August 10th marks the beginning of "Elvis Week." We're celebrating this treasured American musical icon by taking a close look at one of the micro-industries he (unintentionally) launched: Elvis impersonation. The King himself is long gone (maybe … ) but his deep, honey-toned twang still crackles out of old vinyls and digital files. Better yet, his impersonators are still bringing the crowds.
In fact, Elvis impersonators have taken on a kind of culture and personality of their own. In some cases, they've become more "Elvis" than the real Elvis ever was. Audiences love their cartoonish caricatures, even if those audiences — and the impersonators themselves — are too young to make a personal comparison. Would you like to become one of those rhinestone-bedecked showstoppers at a Vegas revue or a birthday party? How about a car dealership grand opening or a small town summer festival? If the idea sounds fun to you (it certainly sounds fun to us!) keep these considerations in mind.
Elvis impersonation comes with entry barriers
It's easy to become an Elvis impersonator. Just get an outfit and start crooning. But it's not easy to become a highly skilled, well-paid Elvis impersonator with a fully booked schedule of gigs. Though Elvis impersonation is still popular, the demand has decreased in recent years. (After all, Elvis has been dead for nearly 40 years.) If you're ready to tackle the hard work and tireless effort it takes to create a funny and whimsical persona, you'll go far. If you don't, you'll still have fun. You just won't be paid very much. Consider your goals before pursuing this path. Do you want to have fun and earn some extra money? Are you trying to make this a full-time job?
Know and love Elvis
As with any form of acting, you do a better job if you study your character in great depth. And you'll get more out of your study sessions if you really, really love Elvis. Read biographies and listen to a recorded interviews. If your interest catches fire and turns into a full blown passion, you're well on your way to becoming a convincing impersonator.
Impersonation versus entertainment
For most audiences, a perfect imitation isn't the goal. Having a good time is the goal. A great Elvis impersonator brings a special sauce of his own to the act. He adds a little drawl and flair that's designed to entertain and amuse, not win a look-alike contest. Do you love strutting in the spotlight and making people laugh? If so, then you're halfway there, even if you don't know the King's vital stats or never listened to the rest of the album after "Fools Rush In."
Get some help from the internet
Visit the Elvis impersonator website to get information, materials, and guidance to help you follow your gold lamé dreams. You'll even find ratings on Elvis-related products, so you don't have to guess. Check out gigmasters to book an Elvis impersonator (for reference) or find gigs of your own. You can also find an agent who can book you for higher level gigs. Those platform shoes won't pay for themselves.
For more on how to follow your dream job, wherever it leads and whatever it may be, use the tools and resources at MyPerfectResume.