Saturday, June 25, 2011
Many may associate me with the neon glare of the Las Vegas Strip, and that's cool, after all, I've spent my entire adult life here, writing and promoting Las Vegas shows.
For the past twenty years my nights have been artificially lit, from lounges' candlelight and main rooms' spotlights, by the Las Vegas Boulevard's neon glow and under Fremont Street's millions of blazing LEDs, but my brightest memories are not illuminated by manmade light. From the sun kissed days to moonlit nights, my shiniest moments are the naturally glossy ones.
You might be surprised to learn that as turned on as I am by the electric Crayola colored Strip, it's the things I've seen in the desert sky that have provided my real and lasting glimpses of awareness. I speak of the light above the lights, and that light within all of us.
There's a song that starts out, "I used to lay out in a field under the Milky Way." The first time I heard it I became flushed by the JACKSON BROWNE lyric, so deeply personal to me. How could he have turned a light on my life story, illuminating my doubts and fears, without having met me? That song, 'The Night Inside Me' has come to haunt my nights, in a good way, reminding me that the world is inside my head and not the other way around.
I mention this after a friend remarked via Skype last night how surprised he was to hear me talk about the Shiva Sutras, and that when I said that a certain idea lacked shakti, the feminine creative energy I look for in any new project, he said straight out, "I always thought of you as a casino type materialistic guy," adding, "but tonight, you're blowing me away." (He taped our Skype conference call and wants to use it as part of a discussion: "Getting in touch with your creative energy," making me beam.)
The young magician DARIN DIAMOND gets caught-up in mandalas, fashioning his entire show around the sacred circle in the novel, "The King of Diamonds: The Magical Life of Darin Diamond." I saw Darin as a "strange enchanted boy," you know, "a little shy, and sad of eye" type kid.
As the sun sets and the lights come on (and out), I'm starting to experience real doubts about how long I'm going to be shining around here but I am positively grateful for those who have inspired me, fanning my flame as I made my way through the sometimes dark night.*
As I look up at the night sky, I just know that at the right time, I'll merge into the starlight.
Last night I was asked how I wanted to me remembered and I quickly said, "In light." Sun or stars, but neon's cool, too.
*You guys know who you are.
Monday, June 20, 2011
We at H20 love specialty acts, those front-of-the-curtain entertainers who really put on the charm and show off their skills, often while behind them some major show scenery is being pre-set. If they're good at what they do (funny jokes, clever magic, decent juggling) the audience often doesn't notice the break in the show's action. If the performers are in the Gaucho act starring in Jubilee at Bally's, then they are the real meat and potatoes of that hearty show, and not mere filler. Jubilee has become a mixed spread, tossed full of classically costumed Las Vegas, dancers and showy singers but the sustenance that sticks to the bone and delivers the real bread and circuses comes from the added attraction Los Huincas Gauchos. The act, presented with military precision, pounding percussion and comedic preciseness, is produced by FERNANDO QUEVADO.
I first saw this act when uber- producer GREG THOMPSON brought his electric 'High Voltage' to the stage of the Dunes Hotel. The talented Mr. Thompson, who was on the road doing several shows, busily breaking Guiness World Records for many of his events along the way, had me keep an 8 and 11 o'clock eye on his show, which allowed me to be entertained twelve times a week by this fine speciality act. These exciting gauchos went on to Enter the Night and, once there, they took over the Las Vegas Strip, one neon-lit resort at a time. Back then, FERNANDO QUEVADO was a teenager; today the man runs Q Productions, presenting variety shows here in Las Vegas and custom productions throughout Europe and Asia. I happen to love the guy.
Fernando recently added a new passion to his creative endeavors: film. Que es correcto!! Our talented friend is producing and directing some compelling short films and interesting documentaries. The athletic performer has become one of the real technical experts regarding the new digital cameras on the market. If and when Red Digital's JIM JANNARD (a cool guy and great man) builds a proper soundstage here in Las Vegas, watch for Fernando to be right there with him because talent sticks together. Oh, although I happen to be shy, camera-wise, my gaucho friend recently talked me into walking on (and probably stinking up) a reality show pilot scene he was shooting. With apologies to real pros like MONTI ROCK III, I did my best James Dean. Or Paula, Paula Dean.
For many years now, I've wanted to work with FERNANDO QUEVADO and while I now see that dream growing dim, I will always be proud to have known this accomplished young man, a kid who left his Argentinean home at a mere two years of age, who now stands today near the top of the entertainment world.
De gaucho para el rey del mundo
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