Maybe everyone you know tells you that you have an uncanny resemblance to a particular celebrity. Maybe you’ve been inspired by your favorite local Trump impersonator to take the performance plunge. If you’re looking to get started in the business of being a celebrity impersonator, there are a few important things that you need to focus on. Here are the first steps to getting your act off of the ground.
Look the Part
A passing resemblance to a celebrity isn’t enough to start a performance career on. Some impersonators take the approach of altering their appearance with hair styles and makeup. Some, like certain Michael Jackson impersonators, even get plastic surgery! While the latter is an extreme that is definitely not recommended due to health risk and cost, it is important to invest time and money in enhancing your resemblance. Study photos and video of the subject closely, and experiment with recreating different moments of their careers. You need to look as close as humanly possible in order to be able to compete with other impersonators.
2. Sound the Part
Looks are first, but they aren’t the only thing when it comes to refining the performance art that is impersonation. The subject’s vocal tone, vocal variety and cadences, facial expressions, gait, and physical mannerisms must all be studied and mimicked to the best of your ability in order to deliver a convincing performance that will make people want to hire you. This is where physical acting techniques can come in handy. There are plenty of books, videos, and classes on the subject, but the best material is available to you in the form of the subject’s photos and videos. Watch them closely and practice in the mirror. Then record a video and see where you need improvement. Ask for outside opinions as well when it comes to critiquing the impersonation and deciding where you need to work a little harder.
3. Online Presence
No matter the nature of your business, an online presence is critical. To be a celebrity impersonator, you should have your own personal website, videos on youtube showing your impersonation, as well as presence on at least two social media platforms that target your main audience. This will set a good foundation for sharing content and acquiring the attention you need to start booking jobs.
4. Marketing Strategy
While the ultimate marketing strategy these days is just to have a presence online, it’s also important to have an overall marketing strategy as well. You can try to make content to go “viral,” but this is largely a result of random luck or a particularly fitting algorithm that happens to favor your content. One good option is to invest in SEO strategies to increase the visibility of your website and other content.
You might be the best impersonator in the world, but if you are a diva or have any form of rotten attitude, you might as well hang up your costume. No one wants to work with someone who is difficult, no matter how good they are, affordable they are, or how much clout they can bring to an event. Be sure to treat your potential clients with respect and integrity, and don’t try to enter negotiations for a job in character. Be yourself, and make it clear that impersonating is a performance art. In short: don’t be a weirdo.