your penny loafers. You'd be like, thank you very much.
It wasn't it wasn't a very kind when I was going through that time period and and just walking into homeroom for the... after summer vacation, and my friends was wondering, you know, what happened to Greg?
You know, eighth, eighth grade is kind to so few.
It's a rough, rough time in every kid's life, I think. Well, yeah, it's like butter. And whenever you came into this voice, Lucky you, I think.
Thank you. Thank you.
I heard a rumor mostly from you right before I hit the record button that today, when we're recording this conversation, it's your birthday.
That's correct. That's correct. I'm 26 today.
You sound like my grandmother, she turned 29 every year until the year that was the last year. And so she died at 29 years old. Tragic to go out that young. Do you have any like birthday traditions?
Not really. I mean, I, I. But my wife is different. There'll be she have her birthday on August 1. And she's still celebrating it because she has like girlfriends take her out to dinner she's had for dinner. So my dinner and then three other friends. But for myself? Not really. I mean, I just just like to, I like to do something for myself just for that day. And normally, it's just, you know, either just relaxing, or, you know, having dinner myself. So yeah.
Yeah, that's funny. My husband has this summer birthday as well. And he's like, super uninterested in making a big thing about his birthday. And I'm a person who likes to celebrate big and for a long time. It's like your wife. So I've always like what do you want to do for your birthday this year? I don't. And I'm like, that's not an acceptable answer. we've, we've settled on backyard barbecues is a good way to celebrate.
There you go.
Go for whoever's in town
absolutely, yeah, absolutely.
And then he spends the majority of it just cooking. He likes to stand by the grill.
There you go. That's I like to do that as well. So that was on my mind today for this evening. So, but I think my wife has some plans, so I won't be firing up the grill today.
Well, Greg. I am curious. And you know, this, this podcast is all about, you know, inspecting and understanding and diving deep into the idea of change. And I'm curious, when you hear the word change when you think about change in your own life. What comes to mind like, What's your relationship with change?
I think my, my relationship with change has always been I've always done different things and I've always tried to change like in career wise I'm reinventing myself actually by doing voiceovers because I started out in broadcast thing, you know, doing news and sports, did some radio and did a morning show for radio. And, and then I got away from TV and radio, I thought I didn't think I ever do it again. And someone said to me, you know, you have a nice voice. Have you ever thought about doing audiobooks, and I was just like, I've never read audio book or anything like that. So I thought it would be great to try something different. And I tried this. I've been doing it for about five years, and I love it. So for me, I've always been welcome to doing things differently. And doing, you know, change means to me, is always something better down the road, something, something good on this on the way. And also for me, that's, it's always been like that.
Oh, I love that. But there's always something good coming down the road is a really lovely way to think about it, whether it's you going for something or on the other side of something that may be less exciting or desirable. There's something good coming down the road, what a nice mantra. And I'm curious if you have a favorite book that you've voiced.
I'm actually I'm working on one right now. And it's it's a very good book. And it's written by a childhood friend who went on to be a writer for our home town paper. And it's called, Motown Man. And it's, I originally grew up in Flint, Michigan, which is about 65 miles away from Detroit, and many areas in mid Michigan had the auto industry and Flint had Buick city. So that's where all the Buicks were pretty much made. And many of my family worked there, and the writer, worked there. And his name is Bob Campbell, there's no relations to me, but we kind of grew up in the same neighborhood. And he went on to write, he wrote for a magazine as well. And so he approached me about two months ago, a month and a half ago and wanted me to do his book. So and I'm liking it. I'm almost done with it. And he's a very good writer.
