ELVIS —THE AMERICAN TRILOGY
IWO R D S : T E S S mpersonating Elvis Presley is more than just copying the King of Rock ’n’ Roll’s extraordinary voice and hip-swivelling moves for Vic Trevino Jr. “One thing I like to do is put a bit of myself in there,” says the 33-year-old actor and singer, who is one of the world’s top Elvis tribute performers.
“We all talk a little bit differently. One person may be a better singer or dancer.
“You’re never going to be that person you’re impersonating so, it’s my interpretation of the character.
“One thing you need to be careful of when you’re watching other impersonators replicate Elvis is that you don’t wind up copying other impersonators.
“There are millions of great singers out there and tons of great artists who everyone knows of, but you want to be yourself and give your own unique take.”
Trevino Jr is one of three performers depicting the legendary singer in different phases of his career at the Townsville Civic Theatre next week in Elvis – An American Trilogy.
Trevino Jr kicks off the show as the raw young rockabilly singer, Gino Monopoli covers the movie star years and Greg Miller dons the white jumpsuit for the period before Presley’s death in 1977 at age 42.
Trevino Jr, originally from Texas, has had the opportunity to work with a number of Elvis’ real colleagues, including DJ Fontana, his original drummer. He’s excited to be back in Australia. “It’s quite a bizarre place, but I love it,” he says. “It’s very fun, and has a good audience ... I like the connection we have with Australia, which is why we’re so happy to be back. This is our third tour and the show has continued to grow in popularity as we have seen the audiences increase.
“The tours used to only be about seven weeks; now that’s nearly doubled to 13.
Trevino Jr started to dabble in Elvis impersonating in 2005 and fully committed to it in 2010.
Before going on tour, Trevino Jr would research his character by watching Elvis perform.
“I would listen to him and watch his concerts on YouTube to really train my voice up,” he says.
“My father was an award-winning piano player in Texas, there was always music in my family growing up. It surrounded me,” Trevino Jr says.
“It definitely led me to grow a love for it. I knew I’d end up in the in that field as either an actor or singer. I make a living by performing through theatre.” He has been singing since high school. “I worked really hard and invested a lot into this career… I was in the musical and public theatre as well,” he says.
“I waited tables and worked in a call centre until the performances became more regular.
“Now I can be away from my wife for eight weeks when I’m on tour – it’s all right, she likes the cheques. But she’s very understanding.”
Trevino Jr analyses American culture and music from the last century to influence his own sound as an artist.
“So in our performance we have a lot of blues artists, country, and gospel music that is used,” he says. Trevino Jr says he loves playing Elvis in particular. “It’s just so much fun and the rush of being on stage is great,” he says. “People also get very excited, it’s just a joy.”