Real World’s ‘Glen’ Speaks To Patch About LA Season Reunion Show

GREATER PHILADELPHIA, PA — Glen Naessens was a young twentysomething back in the early 1990s sitting around watching this new show, The Real World, that was airing on MTV during the early days of reality television.

The Philadelphia native, who was living in the suburbs, at the time heard that producers were looking for cast members to appear on the show’s second season, which would take place in Los Angeles, and he figured, why not try out?

So he threw caution to the wind and, after initially failing to make the cast, was eventually contacted back by producers who said one of the original LA house members dropped out and they wanted Naessens to once again try out.

Naessens ended up getting the part and the rest is history.

“Then I just disappeared from Philadelphia, and I popped up in June [1993] on TV,” Naessens said.

Naessens, who was born in the city, grew up in the suburbs, and spent most of his adult life residing in the five-county Greater Philadelphia region, spoke exclusively to Patch Tuesday, one day before The Real World Homecoming: Los Angeles was set to premier streaming on Paramount+.

Naessens, who said he spoke to Patch because it is a hyperlocal news site, and he’s a hyperlocal, Philly-area-loving guy, is now 51 years old, a father of three, and continues to live in suburban Philadelphia.

Rewind back to the 1992-93 era, and this Generation X-er was busy playing in two bands, finishing up college at LaSalle University, working at a local record store, and hanging with friends. Pretty much what many twentysomethings were doing at the time.

His experience as a cast member on the Real World Season 2 was overall positive, he said.

“I think they did a great job capturing as much as they could,” he said.

He had some difficulties, such as being one of the only cast members without a car, which made working in LA difficult — it was his first time in California, and he didn’t know how much people rely on cars to get around in that city — but overall, he classified his time in the Real World house as positive, albeit also quite interesting given the drama that unfolded on camera.

Naessens ended up staying out in LA for two years after participating on The Real World, where he worked on movies and in television, and toured with his band, Perch.

He moved back to the Philadelphia area around 1997.

“I found myself in really curious places,” he said of his young life during the mid-to-late-90s.

Naessens eventually married, had children, and purchased a home dating to the 1750s known as the ‘Dannenberg Estate,’ a historic property that was even once featured on Patch in a real estate listing. (He ended up losing the home around the time of his divorce from his first wife).

Naessens has had his hands in all kinds of things over the years. He had even made some contacts in the realm of paranormal research due to his time working in TV and film, and he went on to host some ghost hunters at his Dannenberg property in Upper Dublin Township on a handful of occasions for paranormal events.

A super local guy, Naessens even spent around 13 years working as the guy behind the camera at local meetings — he did the broadcasting for Upper Dublin School Board and municipal meetings. So if you watched any of those proceedings on local cable access TV back in the pre-Zoom days, Naessens would have been the one behind the camera.

Also professionally, he has worked in technology and sales and project management. He had a career with Motorola for a time.

Artistically, he has written various movie and television scripts over the years, and continues to do so in his spare time.

And of course, he continues to be a dad, and says his kids were one of the reasons he decided to participate in the Real World reunion show airing Wednesday, since he had initially been unsure whether to join the other cast members in the House to relive old days.

“They encouraged me to do it too,” Naessens said. “I don’t think any of us really thought it was going to happen.”

Naessens had also remained closely connected with two of the show’s other cast members — Jon Brennan and Beth Anthony — and decided to do the reunion show partly because they would also be participating.

“I figured I’d do it for them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Naessens had a period of what he terms tough personal tragedy, something that took “six years of recovery,” so he was unsure whether he could go through with filming the reunion for the fear of the feelings it might bring up if those issues came to light on camera.

But he ultimately decided he wanted to participate, and now it will be up to viewers to see how he comes across on camera.

Today, Naessens continues to create music and works to save historic properties in the Philadelphia region — a strong passion project of his that locals may be interested to learn about. This was a big push behind the decision to purchase, and live in, the Dannenberg Estate.

Those interested in learning more about Naessens can visit this website, which features links to music from his band, Perch, and through the website for Klaus The Red, another project of his.

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