August 3, 2008

‘Cher’ in the Round

This Cher impersonator gig was a bit unusual in that the audience surrounded me on all sides. The gig was at a country club where a small dance floor (my stage) was set up in the large reception area just inside the club’s main entrance.

On two sides of the dance floor were folding-type chairs. On the third side of the dance floor were a few cocktail tables and chairs, and on the fourth side was a wall with two French doors leading into another room, which contained tables for dining.  OK, this is going to be interesting!

I was about 30 seconds into my first song, ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, when a woman suddenly appeared yelling and vehemently pointing her finger at the wall with the two French doors. This apparently is the international sign language to turn 180 degrees and perform to the people seated on the other side of the wall in the next room through the French doors. Who knew!

Needless to say, I was a bit dizzy at the end of my show.

June 28, 2008

‘Cher’ - The Banker

This Cher impersonator gig was an in-house music video for a mortgage company where I lip-synched to ‘Believe’, but with “new” lyrics recorded by a local singer.

The video depicted a dream sequence of a bank customer who imagines Cher morphing from a bank teller to a disco mortgage banker. As ‘Cher’, I emerge through a curtain of pens and chains (like ones at the bank counter that never have ink) to dance with bank customers.

For the costume, they provided me with a green bustier and blue snakeskin pants (company colors), which were too short, to which they had to add blue sequined material (where is Bob Mackie when you need him!)

With the current mortgage crisis, I wonder if they are now writing new lyrics to ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’!

June 22, 2008

WANTED - Clean, Private Dressing Room

This Cher impersonator gig was a long, long time ago - long, long before I knew enough to ask for a “clean, private dressing room”. This gig was at a food packing facility in an industrial area (now there’s a clue!); it was an all-day event for employees and their families.

When I arrived at the venue, the “green room” turned out to be someone’s office, which had no mirror and no privacy (office had glass walls).  I was not allowed to use the business office restroom, but was offered the bathroom downstairs in the dark depths of the plant where all the heavy, greasy machinery resided.  Oh, great!

The bathroom floor was so caked with grease and dirt, I had to put down paper towels so my feet wouldn’t stick to the floor.  Every surface in this bathroom had some form of dirt on it - even the bar of soap.  It was so filthy and grimy in this bathroom, I almost expected a rat to hand me a towel to dry my hands.

Ahhh, the glamour of show business!

May 27, 2008

Bed Bugs, Bathtub & Beyond

Several years ago, I had back-to-back Cher impersonator gigs in Las Vegas, so I booked a room at a well-known hotel just off the Strip.

At around 1:00 AM, I awoke to something crawling across my neck.  I turned on the light thinking it was just a spider, but was surprised to find several little black dots the size of pinheads.  OK, these are funny looking spiders.  I sqwished one and it left a crimson stain on the sheet.  OMIGOD, what are these things?

I moved to the other bed and tried to go back to sleep, but again felt something scurrying across my neck.  The hotel room came furnished with a sofa, so I next moved there to try to sleep.  Well, that wasn’t going to happen - more crawly things.

By now it is 3:00 AM and I had to start doing makeup in about three hours.  I thought about getting another room, but by the time I arranged it with the front desk and moved all my stuff, I would have had no sleep at all.  So I opted for the only apparent bed bug-free zone in the room - the bathtub - where I actually slept for a few hours.

It took me six months to not jump every time I felt a tickle on my skin.  This was a creepy crawly experience I hope I never go through again, but if I do, I will be looking for the nearest bathtub.

May 5, 2008

Thank You

A big THANK YOU to all of you who have visited my Cher impersonator website. It is because of YOU that my website is now at the No. 1 ranking position on Google.

April 28, 2008

Forget to Pay the Utility Bills?

The location of this 2004 Cher impersonator gig was the rooftop of an exclusive condo building on the Pacific coast. My “green room” was the model unit; a beautiful suite, fully furnished with a wonderful view of the Pacific Ocean and the golden, setting sun.

After sound check, I was ready to eat, but didn’t have time to go out; found nothing in the fridge and discovered the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter was made of wax. I started to do makeup and quickly discovered there was not only no hot running water - there was NO water running anywhere! I made a call. While I waited, a 5-gallon bottle of Sparkletts was delivered to the suite (you know, the one that gives you a hernia if you try to lift it).

I had been applying makeup for 30 minutes in the elegant model bathroom with my 5-gallon jug of water, when suddenly - POOF, I am in total darkness. I feel around for my cell phone and make another call; lights back on. 30 minutes later - POOF, in total darkness again. Doing makeup in partial darkness, I was certain I would end up looking like Sonny instead of Cher. After the performance, I returned to the suite to pack up my things and - POOF, in total darkness again. (Would somebody please pay the utility bills?)

In spite of the power outages in the “green room”, the Cher impersonator show was well-received and thankfully, no one got a hernia.

