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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.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Showgirl's Ultimate Showdown

Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly

If there’s one thing a showgirl knows how to do, it’s everything. Okay, maybe not everything, but she knows how to go all in. You can throw a showgirl in any situation and she’ll give you grace, glamour and 110 percent. If the job calls for 200 percent, she’ll give 210. If it calls for 300, then a showgirl will raise you to infinity!

Okay, I have a confession to make: I don’t gamble very often, but you get where I’m going with this.

A showgirl is always up for a challenge. She has an innate drive to step out of her comfort zone and push herself. Becoming a showgirl takes years of grueling work and determination. She has to want it so badly that she can stand the rejection. She has to take that rejection and turn it into a positive. But most of all, she has to have a great poker face. She’s gotta plaster on that smile and bring joy to every performance, regardless of what goes on behind it.

Lauren Clark was a quiet and shy little girl from Los Angeles. At four years old, her mother put her in dance class. At her first tap recital she just stood onstage, frozen in fear, like a deer caught in the headlights. Lauren’s mother was terrified her daughter’s stage experience would scar her for life. Her mother waited anxiously backstage, ready to wipe away her daughter’s tears. When Lauren had finished her performance, she had never been more excited in her whole life.

Mind you, at four years old, I would imagine she hadn’t had that many exciting experiences yet, other than eating solid foods and maybe walking. But anyway, my point is she had a gift for the poker face. She had to learn how to reverse it so that the smile was on the outside, but that didn’t take long to master. By five years old, she was a pro.

Lauren went on to push herself in extraordinary ways. She attended the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive and landed a role in Jubilee!, which brought her to Vegas. Currently, she’s a stunning showgirl in Vegas! The Show, but perhaps her most extraordinary journey is the one she is taking now.

Lauren was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. With no time to process the news, she had two days to tell her cast and crew before traveling to LA for surgery. She’s currently in chemotherapy and is determined to be performing at the same time. She has had three of six treatments and recently went back to try and perform in Vegas! The therapy makes her weak and short of breath, which makes it hard for her to work.

Her goal was to perform through the entire show. She was able to make it halfway before the treatment's side effects got the better of her. As difficult as it was, she kept her poker face on the entire time. Inside she was screaming with frustration, but outside, all the audience could see was her beautiful smile lighting up the stage.

Offstage, Lauren couldn’t hold it back any longer. A flurry of emotions came rushing in. She was so frustrated that cancer had taken so much away from her. But at the same time, she was touched and grateful for her cast mates who didn’t hesitate to leap right in and finish the show for her.

Being able to dance, even for half a show, gave her a piece of her life back. But what she may not realize is that she’s an inspiration to everyone around her, especially her fellow “pink sisters,” women fighting breast cancer.

Whether it’s Lauren’s glamorous Instagram selfies, where she’s in her costume with her beautiful new short ‘do, or her posts to remind everyone to #FeelitontheFirst to promote breast cancer awareness, her openness in sharing her journey has encouraged countless others to smile through life and rise to the challenge.

Cancer treatments are extremely expensive and insurance doesn’t cover it all. If you would like to support Lauren on her journey, visit her GoFundMe page and follow her on Instagram.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Maren Wade interviews Piff the Magic Dragon (America's Got Talent 2015)

Congratulations to Piff the Magic Dragon for making it through to the next round on America's Got Talent. I had the chance to sit with him in my very first interview ever with a magic dragon! Take a look at this Confessions of a Showgirl Exclusive!

8 Grammar Mistakes Everyone Makes

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: 8 Grammar Mistakes Everyone Makes
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: 8 Grammar Mistakes Everyone Makes

As I approach my first anniversary of writing these confessions, I wanted to reflect on my growth as a showgirl and a writer. I went back through all my emails with my editor and decided to highlight some of my best grammar bloopers. Perhaps we are all guilty of these mistakes … or maybe it’s just me. You decide.

“I was auditioning for a new show in town. Turns out this particular position called for a showgirl who could play … an office nerd that suddenly breaks into an 80’s hip-hop dance while rapping. “

Editor’s note: “That” is a thing. “Who” is a person. A nerd is a person. Use “who” instead of “that.”

Showgirl’s note: I apologize to nerds everywhere for referring to them as things. I don’t feel that way, nor have I ever felt that way. Mr. Nerd, from now on, you will always be a “who” to me.

“I was ready for my cake-popping debut. I shimmied into the cake and squatted downon the little chair. “

Editor’s Note: Down is redundant; you can’t squat “up.”

Showgirl’s Note: I beg to differ with my editor on this one. Some showgirls are acrobats, contorting in all sorts of precarious positions, especially on aerial silks. With that said, a showgirl can definitely squat up … when she’s upside down.

“Anthem time came around. She hummed her starting note quietly under her breath, making sure she was in the right key … ‘Off to a great start,’ She thought to herself.

Editor’s Note: One of the great redundancies is “thought to herself” or “think to yourself.” Just say “think.”

Showgirl’s Note: Hmmm. And now I’m thinking to myself, I never thought of it that way!

