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the arabian nights

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[youtube:3qq3uzmk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=medC6nbhrKw[/youtube:3qq3uzmk]
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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the arabian nights

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Joby Rogers is Michael Jackson's signed OFFICIAL impersonator. He was selected after Michael Jackson viewed hundreds on the stage; he is the only impersonator to hold such an honor from the King of Pop.

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Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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the arabian nights

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MJJR.net Interviews Joby Rogers
Exclusively Written & Compiled For MJJ Repository

Approximately 25 years ago, Michael Jackson moonwalked across the stage for the first time in front of a public viewing audience. In less than five minutes, Michael Jackson--donning a white sequin glove and a black fedora--created a pop culture sensation unlike any other. Millions around the globe were instantly mesmerized by Michael Jackson's profound agility, with countless children and adults trying their best to mimic the pop icon's moves and fashion on seemingly every corner of the planet. For some, this pastime became their profession, and 25 years later an immeasurable number of impersonators continue to pay homage to the phenomenon known as Michael Jackson.

MJJR.net was recently privileged to attend a Michael Jackson Tribute Show put on by a 220+ member band, and fronted by acclaimed impersonator Joby Rogers. The band, alongside Joby Rogers, performed a medley of high-energy hits while graciously blending live orchestral arrangements with the melodies and vocals of Michael Jackson's original masterpieces. As a finale, Rogers along with nearly three-dozen backup dancers and all 220+ members of the band simultaneously performed the Thriller routine as the original Thriller video played in the background. It is exhilarating to see both young and old alike come out to celebrate the music and showmanship of Michael Jackson, and Joby Rogers does a remarkable job of bringing energy and excitement to the stage. Judging by the audience's reaction, Michael Jackson's signature dance moves (as performed by a longtime professional) remain every bit as captivating and enthralling as they were decades previously. A video excerpt of the tribute show with Joby Rogers is available for download on MJJR.net, as is the complete halftime tribute performance which took place several days later.

Joby Rogers has kindly agreed to answer questions for an interview with MJJR.net. In the interview, Mr. Rogers elaborates on how his profession began, describes the time that he received a signed letter by Michael Jackson naming Rogers as Jackson's "official substitute", shares his thoughts on the hardships that Michael went through and why he is cautious in the work that he agrees to do, the ups and downs of being an impersonator, and more. You will find the interview below:



MJJR.net Interviews Joby Rogers
October 22, 2008

(Redistributable with credit to You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - The Michael Jackson Repository)

Biographical Summary: "Joby Rogers (as Michael Jackson) is a gifted entertainer whose talents have gained him international recognition. Joby is the only impersonator to appear on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine, credited. Joby has been personally approved in a signed statement by Michael Jackson as "the best" Michael Jackson impersonator. Joby's national television appearances include MTV, VH1, NBC, CBS, Jimmy Kimmel Live, E! Entertainment, Jenny Jones, Ricki Lake, Comedy Central, and many others. Joby has performed on tour in arenas, theaters, casinos, and colleges for corporate and private functions both in the USA and internationally. Joby frequently tours and stars in Las Vegas review shows such as LaCage Aux Folles, Hollywood Superstars, and Legends Alive. Joby has made appearances with celebrities such as B.B. King, Lenny Kravitz, Jon Bon Jovi, Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper and many others. Joby has appeared in print including Howard Stern's best selling book "Miss America," USA Today, London Now, New York Post, Forbes, Marie Claire and numerous other printed media."

MJJR.net: At what point in your life did you decide to become a professional Michael Jackson impersonator, and why?

Joby Rogers: 1984. In my junior year of attending New Britain High School in Connecticut some friends wanted me to participate in a dance routine for the high school prom, and asked if I would impersonate Michael Jackson's Billie Jean while they performed breaking and popping routines in the background. I had no prior dance experience but decided to give it a try. In retrospect my first costume was wack, I can break it down to an old mans tweed hat and a gray "Members Only" jacket, and my dancing in hindsight was, well, sufficient. Arthur Williams, the father of one of the break dancers booked us a show at a local restaurant in Plainville, Connecticut, and he soon became our manager. From there I was hired by Lee Philips, the owner of an event party company called "The Balloonary" which hired me to make appearances as Michael at birthdays parties for $35.00 an hour, which I thought was fantastic for someone still in high school. I then entered a MJ look/dance a-like contest at Weaver High School in Hartford, Connecticut and won first place and $1000.00. Once I realized that I can make money at something I truly enjoyed doing, it was on. I decided to pursue performing further. In the early 90's I got my first weekly gig in an off Broadway club called "Café Society" in NYC. I was playing Michael in an 'La Cage' type show with female celebrity impersonators. This is where I first learned how to do my makeup so well.

