Originality… What Does Elvira Have To Do With It.


Elvira

When you look back at people who have made a very successful career at entertainment and are still going strong decades after launching it’s hard to think of many still around especially one that is still a marketing dream come true. This is where Elvira (aka) Cassandra Peterson excels. Elvira was launched in 1981 by Cassandra and to this day is one of the most iconic characters in entertainment. She has created a brand that encompasses 400+ product licenses, the most sold Halloween costume ever, music CD’s, books, pinball machines, guitars and the list goes on. Finding truly iconic characters these days is hard work. Most are known for their personal problems not their originality. Tell me the last time you heard anything negative about Elvira? Her success is due to her originality, extremely well defined character and marketing.

Why do I bring this up? Because it could be you. You could be the next Elvira, Kiss, Alice Cooper, or whomever you can think of that are still around 30+ years later even after their hay day. Sometimes these things happen by accident. Cassandra probably wasn’t thinking that Elvira would turn into this iconic character, but she did and Cassandra took full advantage of it. Now I have never interviewed Cassandra. I did know her sister back in Colorado Springs however. She hung out a bar called “The Gardens” that I worked back in the early 90’s. I remember talking with her. How proud she was of Cassandra and all she had accomplished. Cassandra hit a gold mine with her character, probably had a decent team behind her to capitalize on her character and today Elvira is as big as ever and her cult legacy lives on. She is all over Facebook, Pinterest and anything Halloween.

Sometimes as entertainers we take ourselves to seriously. I read on Facebook the other day a band posting about how they were “real” and they didn’t care about image etc… So just shoot yourself in the foot why don’t you. This is a lame excuse for people to not put in the work for thinking outside the box, finding something original and running with it. You can do this and still maintain your sense of you or who you are without sacrficing your “realness,” whatever the hell that means.

Everyday people say, “if people would just get behind me, invest in me then I would prove that I am worth it.” So what exactly are they getting behind? What are they selling? Are you sellable the way you are now? Why would anyone want to invest in your brand if you don’t really have one? What is going to make you stand out from the millions of other entertainers looking to get noticed? We are looking for stars, not our next door neighbors.

Now I am not saying you have to go get “gothed” up to be noticed. I am saying that you need to be original, marketable and dedicated to working you butt off. If you want longevity in this industry, which from what you all say about how you wish you could do it full time and that it’s all you want to do, then you need to be willing to put in some development, take some risks and forget what every other lame ass next to you is saying because they will only tear you down especially once you start having success.

Be bold, be brave, be energetic and works twice as hard as you think you need to. You see, you need to be ready to move on to the big time like Cassandra was. Elvira was born out of a need for a character for a classic horror “B” movie TV show that was being brought back to life. Cassandra had one character already and merged it with the “Elvira” concept to fill the TV show need. Once the opportunity knocks, you need to able to act on it. Cassandra did and look what happened. This couldn’t have happened without Cassandra’s creativity to come up with the original character. Once you get there, it only get’s harder and busier. You think you are busy now? Just wait…. Take the time to “develop” yourself into something the public will purchase. Don’t you think Cassandra thought it was worth it?

Good luck!

Find out more about Elvira here: www.elvira.com

Elvira (@TheRealElvira)
@lowryagency Great post! XX

 

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4 responses to “Originality… What Does Elvira Have To Do With It.

  • Jolie Stripes

    I think that as a performer, this was the best advice I have never been given! Great article!

  • VintageQueen

    Anyone who thinks Elvira is original clearly has no idea who Vampira was. She was the one and only original queen when it came to being a horror movie host. I’m not saying that invalidates the argument behind your post, but Elvira was not the first to don a black wig and dress. She may have had more popularity but nonetheless, she clearly was built upon Vampira’s image.

    • David Lowry

      Vintage Queen,

      Thank you for your comment and reading the blog 🙂 Actually we do know who Vampira was and she wasn’t original either by your standards. Vampire was based off a comic strip of the same name and the evil queen in Disney’s “Snow White.” However to address your post in regards to what I was getting across. It is almost impossible to be truly original. It’s all been done before, however the character herself is original. Elvira’s valley girl personality mixed with her costume is not based on Vampira at all. Elvira was also created out of “want” from a TV studio so Cassandra Peterson had to conform to some sort of idea already in place.

      The marketing and use of the “Elvira” character was completely original and has been extremely popular over the last 3 decades, more so by far than “Vampira.” Although you do bring up a good point about the clothing being similar, “Elvira is not a vampire and other than dark hair and a dark dress, the similarities pretty much end.

      Thanks for your input!

      David

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