April 25, 2008

A “Ticket” to the Oscars

My first Cher impersonator gig was the Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium. The job as I understood it: ride in a limo and do some kind of impersonator/comedy “bit” that would air later that night on Fox.

The TV host, cameraman and me (the neophyte Cher impersonator), boarded the limo and headed for the Shrine. As we entered the line-up of limos, I could hear the screaming in the distance. As we inched forward, the screaming became louder and louder, until it finally hit me - we were “crashing” the Academy Awards!

The limo stopped and my stomach was in my throat as the valet opened the limo door. I stepped out of the limo as the crowd was screaming “Cher, Cher”, while I was thinking, “where, where - OMIGOD, I’m busted!”

I turned to see Jodie Foster and Candace Bergen get out of limos and thought, “Oh good, there are other impersonators here tonight.” Unfortunately, they turned out to be the real thing. I proceeded up the red-carpeted stairs and caught sight of 50 cameras with lenses the size of Frisbees all faced in my direction. Oh, this can’t be happening!

We were eventually escorted away only to stand on the street corner waiting for the return of our limo and subsequently, became the object of giggles and queried looks from the dispersing crowd.

Something good did come out of that disastrous evening - a reporter, in her review of the Oscars, wrote about Cher’s two appearances, which you can read about on my Cher Impersonator Testimonials page.

April 16, 2008

“C” is for Halloween

A couple of years ago, I performed at a gig on Halloween night. Now this gig was interesting because the reason I was hired was because the name of the person I impersonate begins with the letter “C”.

The corporation who hired me does an event like this every year on Halloween and each year they select a different letter that becomes the theme for the evening. That is, guests were required to come to the party in a costume depicting a character or person that begins with the letter “C”, which meant Elvis was not even allowed in the building!

Some of the characters/costumes in attendance: a cockroach (who mostly stayed around the food stations); a Canadian; a cowboy and cowgirl; a Caesar (who was hangin’ with Cleopatra most of the evening); a Cheesehead; and, a Christmas Tree (which reminded me I only had 54 shopping days left!). Costumes were colorful and creative. (OK, enough “C”s already!) I should have brought Chastity with me on this gig. (I mean it - Stop!)

The room had amazing decorations, even though they didn’t begin with the letter “C” - skulls, spiderwebs and jars filled with liquids floating eyeballs and body parts. I wonder what letter they’ll go with this year!

April 10, 2008

Casket Fit for a King

I had an interesting (and a bit creepy) gig recently - a 2-day mix & mingle at a funeral director’s trade show.  Three impersonators were hired - Elvis, Dolly and yours truly, Cher - to attract attention at a casket manufacturer’s booth.  You see, this is why God created impersonators - because the real celebrities wouldn’t be caught dead at a job like this! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Actually, it really wasn’t as morbid as it sounds - people in the funeral business really know how to have a good time.  We had a lot of traffic to the booth and took hundreds of photos with some very nice people from all over the country.  Our booth displayed some very beautiful caskets, one of which was silver-plated with gold corner pieces - a casket fit for a King, or rather The King.

The trade show featured vintage hearses, body scoopers/lifters (which the sales agent wanted me to demo, but I thought would be more appropriate for the Elvis to demo), and the technology to convert grandma into a semi-precious stone to wear on your finger or around your neck. OK, now THAT is creepy!

All in all, the three of us had a good time and enjoyed working the event………and lived to tell about it!  (Sorry again, I couldn’t resist.)

March 27, 2008

The Rubber Chicken

On New Year’s Eve, 2007, I had a walk-around gig at an Indian Casino where no alcohol was served. OK, that’s different. The Casino served sparkling apple juice in plastic champagne “glasses” at the stroke of 12 am. So things went pretty smooth all night and nobody got hurt, but one strange incident did occur.

Just as we (my fellow impersonators and I) were gathered at the casino entrance, waiting for the limo to take us back to the “green room”, wishing everyone who passed by a “Happy New Year”, suddenly we turned to see a young woman “attack” the Charlie Chaplin impersonator. That is, she came up behind him and flung her arms around him, gyrating her lower body in some rather suggestive motions.”Charlie” was thrown off-balance and somehow they both ended up on the floor with “Charlie” face-down and this young woman riding him like a mechanical bull! (Obviously, this young woman did not have the sparkling apple juice.) It happened so fast, we all just stood there in disbelief.

Eventually, someone pulled the young woman off of “Charlie” and escorted her outside. Poor “Charlie” stood up, brushed himself off and pulled out the rubber chicken that had been in his back pocket and wordlessly exclaimed to the crowd that she had flattened his chicken! (Although, I think rubber chickens are pretty much flat right out of the box). What a true professional - “Charlie” never broke character.

As we departed the casino and headed for the limo, the young woman spotted “Elvis” and started to make a beeline for him. Fortunately, we all made it safely to the limo without further incident, including the rubber chicken.

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