Robert Whelchel


EP 83: Robert Whelchel (autogenterated)

Dane Reis: [00:00:00] 

[00:00:00] you booked it, episode 83. All right. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Robert Whelchel. Are you ready for this Robert?

[00:00:12] Robert Whelchel: [00:00:12] I’m ready. 

[00:00:14]Dane Reis: [00:00:14] All right. Rob grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he began studying film and theater through his achievements in filmmaking, he was awarded three regional Emmy’s. He also has a strong passion for music and move to LA to join the young Americans. A nonprofit organization and performance group, where he toured the globe teaching and entertaining in countries, such as Germany, Japan, and all over Europe. He has since toured the world, dancing and singing on cruise lines and settled in Las Vegas, where he was deleting mail in the show. Pin-up. 

[00:00:47] He also performed in legends in concert and Vegas, the show, and worked as show director of extreme live playing at the LINQ hotel. Rob has his own video production company known as Whelchel Creative, where he directs and produces video content for artists and creatives. He now resides back home in Atlanta, Georgia, and looks forward to all the opportunities his home state will bring. 

[00:01:14] Rob, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Fill in the gaps, who you are and. A little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:01:29]Robert Whelchel: [00:01:29] Who are you? That’s. That’s the question. Um, So, yeah, so I, um, since the beginning of my career, I’m kind of went as a dancer singer performer. Um, And school kind of a little bit far left, but then, um, I left when I was 18 to join this group. Americans. And that’s where it kind of launched me into a career. 

[00:01:45] Dance and performing. And then we would be on tour touring and loading the trucks and doing all the logistics. So that kind of prepped me for the coordinating side as well on the production side as well. So I kind of. Took that with me to LA and then all of the, all the We’re on cruise ships and, uh, and finally, I

[00:02:01] settled down Vegas and tried to plant some seeds there and just had a great network and great friends and family there. And, um, yeah, so now my wife and I moved back to Atlanta and we’re S. We moved here beginning of March. So that time it was interesting. And. We’re looking forward to kind of starting to pursue our dreams here closer to family and, and maybe start one of our own one day. . 

[00:02:20] Dane Reis: [00:02:20] Brilliant. 

[00:02:21]Well, let’s move on to this next section and Rob, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. 

[00:02:28] What is your favorite quote you want to share with everyone?

[00:02:31]Robert Whelchel: [00:02:31] My. Favorite quote is probably case around. Whatever will be, will be, will be. And it’s so simple.

[00:02:41]Dane Reis: [00:02:41] I love it. And can you expand on that a little bit on how that’s. Impacted or played a role in your career or life?

[00:02:48]Robert Whelchel: [00:02:48] Absolutely. Yeah. It reminds me just, uh, to have faith and, and try to have a certain ease to life. Like, especially in entertainment industry, since it’s unlike anything else you’ve experienced so many different powerful emotions and situations and experiences. it’s a wonderful world to be in and also very unpredictable. So you have to work hard and trust yourself and just enjoy the ride.

[00:03:09]Dane Reis: [00:03:09] Yeah, could not agree more and let’s move on to this next section. And Rob, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer, and I think that you would agree this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work and while yeah, sure. There is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of challenges, obstacles, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:04:01] Robert Whelchel: [00:04:01] . Um, It’s just actually happened recently after a long time of just having a great grounding. Some things happen, smaller things happen. Than others, but I was dancing full time in a show in Vegas and I was doing. And I hurt my back and immediately went down and then found out the next day that I, um, I had some tears and some of my lower discs and that. Put me on the couch for a long time and it lives just immediately stopped and it was so strange. Not after time went on, you know, you draw. You adjust physically, but. Mentally. After about a month or so I’d say just not feeling the rush of the adrenaline or like being on stage every night. You don’t realize how accustomed we’ll get to that. And the exchange with. The audience, you And the little things that subconsciously I’m thinking about, but it’s just a part of your day to day, um, that exertion of energy. You don’t get that anymore. that, that was really hard for me too. Adapt to mentally, even though you try and poor, you know, you’re like, okay, now it’s time to work in the neck up and start projects. And I did start doing that. And that really pulled me out of. Um, just that time of healing, which was great. And, um, I’ve had some projects with a couple of different artists from LA where I got to direct and create a, produce some music videos for them after that. , um, 

[00:05:13] And I started working for the streamline I’ve show at the link. Um, as the show director, it was like this band, uh, . I mean, some, some great people were in the show and, uh, it was a new concept where they were playing music videos to this song and I was playing by the band. So, but I was, I got to control all the video content and kind. Show flow for the four hour night instead. It was just, it was like a DJ with live band and it was just the greatest thing that could have come at that time for me. Cause I got to be creative with music and you know, still my video stuff. And so that really pulled me out of an injury cause as an injury. To a dancer.  uh, you know, You try and bounce back quickly, but your body’s everything. So it’s, it’s an adjustment for sure. Um, 

[00:05:51] Dane Reis: [00:05:51] Yeah.

