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Las Vegas Entertainer featured on America's Got Talent, NBC's Star Tomorrow and The National Radio City Tour with the Rockettes.  

Also seen in "Show in The Sky" at the Rio, "Vegas! The Show" at Planet Hollywood, "Fantasy" at the Luxor and has toured nationally with football legend Terry Bradshaw in "America's Favorite Dumb Blonde."  

Currently writes the column "Confessions of a Showgirl" featured in Las Vegas Weekly.

Maren Wade's Official Website www.marenwade.com

Confessions of a Showgirl Official Website www.confessionsofashowgirl.com

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Impersonating and Impersonator

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Impersonating a Madonna Impersonator
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Impersonating and Impersonator
In Vegas, there’s a first for everything.

I remember being a little girl, jumping on my bed and singing Madonna songs at the top of my lungs. I wanted to be just like her. In fact, I wanted to be her. Fast-forward just a few years later (notice I said just a few, to be clear), I was going to be Madonna!

Okay, I have a confession to make: It was more than a few years but I was really going to be Madonna! It was for a corporate event that needed a Madonna impersonator but couldn’t find one, so they asked me to do it!

I couldn’t wait to be Madonna. I was back to dancing to her music in my living room and watching all my old Madonna videos. I realized pretty quickly it’s challenging enough trying to impersonate someone, let alone the Queen of Pop. I can sing and dance, but could I do it all at the same time while making it look like Madonna instead of like … me?

It wasn’t until well into rehearsals that I realized I was on a bill with some of the best impersonators in town. I was in way over my head. Donna Summer, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears would watch me rehearse and I suddenly felt self-conscious and completely inadequate.

Some of these impersonators had been honing their craft for almost 20 years and they even looked like the subjects they were impersonating. Here I came strolling in, looking nothing like Madonna, sounding nothing like Madonna. I bet they were all wondering, “What’s up with that Madonna?”

I felt like such a fraud. It was bad enough I wasn’t the real Madonna, but to not even be a real Madonna impersonator? I was ashamed. I was an impersonator of an impersonator! I felt like the “special” Madonna. The kind of Madonna no one wants to sit at the table with at an impersonator luncheon.

By the way, do they have those? If so, I’ve never been invited.

Anyway, I had to convince myself that I could do this. I could be Madonna. I went over all the music. It’s funny, you would think you know all the lyrics to Madonna songs after hearing them all your life. I was surprised to learn that my lyrics were wrong. You’re telling me the lyrics to “Vogue” don’t go: “Come on Vogue, let your body go with the flow, you know you can do it … Greta Garbo and Monroe, hmmm hmmm and hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm?”

The time had finally come to be Madonna. I had a full hair and make up team (like Madonna) to get me ready for the performance. The crowd was roaring, all 5,000 of them. This was a huge event! They introduce Madonna. I got so excited!!! OMG Madonna is here?! Oh wait, that’s me!

I danced out onto the stage. I could see it in their faces. They were thinking, “That girl doesn’t look like Madonna.” But they were cheering, so I was still in the game.

I’m going strong! I’m singing. I’m dancing. I’m running out of breath! I need to stop dancing so I can sing, but if I stop dancing I won’t know what to do! Madonna always dances. She never stands still. What would Madonna do?! I had a mild panic attack. While trying to figure out what Madonna would do, I quickly discovered what Madonna wouldn’t do. She wouldn’t forget the words to her own song. Which is what I did.

My mild panic attack turned into a big one as I searched deep within myself to find the lyrics. What did I do, you ask? Well, I did what every singer does when they forget the words: I asked the audience to sing it for me. Lucky for me, the diehard Madonna fans got me back on track and I was able to finish the performance. But not without forgetting the words a few more times to make me feel extra humiliated and unworthy of being Madonna.

I think it’s safe to say, my career as an impersonator of an impersonator isn’t going to blossom anytime soon.

