In The Know

Demand skyrocketing for Donald Trump impersonators

For Trump impersonators, business is booming.

They purse their lips like him. They squint their eyes like him. And these days, professional Donald Trump impersonators say they’re bringing home the bacon just like the famously wealthy real estate mogul.

{mosads}“It’s like a torrent right now,” John Di Domenico says. “I now have two agents because we’re getting so many inquiries a day.”

“I did two animated series. I’m voicing toys. Honestly, I can’t believe this,” says Di Domenico, who’s performed as Trump since the Republican presidential nominee’s days starring on “The Apprentice” back in 2004.

ITK first caught up with a trio of Trump impersonators last August. Back then, Tim Beasley — a Virginia-based performer — told us some of his typical corporate gigs were at risk because some companies found the then-Republican candidate “radical.”

Now, Beasley says, “I’ve been doing shows coast to coast. I just got back from Hollywood.”

 He adds, “The business comes to me.”

“In my opinion, he’s less controversial now,” Robert Ensler, who dubs himself “the only real Donald Trump impersonator,” says. “He’s become more mainstream, and because of that, more people are calling for Donald Trump. So things have been picking up since probably about December or January — after people realized he was serious about it.”

The boost in business, along with his personal affinity for the White House hopeful, affords Ensler the ability to actually turn down jobs.

“I recreate Donald as he really is. I don’t do a caricature. I don’t make fun of him,” explains Ensler, who sports a “Trump” license plate on his car, which has been vandalized twice. He says he recently rejected a role on a TV network’s awards show “because I didn’t think that they were going to put Donald in a good light. I’ve turned down movie roles. I’ve turned down commercials.”

For a comedic actor like Di Domenico, who signs his emails as “The Johnald” and has appeared on “Conan” a dozen times as the program’s “official” Trump, one of the most fascinating parts of the past year has been adjusting his impression to the nominee’s constantly morphing style.

“His voice has literally changed. His style of speaking has changed,” Di Domenico says. “His voice is much more strained now. It’s much more gravelly. And he’s constricting his voice on certain words.” 

And with Trump dominating the headlines and airwaves virtually every day, Di Domenico says, “I’ve got to write new material every week. … Some of this stuff was like that day.”

While their approaches may be different, the impersonators are all under the same impression: Trump has a real shot at the White House.

“People, they’re treating me like a surrogate,” says Di Domenico. “People will lean over to me — we’ll do an event for 5,000 people, and we’re doing the photo ops at the end, and they’ll say, ‘Hey, I’m voting for you.’ It’s like the VP of the company or the CEO, and I’m like, why are they telling me this?

“I think people are going to be surprised on Election Day. Maybe I’m reading this wrong and it’s purely anecdotal, but it seems a lot of people will be voting for Trump who you wouldn’t think would be voting for Trump.”

Beasley says he’s betting his impersonation will soon be presidential. 

“I think he’s going to win,” he says, describing “poker-faced” voters as fed up with politics as usual.

“I think it’s going to be really close,” Ensler tells ITK. “If the system is not as corrupt as I think it is, Donald might win.”

But Di Domenico says that no matter who occupies the Oval Office next year, he’s banking on his Trump character continuing to be in high demand.

“I’ve been in this a long time, and there’s been ups and downs, but if he does not win, he’s not going anywhere.”

“If he doesn’t win, then he’s still a celebrity,” Ensler tells us.

But, “I hope he wins,” Ensler says. “I think every Donald Trump impersonator wants him to win.

“Even if I wasn’t doing this, I would still be voting for him.”

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