“No, I was falling! I was falling right off the stage and into the audience, tits* down and beak up. (Are “tits” okay to say?)”

Editor’s Note: I believe tits are okay for the Weekly. I’ll let stand.

Showgirl’s Note: Okay, I have a confession to make. There were no grammatical errors on that one. I just wanted to illustrate the formality of some of my conversations with my editor.

5. (Or should I say five?) Excerpts from A showgirl’s addiction:

“They say to successfully conquer an addiction you need a Twelve-step program … I’m thinking 1 pair of shoes for every step would be great … if twelve pairs are too much, maybe we could just do 6 instead?”

Editor’s Note: Numbers are spelled out up to nine; from 10 and higher, use the numeral. YOU ARE GETTING THE NUMBERS RULE BACKWARD IN THIS COLUMN.

Showgirl’s Note: I still don’t get it.

6. An excerpt from How to treat a diva:

“Slowly but surely, after following my own advice, we outgrew our showgirl tryst. We even live together now … Maybe she’s happier living with me. Or maybe it was that fleecollar that did the trick.”

Editor’s Note: A flea collar protects a pet from fleas; not sure what a flee collar is, but it sounds a little ribald.

Showgirl’s Note: Good to know. By the way, what does “ribald” mean?

7. An excerpt from Vegas then and now:

“As I was searching deep in my dressing room shelves for my favorite bedazzled Swarovski bra, I came across an ancient artifact. I felt like Nicholas Cage in the movie National Treasure.”

Editor’s Note: Nicolas Cage is always spelled that way. Always. No "h" in that first name.

Showgirl’s Note: Interesting. Someone should tell Nicholas Cage he's spelling his name wrong.

“Just when you think you’re leveling out, the ship starts rocking back and forth.”

Editor’s Note: Cut “back and forth,” which is redundant. Rocking is, by definition, a back-and-forth motion.

Showgirl’s Note: Rocking, by definition, is also redundant.

Anyway, I should do a column on all my grammar corrections.

Editor’s Reply:

If you hold out long enough, you can write a novella about your grammar corrections. If you hold out longer than that, we'll have a novel ready for publication.

Showgirl’s reply to Editor’s reply: Awe. Thanks for believing in me.

So with all that said (or written), I want to spotlight my editor John Katsilometes. Without you, this column would have never been possible, and neither would my showgirl novel, which I will be releasing sometime soon. Your faith in what I can accomplish means the world to me. I promise I won’t let you down.

Happy one-year anniversary to Confessions of a Showgirl!

Follow Maren on Twitter @marenwade 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Secret Life of a Showgirl

Confessions of a Showgirl: The Secret Life of a Showgirl
Confessions of a Showgirl: The Secret Life of a Showgirl

Some people might think that showgirls are all about the glitz and glamour, and we are. But there’s much more to a showgirl than meets the eye. Not only can she dance, sing and get shot out of cannons (that last part might not happen as often anymore), they also moonlight as Realtors, entrepreneurs and even nurses.

By the way, is it moonlighting if it takes place during the day?

Take the sassy Adria Lawrence, for example. By night, she lets her hair down and rocks out in Raiding the Rock Vault. By day, she lets her hair down again, but this time with some sensible six-inch pumps as a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, raking in the listings and showing properties to buyers. She’s dedicated to her clients 24/7. Even during quick changes in her show, she’s still answering their phone calls.

Adria might be wearing only one shoe or half a bra, but that phone will be glued to her ear negotiating deals. “Hi, Mr. Jones, we received an offer on your home and the buyer wants you to contribute to the closing costs. I already spoke with their lender and if they finance their closing costs into their interest rate, your net will remain the same while costing them no more than a Starbucks a day for the buyer. So, do we have a deal? Alright, now where are my sunglasses and trench coat for the “Breakfast in America” dance number? Oh, no, that last part wasn’t about your offer, Mr. Jones, sorry.”

You might know Mariah Rivera as one of the sexiest showgirls of Fantasy. What you might not know is that she’s also a professional stunt driver. Okay, I have a confession to make. She’s not really a stunt driver—but she could be with her talent for quick-changing in her car as she travels to her many professions.

Mariah is also an entrepreneur, managing two businesses by day while performing at night. She founded the photography company PM Images with her husband, Patrick Rivera. You’ve seen their work on several billboards for shows in town. (If you haven’t had a photo shoot with them yet, then you might not really be a showgirl.) It’s not unusual for Mariah to be taking client meetings in the morning, then quick-changing in the car into a showgirl costume for a Vegas.buzz interview with Donny Osmond, then quick-changing again into something a little more “comfortable” to perform at Fantasy.

Mariah also studied accounting and marketing at UNLV and has her own social media marketing firm that services many entertainers in town. Which reminds me, I need to enlist the help of her services since I still haven’t found my Facebook stalker yet.