  Follow Maren Wade on Twitter @marenwade

  Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Starbucks Red Cup Controversy

How do people really feel about the Starbucks Red Cup? I took to the streets to find some protesters and I managed to change some opinions! Check out this special video edition of Confessions of a Showgirl and the war on Christmas.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Confessions of a Las Vegas Weekly Cover Girl

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Confessions of a Las Vegas Weekly Cover Girl

Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly
“Would you like to be on the cover of Las Vegas Weekly?”
“Excuse me? I’m sorry, could you repeat that? It sounded like you just asked if I would like to be on the cover of Las Vegas Weekly?”
“Yes, are you available?”
“Hmm, let me think about that for a second. Come to think about it, a second is too long. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
That’s how the conversation went for my first-ever magazine cover. (It’s also my only one so far but who’s counting. It was only 31 days, six hours and 15 minutes ago, so I’m hoping there will be more in my future.)
As a showgirl (who has been writing about being a showgirl in Las Vegas Weekly), you can imagine how exciting this was for me. My face was going to be plastered on every Las Vegas Weekly magazine in town!
The creative team explained their vision. “Great! We are so excited to have you as our cover model. For the shoot, we’re thinking showgirl …”
Go on! It’s music to my ears. I immediately envisioned my costume, mentally scanned through my rhinestone collection and debated which color feathers to use. This was going to be an epic photo shoot!
The creative team continued, “So we were thinking showgirl, but more of a zombie showgirl, since it’s our Halloween edition.”
Huh? Zombie? Does that mean I have to get rid of my spray tan? In all my showgirl history, there has never been a time where a makeup artist has had to cover up a spray tan. But then, the scariest scenario of them all came to me.
Would I have to forgo my rhinestones and feathers?!
Phew! Apparently, showgirl zombies are allowed to keep their rhinestones and feathers in the afterlife. Glad I dodged that bullet. But I feel sorry for the regular zombies.
The reality sunk back in. I was going to be on the cover! Even though I was preparing to be undead, I couldn’t hide my lively glow. I marched into the studio with the confidence of a living person. I have to admit I was feeling like a star. Oddly enough, at that same moment of feeling like a star, I got a call from a producer. Super weird timing, right?!
Like a star, I had to momentarily excuse myself from the photo shoot to take the call. You would never guess which producer called me! Fine, I’ll just tell you.
The call was from MSNBC asking if I wanted to be on Hardball with Chris Matthews to comment on the Democratic presidential debate taking place in Vegas.
I found myself uttering the same words twice in one week. “Excuse me? I’m sorry, could you repeat that? It sounded like you asked if a showgirl would like to be on a national television show to talk politics?” The MSNBC producer replied, “Yes, we’re looking for somebody that embodies iconic Vegas and we’d love a showgirl. Are you available?”
I suddenly wished I was undead … from the undead. I couldn’t say no to national television! Only problem, I had to brush up on my politics. How hard could that be? I just needed a crash course on about 239 years of American history, preferably a CliffsNotes version.
I hung up the phone and rushed to the makeup chair to get all done up for the cover shoot. I so badly wanted to call everyone I knew to tell them about my new career as a political commentator. But it would have to wait since I was being primped from head to toe in zombie makeup.
The cover shoot went off without a hitch, I mean, except for the part where I was dead or undead. I’m still not really sure how zombies work. We finished fairly late and I still had a long night ahead of me of phone calls to make.
I rushed out of the studio, having completely forgotten I was still in my zombie makeup. Apparently in Vegas, no one seemed to notice. I stopped at the gas station and the grocery store on my way home and no one batted an eye. (For a visual, just check out the picture above.)
Anyway, after going over the possibilities with everyone I knew and anyone who would listen, it became clear to me. No one was better qualified than me to be MSNBC’s special guest speaker after the Democratic debate.
They wanted an iconic showgirl, I would give them a Vegas icon! I mean, look at my face. Doesn’t this face look like the face of politics? (For a visual, re-check the picture above.) Whoops! I still have my zombie makeup on. So let me rephrase that. Doesn’t this face look like the face of a zombie showgirl version of politics?
Okay, I have a confession to make. They didn’t go with me for the television show. Apparently they wanted someone more iconic than a Vegas showgirl. Who’s more iconic than a showgirl?
It’s turns out: Wayne Newton.
Since then, I’ve been brushing up on my politics. So MSNBC if you’re listening, I’d love to be on your show for the next debate. I’ve been preparing, “Vote showgirl for president!”
Hey, I just got an idea for my next magazine cover!
Follow Maren Wade on Twitter @marenwade

