It’ll be an uncomfortable night for many on 8 November but for one man in the UK it might just spell the end of an unusual career.
Guy Simon,70, aka Britain’s most popular Donald Trump lookalike is in for a rough ride as his future impersonating the controversial figure lies in the hands of the American electorate.
Celebrity Lookalike Agency Susan Scott, accredited with introducing the Lookalike phenomenon to the UK in 1979, has said: “If Trump doesn’t get in then that will be that – no more bookings. We are confident that whoever wins the election – the lookalike will have work and the loser won’t.”
Seeing their own fortunes rise and fall with those of their double isn’t easy, as Simon attests: “I’ve played Trump for many years now but I fear this might be it, if he loses so do I, and that’s not a comfortable position to be in because I’ve put so much of myself into this role.”
Come a Clinton victory he won’t be alone in his sinking boat – impersonating Mr Trump is big business in the UK.
Susan Scott’s website lists five different Trumps. In fact, there’s more listings under his name than any other celebrity, except for Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp and more than Hillary Clinton, whose lookalike faces the same dilemma with a potential Trump victory on the cards.
Simon’s musings divulge a deep conflict at the heart of what they do that extends beyond potentially losing a job.
“It’s fun playing such an exuberant character but I’m often objectified and treated as a symbol of hate. I’ve even been accused of endorsing the man himself. Everyone expects you to act a certain way, it can be a lot to carry on your shoulders.”
It seems the parallel lives they lead have parallel consequences.
Despite his misgivings Simon’s experiences of playing Trump reveals a sense of sympathy as perhaps only an impersonator could: “I try to understand the character’s motivation. I don’t know the man but I suspect Donald Trump isn’t the man we all think he is.”
Simon Jay, another Trump double, plays the would-be president in the interactive rally performance Trumpageddon that invites its audience to immerse in Trump’s vision of the world and asks what life would be if ‘The Donald’ would be president. Jay explains why he chose to play Trump and talks about comedy, politics and society.
Empathy aside his fate and that of his real life equivalent now lie in the hands of a people thousands of miles away which, rather interestingly, is a great example of how these elections can have global consequences unbeknownst to the American voter.
Unfortunately a Hillary Clinton impersonator was unavailable for comment, one can only assume the email was lost.