Behind the Mic: Bob Dunsworth
You know the voice. Bob Dunsworth’s been around the block (twice, in fact). Heard on radio & TV everywhere, including over a decade at Chicago’s LOOP. He’s the Promo Voice for Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Motley Crue & many more. Versatile, distinctive & dangerous. He gets your story told…the way you want it told.
What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)?
WLUP “The Loop” in Chicago, WKQX-Q101 in Chicago, 100.3 The Sound in Los Angeles, 710 ESPN in Los Angeles, WMVP AM1000 in Chicago, and 50 more…
What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)?
Full-time VO, including concert promo voice for Paul McCartney, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Rolling Stones, Styx, Fleetwood Mac, Sturgill Simpson, Roger Waters, Poison, and many more.
What do you love about your job?
It’s better than working for a living.
How did you get started as a VO actor?
I started on-air in radio at 14.
Check out Bob’s Demo:
What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?
First VO gig: Kellogg’s Low Fat Granola. One of the coolest had to be getting approved by McCartney for his world tour.
Who are your VO idols/mentors?
Chris Corley, Don LaFontaine, and Gary Gears.
If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
Pitching for the Chicago Cubs, but I turned them down for the world of VO.
What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?
It was very cool, but the best was finding out my dad recorded it on cassette. The smile on his face was priceless.
How has new technology changed the way you work?
Now I have a world-class studio in my home, plus now if you travel, with plug-ins you can match the sound of your home studio.
What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?
Pro-tools & Apollo interface with a Sennheiser 416.
Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?
Pro-tools. I think it’s the best. Favorite plug-ins: Neve pre, 1176 UA, and Oxide.
Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?
Yes, many. It’s great to pick up different views and techniques. Always keep working on getting better.
How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?
It’s based on client priority. If they need it now, I get it to them now. I don’t like to let any scripts sit too long, I don’t want it sitting in my inbox. I spend around 2 hours a day on auditions, based on what comes in and how busy the session work is.
How do you market your services to potential clients?
Social media and email contacts.
Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?
Yes, completely different animals. Imaging has more swagger and projection, the same with the concert promos. I won’t read imaging or promos back to back with commercial copy. I will step out of the booth for 5, grab a coffee, or even step outside to take a break.
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
Practice. Practice. Practice. Just try to be better every day.
If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?
Late 60’s or early 70’s. Radio was amazing, with a focus on-air talent. Plus I could get a hell of a deal on a ’68 Camaro.
Favorite 2 pizza toppings?
Pepperoni & Pepperoni (didn’t they do a morning show in the 70’s?)
If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?
Dean Martin. One, because “dinner” would just be bourbon. Two, “The King of Cool.” Three, Vegas stories.