The film The Identical resembles the life of lead actor Blake Rayne. On a dare, his mom encouraged him to try out for an Elvis Impersonator contest. Regardless of his lack of singing, acting and dancing experience, Blake won the contest and was carried into a life as an Elvis impersonator. Rayne was very successful and even won the Elvisthon world championship, but he got to the point where he thought, “I’d really like to get to be myself.” Everyone knows and loves Elvis, but Rayne wanted to know if he was good enough to stand on his own. He started writing his own music and states that it, “Felt like it was the right thing to do, the place I was being pulled.” His independent music career is what landed him the lead role in The Identical.
In the film Ryan Wade and Drexel Hemsley (both played by Blake Rayne) are identical twins separated at birth. Drexel becomes a famous musician while Ryan’s adoptive parents direct him to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a preacher. Ryan is drawn to music and eventually becomes known as “The Identical.”
There is a strong pull between the father’s hopes and the son’s desire in the film. Blake Rayne can relate to his character because he was interested in theater and choir, but his parents encouraged him to play sports and focus on his grades. “My parents encouraged me to go to college and make a better life for myself then what they had growing up. When I was a kid, I wanted to be in choir, and I wanted to be in the high school plays. I was not allowed to do that,” says Rayne.
With his parents guiding him through life during his teen years and fans of Elvis dictating his identity as a young man, Blake understands what it’s like to have the world pull you in different directions, trying to mold you into something you’re not. “You find yourself in a situation growing up where you have outside influences, sometimes it’s your parents, sometimes it’s the world coming at you and dictating your direction.” In a world that’s trying to mold you into something particular, whether it’s your peers, the media or your parents, Blake suggests keeping your focus on God’s word. “We’ve got to make a choice in life. You got to know what you’re going to serve in life,” says Rayne. “If you’re going to buy into the fact that looking a certain way makes you a more valuable human being, then your life is going to be dictated by that. Those things aren’t of value and they’re not eternal. But, if you dedicate your life to something, perhaps something a bit more sturdier – very simply, get your heart in the right place and seek the word of God – then there’s a big paradigm shift that happens,” Rayne boldly proclaims. When it came to working toward pleasing others or focusing on who God is molding you to become, Blake says, “Work on the eternal instead of the here and now.” He encourages others to dig into God’s word and strengthen that relationship, and then everything else will begin to fall in place. “There’s a great deal of peace that you can get where it doesn’t really matter what the world is singing at you,” says Blake
All along, Blake’s parents questioned how he could make a living as an entertainer. “At first my parents were like, ‘What are you doing? You can’t make a living doing that’,” proclaims Rayne. Ironically, once he left his career as an Elvis impersonator his parents thought he was crazy, “Why are you doing that, you’re throwing away a successful career.”
It’s incredible how God guides you through life and lays certain things in your lap while other things are a struggle. Blake Rayne attests how God has guided him through every facet of his life, “None of this stuff is stuff that I sought out. It’s just come to me because I’ve been open to anything. I don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. I don’t know if I’ll get another movie or anything else, but I do know that I’m taken care of and whatever He decides, I’ll be open for,” says Rayne. When it comes to determining what the future holds, Blake’s learned that God’s plan was so much greater than anything he could have dreamed for himself. “What I’ve realized is that if your heart’s in the right place and you’re open to seeking the will of God – surrender and give into it. Quit trying to make things happen the way you wish they could happen and just be open to the crazy life and possibilities that can come from truly seeking God’s will. You’d be surprised where you end up.”