yeah, it's Motown Man is about. It's actually an interracial relationship. There's the main character's name is Bradley. And Bradley is an engineer, and his soon to be wife's name is Abby, and she is a journalist. So I think he's kind of mixed a little bit of our hometown in the book, and his profession in the book, and woven into that relationship. And it's kind of cool, because she's, the book deals with the year 1991. And she is away in Miami on a diversity seminar. And he's back at home in Flint. And that's how the relationship kind of works. I mean, it's, they're talking about what it's like to be a black man, and what she's learning about his struggle. And she's learning about other struggles as well from other ethnic groups. So it's right now, I mean, it's I really like,
Sounds like it's really pertinent. It's, yeah, it's so interesting. And then in the 90s, right around 1991/92. I also was, I was part of a of a project called Camp Odyssey here in Oregon, which was for teenagers and, and the focus was on building bridges between communities in our state. Oregon has a racist, very racist history. Like when it came to the Japanese internment camps, Oregon was like, what's the deadline? April, we can beat that. We'll round everybody up in February. I mean, it was like, our state has a really troubled past. And in the 90s, there was a really big effort to to work with young people to try and you know to build those bridges so that we could move forward as a state. And, and I think it's interesting now, all week long, I've been leading Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings for companies and actually for the last three weeks, and it's just interesting to me, too, that it's all coming back around. It's like, this idea that we did it in the 90s. And then we were done. We were like, Look, look how Look how tolerant we are "tolerant" was the word of the hour. And now it's come back around. We're like no "tolerance" is the wrong effort here. Community's the right effort, belonging, we want belonging. What... In reading this book set in the 90s. And reflecting on modern day, it's clear that there's a connection there. But what what are your thoughts about the the changes or the need for change? From?
Well, I think there's been some changes, you know, unfortunately, when there is change, there seems to be backlash, too often. That's a part of the process, but I think it's, it's since 1991. Yeah, there's, there's been, you know, I didn't think we'd have our first black president of my time in my lifetime. And that's happened. You know, so from 1991, if someone was to tell me that, you know, a decade from now, we are going to have our first African American president or president of color, I would have been like, Yeah sure, right. You know, I didn't that was something I really didn't think I would see in my lifetime, maybe my children's. So I think that was a very significant step. I mean, so from that time period, I think there's been some good positive growth. I mean, I had, my daughter was born in the 2000s. And to be able for her to be able to see that I think it's just amazing because I do kind of look back over my family. And during my grandmother, I don't want to give totally give my age away. But my grandmother was a big. I mean, she was in my life until she was tilI was 16. And she passed away. And think about the progress that was made from the time that she was my daughter's age to now. That's something I shared with my daughter. And so it's, it's, it's, it's been great. It's been great. And from that time frames, and now, they're still, you know, still got ways to go. Absolutely.
Thank you for sharing that perspective. Yeah. Yeah, the, the pace at which life shifts and change changes, is always so striking to me. Whether it's the way we view certain policies and in politics, or whether it's a technology advances. It's just the pace at which these things change seems so quick. And it's fascinating to me, I come from a background of studying history. And but like, ancient history, not ancient history, but old Europe, and, and, you know, hundreds of years where things kind of stayed the same. And then you'd have some big event that would change everything, then. And then now it's like, every... every year. Yeah, change change
Like we're ratcheting up our our change muscles,
right. It's important. It's very important. You know, that's how you grow. I mean, I think that... think that one of the biggest things with with change is fear. I think people you know, live too much in fear a little bit. I think. There's, I mean, there's a lot of things that that's scary out there that can scare you. But yeah, I've always challenged myself and just try to just keep going, keep moving, and just allow change to come. You got to embrace it, it comes. Something's you can't, you know, you can't control it's part of not being able to control it. But, you know, you look at your experiences, and you say, I'm better for it. I'm glad I've tried to have an open mind and live my life that way. Absolutely.
Yeah. I always think of the book Dune. You know, "fear is the mind killer." What do you tell your daughter about these things? As
you know, yeah, I mean, you know, I tell her that. I tried one to educate her on history, because that's what my grandmother did for me. I mean, she talked to me a lot about her experience. You know, she grew up in Alabama, and then she moved to Michigan. You know, during the Great Migration, a lot of African Americans moved to Michigan and the earlier part of the last century, and so I, you know, I talked to her about that because she she was kind of my history teacher, so to speak. That's what I I've learned a lot about. What you may see in the news nowadays. You know, they talk about what happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma and all that, when the news, my grandmother told me about that stuff. I mean, I already knew. And so that's what I, you know, try to explain to her that, you know, there's Don't feel discouraged, there's going to be challenges. But, you know, you're, you're going to now in your age, I mean, you're, I think you can really prosper, you know, a lot more better than what I did, and, and the people that came before you, so and I think she understands that and appreciates that. And, you know, you just have to explain that to her that there's going to be some struggles, but just keep, keep, keep your head up and keep moving forward.
