How To Become An Impersonator
Career Video: Impersonator
As an impersonator, you will be a performing artist, taking on the identity of another musician, dancer, or other celebrity in order to entertain an audience. You will sing, dance, and perform for a crowd. You will act and make people believe that you are another celebrity. This career involves skill, talent and practice.
Why Become An Impersonator
Many people would love to see their favorite artists perform live. There are various reasons why they may never see them perform. One reason may be these artists are no longer living: for example, The Beatles or Elvis Presley. Another reason may be it is too expensive to see them perform. People will instead go to see impersonators, because they are very entertaining.
The first step to becoming an impersonator is choosing who you want to impersonate. Whether it is Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Batman, one of the United States presidents, choose somebody who you can imitate. Practice their songs, their dance, their voice, and the way they compose themselves. Convince people you are truly that person.
As an impersonator, you will dance, sing and perform for others. You will often perform in entertainment venues for large crowds of people. In order to succeed in this position you must resemble a famous person, you must be outgoing and entertaining, and good at acting, singing or dancing.
Impersonators must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Singing, Acting, Dancing
- Good Communicator
Impersonator Work Environment
Impersonators work in entertainment venues, such as bars, concerts, festivals, street fairs, and more. You can find impersonators in major metropolitan cities, working in busy areas, trying to attract tourists. In this environment, an impersonator may dress up in costume and perform for a crowd, trying to impress people walking in city streets. They get paid in tips.
An impersonator may go out on a daily basis, working on the streets, performing and collecting tips. Other times, an impersonator works more formally, as part of a business. They get scheduled to perform at festivals, stress fairs, bars and more. This part of the job often involves traveling to different venues and performing. This job involves being outgoing and friendly. It involves performing in front of large crowds of people, by either acting, singing, dancing, or other activities. Many impersonators are self-employed.
The median salary for impersonators in the United States is $57,000 as of 2016.
There are many variables when it comes to determining the salary for impersonators. Often impersonators work as street performers, donning costumes and performing for crowds in large cities. In this case, impersonators try to collect tips from passers-by, and do not earn a steady income. Sometimes a performer may choose to start their own business. They might do regular performances at local clubs, bars, festivals, parades, and other festivities. In this instance, an impersonator is able to set their own rates. Other times an impersonator might work as an employee for an entertainment venue, such as a concert hall. They might have a regular nightly routine, working as a performer. All of these instances will affect salary.
Impersonator Career Outlook
Employment for impersonators is expected to grow by three percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is much slower growth compared to other job occupations within the United States.
Occupations within the performing arts, such as acting, music, dancing, and more, will experience a slow growth in employment. Historically, there have always been more people interested in these positions than there have been positions available. There is a lot of competition with people who want to be successful as an impersonator. If you want to become an impersonator, it requires being very talented and entertaining, convincing in your role, and knowing how to market and publicize yourself.
There is no formal education required to become an impersonator. This is a job that requires lots of talent and practice. If you would like to become an impersonator, find out more by reading below.
Step 1: Start local. You will need to become comfortable acting, dancing, and singing in front of others. Ask friends and family to keep you in mind. You can volunteer for birthday parties, family reunions, graduations, or any type of event. You want to get comfortable performing in front of others. Doing this in front of family and friends is a great way to get started. It is less scary, and they can give you feedback.
Step 2: Street performances. Do street performances in your local city. If your gig involves singing or dancing, do that for crowds of people. You can dress up in costume and talk to people as they walk by, acting as if you are the real celebrity and asking if they want a picture. This is a great way to promote yourself. Many people will give you tips for your performances. You may need a permit to work as a street performer.
Step 3: Larger performances. Once you are more comfortable, sign yourself up for larger performances. You can work at local bars, concert halls, festivals, fairs, parties, karaoke bars, and other venues. These are all places where people would love to see an impersonator.