Not sure what a "tier" is, but is this what you're referring to?http://voices.yahoo.com/how-living-as-e ... 20562.html
How to Make a Living as an Elvis Impersonator in Las Vegas
Peter R, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Aug 22, 2008
Make fun of Elvis impersonators all you want, but top tier Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas can clear $100,000 a week with regular performances. The one I saw at the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, WA had the gyrations, look, and humor that brought back the emotional security and mindless fun that Elvis brought to legions of crazed fans during his prime. For those who aspire to be like the king, there's a specific set of skills, and a number of very serious organizations that can aid you on your career change from working stiff to crooning hip swiveler.
First of all, if you're an Elvis impersonator of any caliber, you will fall into one of four categories: a full time professional, a part time professional, a recreational impersonator, or an Alvoid. Before you even consider getting jobs, you must assess yourself as to where you are in your impersonator career and where you want to be. Also, before sending out head shots and videos to talent scouts, you should make sure you've mastered the right skills or that you've honed them properly. Focus on that first before since you can't afford bad first impressions if you want to make money in the industry.
A full-time professional puts on high power performances. A professional's audience for the moment feels like they're in the presence of The King and they are known on stage as Elvis Presley. Their work honors and emulates Elvis' magic rather than parodies it.
Much more than the look and costume, which has to be genuine, they have mastered the physical movements, audience rapport, sense of humor and are the main event at cruises, casinos and corporate events the world over. They are also consummate professionals who are themselves when they are away from their work. Only a select few fall into this category, and some of them even perform with actual backup Elvis musicians such as Jame Burton and DJ Fontana.
Being a part time professional is probably where you will have to aspire to become first before you can quit your day job. They perform at smaller venues when they can find work, knock on a lot of doors, and represent the "cheesy" Elvis image that can bring a few laughs in a small nightclub. Many of them are one manager or break away from going "big time".
The Third tier are the recreational performers who worship the king and have fun with their performances. Very often they lack the hard work and discipline and understanding of the complexities involved in the skills needed to perfect their craft. They can find work at local fairs and carnivals.
The bottom rung of the latter, and I have seen many of these in the Las Vegas airport and bumming around on street corners around America are the Alvoids. They are frequenters of Elvis Karaoke nights, and put a great deal of time and money into dressing and looking the part of Elvis to feel his essence. However, they have no singing ability and some of them may have one foot in the mentally ill category. A professional impersonator, and Elvis himself, never took himself too seriously. However, the Alvoids do. Some of them cannot separate their true identity from who they're trying to portray and act and talk like Elvis even when they're not on the Karaoke stage.
The first thing you need to master in your Elvis impersonator education is understand the science of behaving like Elvis. The most challenging aspect of this is that you will have to train your body to sing distinctly in a wide range of genres. What came natural for Presley will seem like the most unnatural thing in the world for everyone else.
For the purpose of singing, being able to sing his rock songs like Hound Dog requires a completely different set of vocal skills than to sing his ballads, which require some operatic vocal training.You should also be able to switch to a bluesy mode of vocals for songs such as Stranger in My Own Home Town.
In terms of wardrobe, who will have to look as authentic as possible and pay top dollar for handmade jumpsuits with sequins. A top tier performer will need costumes for the different phases and looks of Elvis which included the Aloha Jumpsuit, his Peacock Suit of the late 60's and early 70's and his black jumpsuit of his younger years.
Elvis' movements are something that professionals learn from watching endless hours of Elvis films from his 1950's television appearances when he was first perfecting these. There is really no clear cut way to explain how to learn his indescribable gyrations which inspired squeals from teenagers and gasps from conservative establishment suits. Initially, practicing with a hula hoop can loosen your hips to help you imitate his swivel style where his upper body remained firm while his lower half was all over the place like a squid out of water. The most important movement was known as the "Lasso the squat the blind man's rock glass on palm arm-fling cut-off bowling cutoff open-handed punch cutoff air guitar fist pump shaky leg body palsy backhanded throwaway." It is much better to see this in action, try and master one move at a time than to try and follow written instructions.
Thankfully, there are organizations that can help and there is now a DVD that trains you how to be a professional Elvis impersonator called "Sing Like the King" which can be found at www.singlikeelvis.com
. It can serve as a solid career as it has been a good money-making gig for 25 years.
Also, since the industry takes Elvis' image very seriously and are deeply concerned with the professionalism of his impersonators, there are a number of associations that cater to training and career advice and can get you good deals on attire. Some of these sites include The Elvis Presley Impersonators International Association, Impersonators Central in Las Vegas and the Professional Elvis Impersonators Association whose website is at www.elvisentertainers.com
Although there are an estimated 30 regular Elvis Impersonator shows in Las Vegas, there are currently few major regular jobs available on the Strip for Presley imitators. "Legends in Concert" at the Imperial Palace is one of them. However, an impersonator can create a profile on websites such as RoyalTalents.com or GigMasters.com where event planners for weddings and corporate events go looking for Elvis and other celebrity impersonators for Vegas weddings and company parties at the many Vegas hotels. You can state your experience and how much you charge. So, it would be best to look at yourself as a freelancer until you get discovered or can find a manager. You can still make plenty of money as a freelancer. Elvis themed weddings are booming in Sin City right now and a good impersonator should be able to find plenty of work at the chapels.
Elvis impersonators with a lot of experience should start polishing their resumes now because according to GlobeSt.com, the first phases of a $3.1-billion "Park Central" project including a 2,269-room, luxury Elvis-themed casino-hotel and a luxury branded five-star 778-room boutique-hotel with 147 residential units is currently in the works.Since the real King is allegedly dead, they will probably be looking for the next best thing.
If you are serious about being a professional Elvis impersonator, go for it. If you want it bad enough, you'll achieve your dream. Even Elvis himself was once painfully shy and a dismal flop in his first live appearance, causing an audience member to quip that he should "keep driving that truck." After forcing himself on stage, he was so nervous he started gyrating, almost having convulsions out of anxiety. The girls in the audience went wild, and so did Elvis' confidence, and the rest, as they say, was history.
Be Elvis!: A Guide to Impersonating The King by Rick Marino
Elvis Lives The Business of Being Elvis by Pamela Thomas-Williams