emily palmer

St. Edward's University

This project seeks to examine the ways in which our identities are shaped by emulating those we admire. Keeping the King Alive documents two different Elvis impersonators working in Texas- Victor Solimine of Austin, and Greg Winston of Houston. Elvis Presley was arguably the most iconic figure of the 20th century, and certainly the most imitated. Elvis impersonators existed for many years while he was still alive, and posthumously, the number of them skyrocketed. There was a national and international wave of grief after his death, and many longed for him to still be alive and well, performing. Decades after his death, in very different times, there are still said to be about 30,000 ETAs (Elvis Tribute Artist) working today. The project attempts to get a glimpse into this cultural phenomenon and to examine it from a standpoint of identity study.