MJJR.net: For how many years have you been performing professionally as Michael Jackson, and what are some of the highlights and milestones of your career?

Joby Rogers: I started performing as Michael in 1984. The first paid show I ever did was at a club in New Britain, Connecticut called "Molly Malone's". It was usually a 'gentleman's club' but for a weekend it was made into an all ages club to host "Michael Jackson's Thriller Review", starring Joby Rogers". So there I am 16 years old and sharing my dressing room with female strippers. Surreal. My greatest highlight professionally has been my credited appearance on the Cover of the December 1999 Millennium issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. It was shot by very famous celebrity photographer David LaChapelle. I was so honored to be chosen personally by David. He was so impressed with my likeness to Michael that he put me front and center on the cover and assured that I received a photo credit. I was proud to have been a part of something that will be part of Rolling Stone Magazines history forever and to be a part of all the great performers that I admire that have appeared on the cover before and after me. I have been blessed to perform on some of the same stages as American icons like Charlie Chaplin, and meet with many of the great artist who's music has had a enduring influence on my life. I've sat and chatted with Blues Legend B.B. King, hung out in the green room of the Conan O'Brien show with Jimmy Buffet and Maroon 5. My greatest personal highlight has been the opportunity to travel all over the world and visit places that I could have never have dreamed of setting my eyes on. Making lifelong friends from all walks of life and adapting to cultures from all over the globe. This journey to many lands has been the education of a lifetime.

MJJR.net: At one point, you received a signed document by Michael Jackson which named you as his "official substitute" after evaluating the work of more than 100 impersonators. How did this endorsement come about and what's the story behind it?

Joby Rogers: I was submitted along with many other impersonators for a chance to make an appearance as Michael in NYC. I was informed that Michael himself would be making the final decision. I received a signed letter from Michael stating the following: "I, Michael Jackson, have been fully furnished by both my team and the team of Mr. Valentine (CTA) with pictures, video and sound samples. After viewing one hundred sixteen different (116) possible substitutes, it is the decision I, Michael Jackson, have made to have Mr. Joby Rogers affiliated with Concept West Agency located in Nevada to be my official substitute."

Needless to say I was very honored.

MJJR.net: Is it true that you also received a platinum "Thriller" album from Michael Jackson as a Christmas gift, as a result of his appreciation for your work? Can you elaborate on this occurrence?

Joby Rogers: I have an RIAA certified "Thriller Album" presented in my name that I received in 1989.

MJJR.net: How many times have you met Michael Jackson or attended his concerts, and do you remember at which venues?

Joby Rogers: I've seen The Jackson's Victory Tour in 1984 at JFK stadium in Philadelphia. I've seen Michael in numerous appearances of the Bad tour in 1988 at Madison Square Garden and concerts at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut as well as several concerts on the upper east coast. At one of his concerts I was dancing to Billie Jean in the isle and suddenly found myself under the spotlight and on the jumbo screen, I was then asked to join Michael Jackson on stage. This event made the papers and really helped with my career.

MJJR.net: Some impersonators will do anything for financial gain. Edward Moss, for instance, has parodied Michael Jackson on a variety of negative outlets including the Scary Movie franchise, Date Movie, Mad TV skits, and more. In the past, you've stated that you would not accept any offer which was demeaning towards Michael. What are your thoughts on the impersonators who jump at all opportunities, regardless of their context?