And I'm a big believer in storytelling as a, as a method for teaching as a method for exploring ideas. It's the root for this show. And I, I love this image that came to mind of you sitting with your grandmother and listening to her telling a story as a way of teaching you important history. You know, I, one of my biggest regrets in life is that I didn't record all of my grandmother's stories.
it was before I owned recording stuff you know. But I now do get the privilege. And I guess this is probably a great time to trans, to transfer into this section of the show. But I get to hear stories as a way of exploring this concept of change. And I would love, Greg, if you are ready to share a story from your life of a moment when things changed for you in some way.
In the mid 90s. I worked in television. There was a at the time I was working as a news photographer, which is a camera man. And I wanted to move into sports. And the station I worked with I worked for back in Michigan, one of the reporters there, I was shooting with him and they was. In television, you don't hear about it as much as is, today is you there back then, but there's something called Sweeps, you know, that was when all the programs ran their, their new programs coming out and series pieces, you know, for local news, and all that. And we had a serious piece again, and the interatial thing comes kind of comes into play here is that my colleague was doing a report on apartment discrimination. And so his girlfriend actually worked for an NBC affiliate in Tampa, Florida, and she was flying up to see him. And we were going to work together as pretending to be a couple for apartment discrimination piece. And, and we did we worked on it. The second place we went to we got discriminated against unfortunately. And that that place also, the testers in Michigan also found the same thing, same issue with that apartment complex. And we didn't know that until after it was done. But my friend that his girlfriend, she was taking that position, there was a brand new station that was going to be opening up in Tampa. And and she remembered me from working on the piece with her. And, and I by that time I was working in sports at my station in Michigan. And she contacted me about an anchor position there. I didn't get the job the first time. But after that, there was another position opening up as a recording producer. And they flew me down for the interview. And I got the job and everything. So that was a changer for me is that meeting this individual actually led to a domino effect of me. One My goal was I wanted to move out of Michigan. I wanted to move someplace warm. So I moved to Tampa, Florida. That's where the job was. I was ready to meet my future wife. I met her here. And then I wanted to work in a top 20 market. So all three of those goals were met just from that person meeting her. And so I her name is Carla and I, you know she actually, you know, came to our wedding and I invited her to a wedding and everything but that really was a time in my life where meeting her and Meeting, doing that piece led to just boom, boom, boom, so many more things in my life positive things in my life, my goals that I wanted to reach all three were nailed just from that encounter with her. So that was this for me. That was awesome. And I never, never forget that. So yeah, I mean, it was just I was like Carla if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have met my wife. And I know. So that was just awesome.
Well, thank you for sharing that story. And thank you, Carla, for all of your contribution to this. It's amazing, isn't it? The how the difference how meeting one person can shift the trajectory of your whole life. And that's a fun thing to think about. It's fun to think back to, you know, people prioritize networking. It's not a secret that who you know, in this world makes a difference. But what's less clear is how to tell if who you know, is going to change the trajectory of your life. And I don't think you can right like you didn't in that moment. You weren't. "Thank God, I met you today. My life's about to change," right?
Yeah. And, you know, I mean, I think you're, you have a kind of a vibe from someone, just like, you know, when you have a negative energy from someone,
it was just a positive energy I've had from her, you know, there was things that she was changing her life, she was just going into news, and a lot of good things were happening for her. And so when you hear things like that, you know that you've met a good person and that person that doing the right things and you want, you want to be a part of their success. So I think that that's, that's something that you notice as well, that it could lead to some good things for you. And that's what happened. So absolutely.
I like that. I recently had a conversation with Kendrick Shope, she's, she's a woman who teaches people how to sell as entrepreneurs how to sell their services. And we talked a little bit about that. That sense of I call them, I call them 'hits,' she calls them 'breadcrumbs.' But that feeling when you walk into a building or you meet a person, like you're describing that sense, you get a sense, you get like a an impression or a vibe. Do you have a loving nickname for that sensation? Like we do?
