Today on Turbo Tuesday, we’d like to bring you a video from the archives of the late, great Bob Fraser.
For those who may not have known Bob, here is a quick biog of his varied and brilliant career:
Bob began as a New York theatre actor, originating many roles on stage, including “Snoopy” in the original Off-Broadway hit, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, “Michael” in the New York premiere of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, “Big Jack” in The March March and was one of the founders of The Fourth Wall. Bob would eventually own (with his wife, Bev) four theatres and run several successful theatre companies. He and Bev then moved to LA in 1976, where Bob became Showrunner on the perennially popular sitcom Benson, which he also directed, wrote and played the character of “Sen. Leonard Tyler”.
He would go on to create and star in the series Marblehead Manor for NBC, as well as write and produce for The Love Boat, Full House, Harry and the Hendersons, Condo, Phyl & Mikhy and Hard Knocks, among others.
Bob then went onto teach actors about the business of acting and was the first successful coach in this area in the world. His initial free newsletter, Show Biz How-To, expanded into several programs for Actors, including An Actor Works, You Must Act!, Nail It!, Headshots Secrets Revealed and much, much more.
Bob was the first Acting Business coach to take traditional and online business and marketing techniques and apply and translate them for the acting world in a way that actors could grab hold of easily and implement immediately. He ended up coaching thousands of actors in person and via the Internet – worldwide – to great success, including many Oscar, Emmy and Tony winning performers.
Sadly, Bob passed away on July 12, 2011 after battling melanoma (cancer). He was upbeat until the end – still finding time for his many students until the disease forced him to close the doors on his business for the last time.
I was one of Bob’s early Australian students and have felt his loss keenly. While Bob offered paid programs (all of which I signed up for, because the information was so good and just not available anywhere else), he also had an enormous reservoir of time and energy for everyone he worked with. I could email him at the oddest hours to let him know how I was doing, ask him a question about something, suggest a new program – and within a few hours I would hear back from him with a personal note of encouragement, an answer to my question or an enthusiastic acceptance of my idea and how it could be implemented further. I have no idea where he found the time – or when he slept! But I am so grateful that he practiced what he preached and made every one of us who worked with him feel that we were special, important and valuable to the acting business – but also to him.
Sadly, by the time he and I had begun talking about a new program I was planning to implement for actors here in Australia with his support – the ideas for which we’d been discussing informally back and forth for a few months, he had developed the cancer and was having to step back from work. My last email from him explained what was happening and that he would be taking time off to complete treatment and looked forward to hearing more from me about my work and plans – and that, no matter what, I was to remember that he was right in my corner and so pleased with all I was achieving. That email alone summed up Bob and his attitude and philosophy – he was a man of enormous spirit, drive and generosity.
Bob gave a LOT to all those who worked with him either in person or by remote – sharing his values of commitment, a strong work ethic, optimism and kindness – and I am so grateful to have been able to share my earlier career highs and lows with him and know him. He is very, very much missed.
To get an idea of how Bob taught, and what he had to share – which is still relevant today and I find myself still using in my career – have a listen to this video below where Bob talks from a Producer’s perspective about what really goes on in an audition and what an audition is really all about.
If you have heard this before (many others have followed in Bob’s footsteps and use his information as inspiration for their teachings), it’s worth a watch to remind yourself how auditions work. If this information is new to you – then it will rock your world.