Wednesday, July 1, 2015 | 11:30 p.m.
Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach prepares for his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, Costa Esmeralda on Sardinia this year — many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their words of wisdom. We kick it off today with Mirage comedy impressionist headliner Terry Fator and gorgeous showgirl and TV anchor Maren Wade, who pens the column Confessions of a Showgirl for our colleagues at Las Vegas Weekly. Maren is up first.
This is a cautionary tale. Before I moved to Las Vegas from L.A., my friends warned me, “It’s so fake in Las Vegas. It’s not real life.” And “It’s so hot there! You won’t stand the heat.”
(BTW, it’s really only hot for two months out of the year, and the rest of the time it’s quite nice.) OK, I have a confession to make. Those two months aren’t just hot. They’re one-degree-from-melting-your-face hot.
But, anyway, my all-time favorite warning before I moved to Las Vegas was “don’t be a sellout.”
Throughout the years, I’ve watched many of my entertainer friends from all over the world struggle to make a living doing what they love. Some made it to Broadway and national tours, others appeared on syndicated TV shows.
Yet they were still struggling financially.
When I was in London, I saw the lead in one of the most popular productions on the West End take the bus home after her show. Why was this strange? Her picture was on the bus!
Then there’s Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World. Wait, maybe that’s L.A.?
Well, as far as I’m concerned, it should be Las Vegas. Here, it’s not uncommon for entertainers to own cars, houses and, most importantly, houses with swimming pools! How many performers in New York and L.A. can say the same?
“Think carefully before you sell out,” they warned. (OK, I have another confession to make. Most of them just said “good luck.” But one or two may have implied that you can’t be respected as an entertainer in Las Vegas.”)
I realized when I got here, that’s just not true.
Las Vegas is a land of opportunity, where performers perform and even create their own shows. In fact, it’s quickly becoming the cutting edge of entertainment.
There’s Keith Thompson’s Composer’s Showcase, where new songs from Broadway musicals are work shopped before they make their way to Broadway. Influential people such as Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull are jumping on the Las Vegas bandwagon.
If it weren’t for this great Sin City, I would never have been able to explore new avenues. I wouldn’t have ventured into TV hosting, which I’m pretty sure I’m unqualified to do.
I wouldn’t be writing guest columns like this one, which would lead to my own Las Vegas Weekly column, Confessions of a Showgirl, for which I’m even more unqualified. Lucky for me, Las Vegas is filled with qualified people who have taken me under their wings and guided me along the way.
And without that support, I wouldn’t have my latest opportunity, which is developing “Confessions of a Showgirl: The Show,” a live stage production based on the experiences shared in my column.
The show will feature some incredible cameos, most notably Mr. Robin Leach himself, in a way you’ve never seen him before. I’d keep going, but you might think I’m selling something. OK, I am!
So now I’d like to warn those who warned me, “Think carefully before you sell out.” Or you might find yourself performing in a community that supports one another.
Even worse, you’ll be inspired to constantly push yourself as you try to keep up with the extraordinary talent that surrounds you. You’ll take part in charity events, which happen nearly nightly hosted by entertainers who give back to the beautiful city that has given them so much.
But, most importantly, you’ll learn to carefully balance your martini while floating on your back in your own pool.
Las Vegas is an over-the-top world where anything can happen, and it does. It’s a place where shows sell out, casinos sell out and restaurants sell out. So why is “selling out” bad?
Oh, and finally to my friends who may be reconsidering taking the leap to Las Vegas after reading this: Please reconsider reconsidering. There are more than enough talented people here already. We don’t need any more competition, and by we I mean me.
OK, time to go for a swim.
Check out our other guest column today from Mirage comedy impressionist headliner Terry Fator’s Winston the Impersonating Turtle, and on Thursday look for our guest columns from The Gazillionaire of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace and super-singer Kristen Hertzenberg.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years 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 Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.