Friday, June 08, 2007

End of the road ...?

I have decided to stop being Elvis. It hasn’t been an easy decision to make. The universe, however, appears to have other plans.

Not too many weeks ago, I decided to take a break from doing singing telegrams (or anything else Elvis-like, really). One reason is that it’s not very easy to do it from where I work. It’s not exactly a central location and, well, it’s awkward to bring a jumpsuit and wig and such to the workplace, have to change in the bathroom, go do my thing, come back and dress back into regular clothes, then returning to my cubicle.

I mean, there are way too many eyes. It works for Superman and his telephone booths. It wouldn’t work so well with me. We both have capes, but he has super-speed on his side. I, on the other hand, have heels on my ankle boots. And they make much too much noise in the hallway.

On a larger scale, my heart’s not really in it these days. I can’t say why, exactly. But if I’m not going to be happy while I’m doing this, people will notice and likely be put off by that. I don’t want that. Potential Elvis-loving clients certainly don’t want that, either. The main reason I started was 1) for the extra money and 2) because it made people smile. Pretty simple, actually.

Now, in the past, I’ve generally “worked” twice during the year: on Valentine’s Day and at Christmastime. There are usually some scattered appointments here and there, and those are the times I’ve needed to be Elvis-ready at a moment’s notice, but it just doesn’t happen much. This is where it gets weird, then. Since I decided to put the brakes on so-to-speak, I’ve had to turn down six or seven gigs. This kind of interest has been unprecedented in my, what, four years of experience doing this? Saying no to $50 or $60 is surprisingly easy. But $350+? Not so much.

I’m not used to turning down appointments. Not for anything. The only reason I exist in this realm is due to word of mouth. Being Elvis in a public setting is essentially the way I advertise. And it’s been effective. It’s also why I’m prolly known as the Elvis guy in many circles. Why all the interest, then, right as I decide to throw in the towel? Eh, I blame the universe.

A couple weeks ago, a reporter at the Standard-Examiner called me and interviewed me for a “fun” little article on a couple of impersonators. I chose to go ahead with it, choosing not to tell her about my semi-retirement. The interview was pretty terrible, she misquoted me at least once and made the mistake of saying I did singing telegraphs, but whatever. C’est la vie. That article came out today. If you want to read it, click HERE.

I was able to sing a tune at an open mic not too long ago that, while not an Elvis song, ended up coming out that way some. Or so those in the room said. All I can say is that he’s a hard habit to shake. My friend and I did Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” and, honestly, it couldn’t have gone better. The performing felt really, really nice. Course, they want me to make a repeat performance as Elvis, but that’s not going to happen. Maybe I can stick to being Elvis-like without being the carbon copy Elvis impersonator? I realize that’s very Spinal Tap of me—wanting to try my hand at other creative outlets and whathaveyou when I’m known for one thing and one thing only—but it is what it is.

Some time ago, I contacted the Days of ’47 Parade about walking in the parade as Elvis again this year. I did it in ’04 and enjoyed it thoroughly. I was turned down when I tried to walk the next year. And, after this attempt, now I’ve been turned down twice. Perhaps it’s just as well.

Whatever the universe is attempting to say, it isn’t being real consistent about things. But I wonder if I should listen harder? Maybe there’s something about the flow of things that I’m not allowing to be revealed? And maybe, just maybe, this is what they mean by Elvis not dying? It’s the ever-eager audiences and all-too-stereotypical pandemonium that just won’t allow him to die. Eh, I dunno.

Salt Lake has a guy who bills himself as Fat Elvis. Though I haven’t seen him perform, rumor has it he is 6’ 9” and over 400 pounds. Maybe this city needs a new kind of performer. If and when I decide to return, I could be Reluctant Elvis. Because you gotta have a gimmick.

18 comments:

Sarita said...

A shame. That a date actually advised you not to tell girls about your talent. At least you have a hobby that extends passed video games.

Yeah, pretty terrible article.

tim & brandi said...

Reluctant Elvis, I love it.

Trude said...

not end of the road. I bet you never get rid of the suit.

Dainon said...

It was either that or "Heartbroke Hotel". And, you're right ... suit stays.

Mikusan said...

So does this mean we'll never put on our Elvis/Neil show? Too bad, I had the perfect name for it:
Viva Las Hot August Nights.

Oh well, maybe by the time my family can spend any significant time in Utah you'll be Elvising again.

Good luck with the whole listening to the universe thing!

ewesa said...

"here we've come, to the eeend of the ro-oad, and I can't leeet go..."
whoa. boyz2men flashback.
glad I saw you in your elvis days. :)

f*bomb. said...

You break my heart. You also just became 42% less attractive to me. And I swear to you, I JUST TOLD A STORY that I knew an Elvis enthusiast who performed professionally because we're going to my roommate's coworker's 60 yr. old Elvis impersonation show, and I'm dead convinced it won't be as good as yours would be.

YOU BREAK MY HEART.

luminainfinite said...

I think I get this...and I respect that you are in tune with yourself. The many calls to perform now, that you are declining, are illustrating more clearly to you that you are done. Unless you don't want to be...
anyway, it's great to hear you utter, "Whatever the universe is attempting to say..."

Dainon said...

You guys don't know how hard it was for me to make this decision, you don't. I suppose it might seem rather silly to some, considering what it is, but this has been a very real part of my life for the past five years or so. And I'm not sure I can walk away from it for good, but I do know I won't be doing this at 60 years of age, either. No way, no how.

Everybody needs a break.

aisy said...

enjoy your break... just sad i never saw it in real life... are you changing your blog title?

Dainon said...

There will be no name changing here.

eped said...

bummer. Elvis lived to see his own obsolescence, you're quitting while you're ahead. but you'll always be Elvis to me.

really, I think I like the reluctant Elvis thing. I remember on Saturday Night Live they had a short lived thing they did called Microscopic Elvis. he was really tiny and just went about commenting on how everything around him was "HUGE." and Kim Bassinger was Ann Margret.

Dainon said...

Check THIS out. Ha.

Tiny Elvis

The Carrie Collection said...

D, I had no idea. I guess I haven't read your blog in a few days. Were you planning on ever telling your work group of friends? Now I'm not going to Cancun. Maybe you should start being a Carol impersonator. You'd need to give up your running and start eating. Your call.

Laurie said...

Dainon, I hope you know that you were a truly great, great Elvis. You made my heart flutter.

Dainon said...

Awww. Thanks for that. You are very kind. I still enjoy making people happy, so chances are Elvis will make a repeat performance before the moves or voice gets too rusty.

Mikusan said...

Then Viva Las Hot August Nights?

Dainon said...

That's been talked about for so long, it's hard to believe it'll ever happen. But if'n you're up for it, we could always take a stab.