Long time fans of The Bold and the Beautiful know Jeff Tracta. He earned international fame starring for eight years as Thorne Forrester. Since departing the glamour of high fashion on B&B, Tracta has become one of the top impressionists in the world. He can seamlessly perform over 100 impressions including music artists LadyGaga, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, and Elton John, as well as comedians Adam Sandler, Joan Rivers, Ray Romano, and many more. Tracta also pays tribute to over 50 years of TV shows, music, comedy and pop culture in his new stage show.
Additionally, Tracta uses the latest cutting edge multimedia to include interactive video productions, completely turning into the voice, face, costume and mannerisms of more than one celebrity at a time. Tracta transforms into each member of the renowned group The Black Eyed Peas ("I didn't think I had the legs to do Fergie," Tracta confessed to Soapdom,) and performs one of the characters live while the others are on video behind him.
Tracta's albums have gone triple platinum worldwide and he has performed in sold-out concerts in over 31 countries. He also starred on Broadway as Danny Zuko in Tommy Tune's revival of Grease. The Los Angeles Times calls him, "Hilarious! A comic genius, Tracta is superb" and Entertainment Tonight says he's "Laugh Out Loud!"
Soapdom caught up with Tracta the week before his newest Vegas gig (Palms Casino Resort from May 17th-20th). The first thing we wanted to know was after gaining fame as Thorne on the Bold and the Beautiful, how did he know he wanted to pursue a career as an impressionist?
"I would be back stage in the make-up room, impersonating all the other actors and crew and making people laugh," Tracta said. "So many told me to put a show together in Las Vegas, and it took a while but I am headlining at Palms."
We then wanted to know a bit about his daytime career, noting that The Bold and the Beautiful was his third soap.
"I was a day player on One Life to Live, and had a contract role on Loving. I really felt like I had done the soap thing," he revealed. "I enjoyed it very much, but always knew that my real talent was to be on stage. I took over for Jon Secada on Broadway in Greece and really found that I loved to be in front of a live audience. I was awakening a part of my talent that I didn't know that I had. "
But being a part of B&B also helped launched your stage career, right?
" While playing Thorne on B&B, we'd do concerts with Bobby Eakes (ex Krystal, All My Children, ex Macy, The Bold and the Beautiful). I'd do a little comedy and would get a great reaction. I thought I could do this for the rest of my life."
"Then you took the show on the road to Vegas."
"Bobbie and I and Jerry Douglas (John Abbott, The Young and the Restlless) and a few others performed an evening with soaps stars at The Sands in Las Vegas. I did every impression I knew how to do. The entertainment director said that if I ever put an act together I'd have great success in Vegas."
Tracta took the entertainment director's advice and soon mounted his own show.
"I did a show first at the Rio in Vegas, and then did The Spa Resort Casino, in heart of Palm Springs. They gave me such promotion. I had a great time there."
During Tracta's tenure at The Spa Resort everything came together. A promoter, John McEntee, saw Tracta's performance in Palm Springs. Shortly after McEntee saw Tracta perform, he approached him and said "I want to mount a brand new show for you incorporating the latest technology." It's the technology that now enables Tracta to morph into the different people he impersonates.
"I become all the Black Eyed Peas, even Fergie. I didn't think I had the legs for it, but John convinced me otherwise," Tracta enthused.
Tracta shared that he's been doing this show on the road for corporations and is having the best time of his life. "It's a multi media event and experience," he said.
He mimics over 100 different characters, Eminem, Andréa Bochelli, comedians, TV celebrities, cartoon characters, politicians. "It's a real journey on pop culture over the past 50 years," he revealed.
Tracta started doing impersonations from a very young age. "I always knew I could do them, doing every cartoon voice I could. Everybody from TV Land, Gilligan's Island, Green Acres -- I had them all down pat when I was a little kid. It was something I could always do, but never had an outlet for it. In between takes on B&B, I would keep everyone laughing doing my impressions, I just didn't have a way of making it pay for me."
That was then, this is now. As previously mentioned, Tracta is playing Palms Casino Resort May 17-20, doing four shoes, 75 minutes each at the casino's Pearl Theater. The performance is sure to please. The jokes are very funny.
"I write material and I have some wonderful writers that John McEntee has brought together for me. So I am working with the best writers out there."
Will he ever bring the show to Los Angeles and other markets?
"I am sure I will do it in LA. I am doing it all over. The show that I was doing last year, we have totally updated it. I do Lady Gaga, Celo Green. What we've created is a show that really connects. You can be 20-95 and you will really love the references and get it."
When we asked Tracta who was his favorite to impersonate he didn't have a ready answer.
"Doing Jeff (doing me is my favorite)," he said after thinking on it for a moment. "I love singing as different people. I really love doing Andréa Bochelli and Sarah Brightman."
Finally, we wanted to know Tracta's advice to young stage performers just starting out. "The key to it all is never giving up and as you're working toward your goal, enjoy every moment of it. Celebrate every moment of the journey. Stay in the moment but enjoy the whole process."
Follow Tracta on Twitter @JeffTracta
Visit jefftracta.com for info on tickets
For info on his show at Palms Casino Resort call 702 944-3200
Or visit thepalms.com
Check out the promo to his new Vegas show.
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