Gago Jackson with Marilyn Monroe’s Russian lookalike

Gago Jackson: Michael’s Lookalike from Vanadzor

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YEREVAN / MOSCOW-SOCHI — Gago Jackson — the stage name of Gagik Arturovich — was born in the city of Vanadzor, Armenia. From an early age he was fond of dancing and drawing, also – to parody and imitate celebrities. Gagik graduated from medical school with a degree in dental technician. In 2005 he received an invitation to work in “Double Plus” the Moscow professional theater of lookalikes. He took first place in the 2008 dance championship, also received a diploma from the leadership of the Courier Service of Russia, as well as many diplomas and certificates in various contests. In 2009 he made his debut on the Russia TV talent show “Minute of Glory” and in the same year became the winner and holder of the Cup of the International Gala Show “Minute of Glory,” where he competed with the finalists of similar competitions from the US, Germany, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, etc. In 2010, Gagik became a finalist of the same competition. His rendition of Michael Jackson’s song Black or White made it to the top 20 of “Minute of Glory.” Gago Jackson performs in various cities of Russia, both in corporate and themed parties, discos, banquets, and at concert venues.

Gagik, there are many lookalikes of the King of Pop in the world. In your opinion, and in the opinion of others, what makes you different from the rest?

I differ from other lookalikes in that I dance almost in silence. I feel the vibration, I know all of Michael’s dances and songs by heart. I even know how to improvise, I make my own phonograms for performances to my taste, I performed under them and everyone like them, inviting me very often to perform at various events. And I dance in silence because I have a weak auditory nerve, so I often wear a hearing aid. But on stage you cannot dance with it: either it deteriorates from moisture, or flies out. When I hear the first chords of music, standing near the speaker, I take off the hearing aid, go to the stage and perform from memory, clearly falling into the beat.

I think it was very creative of you to dance in sync with Michael on the screen. Have the other lookalikes come up with such a duet?

Everyone and I really like dancing Dangerous in sync with the background on the screen, as if a real Michael with a dancer came up with it himself.

How many Michael Jackson lookalikes are there in Russia and is there any competition between them?

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There are Pavel Talalaev and I, we take our business seriously and always support each other; there is even no question of competition. We have been friends since 2003.

They say that subconsciously a person also begins to resemble his lookalike internally – is that so?

Sometimes yes, there are some things that are like a conditioned reflex. I like to snap my finger when I hear my favorite music, or, for example, in a taxi, when Michael’s music is playing, I “sing along” just opening my mouth and stamping my feet.

How you collaborate with costume designers, stylists and make-up artists to create your stage image?

My seamstress Lyudmila Lifanova has been sewing my costumes since 2012; she is very, very neat and sews with high quality, that my suits serve for a long time. She also makes beautiful and complex costumes for photo shoots, they are like museum exhibits. And the requisites – knee pads, belts, sleeves, I make myself from various materials.

Is there something about your idol that you don’t like?

He was too kind, it was necessary in moderation, but he lived among unscrupulous people who ruined his life and are ruining even after death. This world was not for him.

How did it happen that Michael Jackson’s father invited you to visit him?

I won a photography competition and received an invitation from Michael’s father to the Los Angeles premiere of “This is It,” all organized by Sony. But the shooting of the “Minute of Glory” coincided, it was impossible to terminate the agreement. But I still cherish the invitation!

I assume Jackson fan clubs in the States aware about you.

I am known in all Michael Jackson fan clubs in the world, and we still maintain an attitude on the Internet.

Is it possible in Russia to make a living acting only as a celebrity lookalike?

Of course! I work with adequate and competent organizers and thanks to them all my performances take place; I invest my earnings in the development of my favorite business. There are invitations from the highest authorities. For example, I performed in Almaty at the birthday party of the daughter of Kazakhstan’s President, Nazarbayev. There were many celebrities from Russia, and at the end of the program Jennifer Lopez herself performed.

You also create great graphic art about Michael Jackson. Don’t you think about developing this gift of yours as well?

In the future, I will definitely continue to draw and even be able to open my own exhibition.

Once the main “Stalin” of the Soviet Union and Russia was Georgiy Saakyan —  a record-holder of the “Russian Book of Records,” who played the role of Stalin in 36 films. Have you met other Armenians – celebrity lookalikes?

Unfortunately, I have not met with them. Surely, it would be interesting to hear from them their life stories.

There are many Jackson fans in Armenia, but there is no fan club. It would be great to see you in Yerevan!

Of course, many people in Armenia love Michael, so I will be very happy to perform in Yerevan!

Is there a project in which you dream to participate? Or is it a secret?

I have a lot of interesting ideas, let them be pleasant surprises. Everything will become a reality, I promise!

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