No, no, I mean, you know, I just could call it my spidey sense. But no,
I love that. Call it your spidey sense. That's great!
I'm a Spider Man fan. But um, but you know, you do you. I think there is trusting your instincts. I mean, I always believe that that they've never been wrong. And I think sometimes, like I said, you get that vibe when you met somebody that that? Is that something that is a there's a darkness about them. Or there's something that just, you know, just very positive and you feel they make you smile, or they you feel really good or connect to them and talk to them. And so, yeah, I mean, it's just, you know, you know, when it happens, yes, absolutely.
Wait, wait, you just said you've never been wrong. Have you never had an experience where you were like, that person is a certain kind of way. And I can tell and then you found out No, the opposite was true.
I can't think of any where I'm pretty pretty. Pretty darn accurate with it. You know, I mean, I yeah, I can't, I can't think of too. Maybe when I was younger, but I think as an adult, you know, yeah, you're you're, you're you just don't know. But when you get older, absolutely feels like I trust them. And they haven't been wrong. So maybe since I was a young adult, I would say my senses have been very good when it comes to meeting people and hasn't hasn't disappointed me too much. So yeah,
I gotta say that is impressive. I generally speaking trust my, my spidey sense, pretty well. But I have had one experience where for like two years, I really avoided a certain person because I when I met them, I had a bunch of like, visuals pop into my head of what I thought their story was up there. Like, I don't want anything to do with that. But that was all made up. None of it was true.
And eventually because we were, we're both performers and we would do shows together and it's hard to avoid each other in the rehearsal process. Eventually, we did have some conversations with each other. And I discovered how wrong I was. And this is one of my favorite people now. To have, I have had that experience of being so completely wrong. I mean, his, a lot of what it was was his I thought his upbringing was like, violent like I had this like he's dangerous kind of a vibe and his, his manner of speech. And it turns out, he had grown up with a really similar upbringing to me with a like, meditation filled, hippie loving, kind of modern, new agey upbringing. Yeah, it couldn't have been more different than what I thought. He was really a total pacifist. I mean, it was fascinating. He just had really good diction. And he he hit his D's and his T's so hard, I thought he was a violent.
So I guess that's a diction warning. To speak clearly, but also you want to have a softness to you.
I kind of go by Maya Angelou a little bit, you know, person, the person tells you who they are the first time. Believe 'em, you know, I kind of live by that a little bit. I mean, because down the road, you if you that first impression means a lot. And so, you know, you you see it that day, I think that works both ways. It's kind of projected in a positive and a negative way. But I think it's in a positive way as well. You know, when I get a vibe from someone that, that that's been good, because I have a couple of friends in my life that I've known since, I mean, forever. And my wife met a good friend of our family. He's like another brother, for me. And I remember, the first day I met him, there's two people like that in my life, that they're older than they're my brother's age. And remember, I met them the same summer and when I was 12, and they've been in my life since then. And how did you meet them? I met one at a softball game, my sister played softball fastpitch softball and, and he was in the stands with two other friends. And one of the, one of the people. My sister was dating one of the guys. And so I've met him there. His name is Leonard. And I've known him forever. And he's much older than me. But he's, you know, just we just really hit it off. And then another guy a couple of months later, when my my brothers were going to their high school football game, and I met him for the first time. And he's been like a big brother to me as well. He's always encouraging me when it comes to my voiceovers. He was, he's probably my biggest fan. And he's, before I started before I even done my first voiceover. He was like, reg. So when are you going to do a voiceover? You know, he was always very encouraging. So and they've been in my life since I was 12. So they've been in my life a long time. And they've just been, again, like extra brothers. At this column. My extra brothers. Yeah.
Do you remember those first conversations? The what was so?
