Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | 4:39 p.m.
Melinda, The First Lady of Magic
Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun and along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Melinda, “The First Lady of Magic,” who stars in “V — The Ultimate Variety Show” at Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood.
When I took a break from show business to start a family, I never knew I would be back onstage working with my brother, David Saxe, in one of the finest productions, “V — The Ultimate Variety Show” in The V Theater at Planet Hollywood.
Taking a break was something I will never regret, although it was exciting to return to the stage as “Melinda, The First Lady of Magic” after becoming Melinda, Mom of Magic. And let me tell you, parenthood takes a healthy dose of abracadabra at times!
I have two amazing kids. My son Mason is 9, and my daughter Mallory is 5. When Mallory was 2, we were living in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Once when I was trying to get the dishes done, I popped in a DVD of my Disney TV special wondering if she would figure out that she was watching her mom.
At first glance, she didn’t realize that was her mom on the video, but once she figured out it was her mom performing magic, she couldn’t stop watching it. She even said to me, “Mommy, you need to move back to Las Vegas and do magic.”
My son Mason was curious to know how I became a magician, and I told him I moved to Las Vegas when I was 3, and, growing up in a show business family, I used to watch my mom dancing in “Folies Bergere” — and that inspired me to be onstage. Many people follow in their parents’ footsteps to become second-generation doctors, lawyers, chefs, etc., but, in my case, I was destined for the stage because my role models showed me what an exciting life it could be.
At a young age, I realized that there were always male magicians in those shows in which my mother performed, and I was mesmerized. I thought to myself if it could be possible for a lady to be a magician. I kept asking my mom that question, as well, and she told me, “Go for your dreams.”
She took me by the hand and made sure that I learned from the best. As I studied and worked on learning magic, I had a dream to be onstage in Las Vegas with my own show. We had never seen a lady magician before, so we were up for a difficult task of trying to create a show that would be as powerful as the big boys.
I remember feeling defeated in the beginning as one of my peers asked me, “What makes you think you deserve your own show when there are so many other magicians more deserving?” That really hurt me at the time. Yes, I was born into a show business family, and those connections made it easier for me to get my start. I had to remind myself that people don’t keep coming to bad shows. I may have had a leg up, but I also had the talent and stage presence to live up to the high standards of my customers.
I never gave up in the hard times. The negative comments only inspired me to work harder and do my best perfecting my craft, as I knew the real proof that I deserved to be onstage would come from the love of my audiences. As I started at Bourbon Street Hotel and then headlining at the top hotels on the Strip, I’ve been fortunate to have the love and acceptance of so many great people along the way, especially all the kids who still inspire me to live my dreams.
After taking a few years off to start my family, I am thrilled to be back onstage at The V Theater and sharing my magic at “V — The Ultimate Variety Show,” proving that dreams really do come true.
Check out our other guest columns today from Border Grill owner and co-chef Mary Sue Milliken and set designer and producer Andy Walmsley (“Showbiz Roast” at the Stratosphere) and on Wednesday artist Michael Godard, exhibit mastermind Tom Zaller and cowgirl Trish Lynn.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.