Last week I attended the 11th Annual Celebrity Impersonators Convention (CIC) in Las Vegas. It’s the event started by Janna Joos that brings together look-alikes, celebrity impersonators, tribute artists, agents, and producers from all over the world. Attending has become an important part of my year as I renew friendships, make new friends, and learn from the other professionals in this lively and always interesting business.
For more details about Janna, the CIC, and the impersonator/entertainment business, please read last year’s Report from the CIC. And if you don’t already know, read about the differences between a tribute artist, a celebrity impersonator, and a look-alike.
In 2007, the CIC joined with The Reel Awards, giving tribute artists and look-alikes two great events in one amazing place. The recently renovated Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas was a fantastic venue for both of this year’s events. We all had the chance to perform on the Gordie Brown Theater stage. The 20th Annual Reel Awards show featured singing, comedy, impressions, and celebrity impersonators. Seeing the best of the best on a single stage is both an entertainment treat and a ‘how to’ lesson for any first-time attendees. The Reel Awards is the Academy Awards for the best lookalikes and tribute artists in the business!
Guess what? I was fortunate enough to be honored with awards at both the CIC and the Reel Awards. Here are the details.
Days 2 and 3 of the Celebrity Impersonators Convention feature showcase performances by the tribute artists, look-alikes, and impersonators. Showcases are four-minute performances where each artist highlights their skills of singing, dancing, performing comedy, or simply demonstrating their unique and special talents. The artists competed for the title of Vegas Tribute Idol. The performances were judged by a panel of eight industry experts (i.e., agents, producers, and expert tribute artists) on the following criteria: stage presence, showmanship, movement, audience interaction/appeal, eye contact, poise, costume, vocal ability and authenticity.
Here are the results of the Vegas Tribute Idol showcase and competition:
1st Place: Troy Anderson as Louis Armstrong
2nd Place: Jason Scott as Neil Diamond
3rd Place: Steve Weber as Forrest Gump
4th Place: Joe Manuella as Robert DeNiro
5th Place: William ‘Bill’ Johnson as Bob Hope
The Reel Awards nominates tribute bands or individuals for different categories such as Country’s Rising Star, Comedy, Tribute Band, Best Actress, and so on. I was nominated for and the winner of the Best Actor award. The winners are selected by fellow tribute artists and look-alikes who vote for one person from a list of five nominees from each category.
Wow! The highest praise a person can receive is the recognition from his or her peers. I’m humbled and honored. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the 2011 Reel Awards.
I especially want to say thanks to my fellow tribute artists, look-alikes, and impersonators for your kindness and support … you are my friends.
And thanks to the agents and producers of the entertainment world who make it possible for us artists to work.
Have you ever been recognized by your peers for your special talent?
If yes, did it give your career a boost? … a shot in the arm?
Did the recognition validate your previous hard work and effort?
p.s. BroadwayWorld.com also gives a great wrap up for both events in their Sunday, February 27, 2011, online edition.
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