Elvis Thao has worn a variety of hats in his past and is currently an up and coming Film Director/Actor/Musician located in Chicago, IL. He is the lead singer/songwriter in his Folk/Rock band called “The Creatives” which released a recent record titled “The Water Street Experiment”. He has also starred as a cast member in the Warner Bros. motion picture “Gran Torino” in which he also landed a Hollywood film score. With legendary Director Clint Eastwood under his belt; Elvis is content to expanding his horizons and has gained experience through the long journey. Ever-reinventing himself, the Film Industry is his current interest in which he has also acted with Hollywood actress Bai Ling, Sean Astin and on several independent projects, commercial and print. As a Director he is currently creating a web series “In Search Of….” (The Great American Street Musician) for Reality TV and is also shooting a short film still In-Production entitled “Street Boy”, the Rodriguez movie.
In other areas of his career, Thao also sponsored and was involved in a lot of charities, recreation and volunteer work. He is an activist who works with the community and small organizations. Community involvement and social advocate. public speaker, outreach, workshop and discussion, event coordinator/organizer, plus presenter. He is a graduate of Public Allies (AmeriCorps) 2009 and has a certificate in the Philanthropy Incubator Project. He has been hired at many Universities across the states, regionally and has appeared in many publications, radio stations and television news/media, nationally. In the media outlet, he’s even compared to the likes of John Lennon by several critics and journalists.
In his past, he was a member of the rap group RARE of Shaolin Entertainment based out of Milwaukee , WI. A rap trio, who were the most recognized icons of his people and ran the most successful Hip Hop recording studio in the Hmong scene, nationally, on the road traveling and touring, performing and building their careers and pushing through to the mainstream for many years. They've worked alongside and opened for many big name Industry artists, were looked at by several record labels/A&Rs, and have performed at notorious venues throughout the country in which they sold out shows as headliners to as much as 1,400 – 2,200 attendees, thus enhancing the music revolution for the Asian community which garnered Thao several awards and nominations. After 10 years, 4 albums, managing 2 other artists with 4 other albums and selling thousands on the road, Thao has disbanded with his rap career and is now content with his current Rock band “Elvis Thao and The Creatives” and is also pursuing Acting and Film Production – look for him. YOU design yourself. Let’s start the movement.
Name: Elvis Thao
Lives in: Chicago, Illinois
Company: Hand Sewn Productions
Occupation: Actor, Director, Filmmaker, Musician, Producer, Screenwriter, Singer and Songwriter
Unique traits: Vocal range: Baritone/Tenor, Rapping, Spoken Word, Singer/Songwriter, Guitar (intermediate), Harmonica (intermediate), Speaker, Host, Basketball, Boxing, Soccer.
Top 5 ballot nominee for 88.9 RadioMilwaukee - “Solo Artist of The Year” award
Won Midwest Urban Empowerment Awards for Asian American Leadership
Certificate as an International 'Top 10' chart single “Take Me Back” on behalf of IAIRA - a Grammy affiliate
Nominated for Hmong Wisconsin man of the year
A Light Beneath Their Feet
Film by Valerie Weiss (Drama) Actor Emotionally raw and uncommonly observant, this coming-of-age drama balances the pull of family obligation against personal aspirations. Madison Davenport beautifully conveys the mixture of fierce love and grueling weariness she feels while embracing her role as caregiver, a responsibility that threatens to consume the entirety of her life. And Taryn Manning is equally impressive in avoiding any trace of caricature in her portrayal of mental illness, preserving Gloria's dignity even as her behavior becomes more erratic. Director Valerie Weiss has found an ideal collaboration in screenwriter Moira McMahon Leeper, making her feature debut. By turns endearing, unsettling, and ultimately moving, A Light Beneath Their Feet is a triumph of empathetic filmmaking. There are no heroes and villains in this story, just ordinary people struggling to create a sense of normalcy in their day-to-day existence. Written by Matt Fagerholm
Film by Gil Cates Jr. (Drama and Thriller) Actor Two strangers, both at the end of their rope, suddenly meet in the middle of the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan.
Film by Ross Bigley (Action and Drama) Actor When debts are due, there's no where to hide and somebody's going to pay. A low level bag man, his wife, his brother, a stripper, the strip club owner, a junkie whore, a psychopathic mute, a crime boss, and others, all collide in a final dance of death over money and survival. Written by Craig McCarthy
Film by Clint Eastwood (Drama) Actor Walt Kowalski is a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy old man who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors. He is a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Thao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Thao's family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood. Written by alfiehitchie
The Second City
Vagabond School of the Arts
Acting Studios Chicago
Acting Techniques, Joey Paul Jensen
On-Camera Workshop, Kate Frisina, Talent Plus