[00:05:52] absolutely. You’re right. As, as dancers. So, I mean, of course we know that our body is our instrument and we use that, but it’s so easy to. Just kind of take it for granted in a way that it’s provided us so much fulfillment in our lives. And when that

[00:06:07] all of a sudden is like taken away, you’re like, Oh my God, what do I do? And then, like you said, you had that.  realization you didn’t really. You didn’t notice a realize consciously how much being on stage being around castmates really impacts your life, that energy giving to the audience, like you said, and just. The, the physical nature of doing a show and out, you know, physically taxing. It is in the highs you get from that. And. I love though that you have. Flipped around. And you said, look, I’m working from the neck up. How do I, how do I use my brain to still be creative and. Fill in those gaps that now suddenly I have to find something to put there.

[00:06:43]Robert Whelchel: [00:06:43] Yeah. And like I had, I had my own, or I started my own video business when I first moved to Vegas and I started doing smaller projects then grant getting bigger projects. , it was strange. Just the way your universe works. Once, once I got hurt, maybe like two weeks after all of these like video. Clients started coming in, eating a bunch of editing done. So that filled a lot of my time and just made me having, uh, this new sense of worth that I could really pour energy into, which I had I had been doing. But, you know, it was kind of one of the side because dancing, performing was taking up most of my time. And then on. The side, I would put energy into my business. Um, So. 


[00:07:13] Dane Reis: [00:07:13] You’re good. 

[00:07:13] All right. Well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time that you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:07:36]Robert Whelchel: [00:07:36] Yeah. So, um, when I was 14, I was in high school and this, , it all started for me to kind of early on. I kind of really had a thought of like, this could be something I really would love. Um, I was 14 in this touring performing arts group called the young Americans, came to my town and they were, they were singing eight, uh, eight part beautiful harmony, and they were dancing the face off it crazy for you liking the energy of this music. I’d never seen. In before. And it, it, you know, I was like, well, I don’t want to do that. I want to be a part of that. And that was when I was really young. And then I got through, you know, went through several different phases of. What you liked and sports and wait 14 golf. Gator. And so in doing my video stuff too, so. Um, that, but when they came, when I was 14, I was like, I want to do that. I wanna, I wanna feel that within music.

[00:08:17]Dane Reis: [00:08:17] Yeah, right on. There’s nothing like that first moment where you go. Yup. 

[00:08:22] I think that would be cool. Yeah, I love that. And I want to piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one. Booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happened to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.

[00:08:43] Robert Whelchel: [00:08:43] . Um, Yeah. So, so back going kind of with all, with all of that. I grew up with a passion. Yeah. Like wakeboarding is sports and, and. 

[00:08:49]And theater was going to become a stronger in, uh, towards 18 . And then the young Americans, they came back to my town and I had, you know, I had an audition for them from a workshop. So like, They come to your school and it’s to promote music in schools. And then they teach the first two days at the workshop to the community or in our case, a school or two businesses. And then, um, of all these different songs, they are learning. They’re learning the second act of the show. And on the third day, the young Americans we have, when we do our professional first act, the second act, everyone gets up and does that with us. And it’s just a great experience. And, uh, so they came to do that again and took the workshop and audition and booked it. And . I was remembering back when I was 14, I was like, Oh, that’s so cool. I said that so long ago and it would just bring me so much joy to be able to go, like see the world and perform and teach and meet all these new people and just the energy about it. I just want it to be around it all the time. So that’s when I was like, Oh, I’m going to get to do that. It’s so cool.

[00:09:43] Dane Reis: [00:09:43] Yeah, I love that. That’s so cool. I love that. It just all came full circle for you. That’s amazing.

[00:09:49] Robert Whelchel: [00:09:49] Yeah. And, and, and yeah, that can be kind of unconventional enjoy. I mean, 

[00:09:51] Not say anything about, about South, but you know, the conventional way is sometimes going to university or. Uh, doing that. So I’m sure as we, as in most entertainers, no, you know, I’m going to study art, performing arts can be a little different. So that was, that was. Incredible. I moved to LA and just. Feel the West coast. And I know that was. As a good time. So it was a lot, it was a lot just really looking forward to just going out and exploring, and that provided, uh, a way to do that.

