Thane Dunn: Elvis tribute artist

Q&A symphony in rhinestone

Dunn as Elvis
Dunn as Elvis

Saturday, January 28 at the Rebecca Cohn, Thane Dunn will perform his 8th annual Maritime Elvis birthday tour, featuring painstakingly exact replica jumpsuits, including one with a stud that fell off of the real Elvis' suit while he was jumping around and being rad. Dunn answers the pressing questions of the day and breaks down just how difficult it is to be a hunk of burning love.

Q: Who are you?
A: I'm Thane Dunn, winner of the world's largest international Elvis tribute artist contest, full time Elvis tribute artist and no, I dont think I'm Elvis.

Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: I do this because I'm an Elvis fan who wants to portray him in a positive light and I love making people happy. I also love to travel and meet new people

Q: Can you take us through a typical day in your life?
A: I'm usually up early, oatmeal for breakfast, an hour at the gym. An hour of vocal practice. My afternoon usually consists of dealing with media, venues and business in general, plus networking. Evenings are spent exercising, more singing, martial arts and winding down watching a good movie or a long walk.

Q: What is your favourite era of Elvis?
A: My favorite Elvis era would be the early seventies when he was in tip-top shape and was Mr. Charisma from head to toe.

Q: Any advice for would-be tribute artists (of Elvis or otherwise)?
A: My advice for would-be tribute artists would be to ask themselves "do I actually resemble, sound like and share other character traits with the person I want to emulate?" If not, don't do it. There are more bad tribute artists than good by a country mile. If you honestly think you're a good reasonable facsimile of the character you want to portray then watch as much video of the person as possible—watch their walk, talk, every character trait. If they sing and you can't, take voice lessons. I still take them and always will. Have a choreographer help you with your moves. Biggest thing is never think you have it down pat, you are not that person and you can always get better. I spend around ten thousand every year in costumes alone—don't cheap out on this. The ticket buying public deserves the best.

In my business people automatically think that I'm stuck in the role of Elvis 24/7. Yes, I've met a pile of guys over the years who are stuck in character but I always leave Elvis onstage and never forget that I'm Thane Dunn and not Elvis Presley.

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