Friday, March 1, 2013 | 4 p.m.
It’s no secret that the topless, shapely curves of Claire Sinclair have been seen in the pages of Playboy when Hugh Hefner selected her as the 2011 Playmate of the Year. She followed that by going topless in two engagements at the now-closed “Crazy Horse Paris” at MGM Grand.
However, it’s not that posing nude is over and done, but Claire says unless there’s a “nip slip,” you won’t be seeing her naked in the new show “Pin Up” she headlines starting Saturday at Stratosphere.
“It will actually be hotter and sexier, though,” Claire told me. “I have no problems posing nude. If you have a beautiful body, you can show it. Here, though, in “Pin Up,” we leave a little to the imagination, and it’s actually a lot sexier than just throwing it in your face.
“I’m not against boobs, so don’t get me wrong! But when you have them on display the entire time, it gets to be a little the same. Our aim is to keep you well focused on the female form in many ways rather than the same boobs. The costumes are very revealing and sexy, and I love that it’s hotter that way.”
Fans of the 21-year-old glamour girl riding a rocket to stardom probably don’t know that before Hef picked her as Miss October 2010, she was hustling tourist tips on Hollywood Boulevard dressed as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”
“When we made $400 a day at the start of the tourist season, we thought we’d hit the jackpot, and we were on a roll,” she said. “But at the end of the season, we were down to dimes and quarters. Reality set in fast.”
But her rollercoaster to fame and fortune had begun. She modeled for sensual artist Olivia, wound up at The Playboy Mansion, won the title, arrived here -- and the very day her second run of shows at “CHP” ended, she signed a contract for “Pin Up.” Incidentally, Claire is 5’7” and 119 pounds, and her hourglass figure measures 36D-24-38.
She became spokesmodel for the Bettie Page clothing line headquartered here. This week, she joined with musicians and sexy dancers, including the luckiest guy on The Strip, dancer Ryan Kelsey, for a preview of this weekend’s premiere. Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo gallery and to contributing videographer Richard Corey for his video.
Later in a one-on-one interview, I asked her if she thought she was on a high-speed journey and was still pinching herself that she’d found what she wanted.
Claire told me: “I’m in extreme shock. I’m still going into shock. Every single landmark moment of my career has put me into shock. I get this realization that if I really have a goal and I can’t stop thinking about it, as cheesy and cliche as it sounds, if you want something bad enough, it is 100 percent possible.
Pin Up at Stratosphere
“There was nothing that I wanted more in the world than to be working in a Vegas show again after ‘Crazy Horse.’ I was devastated thinking that it wouldn't happen, and I just kept thinking what is a way that I can make this happen? It is weird because ultimately I didn’t end up going out and shopping a show around; it just kind of happened. I met Frankie Moreno on my birthday, and he introduced me to the people at Stratosphere. The show kind of evolved, and the creator of the show came up with a concept that was perfect for me.
“It is a pin-up concept, and you get to see me as the calendar girl. Come see if I pose for all 12 months and what I wear! I put so much energy into wanting it and was willing to do anything. I am working so much now, and the whole crew is working 15 hours a day nonstop to make this show good -- and I still want to do more.
“I keep setting the bar higher. This is an amazing landmark for me. This is an amazing moment. Opening night on Saturday is going to be incredible, and I don’t think I will ever be more excited. How often does a 21-year-old girl get to headline her own Las Vegas show? That is not normal, and I am very aware of that. It doesn’t happen like this for everybody. I am very aware of how incredible lucky and blessed I am.
“Every day I wake up, I think I don’t care if I am not going to sleep tonight. This is an insane opportunity. No other girl gets this, and I have to kill it. I have to do the best that I can possibly do. I am anxious, there are a lot of emotions involved, but just know that I always feel like the luckiest human alive.”
The brunette bombshell Bettie Page lookalike is very much a single girl these days. She laughed: “I am, and I would always date. Every night I would be dating randomly to see what was out there, but I don’t want to anymore. I want to focus on my show. This show is my boyfriend right now. That is my No. 1 priority in life, to make it a success. I’m not thinking of anybody else; no dating!
