Tags: Barack Obama | Barack Obama | impersonator | Bronx | man | stopped | street

Man Who Impersonates Obama Says Life's Not All a Rose Garden

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 06:55 PM

A Bronx man who's a dead-ringer for President Barack Obama says his fortunes depend on the commander in chief — and that's not always been a good thing, either financially or on the street.

"I am the lightning rod," Louis Ortiz tells the Huffington Post in a video interview posted Wednesday.

"It's just normal."

The former Verizon worker has parlayed his big ears and astounding likeness to the president into a career — and a documentary — and now travels the world as a presidential impersonator.

People just can't help themselves when they see him walking down the street, he admits.

"They want me to take care of ISIS … Ebola, the economy," he tells HuffPost Live. "It's a tough job."

It gets to be a bit much, he confesses, including "if you're trying to get from point A to point B … and people have to stop you for some reason," including to say "I hate you."

"As far as his popularity, when things get tough for Obama, things get a little tough for me, not only financially," Ortiz says. "I gotta hear it all."

Filmmaker Ryan Murdock first introduced Ortiz to the world in an episode of "This American Life" in 2012, the Atlantic notes.

Murdock then released a documentary "Bronx Obama," last October. The Atlantic posted a clip of the documentary.

Story continues below video.


"People encounter Ortiz and have the urge to act out their fantasy as if they were meeting the real commander in chief, but with none of the encumbrances of security, media, or even basic decorum," Murdock told the Atlantic.

Ortiz tells HuffPost Live that Murdock's documentary "is acting like an unofficial manager … getting me a lot of attention and the work is rolling in."

In an interview with the New York Daily News last October, Ortiz confessed he once considered having plastic surgery to fix the ears that he felt stuck out too much.

He's good with them now.

"I look at myself a lot in the mirror, and I start speaking like Barack," he told the News. "It’s like Barack is speaking through me, to me. ... It's weird."

Ortiz works an average of two or three times a week as the president, working parties and corporate conferences, appearing in an occasional television ad overseas — and even appearing as an unannounced guest at weddings, according to the Daily News.

In 2013, he made about $60,000, down from 2012, he told the newspaper.

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A Bronx man who's a dead-ringer for President Barack Obama says his fortunes depend on the commander in chief — and that's not always been a good thing, either financially or on the street.
Barack Obama, impersonator, Bronx, man, stopped, street, make, living
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2015-55-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 06:55 PM
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