“Louis Ortiz walked into a bar, and Barack Obama came out.”
That's how the Bronx, N.Y., native Louis Ortiz, who looks an awful lot like a certain resident of a large white house on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, describes how he became a presidential impersonator.
The 43-year-old calls himself "Bronx Obama" and has made a good living the last few years, traveling the country and the world – as far as South Korea and Australia – going to private events as the leader of the free world.
“It took me about a month to discover the look. People were joking about the look for a little while,” Ortiz told Fox News Latino. “Once I took off my facial hair, I looked in the mirror – the famous look – and that’s all she wrote.”
Ortiz said while he has not had any plastic surgery – the ears are all natural – he did consider going under the knife.
“I’ve been tortured since second grade. Dumbo, Jumbo. You name it,” he said. “Always wanted to have surgery, but glad I didn’t. These fit the mold.”
Ortiz, who is of Puerto Rican descent, used YouTube videos and interviews of the president to practice his mannerisms and tone of voice. Ortiz said that initially he really did have to practice, but now it’s a natural thing.
“When you look like the most powerful man in the world, you have no choice but just to keep looking at him,” he said.
Walking around in full “Obama gear,” Ortiz said the biggest thing that happens is that people stare and do double-takes. He said that he has gotten heckled by people who believe he's the other Obama. "Everything from A to Z," he said.
He said he has been asked to pose for pictures, give speeches and appear in movies, commercials and even rap videos. Yes, rap videos.
Ortiz played Obama in French Montana’s music video for “Chopper Down,” in which he is captured by Arab Jihadists and rescued by a group of rappers in a military operation.
“That was pretty intense,” Ortiz said.
The most amazing experience of all though, was meeting the Dalai Lama.
“That was a big, big moment in my life,” he said. “I still carry it in my heart today.”
Ortiz's transformative journey has been captured in a documentary called, “Bronx Obama.”
The film, which is currently available on iTunes and Vemeo on demand, shows the ups and downs Ortiz experienced from 2008 to 2012.
“(It’s) my journey, my rollercoaster ride – the ups, the downs – the chase of the American Dream,” Ortiz said. “It's a pretty good documentary, and I’m not saying that because it’s about me.”
Although Obama has two years left on his second term, Ortiz said he believes he will still be posing as the president for some time to come.
“President Barack Obama is the first African-American president. That’s beyond just any kind of history, that’s historical history,” he said. “He is going to be around in the limelight for a while, hence I will.”