Humans of TCGMC: Glen Arvin
Josh: I’M JOINED HERE TODAY BY GLEN ARVIN, WHOSE EXTRAORDINARY VOICE TRANSCENDS SONG. YOU, READER, MIGHT RECOGNIZE HIS VOICE AS THE ANNOUNCER FOR THE DRAG QUEENS – AND THE GAME SHOW – FROM OUR RECENT PRIDE CONCERT. GLEN, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. YOUR VOICE IS A GIFT. I’VE HEARD YOU CAN HIT NOTES BELOW THE BOTTOM OF THE PIANO KEYBOARD – IS THAT TRUE? WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE YOUR UNIQUE VOCAL TALENT?
Glen: Well, during my audition, Gerald basically said “I’m out of notes!” I knew my voice was something special in my early teens. Even before that, I could do vocal impersonations of presidents and famous people.
Josh: WHAT ARE YOUR BEST IMPRESSIONS? DO ONE FOR ME!
Glen: Well I consider my best Rodney Dangerfield. How you doing? Looks good on you, though, alright? Hey Wang, it’s a parking lot, come on!
[interviewer note: the impression was uncanny.]
I interned at a radio station in Sacramento, and I was hired the day I graduated from high school. I had the crappy shifts and worked weekends, but then they hired a new morning show host who brought me on because of all the voices I could do. I can do over 100 voices and accents. I always say that I kind of lived my life upside-down. By the time I was 19, I was featured on billboards, and I would be recognized in grocery stores, just standing in line. I was a minor celebrity in my community. You know, Sacramento has 4.5 million listeners. Eventually, I moved to Las Vegas, where I worked for a couple of years, and I moved here in 1993.
From 1995-1998, I worked here at the smooth jazz station. I was the host of The Smooth Ride Home. I decided to concentrate on radio and TV projects, as well as live events. I fostered relationships with individual clients, and most of my deals are made with handshakes.
I consider myself a man of integrity, with a strong work ethic. My clients’ needs are always the priority.
Josh: CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME EXAMPLES OF THE WORK YOU’VE DONE?
Glen: I used to be a live event announcer, but now I record in my home studio. I record the clips – which are sometimes only 5 seconds – and I email my clients the MP3 files.
Annually, I am the voice of the American Heart Association Twin Cities Heart Walk, which happens at Target Field. I’m doing narration for videos about survivors and those who’ve raised money for the organization. Also the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and Taste of the Vikings, which benefits Second Harvest Heartland. You make a donation and a Viking player is your waiter for the evening. I try to give back to the community. For a number of years, I was the announcer for the Human Rights Campaign, doing things like introducing Senator Amy Klobuchar to the stage.
I am currently the voice of KMOJ radio. It’s a community-based hip hop station that has been around for about 42 years. It’s 89.9 FM. I’m the voice that plays between the songs, and I do promotional materials. I’ve been with KMOJ for a little over 3 years. Most listeners would be surprised to know that I’m a 51-year old white guy! I do my work for them in my home studio.
Josh: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR STUDIO.
It’s actually very simple, just a Blue Yeti mic which is USB-based. It just goes into a Windows 10 computer, and I have my editing area. It’s very easy!
Josh: WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS YOU GET ABOUT YOUR WORK?
Glen: A lot of people ask me “How do you get into that?” And the truth is it’s through networking, who you build relationships with.
Josh: WHAT’S THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF THE WORK?
Glen: The unpredictability of how busy you’ll be. You can have huge dry spells, and then suddenly a flood of work. In the spring, everybody seems to want something, as everyone emerges from the cold and all the events are starting again.
Josh: AND THE MOST REWARDING?
Glen: The opportunities to give back. And there are the really fun opportunities as well, such as doing work for the chorus!
Josh: WELL WE’RE SO HAPPY TO HAVE YOU. YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY A GREAT ASSET TO THE CHORUS IN A NUMBER OF WAYS, BEYOND YOUR VOICE. WE’RE THANKFUL FOR YOU. DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING EXCITING COMING UP IN THE FUTURE?
Glen: Well, a little birdie told me there may be some things I will be voicing for the upcoming holiday show, so stay tuned!
Josh: WE CERTAINLY WILL. READERS, BELOW ARE SOME LINKS TO SOME OF GLEN’S FABULOUS WORK. IF YOU’VE NEVER HEARD HIM SPEAK BEFORE, LET ME ASSURE YOU THAT IT’S EVEN BETTER IN-PERSON. THANKS FOR JOINING US THIS WEEK!
GLEN’S VOICE DEMO: https://youtu.be/Jg4Li5yqQK8
MOVE MINNEAPOLIS TV COMMERCIAL (ACTOR/SINGER): https://moveminneapolis.org/carpool/
RAINBOW CONNECTION (featuring 13 Muppet voices) https://youtu.be/9cA2ml-Ogqs
Josh Elmore (he/him), singer and member of our small ensemble OutLoud!, created Humans of TCGMC in 2018. He graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Linguistics and has since worked in sales, higher education, and, most recently, as a bilingual insurance agent (Spanish). Endlessly curious, he has dabbled in improv theater, stand-up comedy, sword fighting, the cello, and modeling for fantasy-themed photo shoots.