Oh, yeah. Well, you know, I mean, it was mostly funny stuff. Because, yeah, just highest characteristics. And one of the other guys His name is Bo. And his name is Dwayne, but we call him Bo. And he's just, he was just such a character that day on the way to the game. One of the things that that really stood out, and I'm going to give away my age here, but I don't care. I'm going to just do it. Back then there was the bionic dog. And he was talking about how the dog was so powerful, and the dog push this part of the window, you know, in a car, just him talking about just be happy cracking off of it, we were going on the way to the game, and he was talking about that, so I never forgot that. And then Leonard, I mean, they were just, you know, talking about the game and stuff and one of one of the buddies that was there. He was given my older, my older brother a hard time in the stands. And so that's what I just remember Leonard from Leonard wasn't doing it but that's those are the things that stand out. When I first met both of those guys, but yeah, the bionic dog thing, we were driving in the car. And he, he, he was talking about that story about that, you know, the previews of it, it hasn't hadn't debuted yet. But that's what he was talking about. And he just had me cracking up and, you know, yeah, it's amazing.
The shows are so fun. Well, how would you life be different if you hadn't met those guys?
Um, well, I think that, you know, it's just, it's just good to have people good people. I mean, it's, it's rare when you meet good people, and, and you just want them to be a part of your life. And they are always positive, always treating me in a way like, like a little brother, but in taking care of me in that way, in that regard, as well. So I think that they, sometimes when a person is older than you, you can kind of see how you want to be treated. They treat you the way you want to be treated. And then you see how they, they treat other people. And you know, when you meet someone, when you get older, and you meet someone, that's you recall how, how they treated you. And as a younger person, for example, I remember when I worked at the TV station, there was someone who was an intern, a young lady was an intern. And I always treated her like, she was one of the adults, you know, I didn't talk down to her, you know, like, some people would talk to her. Like, you know, she's just a high school kid or something like that. And I was talking to her, and on the same level, and she appreciate that, and we've been great friends, and three years, he got a job in Atlanta. And so, just from that experience, of how are the guys treated me that's, I kind of returned that on to her and, you know, she's married and has her enough. You know, they're like, family to me now. I mean, that her and her kids and everything. So, yeah, I mean, it's just just good people. Making a great express an impression in your life.
I love that. I would say that's been the theme of our whole conversation are the good people who who leave a mark on your life, you know, your grandmother teaching you history to Carla, giving you these opportunities to these good friends, showing you how to support someone's journey to us supporting someone else's journey. What a beautiful theme. Absolutely. Absolutely a beautiful theme. I yeah, it's interesting. You know, one of the things that we'll often do, when we're when we're leading these Diversity, Equity and Inclusion experiences is we'll start with a story circle around the word belonging, we just ask people to share a story from a moment in their life, when they felt like they really belonged. And it's like, you don't actually have to try so hard to think of behaviors and ways of communicating with people that helped to bring them in and bring him into the circle and help people feel valued. You don't have to work so hard. Just think about how it feels to be treated in that way. And absolutely forward, just like you have done. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, very cool. Well, Greg, I have really enjoyed this conversation. I feel. I feel, I feel so smiley, I'm just thinking about all the wonderful people in my own life feel like I want to call them up and thank them for their contributions. But I'll start by saying thank you. Is there anything? Is there anything else that you'd like to share before? Before we say farewell, any final thoughts or thoughts that have popped into mind as we've talked about these themes? No, I
mean, I just really enjoyed the conversation as well. Thank you for having me on. It's been great. I'd love to do this and then just talk about my experiences. So I really appreciate you bringing me aboard. Absolutely.
My pleasure. My absolute.
As we continue digging into what change really means through the stories that come to this show, that come through this show. I really love what Greg's stories bring to the conversation: the people. My dad used to say it doesn't matter what you know, it matters who you know. And while I'd argue, like many of you, that it doesn't matter what you know, he's not wrong. It's good to acknowledge what a difference people make in our lives. From family to friends, to foes, the people and relationships in our lives. Teach us, inspire us, shape us and give us opportunities we might not otherwise have.
I want to hear from you. have thoughts feelings, sarcastic remarks or a story to share based on listening to this episode? Help me keep the conversation going. join the Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/changehub.
I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to reach out as the person... to you the people listening. Thank you for listening to The Changed Podcast. Special thanks to my family for their love, support and patience to all of the amazing Changed Podcast Patreon page members who I couldn't do this without. Art of Change Skills for Life. And Patreon member producer Dr. Rick Kirschner. If you got something out of this conversation, please help us spread the word. It really does make a difference.
I'm Aden Nepom. And I wish you the kind of experiences in life you're excited to tell stories about.