[00:10:15]Dane Reis: [00:10:15] Yeah, absolutely. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And Hey, it’s a weird time. We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:10:34]Robert Whelchel: [00:10:34] Yeah, , um,  is a crazy sounding like. When everything kind of just pauses the world. The first thing I turn to is just writing songs. So I started just picking up a guitar and grabbing my wife. Amy was sitting down, we were just trying to learn something or. That’s around. Then really I started. Feeling really creative and having an outlet that way. Um, and now that we just moved here, it’s, I’m putting a lot of energy into making new connections here and, and trying to grow my network here as well. And just kind of seeing what the city has to offer.

[00:11:03]Dane Reis: [00:11:03] Yeah, right on. And I love that. You said, look, I just turned to writing songs and I get together with my wife and we see what we can do, create stuff. And I love that you’re doing that because I think a lot of us are finding that during this time, because. 

[00:11:18]When we are artists and performing for a living, we, we kind of take it for granted that this is what we do. For living and that we get to express our art, do what we do and get paid to do it. And. What all of that’s taken away. You know, what do we do now? And I think we’re all starting to realize that we actually are in massive control of our art, of our ability to create and fulfill ourselves that way.  Right on, well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. 

[00:11:54] Robert Whelchel: [00:11:54] Am I the 

[00:11:54] Dane Reis: [00:11:54] am going to ask you. Handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

[00:12:05]Robert Whelchel: [00:12:05] I am ready.

[00:12:06]Dane Reis: [00:12:06] Let’s do it. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:12:13]Robert Whelchel: [00:12:13] Yeah, it would, it would probably just be. 

[00:12:15]Going back to Noah and you could have a life in film and production or going to actually being on the stage. , you know, that was probably the biggest thing that. Do you do you take this. Do you go more secure out, kind of in some sense. Yeah. Or do you go do it? And I just thought I had to go for it.

[00:12:32]Dane Reis: [00:12:32] Yeah, a couple things on that, you know, I think a lot of people are waking up to the idea of. Or the question of what is a secure job, because it’s very clear. Most jobs are not secure anymore. Even the ones that we thought were 

[00:12:46]Robert Whelchel: [00:12:46] No, and it brings people joy, you know, and, and I hope people are starting to realize that or that this really does how much joy entertainment being, being entertained.  brings you, you know,

[00:12:54]Dane Reis: [00:12:54] Yeah, absolutely. And also that there are so many options. And directions you can go within this industry. It’s a big reason why I even started this podcast in the first place, because we start off our careers, singing, dancing, acting, whatever it might be onstage, but. This industry is crazy, huge, crazy, diverse. There are so many aspects of it. , that you can be part of and still be completely artistically fulfilled in and. You know, when we’re younger. We  usually don’t have any awareness that these things exist. And to. No that someone like you has made that shift, not necessarily because you want it to, at that particular time, because injury provided this opportunity that. These things do exist and that you don’t have to just pigeonhole yourself into one tiny part of this industry that there’s so 

[00:13:42] much available.   Wonderful. And the second question, what is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:13:50]Robert Whelchel: [00:13:50] So my dad is just the best man. And it stuck with me from then. , uh, We’re working on a project when I was younger and I was turning a wrench on something and he goes, . He stopped me because I was forced. And I was like, yeah. Get out of real hard. And he said, Hey, stop. Don’t ever force anything, if you do, you’re probably going to break it and. It was like, he paused for a second. He was like, that also applies for life. I was like, that is gold. So, , that’s, that’s really. It’s so true in relationships, you know, and career moves and just basic life skills.

[00:14:23]Dane Reis: [00:14:23] Yeah, absolutely. That is I love that.

[00:14:30]Yeah. Beautiful. And the third question, what is working for you now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:14:42]Robert Whelchel: [00:14:42] Definitely putting, putting more energy into  combine my love for music and video. I mean, I would always kind of make, you know, a lot of entertainment companies, videos for them and, but I really wanted to. To do more like tailored artist’s conception. Uh, concept. So this artist, Desi Valentine, shout out to Desi, um, He’s he’s from LA and he’s got brilliant music. And, uh, I started working with him. Creating an idea for a music video. And he came up to Vegas and we got to record it and I got to. Conceptually. July’s it and work with his team to create it with their creative director. Fractures his creative director as well. And, and then cast it and bringing it here all within , an arm’s reach of people who I knew in the town. Um, Uh, and they were good friends of mine, you know, and we got to like come together and make this thing happen and being able to just. B B from conceptualize it to editing it, to shooting it, to coordinate the day up to helping with the costumes and the lights and the shot list and the smoke and stay safe. It was, I was just buzzing the whole day. It was, I felt like I was firing on all cylinders , um, And yeah, so that’s that, that was just one of. The best times. Feeling, um, Feeling. Yeah. Feeling everything. Sorry. Yeah. Um, just feeling completely like, wow, this is, this is what I need to be doing. So you’re getting a sense of that, you know? Um, Pre COVID. I was really hoping to move to Atlanta and started the career here to kind of cause it’s a big scene for music and, and hopefully to kind of get in with some artist here and start, um, Doing more conceptualization and executing concepts for artists and. , uh,  

