Never wait for tomorrow, what if tomorrow never comes? ~ Elvis Presley
I remember being four or five years old listening to Elvis music all excited and watching myself dance in the mirror when my mom walked in on me - caught, but happy.
As a child while he was alive, I was captured by the way his music made me feel, by the way I saw it make others feel. My parents loved him and his music, and it was a common bond together.
I buried both my mother and my father to his music, and always the songs they loved bring them right back to me, even as I perform them now.
The jumpsuits and the sideburns! As a boy I was enamored of these physical manifestations of Elvis and they were as completely ingrained into me as his music so deeply was.
When I met Janice, she listened and listened to me talk about my ideas. What I wanted to do. Already used to my sideburns, together we made my first Elvis jumpsuit. More than that, she told me to pursue my desire to join the group of Elvis Tribute Artists bringing Elvis to life and honoring his music.
My first steps were way back in 2009, performing at local bars for free and just kind of getting the feeling of this down. Learning the impulse of the audience, no matter how small, as to feeling the same magic in Elvis’s music as I do, seeing how I could bring this magic and memory to them.
One of the first things you know as you step onto the stage is that you are honoring and respecting Elvis. All of the passion you feel inside of yourself for his music becomes personified in your performance. You can feel it from the audience as they watch and listen to you feel him.
I had a lot to learn at this stage, and a lot of my learning came through the comraderie of my fellow ETAs. Beginning with sheer passion and working to improve myself, listening to them and feeling their respect as I learned.
Taking things to heart, I started voice lessons, studied Elvis more adamantly, worked to absorb myself into the best representation of his heart and soul on stage as I can be.
Now having won multiple awards competing as an Elvis Tribute Artist, the fact of the comraderie amongst those of us performing to keep the magic of Elvis’s music alive for our fans and audience remains high in my heart.
What began as a boy’s desire has grown into a solid dedication to an art form that keeps a cherished semblance from the past alive and thriving, builds friendships, and allows our fans to feel and experience the magic I remember.
Whether I am competing in an organized competition, singing at a charity event, or performing for ten people at a birthday party - the goal is the same: remembering Elvis, the passion of his music and the emotion of his lyrics.
Creating and sharing - that is the reason I perform.