Every once in a while I get e-mails from fans which
is curious about the person behind 'Tess the impersonator'.
Below I've posted some questions asked and my answer
I've also been interviewed by a French Michael Jackson
To read the interview you can click here.
Where are you from?
I'm from Sweden!
When is your birthday exactly?
29th of June
How old were you when you started?
Um... I started taking in the role as an MJ impersonator
more seriously in the end of 1997 so I was 18 years
old =) But my love for dance I've had all my life
and I learned the moonwalk back in 1992 when I was
13 years old .. :)
Was it frustrating learning?
Sometimes it can be quite frustrating yes ... some
movements are quite difficult to perform and it takes
quite a while to figure out exactly what Michael does
just from looking at some videoclips .... the latest
one which took me a while to figure out was You Rock
My World for example where they change camera angles
very fast .... but eventually I got it .. >>smiles<
What inspired you to dance like him?
Well ... what can I say ... he is an incredible and
amazing dancer... and I love music and I love to dance
myself... and when I saw the way he could entertain
a crowd I just felt that I would like to be able to
do the same thing ... >>smiles<< ... I
would like to be able to perform those moves so one
day I just decided that I would accomplish that ....
and I'm well on my way to do that too .. =)
How did you learn?
Well all I have to help me learn is a videoclip of
actual dance routine .. a mirror wall.. and a video
camera.. =) And a lot of patience and a great love
for dance =)
Have you met michael in person?
Nope not as of yet... but I haven't lost my hope about
being blessed with that experience one day =)
Do you consider yourself a shy person?
Ummm... when I was younger I was very shy... always
hid behind mummy when we had someone visiting us..
hehe .. now a days I wouldn't say that I'm shy but
I don't take much "space".. I'm kinda quiet
and keep myself in the background .. that's where
I'm most comfortable.
What do you do?
I work as a Lotus Notes programmer, for those who
doesn't know what that is it has to do with computers
=) I suppose somewhere in my mind there is a dream
about perhaps being able to make a living on my impersonation
of Michael .. or perhaps as an artist myself in my
own name :o)
Have any family members around?
Yes mum and dad doesn't live that far away from me,
I tend to visit them quite often as I have my horses
out where they live aswell .. :-)
Do you have any brothers and sisters?
Nope .. sigh.. wish I had though..
Did your mom or dad dance or sing?
Umm... mum has always had a love for music and dance..
she hasn't played any instruments or performed anything,
even though she had a dream of becoming an artist
.. :-) I'm grown up with listening a lot to music
from the 50s and 60s .. I remember me and mum used
to dance around together in the kitchen singing our
hearts out... heheh
Dad has been playing some guitar, but never on any
professional level or anything, just for fun at home.
When you perform i notice you tilt the hat down
over your eyes, does that help you to relax more when
you are performing?
Of course at times it can be nice to not having to
look the crowd in the eyes, but if I tilt down the
hat I do it because that's the way I've taught myself
that Michael does it :-)
How tall are you?
I'm quite short actually, I'm 157 cm.
You seem to have really small feet(teehee), what
are your shoe size?
Well since I'm not that tall my feet is also quite
small, my feet size is usually somewhere between 36
- 37. I know there are many different ways of saying
the size of one's feet, but this is the measurement
that I'm using.
What kind of movies do you like, or what do you
like to do for fun?
Movies that I like you usually find within the genre
comedy! Eddie Murphy (A prince in New York) I think
is hilarious, so is Jim Carrey (The Pet Detective,Liar
Liar) Adam Sandler (WaterBoy, Happy Gilmore), Ben
Stiller (Zoolander) and the list goes on ... :-)
What do I like to do for fun?
Well I have a creative mind so I like to rebuild the
design on my website every now and then, I have two
horses so I enjoy spending time with them.. I try
to keep myself healthy so I don't mind doing some
physical activity aswell .. like play "Innebandy"
(it's very popular here in Sweden), go out for a run
or go down to the gym for a workout... =)
Would you ever like to come to the united states?
