January 19 2011
Listen: For this year's Make Milwaukee campaign, we're dedicating ourselves to exploring creativity in our city -- that means we won't be afraid of getting a little creative ourselves and going after stories that might be a little more unusual or imaginative. Sound like fun? Be careful what you wish for.
Last week, Potawatomi Bingo Casino hosted a four-day Elvis tribute artist performance/competition extravaganza. Aspiring Elvis impersonators from around the world gathered here in Milwaukee to curl their lips, swivel their hips, and channel the spirit of the King. Sounds like the perfect place to tap into some creativity, right?
The thing is, we all know what a great Elvis performance sounds like -- while always entertaining, it's well-trodden ground. So, rather than have the guys give me their best shot at on-stage Elvis, I challenged them to reach a bit outside of their comfort zone. I wanted to hear "Everyday Elvis." Imagine Mr. Presley complaining about the Milwaukee winter... or stuck in traffic... or maybe even the King applying for unemployment benefits?
Interesting note -- I found this event because Chris Tishler, the front man for the Five Card Studs and the loungiest guy in town (who we heard from earlier today), was a judge at the competition. It's a small world, especially in Milwaukee.
(Stuck-in-traffic Elvis (Matt Joyce) is pictured below and applying-for-unemployment-benefits Elvis (Ryan Pelton) is pictured at the top of the page. Australian Elvis is the guy on the left in the montage.)