For some, it’s never been a better time to look or sound like someone else.
From Fremont Street to Laughlin, consumers are getting less concerned with the difference between Fan Halen this week and the real Little River Band in the same showroom next time.
But those are the guys with the booking agent. Just because people say you look like Chuck Norris, don’t get all carried away.
Just ask Dale Clark, a Kentuckian who looks like Johnny Depp, deliberately, because he was at the 11th annual celebrity impersonator convention at the Golden Nugget last week.
“My bread and butter comes from 7-year-old’s birthday parties as Captain Jack Sparrow,” Clark says.
Clark readily concedes he’s not even the top Depp impersonator out there.
“My ultimate goal? I would love to be what is called a photo double on the next ‘Pirates’ movie,” used for longshots or action scenes. But a guy named Ronnie Rodriguez already snagged that gig.
And the corporate world is re-evaluating the need to have Rodney Dangerfield at its cocktail parties.
“This year, we’re a little a slimmer,” organizer Janna Joos says of the 60 or so participants at last week’s gathering, which included both performers and those who do “walk-around” work and pose for photos at trade shows.
“Companies are having to cut back because they’re getting slammed from the media and Washington,” Joos says.
But the convention always draws outside media willing to photograph Jack Nicholson dining with Sarah Palin. This year, Shed Media — the reality factory behind “The Real Housewives of New York City” — was on the scene to shoot a sizzle real.
“You don’t have to be the best at your character. It’s who you know. … It’s networking,” says Joyce Soda, a Canadian brushing up her Cher. “You also see other characters and you can learn from them.”
Gesturing to Clark, she says, “Somebody might say to him, ‘We need a Cher. Do you know anybody?’ Or I might say, ‘I need a Johnny Depp.’ ”
Don’t they all. But do you need a Criss Angel? Las Vegas already has one, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to spoof him.
When Rob Anderson showcased his regular act for magicians, he got an OK peer reaction. But when he did a costumed parody of Angel called “Magic in Your Mind,” “They were like, let’s find you an agent. … This could be huge.”
“I’m definitely finding some of the answers I came out here for,” Anderson says of the gathering. “Let’s be honest. A Criss Angel impersonator? It’s a very niche market. But some people would definitely be willing to pay a lot of money for it, and I’m trying to find those people.”
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at email@example.com or 702-383-0288.