I have actually been to the united states once, this
was back in 1997. I went to Florida, need I say that
I loved it? It was absolutely WONDERFUL! I wouldn't
mind visiting the US again sometime .. it's all a
matter of time and money ..hehe ... :-)
Where would your dream home location be if you
could choose anywhere in the world?
Well .. as they say .. there is no place like home
.. I love my home country Sweden.. here is where my
friends and my family is .. so I guess the answer
to that question will be Sweden.
Do you have a dance studio that you go to for
Unfortunaly no.. I do my dance session in my apartment
.. in front of my big mirror wall .. when I get a
house in the future I will have my own dance studio
though .. =)
often do you think you practice?
It all depends if I have a gig coming up or not, if
I have a planned performance coming up I tend to practice
quite a lot. But if there is nothing planned I just
don't have the motivation to dance that much. It's
the actual thought of being able to stand on stage
in front of a crowd that motivates me.
Do you ever get paid for any performance giggs?
It has happened, but usually I'm just happy if anyone
is interested in having me perform for them.
Where exactly would you like to go with your dancing,
where would you like to be?
This is quite a good question, it makes me think about
what it is exactly that makes me continue with my
impersonating... I guess as fans of Michael we all
have different ways of showing our love for him ..
my way is to impersonate him .. I'm just very happy
that me doing my performances has turned out so well
.. everywhere I've been performing I have always received
positive feedback.. when I perform it just feels right
for me ... and the feeling I have afterwards is an
incredibly strong feeling of satisfaction .. that
I have truly accomplished something good ... so in
a way I'm feeding off of the energy and excitement
of being on stage performing .. it's like a drug ...
But where would I like to be with my impersonating
... well one of my biggest dreams is to dance together
with Michael .. just in our own privacy .. not necessarily
in any official event .. even though that would also
be kool .... cuz I am a dancer in myself .. I love
to dance and being able to dance with the person who
has inspired me so much would surely be something
amazing to me..
Another dream I have is to be able to travel around
the world, bringing my own stage and backup dancers
and do shows in Michael's honour. So the ultimate
goal for my impersonating career I think would be
to do just these two things that I've just described.
Wow.. I've been talking quite a lot here ...hehe
If you could get the right money would teaching
dance somethin your interested in?
To be honest I don't think I would be interested,
what I'm passionate about is to impersonate Michael
and to be on stage. But since people have been asking
if I could help them to learn some Michael moves I've
felt that I don't mind sharing my knowledge that I've
gained in that area.
You seem to have a great production visualization,
the way you set up the performances, who else helps
you with that?
Not exactly sure what you mean with this question,
but the way the "stage" was put up when
I was doing my streetdancing was basicly just the
carpet I was dancing on and speakers. The music I
have mixed myself that I'm dancing too.
I get help from my parents and my boyfriend to set
the stage for me, I'd like to also send out a big
thank-you to them aswell for supporting and helping
me :-) I truly appreciate it!
How often do you and your backup dancers reherse
before a performance?
I wish I had backup dancers! Anyone interested in
voluntaring? ;) If I'm up for a performance I tend
to rehearse quite a lot .. when I was up for my latest
performance.. the streetdancing ... I rehearsed almost
every day for 2 weeks straight before the actual performance
I can tell you are a dancer in your spirit, what
were your first encounters with dance, what were the
first dance steps you were copying?
For as long as I can remember I have loved music and
dancing .. =) The first dance step I learned, with
the goal to try and copy Michael, was of course the
MoonWalk =) I was so proud when I had figuered out
how to do it! >>smiles<<
When you first was starting out, did you ever
think you would get this kind of love and reponse
from being an mj impersonator. And does that alone
make you happy?
I can honestly say that I didn't think I would get
this much attention from other MJ fans around the
world, and I'm truly grateful for it :-)
And of course it warms my heart when I get positive
feedback from fans around the globe, it is also one
of the things that makes me continue to do what I
do. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank EVERYONE
that has supported me!
