Skip to main content

Elvis Impersonator

Insider Info

If you've got a bit of the King in you just waiting to get out, maybe you should become an Elvis impersonator and let the spirit of the King live on. Elvis impersonators typically dress, sing and act like the deceased superstar when they perform at parties, concerts, conventions or festivals.

Elvis has left the building for good, but even more than 20 years after his death, the King is living on through the tributes of Elvis impersonators.

If you've ever had a hankerin' -- and let's face it, who hasn't? -- to climb into a white satin jumpsuit, scarf a couple of fried banana sandwiches, shake your hips and belt out Viva Las Vegas, being an Elvis impersonator might provide just the right outlet.

Carl Kurtz says that being an Elvis impersonator is a good hobby for anyone who loves to sing -- and is a bit of a ham!

"My wife dared me to enter an impersonation contest -- she didn't think I would -- and I had such a great time that we decided to enter some more contests and perform at parties for friends.

"Since then, I've performed at private parties, weddings, car shows, nursing homes and charity benefits."

Elvis impersonators are not just people who may look or sound like Elvis. In fact, Elvis impersonators come in every size, shape, age, color, nationality and sex. The resemblance in looks or voice is only part of performing as Elvis.

And amateur impersonators can be found in every corner of the globe. Although Las Vegas is definitely the home of Elvis imitation, amateur impersonators can be found all over the world.

From church socials to karaoke bars to tribute concerts, chances are you have a chance to check out an Elvis impersonator close to your home.

People everywhere still love the King, and being an impersonator is a way to connect with people who share your love and respect for Elvis Presley. Kurtz finds being an Elvis impersonator both fun and rewarding.

"At my first private party, the hostess told me her 85-year-old grandmother's favorite song is Love Letters, so I dedicated it to Grandma. I held her hand as I sang.

"She started to cry, then I started to cry. Of course, it's a little difficult to sing when you're crying, so I had to start over. I put my Elvis sunglasses on, closed my eyes, held her hand and sang it again!"

Ray Kaminski of Toms River, New Jersey, performs at parties, conventions and fund-raisers.
Courtesy of: National Association of Amateur Elvis Impersonators

One of the best things about becoming an Elvis imitator is that people of all abilities can do it!

Kurtz first became an Elvis impersonator in early 1997 after becoming disabled and deciding that he needed a new hobby to occupy his time. He has always enjoyed the King's music and loved singing, so it seemed natural to become an Elvis impersonator.

Since then, he has performed at antique car shows and retirement homes, in addition to a monthly engagement at a local '50s diner.

Kurtz isn't the only Elvis impersonator making money at this hobby. Some people even become Elvis impersonators full time! If you want to get work as an Elvis impersonator, Las Vegas is definitely the place to go.

Getting Started

Currently, there are over 480 active Elvis fan clubs worldwide -- more clubs than for any other celebrity. Check out a local fan club to find out about upcoming tribute events in your area or to get in contact with other Elvis wannabes.

While some amateurs just stick to wearing long black hair with sideburns, dressing in his style and singing at karaoke bars, others find that once they get hooked, Elvis takes over their whole life.

Some impersonators become completely obsessed with everything Elvis. One has even gone so far as to have plastic surgery to alter his face to look more like dead superstar.

So how much is impersonating Elvis going to set you back? Here are two scenarios:

Scenario 1: I want to resemble Elvis when I'm on the stage but I do have other financial priorities in my life!

Hair gel$3
Black stick-on sideburns$7
White sheet (used as cape)free -- if you have one lying around!
Spray-on sparkles$3
Sunglasses$10 to $20

Scenario 2: I'm about to change my name to Elvis, buy a Cadillac and make this my career -- no, my life!

Elvis performance suit$200 to $10,000 each
Plastic Surgery$20,000 to $30,000


Always Elvis Fan Club
720 Shield St.
Bethlehem , PA   18015

The Flying Elvi
7910 Bermuda Rd.
Las Vegas , NV   89123


E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith,
by  John Strausbaugh
Elvis Culture: Fans, Faith and Image,
by  Erika Lee Doss
Elvis After Elvis: The Posthumous Career of a Living Legend,
by  Gilbert B. Rodman


Elvis Impersonators
Elvis clones, performers and fans can be found throughout, all photographed by Patty Carroll

Viva Elvis
CNN's tribute to Elvis, includes lots of facts and great links

Elvis Presley -- Official Website
Learn more about Elvis

Back to Career Cluster


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


Powered by XAP

OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.