As I am fully immersing myself in the impressionist world, I am discovering that it is a very rich world indeed, with a lot to it.
I created the JIMPRESSIONS show in March of this year and started performing it at The Acting Center, which my wife, Tamra co-founded five years ago. Since then I have taken it to stages in Florida, England, Toronto and Canada, and will be going to Australia in November.
The response has been encouraging, to say the least. Nothing I have done in recent years has engendered the positive feedback of these videos and my live JIMPRESSIONS show.
Because of this, I have also explored the work of other terrific impressionists that are out there doing essentially the same things I am doing, trying to entertain people by shifting their beingness. Here are the best ones, in my opinion that are not as famous yet as they deserve to be:
JOSH ROBERT THOMPSON
Josh and I met at an FM studio in Los Angeles in 2004, when we were called in the Conway & Steckler show to improvise, Josh as Arnold Schwartzeneggar, and me as G. W. Bush. We improvised for about two hours and became fast friends.
He has continued to develop his impressions and is really hitting his stride. He parlayed his Arnold impression into a regular series role on the nightly Craig Ferguson show, where he plays Craig’s gay robot sidekick, Jeff Peterson.
Steve and I met on a television pilot that used a lot of mimics, and I was impressed with his precision. He, like me, made a good living for a while doing G.W. Bush, but he took it to another level, going into full costume, prosthetics and wig to supplement his vocal impression, and pulls off a very convincing illusion.
After the Bush years, he told me he was working on Obama, with the same immersion into makeup and costume, and I thought, “Man, good luck with THAT!”
Amazingly, he has done it, and it is as sensational as his President Bush.
Ross and I met on a film short and also found a bond in a love for impressions. I had no idea how good he was until today when he forwarded this terrific video.
Piotr (pronounced Pea YACHT) is a sensational young impressionist who has a big presence on YouTube. Like Josh and I, he is also a cartoonist. Hmm…. He has a great future in the art form.
JOHN DI DOMENICO
I found this actor by surfing around and I’m impressed, particularly with his Donald Trump. That is an impression that I find very challenging, and this guy has really cracked it. Plus, he’s an older chap, like me, which earns him points.
There are doubtless many more, but these guys are truly in a league of their own and deserve a lot of success. I’m still on the prowl for more…
Why are we so affected by impressions? I have my theories… but that’s for another blog.
And YES, you can still come to my live show, the last two scheduled performances of 2011 are coming up on Friday, November 4 and Saturday November 5 at 8 p.m. at The Acting Center. Go to http://www.theactingcenterla.com/on-the-stage-2/ for tickets and information.