Thursday, October 22, 2015

America's Got Talent Edition: How a Showgirl Saves Piff the Magic Dragon

A Showgirl Saves Piff the Magic Dragon
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: America's Got Talent Edition - How a Showgirl Saves Piff the Magic Dragon

Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly

Every showgirl has that “bucket list” show or theater she would like to perform in. For Jade Simone, it was Radio City Music Hall.

From the time Jade was a little girl in Dallas, she would watch the Rockettes in their televised Christmas specials. She would practice her kicks every day, preparing for the inevitable moment where she, too, would become a Rockette.

Unfortunately, the Rockette thing never worked out. Jade was an inch too short. And one inch can make all the difference ... in more ways than one.

But a showgirl can still dream—right?

Who needs Rockettes anyway? I mean, they’re only gorgeous with stunning long legs, the epitome of grace, class and dance perfection. ... Sorry, I’m not sure how I just digressed like that. What was I talking about? Oh right, back to Jade Simone.

Jade found enormous success as a Vegas showgirl, MC and burlesque entertainer in shows like Sizzle of Las Vegas and many others across the country. Suddenly, being a Rockette and performing at Radio City Music Hall didn’t seem that important anymore. But when Jade was spotted at one of her shows and given the opportunity to perform at Radio City Music Hall, she then realized there was nothing she would rather do in life, and everything else paled in comparison.

She couldn’t contain her excitement. Her dream had come true! She was going to perform at Radio City Music Hall, but instead of being a Rockette, she would make her debut as a magician’s assistant ... to a Magic Chihuahua … and his owner, a grumpy Magic Dragon.

Eat your hearts out, Rockettes!

Jade would have her magical moment, featured as a stunning showgirl on national television. Millions would be watching her perform on America’s Got Talent with Piff the Magic Dragon and Mr. Piffles, the “World’s First Magic Performing Chihuahua.”

As the dragon’s assistant, Jade was in charge of some crucial aspects of the show. They were going to perform the “Chihuahua Cannonball Catch,” in which Mr Piffles gets shot out of a cannon, ricochets off the “Trampoline of Happiness,” performs three somersaults and lands “USA” style in a baseball “Glove of Love.” (Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it looks. Come to think of it, it looks worse than it sounds.) But I can assure you, no animals were harmed during the course of this performance. Remember, we’re dealing with a Magic Dragon.

Anyway, as you can imagine, it’s a very tricky business, this Chihuahua cannon stuff. The cannon has to be angled and shot with extreme precision, and at the same time Jade has to hold the “Trampoline of Happiness” very steady. Let’s just say a lot can go wrong.

Well, the live televised performance didn’t go according to plan. At the moment of firing, Jade could see the cannon was not on its mark. As if the Chihuahua was flying in slow motion, thoughts raced through her head. “Oh no! The Chihuahua is going to miss the trampoline! I’m going to get hit in the face, by a flying Chihuahua, on national television!” It was all too much to bear. Jade had to act fast. She quickly moved back and forth, trying to aim for the flying Chihuahua. Instead of ricocheting, somersaulting and landing in the “Love Glove,” Mr. Piffles hit the side of the trampoline and fell to the floor, lifeless.

