On Sept. 28, 2015, celebrity impersonators, were seen recently at the Florida Mall Hotel in Orlando. The entertainers, in Hollywood celebrity style, had been attending and performing at the Sunburst Convention. Even though the four day event, held Sept. 23-27, had just wrapped, many of its talent could still be found in the hotel’s lobby, dining areas, hallways, and in the mall itself!
Audience and fan reactions were amazing during talent performances. In between the showcases, fans were so impressed that they asked for photos and autographs knowing full well who they were rubbing elbows with – “celeb doubles!”
Some impersonators, like Oprah, Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, Justin Timberlake, Don Rickles, Trace Adkins, Dolly Pardon, Tim McGraw, Mariah Carey, George Carlin, Kathy Griffin, Dean Martin, Ann Margret, Steve Harvey, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Pres. G. W. Bush, Pres. Barack Obama, and others who roll out of bed looking like their celeb, were easy to spot and spot on.
Even others, maybe less noticeable, but still very convincing in makeup and wardrobe, were Cher, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Lady Gaga, Clint Eastwood, KFC’s Colonel Sanders, Mae West, Gene Simmons, Charlie Chaplin, Robert Downing, Jr., Joan Rivers, Dame Edna, Neil Diamond, Blues Brothers, Freddy Krueger, Batman, “Back to the Future’s” Doc Brown, Francis Scott Key, Jerry Lewis, Barbra Streisand, Bret Michaels, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Judge Judy, and many, many more.
During the convention, its 13th, many activities took place. Some of them included seminars and three sets of showcasing (where they honed or demonstrated their amazing artistic skills). They also met with agents and producers, had photo ops, enjoyed dining and attending an awards ceremony, networked, and partied!
Some of the talented tribute artists were brand new to the convention as well as to the entertainment industry. Many, however, were Sunburst veterans, as several had attended ten or more years! Seasoned talent are called that, especially if they work gigs as their celeb or character. Many remarked how great it was to see experienced entertainers helping the newbies.
Not only were there talented entertainment artists at this event, but there was also a full Sunburst staff. Some of them included producers Greg M. and Jackie Thompson, Lynn Frye, Bonnie Brooks, Roxie Dixon, Emilie and Steven Gehrke, Monica Carlile Edwards, Ilene Lieber, Steve Cooch, a full technical support team (including Matt Mamula and Eric Rung), new back stage support were Kim and Ridge Holdridge, and a delightful MC (Michael L. Walters as Dame Edna).
In addition, there were booths that offered many services that most celebrity impersonators require. There were online promo cards represented by Sharon Holmes, a costume designer Sara LaSalle, wigs, a limo service, videographers, such as Matt Mamula who is part of the film “Just About Famous,” and still photographers, including Michael Cairns and Betty Wilkes.
Comments heard by multiple fans at the Sunburst Celebrity Impersonators Convention:
“Oh my gosh, is that Oprah? I want her autograph.”
“I know that Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Marilyn, and others, aren’t around anymore, but they sure are here!”
“I got a selfie with ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’!”
“I saw today’s showcase. I’m coming to tomorrow’s as well, and I’m bringing my friends!”
Learn even more about this year’s event, its staff, talent and the story behind it, by going to its website or view Youtube videos. Follow Sunburst on Facebook, Twitter or just plain Google. Discover more about the recent film on celeb impersonators at “Just About Famous.” The cast includes many of Sunburst entertainers from past years to present day. One can learn and/or be inspired by all that is involved in the world of professional celebrity impersonators at slideshow, video links, Facebook and websites… enjoy!
Most likely one or more names (real or otherwise), plus celeb images, have been overlooked, but it is just about impossible to include all. Please feel free to post real or impersonator name(s) and photo credits below in the comment area or go to the Sunburst website to find your answers, plus look forward to future articles and next year’s Sunburst Convention!