Sunday, October 1, 2017

The 15th Anniversary Sunburst Convention Of Celebrity Impersonators

The Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Impersonators fell on the same day as one of my Orlando 10 x 10 Urban Sketch classes, so I arranged for our group of artists to go to the convention as sketch journalists. Ilene Lieber of Passion PR granted us all press passes. The event took place at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center located at The Florida Mall (1500 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, 32809). Artists met in the lobby of the hotel and then went in to sketch the celebrity showcase.

Imagine Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Neil Diamond, Elvis, Cher, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, Lady Gaga, Barbra Streisand, Tiger Woods, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers, Frank Sinatra, and numerous other icons of the past and present all gathered together to perform and be seen. No, it’s not another reality show, it is The Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Impersonators returning to Orlando for its 15th anniversary year.

This year, the public was invited to attend special talent showcases where impersonators performed, delighted, and entertained the masses. Plus, guests could get their picture taken with their favorite “celebrity” during intermission and following the showcases.

The goal of the workshop was to encourage artists to populate their sketches with multiple celebrities. I wanted them to focus on the gestures and costuming while the face was just secondary icing. Once we were inside the showcase theater, I couldn't offer any more advice, so I let the students just focus on sketching, while I did the same. I decided to sketch Lady Gaga since I couldn't resist the bra that looked like two hands cupping her breasts. She had red lipstick smeared beyond her lips and blue eye shadow defined her eyes. There were some impressive presidential impersonators and the acts ranged from excellent singers to muddled lip sync attempts. The guy taking notes in both of my sketches is a talent scout.

During an intermission, all the artists gathered back in the hotel lobby and we shared notes. I encouraged them to change the scene as needed to suit the sketch. For instance if someone's head is blocking a view of the performers feet, I suggested they get rid of the offending head. I honestly don't know what celebrity was seated next to me in the gorgeous black had and bold white dress. Anyone care to venture a guess?

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Greg M Thompson/ Producer said...

That would have been MAE WEST!

Greg M Thompson/ Producer said...

And I would like to clarify. We had two days of showcases which included more than 70 individual entertainers.
All but three people were singing live. I saw two of the three who "lip synced" and they were excellent at it. I'm guessing you are speaking of the third one whom I missed.

I just didn't want anyone to get the idea that there were a lot of "muddled" lip syncers.


Greg M Thompson-Producer

Anonymous said...

These are great! Thank you for joining us again this year! I am pretty certain the celebrity in question was Mae West.
Jackie The Sunburst Convention.