The audience gasped! To play the comedic moment, Jade gave a look of complete shock, a look that read, “I can’t believe you just shot a dog out of a cannon!” But Jade was really thinking, “I can’t believe the dog hit the side of the trampoline after being shot out of a cannon!”

Jade knew the future of the Magic Dragon’s fate had come down to this moment. It was all up to her. What’s a showgirl to do? “I’m here at Radio City Music Hall. What would a Rockette do?,” Jade thought.

Jade’s lifelong inspiration had paid off. She would emulate her idols, the Rockettes, as she kicked that Chihuahua right off the stage and into the wing, like the life of a Magic Dragon depended on it. Disaster averted!

She then swapped out the flying Chihuahua for a robot Chihuahua to finish the performance. Or maybe the robot Chihuahua was a drunk Chihuahua. Either way, the second Chihuahua was a huge success and stole the show.

The Magic Dragon and the showgirl went on to receive rave reviews, and competed all the way to the America’s Got Talent finale!

So basically, the key to success is to make sure you’re always in the company of an experienced showgirl … and to avoid flying Chihuahuas.

Oh, and I feel I should reiterate. No animals were harmed during the course of the Chihuahua Cannonball Catch … or during the writing of this column … nevertheless, don't try this at home.

Piff the Magic Dragon and Mr. Piffles perform in America’s Got Talent Live October 22-24 at Planet Hollywood.

Follow Maren Wade on Twitter @marenwade and read more Confessions at confessionsofashowgirl.com.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Showgirl's Corporate Takeover

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: A Showgirl's Corporate Takeover
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: A Showgirl's Corporate Takeover

Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly

When asked the secret to her success, a wise showgirl once said, “Say yes and figure it out later.”

You know, kind of like how I agreed to write this column?

Anyway, a showgirl has to roll with whatever is thrown at her or whatever she’s thrown into … some more literally than others, depending on what they’re being thrown into. But a true showgirl is never afraid to reach new heights. And the highest of heights for a showgirl (metaphorically speaking), is when she gets to star in her own show.

Which leads me to one special showgirl, Jennifer Romas, who produces and stars in, Sexxy at the Westgate.

Jennifer is one of the best dancers in Las Vegas. Adventurous to say the least, this showgirl takes conquering heights to a whole new level. Oh, this time I mean literally. I forgot to mention, in addition to being an incredible dancer, she’s also an aerialist.

When Jennifer performs, she can light the stage on fire and leave a trail of smoke and awe behind her. Did I mention one of her many talents is dancing with fire? So I guess I mean literally, again. To see in her action, just look up her America’s Got Talent performance.

There’s nothing this showgirl couldn’t do. At least, until a severe knee injury forced her to take a break from dancing.

What’s a showgirl to do when she can’t be a showgirl? Well, Jennifer hit the ground running. (Whoops! I meant figuratively on this one.) She printed out her résumé and traded in her showgirl costume for a business suit— albeit a sexy one. (Think Elle Woods in Legally Blonde … except legally, I think Jennifer is a real brunette.)

In this new life chapter, Jennifer would apply her showgirl skills to the corporate world. She would build her own entertainment company. If anyone needed performers and shows created for special events, she would be the go-to gal. Whatever the job opportunity, she would say yes and never take no for an answer.

After securing a few clients under her rhinestone-encrusted belt, Jennifer was ready for the big leagues. She heard there might be a job opportunity at Westgate with their acquisition of the LVH. She was determined to get a meeting with David Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts, and his son Richard Siegel, a senior Westgate executive.

Jennifer got invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Westgate’s opening.

Okay, I have a confession to make. She wasn’t actually invited. She crashed the party. But what’s important is that she marched right up to David and Richard Siegel and introduced herself. She convinced them what they really needed was a showgirl on the Westgate team. She landed a job as an independent contractor marketing their special events.

