7?s With: Rob Wreford
His Radio career includes Morning and Afternoon Drive positions in Toronto & Montreal. He’s been the featured TV/Stage voice of “The Just For Laughs Comedy Festival”. Rob’s Cartoon work includes voice work for “Arthur”, “Animal Crackers”, “The Little Lu Lu Show” plus others! “Reef” has literally voiced hundreds of Radio Stations worldwide. Let’s meet Rob!
1) How did you get into the voiceover industry? I think It was Radio that got me into the vo industry. As part of my announcer’s shift at various stations, I was also responsible for a “production shift”. This is where I found my chops. Everyday (usually before my on air shift) I would have to record sometimes up to 15 commercials. Everything from tags, to 30’s to full 60’s. I have basically learned most of my stuff through my radio experiences, however, when I went fulltime in the Voice Over Industry 10 years ago, I still had lots to learn and experience. Perseverance and asking a lot of questions was my ticket over the years.
2) How old were you when you were named “Youngest Broadcaster in North America” by the Toronto Star in 1977? Did it change your life?
So If I told you that….you’d know my age right? Ok….the cats out of the bag…..I was 13 1/2 years old when I first opened the mic in my hometown’s local radio station. I worked weekends and evenings and mostly operated tapes…..but I got an opportunity between running taped shows to do a weekly 2 hour Top 40 Show on Sunday evenings. I wouldn’t say it changed my life….but because of the notoriety in a National Newspaper….many Program Directors knew who I was.
3) What was it like working with David Schwimmer, Kelsey Grammar, Rosanne Barr, Drew Carey, John Candy, and Jonathon Winters?
I worked with these great people during Montreal’s “Just for Laughs” Festival. They were all pros….talented and real people. Have to admit, I was star struck, but had many opportunities to speak with them while we worked together. I think what I learned the most from working with them was they were like you and me, they put their socks on one foot at a time, but probably made a tad bit more than me in the money department.
4) You have worked all platforms of technology in Radio (from spinning and cueing up 45s, playing cartridges, playing cds, hard drive/computers, etc.). Which was your favorite?
I still miss cueing up a 45 rpm record but have to say big main frame computers is the way to go. Accessibility is almost instantaneous. But, I hate when computers crash!
5) When it comes to cartoons, what is your dream gig?
I think the dream gig would be to have a principal part in a regular weekly TV series, say like “The Simpsons”. I’d love to be the voice of Homer Simpson! I did many voices over the years in cartoons and also liked the versatility of playing different characters.
6) What changes have you seen in the industry over the last 20 years?
I’ve seen many changes over the years. The biggest change was technology. When I first got into this business, I would travel to “state of the art” recording facilities and do my voice parts with a Director/Producer and Engineer. The ability to do my craft from my own home studios and deliver through the internet and computers is amazing. Keep in mind, over 20 years ago, I would do imaging for a station somewhere in the US…. they wouldn’t receive my recording until Fed EX or Purolater got it there (at best) the next day. Programmers can have my stuff now in less than 5 minutes after recording. (And it’s digital….not analogue like reel to reel)
7) What’s a little known fact about you that might blow somebody’s mind?
Two things come to mind;
1) I can recite from memory, the entire Clark Griswold’s “losing it” rant scene in the Wally World Vacation movie. “Dad….you want an Aspirin or something? ….Don’t touch!”
2) I used to babysit “Toby” and “Christopher”. Who were they? Sons of Actress Maggie Smith.
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Fun Fact #1: Rob used to hang out with the Biebs.
Funny Story! Before Scooter Braun & Usher picked him up, my Son Alex, encouraged Justin to come and record at my studios……within a month Scooter & Usher had already set up meetings with Justin and his Mom (Pattie Mallette) in Atlanta………and the rest is sorta history!! Justin is an amazing talent and I’m proud to say he is from Stratford, Ontario!
Fun Fact #2: Rob is a regular voice on the animated TV show “Animal Crackers”.
Fun Fact #3: Rob claims he is the BIGGEST “BOX BAND FAN”.