Gary James' Interview With Reba McEntire Impersonator
It sure looks like Country music superstar Reba McEntire! But in fact, it's Corrie Sachs. Corrie is part of the American Superstars show out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Every night Corrie performs in the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Vegas.
We talked with Corrie about her Reba McEntire act.
Q - Before you were doing this Reba act, what were you doing?
A - I was a lead singer in a show in Atlantic City called Basin Street Follies. I was also the M.C. I do that, oh, sometimes twice a year, usually about three weeks at a time.
Q - What kind of a show was that?
A - It was like a mini-revue. There's a great, eight piece band. Then there was a comedian, myself, usually some kind of specialty act like a juggler. There were 3 acts and then there were dancers. There's usually six dancers.
Q - How did that gig lead you to the Flamingo where you first started performing as Reba?
A - As a matter of fact, I had my own band and I perform a lot in Vegas. The producer of the American Superstars Show, he knew me. I had some one nighters for him, here and there, being an M.C. and singing for different shows he had. He just tried to convince me to put on a red wig. He's basically the one that told me I could do Reba. I even told him he's crazy and turned him down three or four times. (Laughs.) Then he finally said, "Come with me. We're gonna try on a red wig." I tried on a red wig and everybody thought I looked like Reba. So I went ahead and auditioned for him and got the job.
Q - When you walk down the street, do people think you're Reba? Do you get double-takes?
A - Actually, no. I'm a little blonde. So I try to keep separate identities. That way when I'm done with the show, I can just leave and nobody comes after me for my autograph. It's kind of nice, kind of like incognito.
Q - Have you always been a Reba fan?
A - Well, I liked her. I can't say I was a big enthusiast. She had two big hits, "Take It Back" and "Why Havenít I Heard from You". When those came out, that's when I basically started to learn about her. The bigger she got, the more people were telling me that I look like her. Then I saw a move she did called Tremors and she had no makeup on in that movie. That's when I saw myself. (Laughs.) I was like, oh my gosh, that's me. That's basically how it started as far as in my own head, as far as thinking I look like Reba.
Q - You knew at the age of three that you wanted to be in show biz. How did you know that?
A - Oh, I saw Ann Margaret in Bye Bye Birdie and I was a fan of Shirley Temple and I used to think "I can do that!" There's nothing else I've done! I started dancing at three and turned professional at age 15. I'm also a gymnast.
Q - Should we refer to you as an impersonator? A look-a-like? A tribute act?
A - Well, actually the way I'm introduced every night is, "Corrie Sachs, Tribute to Reba McEntire."
Q - Is it possible for someone in the American Superstars Show to lose their identity when they're so closely associated with a famous person?
A - That's funny. There's a few people that can't seem to shake their role. There are some people who become who they portray, which is pretty scary. I would say for the most part that most of us have our heads in the right places and realize we're just pretending for those few hours we're onstage.
Q - Have you put together any original songs?
A - No, I haven't. I don't have that gift of writing. I have to have somebody else write for me. I'm just basically the performer.
Q - You're dong this Reba thing what six, seven days a week?
A - Yeah and I'm also in a show during the day called Viva Las Vegas at The Sands.
Q - What do you do in Viva Las Vegas?
A - I'm the lead vocal. We do a one o'clock and a three thirty show and it's in the Copa Room, the main showroom at The Sands. I'm the lead singer and I have five dancers behind me.
Q - With all that singing, how do you then turn around and do Reba?
A - It's a piece of cake compared to what I'm used to doing. When I do Reba, I basically do only 20 minutes, which is basically four and a half songs. So it's much easier than what I'm used to. I'm used to singing as much as five hours every night with a band, doing sets. So for me, even though I'm doubling, it's much more simple than what I used to have to do. Back in the old days when I used to do Ballyís a lot, they wanted six sets. I just remember coming home in tears with my feet killing me and my throat sore everyday. It was just too much singing and that was six days a week too. In Viva Las Vegas I have to do three and a half numbers in that show, too. So you add it up, between the day and the night and I'm still not working as hard as I would if I had a band.
Q - How long do you feel you can keep doing Reba?
A - Well you know, I'm just gonna ride the waves just as long as she's hot. Although I'm not worried. I just feel very fortunate that I look like her. I just kind of fell into it. It wasn't something that I thought I'd be doing. It just kind of fell into my lap.
Q - Does Reba know about you?
A - She does know about me now. I believe some of her band members have come out to see me when I was performing at a little place called Silver City. It was owned by Circus Circus. They booked me as Reba because the rodeo was in town and Reba was sold out at Caesars. They said if you can't go see Reba, see the next best thing. It took off like wild fire and Reba heard about me. Plus I'm sure she gets that Country magazine and saw my picture there, saying "Is it Reba or Is It Not?" So I'm sure she's pretty curious about me. From what I understand, we hopefully might be able to get together the next time she plays Caesars. That would be great to get a promo shot with her. From what I understand, she's a down to earth person. I think she even gets a kick out of the whole thing. So I don't think she's offended by my impersonating her.