As fate would have it, around the same time Jennifer was offered a role in a show that wasn’t too strenuous on her injured knee. This show happened to be moving to the Westgate! She would work by day in an office, and perform by night in the theater, all at the Westgate!

Well, Jennifer’s plan didn’t go … according to plan. David Siegel saw her performance and the next day, she was called into his office. When the head of a casino calls you into a long, cold conference room, it can be a little intimidating a.k.a. scary a.k.a. knee-buckling-if-she-didn’t-already-have-a-knee-injury kind of scary!

Jennifer was escorted into the conference room with David and Mark Waltrip, COO of Westgate Resorts. They asked her to sit down. Thoughts were racing through her head. Was she in trouble? They asked about her background and experience as a performer. Turns out they were just as impressed with her dancing prowess as all of Las Vegas! They told her that Westgate wants a sexy revue and asked if she could create the show and star in it!

What was Jennifer’s answer? Well, the wise showgirl told herself, “Say yes and figure it out later.” She said yes! Trouble was, the show had to open in three weeks. Later came sooner than later.

Jennifer had to hire dancers, pick music, choreograph show numbers and find costumes. The list was endless! The three-week deadline proved even more challenging in the prop and costume department. With no time to order or make costumes, she had to make do with what she already owned.

Jennifer thought, “Okay, let’s see what costumes I have for the dancers. I have one nurse, one army cadet, a schoolgirl and a maid. What story can I make out of this?”

“Alright, now we need props. What can I use … I have a bathtub! That’s sexy! Now, how are we going to get the bathtub into the theater and onstage?”

Sexxy opened in January to rave reviews and has been going strong and sexy ever since.

But the real question is: How did Jennifer Romas end up putting all those props and costumes together?

You’ll have to see the show to find out! For tickets and for all things Sexxy, visit http://www.sexxyshow.com

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Showgirl's Review of Celine Dion

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: A Showgirl's Review of Celine Dion
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: A Showgirl's Review of Celine Dion

Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly

When you live in Vegas, it’s easy to take for granted all the amazing spectacles we have. For instance, look at our world-famous headliners. There’s Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey and then, there’s the ultimate showgirl, Celine Dion.

I had a friend visiting from out of town this August, and his lifelong dream had been to see Celine live. In the months leading up to his visit, he would send me messages with countdowns to our Celine Dion concert date. He had already planned out his outfit weeks before. He would daydream of being in the audience at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace—Celine would spot him from the crowd, sing to him and they would share a magical moment.

This friend of mine is very sensitive. He’s bright-eyed, emotional and so easily moved by all the beauty in the world. So basically, he cries a lot. I was lucky enough to snag us some seats only a few rows from the stage. Now, may I remind you I’m a showgirl, so it’s imperative I maintain my composure at all times. You never know who you might run into at a Celine Dion concert, you know, like Celine Dion?

That’s why I always have to put my best foot forward. Come to think of it, it’s probably best to put both of my best feet forward. Whoever came up with that line probably wasn’t a showgirl … and probably had two left feet.

Anyway, I was nervous that my extremely sensitive friend would spend the whole concert crying out of happiness. I would have to hang my head in embarrassment and make sure no one notices us in our vulnerable state.

The lights went down. The curtain opened. There she was, the voice, the image, the legend: Celine Dion. This feeling inside completely overwhelmed me. Before I knew it I was sobbing uncontrollably!

The opening number was so moving. Celine was so charismatic, so hypnotic, so ... Celine. She was able to connect with her entire audience in just her first note.

I was afraid to look at my friend, expecting him to be in worse shape than me. I was sure he had already used up all of his tissues. How insensitive to leave me without tissues, knowing I didn’t bring tissues of my own?

Deciding to assess the damage, I looked over at my friend. To my surprise, he wasn’t crying! He had a twinkle in his eye and the biggest smile humanly possible, but no tears! How could he be so insensitive to leave me crying alone, and of all places, at a Celine concert?

