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Chicago Obama Impersonator Helps Launch New Zealand Political Party

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago's Reggie Brown has a lot of interesting stories from the five years he's worked as a Barack Obama impersonator.

    Getting kicked off the stage at the Republican Leadership Conference in 2011 was certainly memorable, along with the resultant appearance on "Real Time With Bill Maher."

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    But his latest project is landing him some international attention.

    Brown portrays President Obama in a new spoof video launching Kim Dotcom's political party in New Zealand.

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    Dotcom is the web entrepreneur that started MegaUpload.com, and is fighting extradition to the U.S. where he faces piracy charges.

    Brown was originally scheduled to visit New Zealand to participate in a series of events surrounding Dotcom's birthday, but it eventually morphed into the creation of the launch video for The Internet Party, which bills itself as a "movement for the freedom of the internet and technology, for privacy and political reform."

    "Kim is under a microscope. I've never had a client like him. I feel for him and his family, everything he does, they try to stick it to him from every angle," Brown says. "He's extremely brilliant and was great to work with. I'm not up to date with New Zealand politics and typically stay away from being overtly political with the work I do here in the United States, but as an actor, this was a fun project to work on, and I am very happy with the way it turned out."

    Brown is featured in the video with a bumbling impersonator portraying New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, and is scheduled to fly back to New Zealand soon to shoot another.

    Brown obviously made a good career decision by deciding to leave Chicago for the West Coast in order to concentrate full-time on getting work as an Obama impersonator, but those opportunities are bound to decrease after this presidential administration is over.

    "I've certainly thought about that, but I've been preparing for life after Obama since the beginning," Brown says. "There will still be residual Obama gigs out there when he leaves office, but I've been getting a lot of interest in getting work outside of that character, for my standup work, hosting and acting, so it's definitely opened a lot of doors."