At the top of her game: Hornell native produces video with Charles Barkley, Max Homa
The video with NBA legend Charles Barkley and pro golfer Max Homa marked another milestone in Glo Gambino's career
Does Charles Barkley have the worst golf swing in America?
That may be up for debate, but Hornell native Gloria Gambino recently teamed up with Barkley and professional golfer Max Homa to find out just how bad Barkley’s golf game compares to amateur hackers and weekend warriors across the nation.
Gambino served as the executive producer of a digital video for Aleve as the company launches a new line of topical pain relief products. Aleve’s #SwingIntoAleveX Sweepstakes challenges fans to submit their biggest golf swing fails for the chance to be roasted via video chat with Barkley and Homa.
Homa trash talks Barkley in Gambino’s video, which introduces Barkley as “Basketball legend, +45 handicap.” Barkley is plenty hard on himself, too, unleashing one of his patented “Turrible” complaints after an errant stroke.
The NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst took critiques of his swing in stride, Gambino said.
“He was a great sport. He’s really owned that bad golf swing. He makes it work for him,” said Gambino.
The video was filmed at the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, Ga. Known as the “Round Mound of Rebound” during his playing days, Gambino said Barkley lived up to his amiable persona.
“He’s very funny. I think that comes with just knowing exactly who you are,” she said. “We were working on a golf course near a public walkway. People would stop by to look because it’s Charles Barkley and he’s hard to miss. He’s like six foot four. If he noticed they were watching he’d yell 'hey, how’s your day going over there?' and crack jokes with them. It was really sweet.
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“He was great, easy to work with in terms of receiving direction and pivoting his action. He was really flexible and truly a joy to work with. Of all the celebrity talent I’ve worked with, he was by far the most enjoyable.”
Barkley was the latest in a long line of household names Gambino has dealt with since graduating from Hornell in 2009. The list includes actress Charlize Theron, Community star Joel McHale, two-time Oscar nominee Leslie Odom Jr., Joey Fatone of NSYNC and rappers Big Daddy Kane and Meek Mill.
She studied theater at Nazareth College in Rochester and then moved to New York City to work for a Broadway production company. That led to a position with VaynerMedia, a social media-focused digital agency. When founder Gary Vaynerchuk was looking to build an in-house production department, Gambino jumped at the chance.
“I raised my hand immediately and said I have a background in theater, I’ve never shot anything on film but I’ll sweep the floors until I learn kind of thing,” she recalled. “I got a really great opportunity to learn how production works from the ground up while doing it. All of the content we were creating was branded. Most the spots I’ve done throughout my career are digital. Eventually I did a couple different TV commercials which were really satisfying. It really was just about the storytelling for me.”
Gambino produced the Aleve video for Lippe Taylor, a public relations and digital marketing agency where she now serves as the Vice President of Production. She resides in Brooklyn with her sister. Another sister lives in Rochester, while most of her family still calls Hornell home.
Gambino’s path has been blazed with 70-80 hour work weeks and hectic travel to filming locations. Having already accomplished so much professionally, the COVID-19 pandemic offered a chance to reassess her work-life balance.
“I’m very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve gotten and I’ve worked so hard to get here. I am just looking forward to a future where we can still produce this incredible content with these exciting celebrities but also keep mental health at the forefront,” she said. “That’s my priority, trying to figure out how to keep my mental health in a good place while also maintaining these intense work loads. I think that’s an attitude that needs to be adopted nationally.”
Gambino recently explored a new outlet for her storytelling passion. She’s in the process of finishing up her own short film that she hopes to release digitally sometime in the next year. Gambino enlisted another Hornell native, Kurt Johnson, to write the music for the film. The film will likely be debuted on a streaming service, though Gambino isn’t ruling out a premiere in a movie theater.
It would be another dream come true in a promising career that has taken her from the Maple City to the Big Apple and beyond.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities that I didn’t think were possible growing up,” Gambino said. “Being in New York, it’s just a great place because everyone is trying to work and figure out where their passion lies. There are parts of being in production that are stressful, but there are parts that are also very satisfying. It’s all about figuring out the balance.
“I find myself feeling very lucky most of the time. Getting to meet Charles Barkley — that’s incredible. I grew up watching him and everybody knows who he is. To meet someone who is so huge but also so kind was really satisfying.”
Chris Potter can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ChrisPotter413. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.