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 Johnny Means, Elvis Impersonator

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PaulDaleRoberts



Number of posts : 1147
Registration date : 2009-05-17

PostSubject: Johnny Means, Elvis Impersonator   Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:14 pm

Interview with Johnny Means, Elvis Impersonator
Written by Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
Halo Paranormal Investigations - HPI International
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/HPIinternational/
Paranormal Hotline: (916) 203-7503 - 4 Advice & Investigations
Email: pauld5606@comcast.net

Question: Johnny, before we get into this interview, how about telling the readers about yourself. Your family life, your favorite movies, your favorite books, your schooling, your favorite TV shows. Recreational activities and hobbies?

Answer: I had a kind of different childhood. My dad and mom grew up in poor conditions in Mississippi, much like Elvis’ family, and I could also have been born in Mississippi, like Elvis, except my dad had quit his job at the meat packing plant in Jackson after he and my mom got married and he got a job in the oilfields in west Texas where I was born. We moved back to Mississippi when I was a year old until the age of 8. We moved back to Texas and when I was 10 we moved to the island of Borneo because of my dad’s work. The last movie I ever saw in a US theater before we moved to Borneo was Elvis’ “It Happened at the World’s Fair”. It struck a nerve in my little boy soul. I still love some of the songs from that movie. My dad worked for a company called Zapata Offshore Drilling company who’s CEO and founder was George HW Bush. Mr and Mrs Bush once came to our home in Houston and would visit us when we lived in Brunei, Borneo. We were no longer a poor family from Mississippi. We had an oceanside home in the South China Sea, we had housekeepers, a cook, and my friends were from England, Holland, and Malaysia. I could call my dad and let him know when I wanted to travel to and from the far east, if I wanted to go through Asia or Europe, he would make a phone call and it was done. Before I graduated from high school, I lived in 3 countries, Brunei, Australia, and the US, and went to 11 different schools. My college years were spent at Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi, and City University of New York. I eventually went to work and moved to Las Vegas in 1979 and lived there off and on until 1987 when I moved to Reno. I now live with my wife Keri and have two daughters, Leilani 21 and Madison 12. My mom and sister live in Mississippi on the land where we grew up before our travels. Our great great grandfathers fought in the civil war and were paid with land and we still have about 25 acres of beautiful rolling hills and lakes. I love patriotic and inspirational movies like “Braveheart”, “The Alamo”, and “Saving Private Ryan”. TV? I like the HBO and SHOWTIME series type shows like “Game of Thrones”, “Ray Donovan”, and “True Detective”. Regular network shows are too tame, and often too cookie cutter for me. I hate when there’s an underlying political agenda that I can spot from a mile away and I feel that’s what I’m looking at on today’s comedies. Recreational? I love golf and have for 40 years. I won a club tournament in Asia at the age of 21 and play whenever I can.

Question: Why the fascination with Elvis?

Answer: I saw how people reacted to him when I was growing up and because my childhood could get a little confusing, moving a lot, the one constant I found living in the US and overseas, was the love for Elvis.

Question: When did you discover that you have the ability to imitate Elvis?

Answer: When I was 10, I was asked to dance for a home movie before
leaving for overseas, so I was dressed in a plaid jacket and started twisting and jumping around and someone said I looked like Elvis. I have that home movie today. As I grew older, kids would tell me I looked like Elvis so I learned a few songs, learned to play the guitar when I was 15, and would play for kids at my house, much like Elvis did when he went to high school and lived in the projects in Memphis. I sang at a party in Australia and some girls went kind of crazy and I came to the realization it was on. I remember my dad saying something like “that boy is now a man”. That was life changing. I made so many promises to so many Australian teenage girls. I still feel bad about that. Then we moved back to the US. We had moved back to Mississippi, I was 16 and my dad had built a beautiful new house, and a car drove up in our driveway and the high school cheerleaders piled out and came into our living room and wanted me to play and sing. I learned later I had melted a few hearts. I was more into football, basketball, and baseball at the time and girls were not a priority on my list But I sure dug the attention. I watched the ’68 Comeback Special and I think that’s what did it. I wanted to be Elvis. Through the years I acted in plays, was in some movies, and finally found my shtick as an Elvis impersonator in Vegas and Reno.

Question: Where do you perform?

Answer: I have performed for years in casinos and showrooms in Las Vegas and in Reno. After moving to California 9 years ago I thought my Elvis career was done, but I seem to be as busy as ever. I do a lot of weddings, birthdays, corporate events, and also am part of a tribute group called ICONS with the Blues Brothers and a John Mellancamp impersonator. I have two online agents, www.gigmasters.com, and www.gigsalad.com . I have won best of the year 3 times in a row on gigmasters.

Question: What are some of your most memorable performances?

Answer: I did a corporate event at the Wynn Hotel in Vegas in 2007. The crowd treated me just as Elvis were in the building. I did a show in a small town casino in northern Nevada the year before and ended up in the newspaper. It got a little crazy, and cops were called, ambulances…I had to be escorted to my room. The next day I got a call from the hotel manager who said that was the best show they had ever had and invited me back for a future date. I got to go back to my hometown in Mississippi in 2010 to do a show, was interviewed on tv, and performed for a huge crowd including my old high school friends, my family and relatives. Kind of like when Elvis went back to Tupelo after he became famous. It was totally awesome. I have won several contests and winning a round in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist at Lake Tahoe a few years back is right up there.

Question: When you become Elvis, do you psyche yourself out and stay in character?

Answer: I think I do. I’ve watched a lot of Elvis documentaries over and over and pay close attention to his mannerisms and the way he behaved on and off stage. Once I get into makeup and costume it just kind of flows. I feed off the audience and the more they respond, the more I feel the spirit of Elvis. I try not to do characterizations because those have become watered down and, in my opinion disrespectful, through the years and I want to at least try to be as close as possible to the real deal.

Question: Let's do some fun questions. If you were on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring with you?

Answer: The Bible, lots and lots of drinking water, and a mirror. Not to look at myself but to reflect the sun to signal passing ships.

Question: If you had 6 dinner guests, 3 historical and 3 fictional, who would they be?

Answer: Jesus, Davy Crockett, Elvis, James Bond, Batman, and Austin Powers (for comedic relief).

Question: How can people contact you? What is your website address?

Answer: www.johnnyrenoaselvis.com or www.gigmasters.com/impersonator/johnnyreno

Question: Thank you for this interview. Do you have any words of wisdom for the readers?

Answer: If you are an aspiring tribute artist, whoever you admire, go for authenticity. Not a watered down caricature. And remember one man changed it all. A little Mississippi boy that really had no future, was made fun of by his classmates, and told by teachers he didn’t have what it takes. Maybe that’s why I have always felt that connection with the King of Rock and Roll. And finally, never lose your own identity. You are a special child of God and have your own unique identity and ability to contribute to mankind. Live your life first and not someone else’s.

Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
aka The Demon Warrior
Halo Paranormal Investigations (HPI International)
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/HPIinternational/
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Email: pauld5606@comcast.net
Paranormal Cellular Hotline: For Investigation or Advice: 916 203 7503
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