Joby Rogers: I'm really cautious when it comes to doing appearances as "Michael Jackson". I prefer to make appearances as Michael in performance settings. I was actually offered the Edward Moss part in "Scary Movie 3" in the Spring of 2003. Miramax Films and I communicated for weeks about what it was exactly they wanted me to do. I turned them down when they refused to give me the details of the scene I was to portray Michael in. When I finally saw the scene that Moss participated in I was relieved that I had given up the part. I do not believe in adding to the negative media surrounding Michael. In 2005 I was interviewed by local, national and international media about the recent trial surrounding Michael Jackson and it's effect on the business of impersonating. I went on record declaring my belief that Michael Jackson was innocent and would be verified as such. If there is one thing that Michael is guilty of, it's trusting the wrong people. When you have the kind of money that Michael has, friends are not on your payroll. The one constant fact I've learned during my 20 plus years in Show Business is this: "The answer to 9 out of 10 questions is 'Money'." I had the pleasure of talking with Aphrodite Jones, a best selling crime novelist who covered the 2005 trial directly from the courtroom. At the onset of the trial she too was part of the negative media attacks. As the trial went on and all the facts were presented she left the one year ordeal with a completely different outlook on Michael. She was convinced without a doubt of his innocence. In retrospect the media reported very little about the facts presented in the trial and more on the pajamas Michael wore or what his prison uniform might look like. Which explains why so may people were shocked when Michael was acquitted. If the public was presented with the facts instead of tabloid news coverage they would have not been so surprised at fourteen (14) the not guilty verdicts.

MJJR.net: Some impersonators stick to the same set list year-after-year, while chiefly performing routines from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album. You perform a medley of hits that span across many of Michael's major adult solo albums. How often do you switch up your routines, and will you continue to expand your abilities in the future, in the event that Michael Jackson unveils new music and dance routines?

Joby Rogers: I mainly perform the hits from "Thriller, Bad, and Dangerous. But I've on occasion dug into cuts from "The Wiz", Off the Wall and the older Jackson's songs like "This Place Hotel" and "Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin' with a "Jermaine" impersonator and "Scream" with a great "Janet" look-alike. I'm fortunate enough to be able to perform on a regular basis. I perform in NYC every weekend as well as corporate and private events throughout the US.

MJJR.net: I noticed that you are often referred to as a Michael Jackson "illusionist" rather than an "impersonator," and the promotional flyers likewise call you an illusionist. Is there a perceptual difference between these two terms--similar to the way Michael refers to his music videos as short films? Do you do more, as Michael Jackson, than just tribute performances?

Joby Rogers: The word "Illusionist" was first used to describe my work by a longtime friend and 96.5 TIC FM radio personality Gary Craig. He is president of an annual charity event held in Connecticut called "We Are The Children" which host a massive party for thousands of underprivileged children in New England every Christmas Day. I was proud to participate in the very first event and continued to do so for over a decade. And Yes, I do more than just Michael Jackson. I also teach Makeup Artistry at well known professional modeling agencies. I'm a journalist for several local news papers and write an Arts and Entertainment column called "Face the Music".

MJJR.net: What are some of the benefits of being a Michael Jackson impersonator? What do you like about putting on tribute performances?

Joby Rogers: The simple answer to that question is 'Everything'. I love the rehearsal and preparation that goes into the show. I love the profound often lifelong friendships you make with other cast members. The adventures in strange and far away lands. The feeling when you get on stage in front of thousands of people when the crowd is going wild. Leaving that stage knowing you left everything you had out there on that floor. The after parties with cast, tech crew, directors and fans is always awesome.

MJJR.net: What are some of the drawbacks of being a Michael Jackson impersonator?

Joby Rogers: Flying. I don't like flying. I've had a couple of "Oh My God We're Gonna Die" moments on planes. Let's just say I know how the oxygen mask look when they fall down on your lap.

MJJR.net: What makes the job difficult?

Joby Rogers: Some Agents... Sigh...

MJJR.net: We all know that Michael Jackson has endured tremulous times this decade. The past is now behind us, and Michael Jackson is reportedly working on a new album with a number of big names in the business. If you could say anything to Michael right now, what would you tell him?

Joby Rogers: I would like to see Michael do an "Elvis 68" type comeback. No giant arena or glitz. Just a stripped down small venue show with nothing but the hits from his entire career. Bring out the brothers for some J'5 grooves. Chat with the audience.

MJJR.net: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions, and for continuing to pay homage and tribute to Michael Jackson. Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the readers and fans?

Joby Rogers: Thank you MJJR.net for this opportunity. Thanks to Michael Jackson (The Untouchable Talent). Thanks to all the Michael Jackson Fans around the globe for their continued support over the years. God Bless.

MJJR.net would again like to personally thank Mr. Joby Rogers for taking the time to conduct an interview with MJJR.net. You can check out Joby's MySpace HERE.

Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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ladyandbird

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Quote from: "the arabian nights"
[youtube:3cm07100]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=medC6nbhrKw[/youtube:3cm07100]
Official, and still nothing like him..
His looks doesn't even come near..
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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