Pin Up at Stratosphere/Richard Corey
“I don’t even really have much of social life. I see Holly Madison occasionally; Holly is about to explode with her baby. … So my work life and my social life is the show. I am living and breathing this right now. There is nobody that I am thinking about other than this. I am very single and very content to be as the show is in the progress of being built.”
The showbiz bug bit Claire when she dressed up on Hollywood Boulevard, so what is the next step of her rapidly ascending career? She told me: “I see ‘Pin Up’ lasting a very long time. I see it lasting well over five years. I see it evolving, and I want it to be the best show of its genre on The Strip.
“I see myself wanting to do my own clothing line that is ‘Pin Up’ based. I have extreme goals, and they sound crazy. A lot of things that I want to do in the future are brewing in my mind right now. I always have new ideas and things that I want to accomplish; it never ends. I never feel content.
“This is an amazing accomplishment, but I just see it as another thing that will open the door to all my other dreams. They all are possible because this is opening so many doors.
“And if Hollywood calls me eventually, I am available! When I was back in L.A. after doing ‘Crazy Horse,’ back at the ‘Bunny’ house for a long time and going on auditions, I was among people who have been acting since they were 5 years old with huge resumes. I feel my resume is strong doing what I am doing right now, plus, the experiences in modeling and ‘Crazy Horse.’
“Now ‘Pin Up’ is my thing to do well, then I would love to get into acting. But in L.A., you are a small fish in a huge town, and in Las Vegas, it is a completely different picture. I love it here. I am so happy to be here. It is a different vibe, and I feel like I am at home.”
Claire reminded me that I met her when she just turned 18 -- before she was named PMOY. One year ago, tabloid headlines screamed about the emergency restraining order she took out against Hef’s son Marston, who was sentenced to a 53-week domestic-violence program after abusing her.
I told her that she appears to have grown up, become sensible and intelligent in those three short years.
“I had to change quickly. A lot of dramatic things happened in those three years: freaky things; crazy, unreal moments in my life happened. It forced me to grow up a lot. I still have my same personality that I did when I was 18, and I am just as ambitious. I am still fueled and incredibly motivated, but I feel like I am a lot more logical about things. I definitely learn when something goes bad. I am not one to repeat mistakes. I learn from them, and I grow tremendously.
“I don’t want to make the same mistakes and have it take up more time of my life for certain things. I am just very ambitious right now. I love my mindset, and I am completely career driven for the first time ever. It is the No. 1 thing that I am focused on and very glad to be at this point in my life.
“It is amazing how we grow up and in just a couple of years it can change dramatically. It’s so much better. I feel amazing now. I feel a huge weight has been lifted. Doing this show, too, I am having so much fun with work. Even though I have always done what I love, I have been so blessed to do exactly what it is that I have always dreamed of doing.”
Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno is co-producer of “Pin Up” and scored the high-energy music. Pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer from ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” choreographed the dance sequences featuring styles of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s depicted with Claire’s monthly vignettes. Claire’s “Pin Up” show of glamour with a swinging beat is at Stratosphere from Thursdays through Mondays at 10:30 p.m.
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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It is virtually impossible to be anywhere in Las Vegas and miss the Stratosphere. It towers 1,149 feet above Las Vegas and is the tallest observation tower in the United States. The casino itself is 55,784 square feet and contains 950 slot machines, 120 game tables and 2,427 hotel rooms.
Of the hotel's 2,427 rooms, 909 were recently remodeled into Stratosphere Select rooms.
The Stratosphere is mostly known for its rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot, located at the 113th floor, torpedoes riders up 160 feet using compressed air. X-Scream is a teeter-totter perched at the top of the observation deck — if that wasn't scary enough, the coaster arm flings the riders out 27 feet over the edge of the tower. Guests looking for something more sedate can just hang around the 107th floor and simply look at the scenery.