J Robert Spencer. Affectionately known as Bobby by his friends in his hometown. My hometown, York, PA. I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby when I was 18 and while considering a career in performance. I traveled to NYC to see him in the Broadway production of SIDESHOW. I met him and he welcomed me and generously answered all the questions I had with his warm and charismatic personality.
Fast forward 15 years. Bobby’s life unfolds, starting a family, continuing to pursue his career, accomplishing such things such as… oh you know… starring in the original cast of the phenomenon Broadway hit JERSEY BOYS and then being nominated for a TONY Award in another Broadway production called Next To Normal. To say I am inspired by this guy is an understatement.
It just so happened that he was coming back to York last January to perform in his current success The Midtown Men, where he and the other original cast members from the JERSEY BOYS entertained audience after audience with energetic tunes of the 60s. I caught wind of it and thought I would take a chance and reach out to him and see if he wanted to grab a drink while he was home. (Because you know we were tight from that one time that I met him back in 1998.) haha. He very kindly and respectfully declined due to the tight touring schedule, and that was that.
But then something happened that blew my mind and is a testament to the awesomeness that is J. Robert Spencer. Out of the blue I receive an email from him saying that after I had emailed him, he looked through my work and that he needed to update his headshot and wondered if I would be interested in photographing him when he was in town. I respectfully declined…. I kid.
No pressure. I can do this. No big deal... I pep talked myself through what felt like an overwhelming excitement and pressure to do well. But as another testament to the awesomeness of Bobby, he was so energetic, outgoing, and natural in front of the camera during the shoot that it all just unfolded into what ended up being one of the most fun and successful studio shoots I have ever done.
Enough about that. Check it.