[00:16:12] Dane Reis: [00:16:12] Yeah, right on. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe a piece of technology 

[00:16:22] that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:16:26]Robert Whelchel: [00:16:26] Final cut pro I love final cut pro. I got on that  I was, when I was younger, like Adobe premiere pro. These are both the main, um, video editing softwares. And, uh, or to, to the Maine, but Adobe was first and then final cut pro came out and I got on that one. And I have used that for the last 10 to. 13 years. And it’s just so nice being how to have the tools to create a different world right in front of you. Like Like anything you can think of, Oh, I’d love to do this or promote something like this for myself. You have the tool to just be able to. Sit make a commercial, you know? For people. I mean, it’s just such a great tool. That’s helped me in my life and made, made me some good money doing it. And I just enjoy that process of, of. It’s very tedious, but just sitting down in a chair and okay. You’re in your own world. You know,  and,  slice and dice and, you know,

[00:17:13] going into it. You don’t know what’s coming out of it. You know, you have an idea of where it’s gonna go, but just sometimes how. You surprise yourself where you’re like, Oh, I had all this footage. Now look, what I just made is so cool. So that definitely final cut pro and it’s and it’s pretty user friendly too. I’m moving to, if you have a Mac it’s , uh, You, you can pick it up. It looks similar, you know? There’s a whole new world of what you can do so most people can probably pick up the basic skills pretty fast. I would definitely recommend final cut pro 

[00:17:39]over I’m movie. 


[00:17:41], it’s worth the worth, the money.

[00:17:43]Dane Reis: [00:17:43] Beautiful. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:18:00]Robert Whelchel: [00:18:00] I don’t regret much, man. I,  but I, I would. Like Like to have follow. Through with more ideas. Cause I feel like a fire off. I’ll go through stages. Sometimes I can feel I’m super creative and sometimes I’m not. But what I am like, I have so many ideas that come to me and wants sometimes, and I do write them down and I’ll make voice notes and I will execute some of them get them done. But. I would just leave it kind of halfway done or. This was in a lot of my earlier years. I wish I would have tapped been harder on myself to really complete and see your ideas through, to the full extent, you know, not, not halfway and. And, uh, cause sometimes there’s pilots. I have so many songs I’ve written to that. That would be like, I can go back on and be like, man, that’s a cool song I got a burst and of course then it’s that bad boy, you know, but so more of that in life, but I am proud of the work I’m done, but you know, all those thoughts that kind of slipped through the cracks, you know, I wish I would have.  like, Oh, what could happen with those?  If , if you were to put more energy into that, you know,

[00:18:50]Dane Reis: [00:18:50] Yeah, absolutely. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your career in this industry that you’d like to leave with everyone?

[00:19:01]Robert Whelchel: [00:19:01] We are always in transition in life, you know, it’s it’s so you’ve got to enjoy the good and learn from the bad and especially in entertainment, because our contracts and careers, they’re not nine to five normally, you know? So you gotta do your best to tailor your own chapters and energy on things worthwhile, and that then make you happy, you know? And. Live the short. Contracts or are the short moments to the fullest and live the long ones with grace and 

[00:19:25] Dane Reis: [00:19:27] Yeah, such good advice.  And to wrap up this interview, Rob, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:19:40] Robert Whelchel: [00:19:40] . Well, you can find me at. Um, That’s got some links to some videos and just, uh, it’s my website or Robert Welchol on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. Um, but what I would like to promote is my wife, Amy is working with an organization that fights human trafficking. Um, called operation underground railroad. Just pay some. Uh, attention to them. They’re doing a lot of good in the world. So there’s a shout out. It’s definitely to them.

[00:20:03]Dane Reis: [00:20:03] Beautiful. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to  all of Rob’s social media and online resources, as well as links to operation underground railroad in the description of this episode, Rob, thank you so much for sharing your journey and joining me today. Thank you.

[00:20:22]Robert Whelchel: [00:20:22] Danny. Thanks for having me, man. Good luck with everything. It’s so great to hear from you and,