Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | 11:31 a.m.
While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. Our thanks to them all. We continue today with “America’s Got Talent” winner Michael Grimm, the first-ever resident headliner at Ovation Lounge in Green Valley Ranch in Henderson.
I’m going to let my fans in on a little secret. Posted on my kitchen wall, so I never forget, are my house rules. They are:
“No way, no how, will I allow the pettiness of a fallen industry to influence my creative career or rob me of my dreams.”
“No way, no how, will I allow the constraints of money (either the struggle of making it or the fear of losing it) to steal away my creative energy and distract me from my mission.”
“No way, no how, will I allow an antique group of ‘technophobic’ marketers, old-time promoters and ego-maniacal managers to direct my future and rep my brand.”
“No way, no how, will I allow the Devil of Doubt or the Demon of Procrastination to stall or stop my worthwhile projects.”
I’m a dedicated artist and a committed entrepreneur, and nothing will stop me from expressing and manifesting my ideas, inventions, innovations and art!
“The world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” --William Shakespeare
I won “America’s Got Talent” in 2010, and for that I will be eternally grateful. But I am not an artist and a musician because of “AGT.” I started as a young kid and did it the old-fashioned way.
Our grandparents in the tiny Southern Gulf town of Waveland, Miss., raised my sister and me, and they took us to church every Sunday. At church, I sang with my sister as my grandmother played piano.
When I was 12, I was given the opportunity to sing karaoke at a local bar for hat tips as long as I had a chaperone. That’s how I really got started.
When I was 13, Ann McNair discovered me; she was a singer with gospel and Nashville roots. She gave me a guitar, showed me the first three cords and taught me how to write songs.
At 15, Ann got me my first indie record deal, but I knew just being a singer wouldn’t put bread on the table. I also needed to be a musician. So my entire 16th year, while everyone else was outside playing, I locked myself up in my bedroom and learned how to play my guitar.
At 17, I released a single called “John Wayne and Jesus.” With that song, I received the first-ever Country Christian Music Association “Star of Tomorrow” Covenant Award. I’ll never forget that night at Ryman Auditorium, which was the original location of the Grand Ole Opry. It gives me chills to this day.
When I was 21, I moved to Las Vegas and started headlining my own shows. In 2010, at the urging of Judy Alberti, vice president of entertainment for Station Casinos, I entered and won “America’s Got Talent.” Thank you, Judy.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Our thanks to Michael, who plays Ovation at Green Valley Ranch every Saturday. Doors at 7 p.m.; show at 8 p.m. $5. 21+. On June 11, he dropped his fun, summer CD “Gumbo.” To buy “Gumbo,” and for more details on Michael Grimm, visit MichaelGrimmMusic.com and Facebook.com/MichaelGrimmMusic. Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from Guinness World Record comedian Geechy Guy and Gene Wood and his new speedway motorcycle racing venture. Join us Wednesday when our guest columnists are celebrity rock artist Michael Godard and the bare-chested hunks of Thunder From Down Under at Excalibur.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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