You’ll forget all about the Michael Jackson hologram from this year’s Billboard Music Awards after Rasean Montrese rocks with you on the Tribe/PLAY Dance Bar Entertainment stage at this year’s Nashville Pride festival. The multi-title holding performer has the King of Pop in his blood and as a noted MJ impersonator, he’s ready to show Nashville just how bad and off the wall he can be.
“I always try to give it all and hold nothing back,” Montrese says of his performances. “My joy comes from the audience. If I can take someone away to a happy place for a few minutes, then I have done my job.”
Montrese has been doing that job since he was eight years old.
“I’d love to say I moonwalked on to the earth but I know I spent tons of time in front of the television wearing holes in my mothers carpet,” Montrese joked. But it was that practice and first public moonwalk at age 8, where Montrese remembers putting his hat on a lady in the front row before executing his lunar liftoff, that led to some of his first gigs.
Those early days in Los Angeles as a child entertainer during local fashion shows blossomed into musical theatre during high school. Montrese then took his ‘hobby’ into the club scene where things started to ‘snowball.’ Each step preparing Montrese for the exciting world of pageantry that lay ahead.
“Initially, I wanted to have more opportunities to perform,” said Montrese. “Then I realized if I polished myself that maybe one day someone would see me and say ‘he’s got it’ and fortunately that's what happened.”
So what exactly does Montrese have? You can start by adding up his titles such as National Entertainer of the Year in 2005, Mr. Continental in 2008 and Mr. Gay USofA 2012. And you can’t hold those three titles without a bit of charisma and ton of talent.
But with more than 15 years professional experience now, Montrese still remembers his professional gig as MJ. “It was like a dream. I wanted to do so much visually and I couldn’t get it all out of my mind on to the stage but the crowd didn't notice. That has always been my thing. I can hear a MJ song and visualize it onstage, and the fun for me is making my vision reality.”
Montrese’s vision is helping him brand himself across all forms of performance media. In 2008, Montrese played the King of Pop in the parody flick Disaster Movie, which also served for Kim Kardashian’s acting debut. And now that’s Jackson’s posthumous album Xscape has been released, Montrese is already sifting through requests for the new material. But right now, Montrese is focused on Pride and fulfilling his childhood dream of a Michael Jackson Tribute show.
Named after his favorite track of MJ’s to perform, Montrese and his production company, Rasean Entertainment, are working on “Man in the Mirror,” a 90-minute tribute show set to benefit local charities. “This is a huge undertaking and I want people to leave the theatre transformed. “
Told you this man was BAD.
Connect with Rasean Montrese on Twitter or ‘like’ his Rasean Montrese MJ Tribute Artist page on Facebook