Maybe it would be interesting for you to know that
my website gets an average of 200 visitors every day!
I think that is quite amazing! And one month I had
over 30 GB of people downloading clips from my website!
Have you ever been to one of his concerts?
Yes I have, I've been to his HIStory concert when
he was in Sweden 1997. Can't say that I remember much
from it however... think I got a blackout or something
... >>laugh<< ... just couldn't for my
life understand that he was there in person on that
stage .. :)
What type of shoes do you use?
sole of the shoe is kinda hard and smooth, not "rubbery"
cuz then you won't be able to slide as good.
I know some observant people notice that I don't use
my shoes when creating my dance clips, that's because
of pure lazyness really ... I use my slippers cuz
they are comfortable and I manage to put out the moves
with them also .. just aswell as I do in my shoes.
What shoes would you recommend to practice with
because I keep hearing that loafers are best but maybe
you have something else in mind, some low cost ones
would be nice if you don't mind telling me where to
I would say that it is very much up to each and every
person what he / she feels comfortable to dance in
- whatever works fine for you, you should use.
I was just wondering if you could tell me where you
got your shoes(what kind and brand)from. The shoes
I use is the brand of ecco - but I had to make a special
arrangement to get them where I wanted. I had big
troubles to find the same type of shoes as Michael
weares, especially since my feet size is not in the
range of Michaels. Male loafers don't fit well on
my much smaller feet.
So when I finally found a pair which at least resembled
Michael's loafers and actually fit my feet, I was
happy. But the problem with the shoes was that they
had a soft rubber sole and that is not the ultimate
thing when you are a dancer. So I had to take the
shoes to a shoemaker and let him add another type
of sole which was harder and more suitable for a dancer.
So... there you have the story about my shoes.. :)
I would also like to know where you got your hats
from and what kind if you can tell me.
I bought my hat in a store in Stockholm, Sweden called
"Hattbaren". It is not of any particular
brand, it is an import from Poland. That's what the
store told me when I asked them.
So how did U get into making these Michael Jackson
Umm ... it came kind of naturally when I decided to
make my site a pure impersonator site. Cuz I've always
recorded my performances (almost) so why not create
some videoclips out of it and put it on my website,
it gets so much more interesting that way =)
How do u put your videos on the web like that?
Well ... I have a videocamera ... that I use to record
my clips with ... then I have a pretty advanced graphic
board in my PC .. that I connect to a VCR .. and what
I do is that I press play on the VCR and play the
tape and through a cable that is connected via the
SCART slot on the VCR and the graphic board ... I
can pick up the video and audio via a software program
that came with the board ... :) Sounds kinda difficult
I know but it really isn't .. :)
The format I get on the videofile is an AVI .. and
from that I use a software from RealMedia that creates
a RealMedia file out of the AVI file ... this is necessary
since the AVI file gets very big .. RealMedia manage
to keep the filesize relatively small if you look
at the quality you can get out from it.
Where do you get your clothes?
I've received a lot of questions about my clothes
and where I get a hold of them etc. Well, some of
them I've found at my parents house .. like Michael's
black suit for example.. I was allowed to make a few
adjustments on an old suit from my father in order
for it to fit me. The golden body costume and matching
black pants I have actually created myself. And I
sometimes take a look in 2nd hand clothing stores
for garments that I could maybe use for some dance
routine just with making a few adjustments to it or
so. One of my backup dancers actually gave me a jacket
that she thought had the "Michael feeling"
to it for me to wear cuz she didn't want it anymore.
Umm.... my Billie Jean sequined Jacket and matching
pants I've bought from a guy in the states... cost
me a whole lot but it was worth it :)
So.. my current wardrobe of Michael clothes has come
about in many diffrent ways... one important thing
that I've always carried with me though is that the
clothes I chose to wear has to look as similar to
Michael's costumes as possible.. I'm a perfectionist
when it comes to the clothes .. and if I can't find
the right costume for a certain dance routine... I
will not perform that dance routine on stage in front
of a crowd.