I needed to maintain my composure. This was unacceptable. My extremely insensitive friend handed me a wad of tissues as his eyes stayed locked on Celine.

At this point, I was fighting back the tears in honor of vanity. We were now toward the middle of the show. Celine made her way into the audience. My starry-eyed friend was ready for his magical moment with Celine. I didn’t want to burst his bubble. There were over 4,000 people in the theater. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the chances of Celine coming over to him were slim to … Oh my God! Celine is looking at him! She’s smiling at him! She is reaching out her hand to him. They are having a magical moment! And I’m out of tissues! Her heart really does go on and on!

Long story short, go see Celine Dion. She’s amazing. Oh, and bring lots of tissues.

Friday, August 21, 2015

How a Showgirl Avoids a Traffic Ticket

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: How a Showgirl Avoids a Traffic Ticket
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: How a Showgirl Avoids a Traffic Ticket

Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly

Improvising is a showgirl necessity. Shows don’t always go according to plan and when that happens, it’s a showgirl’s job to make sure the show goes on.

But improvising is also a skill that comes in handy in everyday life. I encourage everyone to try it. For instance, just last week, I was driving my car and talking to my friend on the phone, when I realized I was being pulled over by a cop! I immediately hung up on my friend, stopped at the side of the road and waited for the officer to approach.

Officer: “Do you realize I’m pulling you over because you were talking on your phone?”

My improvisational instincts kicked in, and I felt the need to explain to the officer that this was not how it looked.

Me: “Officer, I appreciate your concern but I can assure you, I was not talking on my phone.”

Officer: “You’re gonna tell me that the phone wasn’t up to your ear just a second ago while you were driving?”

Me: “Well, I can see how it looked that way. You see … I was actually adjusting the sunglasses on my head and I happened to have the phone in my hand. So that’s why it looked like the phone was up to my ear.”

Officer: “And why were your lips moving while your phone was up to your ear?”

(Here’s where it really pays to be a showgirl.)

Me: “I’m a singer. I was singing.”

Then I gave him a winning showgirl smile.

Trouble was, since I had hung up on my friend so quickly, she was worried something was wrong and she kept calling, which was really inconvenient.

Officer: “Are you going to answer that?”

Me: “Who, me? No, never when I’m in the car.”

Officer: “So here’s the thing. You can tell me the truth or you can explain it to the court. But you’ve now changed your story several times and that’s not gonna fly in a court of law.”

Me: “I don’t think it’s that I’ve changed my story. I think … it’s that I didn’t understand your question.”

Officer: “You expect me to believe that?”

Me: “Well, which part don’t you believe … because I can work on that part.”

Okay, I have a confession to make. I didn’t say the second half. But I was thinking it would be a lot easier for the both of us if I could figure out which part he didn’t believe.

Officer: “When was the last time you got a ticket?”

Me: “You know, I honestly can’t recall the last time I got a ticket.”

Officer: “Let me see your license and registration.”

I opened up my glove compartment and would you believe a ticket fell out?! And then my friend started calling again.

Officer: “Is that a ticket? Let me see it.”

Me: “Oh, I thought you meant a ticket for talking on the phone. This was just for speeding ... and it was just a warning.”

I handed it over.

Meanwhile, my friend just kept calling me. I couldn’t hear anything the officer was asking. Had he given me a little more notice before pulling me over, I would have been able to put my phone on vibrate. This whole situation could have been avoided.

Luckily, the officer let me off with a warning, probably because of my seasoned improvisational skills. Or maybe he let me off because it was my first time talking on the phone while driving. Either way, I just had to share the good news. As soon as the officer drove away, I called my friend to tell her what happened, hands free of course.

Don’t worry. I definitely learned my lesson. You only have to warn me once. I mean, twice.

Okay, I have another confession to make. It was actually three times, but the other one was for not stopping at a stop sign. So really, they’re all unrelated.