Today I sit down with the extremely talented Bob Glavin, he of multiple 2017 Voice Arts Awards nominations. Bob is one of the more interesting people you will ever meet, with an eclectic background as a performer, and a burgeoning career as a voice actor. Here we discuss his journey in the voiceover world.
You’ve got a big-league background as a DJ, isn’t that right?
*laughs* Big-league? I don’t know about that. I did some radio work. And I have been fortunate to DJ (work) in some of the Best and Biggest clubs around the country. I had Great times for many years! Learned a lot about mixing re-mixing and speaking performing in front of live audiences. Memories to last a lifetime!
How did you get interested in voice acting?
I’ve always been interested in Voice-Acting since I was very young. I would listen to old time radio dramas like War of the Worlds, The Shadow and when was a teenager I think CBS radio had a radio drama like that and more shows but with conventional today stars or at the time. I used to record and transcribe Promos from TV that Ernie Anderson, Don LaFontaine and Joe Cipriano would voice. Oh, Casey Kasem too! So I read a few books. My first was Take it from the Top by Alice Whitfield, the second was There’s Money Where Your Voice Is by Elaine Clark. After I read that book I said I’m going to make a demo tape. Now at the time demos were on tape. So I took a 6 week VO class in NYC. Now this was the early 90’s so it was much different from today a few commercials and a couple of promos on same demo tape. *laughs* I remember it now!
Anyway, after the class you get a produced demo tape and the opportunity for a major NYC agent listening to it. So I did it.
Also had the opportunity for my demo tape to be heard and critiqued by a number of professionals in the VO industry at the time at a panel put together by Backstage magazine which included another VO idol of mine Thurl Ravenscroft (voiced many commercials the voice of Tony the Tiger, Narrator of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”) The whole panel really liked it! You couldn’t say who you were though. It was just for critique. My demo tape was picked! Mr. Ravenscroft said “He should be working!” I remember one lady said actually I know who it was but I’m not saying “There is some regionalism though” but the panel all chimed in and said “that’s an easy fix!”
After the event I walked out and there he was getting in his limo. I had to tell him it was my demo tape. So I said “Mr. Ravenscroft that was my demo tape you just heard and critiqued. He said “Was it you young man”? I said “yes sir can you give me any advice about the voice-over business”? He said “Don’t stop learning, listen and follow your dream. You’ll be Great!” I really wanted to continue my voice-over career now!
Back to the agent she he listened to it and she really loved what I did. She pulled me aside and said to me “I think you should move to NYC!” She kept in contact with me through a few weeks and sent me on a couple of auditions. Booked a couple of things. And I wanted to move to NYC like she suggested but didn’t because I was very much in love and getting married and my fiancé was starting a career in television news as a television news editor and aspired to be a professional singer. So I chose to stay in New England and support her career while I DJ’d and remixed at nightclubs, because I was making good consistent money! And I said to myself and her, “Oh I’ll get back to my voice-over career in a few years.” Probably when she transfers to a station or network in NYC. Well, years past and things changed. We got divorced for reasons I won’t go into. But it was amicable. Hmmm maybe that’s not the right word *laughs* Oh you know what I mean!
Why NYC? Because of Randy Thomas! You can quote me. I’ve been listening and following this woman’s career for I don’t know 30 years or more! Her voice and delivery is simply perfect! I always knew that somehow our roads would connect!
Make no mistake NYC is fast! I’ve been on auditions all over the city! It takes time to get there so you have to leave very early because of the subway system, trust me! A couple of times my agent here sent me on auditions and I left my condo early enough and there were subway problems so I was literally two minutes late for my appointment and they wouldn’t take me!
What genres of voice acting do you have a passion for?
I have a deep passion for Promo, Trailers, Radio Imaging, TV Affiliate oh and Live Announce.
I know it’s my destiny! Many VO coaches actors I respect including yourself tell me I have got the talent for it. However, I know Promo always changes and I look forward and change with what read is popular or booking. So I continue to study and work with the best VO coaches.
What’s your dream VO job?
My dream job would be a few actually. The voice, or announcer of a network, TV stations, Radio stations promos or the voice of major TV show, game show, a lot of trailers. Live announce too!
Knowing what you do now about getting into the business, is there anything you would have done differently?
Oh yes there is. I wouldn’t have gotten married and would’ve I moved to NYC or LA sooner! So for anyone reading this and is in or close to a relationship similar to mine. Please listen to my advice. Do for yourself first! No matter what! Don’t let anything or anyone get in your way! Follow your passion! Follow your dream! Also, I don’t think that I would’ve done my demos quickly. Meaning one genre right after the other. I would’ve spaced them out a bit. It’s all about the voice acting isn’t it?
Yes, it is!