Iman Crosson has turned his talented presence and dead-on impersonation to become America’s leading Barack Obama impersonator, appearing on FoxNews, Entertainment Tonight, and at corporate events around the country. However, his road to success in the world of entertainment began long before the young Senator from Illinois entered the White House.
The youngest of 5 children, Iman Crosson has been the comical personality that has made people burst with laughter since he was a child. Virtually unknown, but making a big splash in just after his move to California, Iman is quickly becoming renown for his razor precision impression of Barack Obama and his hilarious original sketch comedy.
Iman got his first taste of the big stage at five years old when gospel singer Shirley Ceasar invited the children in the audience to the stage. After the children were sent back their seats Iman refused to leave as he took the stage for himself putting on his best dance to show off to the crowd and Shirley Caesar. Iman would spend his time at home mimicking his childhood idol, Jim Carrey and reenacting the comedy sketches of the then smash sketch comedy show "In Living Color." At the age of 12, Iman's parents enrolled him in The School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was at this performing arts school that Iman explored his affinity for the arts by involving himself in a wide range of interests like percussion, visual art, creative writing, musical theatre, dance and of course acting.
When Iman graduated at 18 his first professional acting job was at Paramount's King's Island an amusement park in Cincinnati. His first year there he proudly took on the role of Triok Bkep, a Romulan, for the Star Trek attraction, a character he himself created and named. Iman would spend the summer interacting with guests at the theme park and each day and said that he "knew people understood it was all makeup and fake, but wanted to play it so convincingly that hopefully at least one person would walk away thinking (he) wasn't human." The following year Iman exercised his artistic flexibility again by joining The Nickelodeon Show as a hip-hop dancer and had even been a runway model in an Essence Magazine fashion show. Iman knew unwaveringly that entertainment was his call so he followed.
To sharpen his craft Iman made the decision to attend Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio as a dance major with a minor in acting. It was here that his skills were honed with classical training in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, African and even hip-hop. Within a quick two years Iman was recruited by the nationally respected African-American "Dayton Contemporary Dance Company" and performed with their student company. Iman's love for the stage intensified over two years of performing and he made the biggest decision of his life, to move to New York City, New York.
New to "The Big Apple", Iman decided to switch gears a bit and do what was natural to him growing up, hip-hop dancing. Iman would spend his first summer in New York dancing on the set of MTV's "Wanna-Be's Presents: Becoming" where hopeful fans would get made up as their favorite musical artists and would perform with the support of backup dancers. Iman would soon progress filming segments for the New York Rangers halftime show and even dance as part of the opening act for rap artist Fat Joe. Iman at this time had begun actively seek out his acting career as well, but found it nearly impossible to get noticed without the audience of a big agent. Having seen the success of a others that traveled that route, he then began posting his own sketches on Youtube.com. Simultaneously Iman began acting in student films and shooting small commercials. Iman became a humble success, generating a buzz in the internet community and even eventually took part in hosting the first ever New York Live Youtube Gathering in Union Square in Manhattan.
Iman, however, still hungered for more. "I loved making videos, but I had grown exhausted with being a stereotype- a virtually out of work actor waiting tables," Iman recalls. "I felt like I had outgrown New York and needed more space to grow as an artist," and with nervous anticipation Iman moved to California. It was at this point that he made a strategic move to put some steam under his acting career. He decided impersonate the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. Within just months Iman's career skyrocketed having his online following jump from a mere 7,000 subscribers to over 60,000 subscribers and counting. His recent video made in honor of the election, a spoof of rapper T.I.'s "Whatever You Like", soared to nearly 7million hits. His spoof was heard nation wide on radio stations, CNN and even was named New York News #4 of the top 10 Obama songs of 2008. When asked repeatedly if he could top it he then released another music video spoof of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" which hit a staggering 4 million hits within an impressive 3 weeks. Iman has made a huge splash in the industry being coined as "The Man who proved Obama can be made funny" by New York Magaine and hailed by the Los Angeles Times as having an impression that "is eerily as accurate as Tina Fey's Palin" Iman has now stacked up over a whopping 17 million views online for his videos. Having left the restaurant industry behind for good, Iman now has a lucrative career as a voiceover artist lending his voice to the Denver Post, CBS radio, Newsweek and Sid & Marty Krofft Films (currently in production). Iman travels the U.S. as President Barack at corporate events, public appearances and even television and radio interviews. Iman now also serves as a special guest correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and The Insider and is currently the voice of Obama on two new primetime television shows currently in production. "I wanted to break out in a serious way and I think this just may have done it."
IMAN CROSSON BLOG
POSTED OVER 5 YEARS AGO