Then there’s Amy Toliver, who can twirl a baton like no one I’ve ever seen. A captivating dancer, with her golden locks and infectious smile, it’s no wonder why she’s performed in countless shows across the Strip. But while she’s busy juggling batons and dance roles, she’s also busy saving lives as a critical care cardiac nurse.

Yes, you read that correctly. She started off commuting back and forth from Vegas to Phoenix for nursing school for a full two years! Instead of quick-changing into her showgirl costume, she was quick-changing out of it and into a pair of scrubs. (Mind you, I don’t see why she couldn’t have just found one of those sexy nurse outfits, and wore that for both jobs.) But anyway, she’d get off from her show in Vegas at midnight and drive back to Arizona in time for her 7 a.m. class. It makes me realize I could be doing a whole lot more with my day. She’s also changed the entire culture of the medical personnel with her dance principles.

After explaining to her coworkers how dance keeps you sane, she’s inspired the hospital staff to follow her lead. They’re now eating healthier, exercising and doing Zumba! Nothing like a showgirl to add sunshine wherever she goes!

Anyway, my point is, showgirls are doing much more than quick changes during their, well, quick changes. They’re actually running the world. But that’s not news. I mean, even Ginger Rogers, one of the most famous showgirls of all time, “did everything that Fred Astaire did … backwards and in high heels,” according to Robert Thaves.

Follow Maren on Twitter @marenwade

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Showgirl's Graduation Speech

Confessions of a Showgirl
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: A Showgirl's Graduation Speech
Everyone has that special someone that inspires you to shoot for the moon, that person who pushes you to work harder and reminds you that you deserve success. For a showgirl, it’s no different.

Danielle is now a glamorous starlet in one of the hottest productions on the Strip, but that wasn’t always the case. When she first moved to Vegas, she began waiting tables in a sports bar. In showgirl years, this would be equivalent to freshman year of high school. For her sophomore year, she worked her way up to go-go dancing. Junior and senior years were filled with months of auditions. (By the way, in case you were wondering, showgirl years are a little shorter. They’re more like months. What can I say, things move fast here in Vegas.) Anyway, after (showgirl) years of really hard work, Danielle finally made her way to (showgirl) college by earning a spot in a new topless show in town.
This show was on the smaller side. So, if we were talking in terms of colleges, instead of going to a big school like Harvard or Stanford, it was more like a community college or maybe a juvenile detention center.

You see, these casinos can be so clever and versatile. One random room on the main floor can be used as a coat rack, an old reception area, a ballroom or … a theater! This tiny showroom sat roughly 50 people. The dressing room was actually a closet that happened to be next to the kitchen of the casino. It always smelled of chicken wings, which was mighty tempting before the show. But Danielle was determined not to gain that dreaded “freshman 15.” There was only one black curtain that divided the backstage area of the theater from the stage/casino floor. There was also no bathroom. The showgirls would have to walk out into the casino area to get to one, so it was important to take care of business before showtime.

As expected, security was top-notch at this establishment. One evening, Danielle went backstage (aka, through to the other side of the black curtain) to get ready for the show. It was normally pretty quiet in there, aside from the frying sound from the chicken wings. But this time, she heard something else—a gurgling noise. As she walked closer, she realized it was a snoring sound. Someone was sleeping in her backstage area! As she slowly peered over the costumes, she saw a disheveled man curled up in a ball on the floor using her glittery bra as a blanket.
If you ask me, he didn’t seem so smart. I mean everyone knows those bras don’t provide much coverage, let alone warmth.

What’s a showgirl to do in this kind of situation? Introduce herself, of course. Danielle said, “Hi?” as she flashed a slightly awkward showgirl smile. After a few unresponsive rounds, the third time was the charm. Mr. Man woke up and bolted through the curtain and onto the stage. I would imagine that wasn’t quite the opening act the audience was expecting, but this is Vegas. He might have his own show by now.

As Danielle went back to getting ready, she suddenly stepped in a puddle that was oddly familiar to the kind her dog leaves on her carpet. Apparently, Mr. Man agreed the walk to the bathroom was too far, as well. After a brief scream and a few showers, Danielle vowed never to put herself in a situation like that again.

Despite a rocky showgirl college experience, she graduated summa cum laude and got accepted into a top Vegas show, where she performs to this day. There are many who have helped her along the way, but she attributes most of her success to that very influential Mr. Man.

So like I said, everyone has that special someone that inspires you to shoot for the moon, that person that pushes you to work harder and reminds you that you deserve success. For a showgirl, it’s no different.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Confessions of a Showgirl's Grandmother

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Confessions of a Showgirl's Grandmother
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Confessions of a Showgirl's Grandmother

They say it’s a combination of nature versus nurture that makes you who you are. I would have to agree with They on this one. I’m sure many of you are wondering where I get that hunger to be in the spotlight, that yearning to please and be pleased, that need to make a difference and do my part for mankind.

Okay, I have a confession to make: Being a showgirl probably doesn’t help mankind. Still, I’m sure if everyone loved showgirls it could do a lot. But that’s not my point. I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce you to the woman who has made me who I am, my grandmother. I’m not sure if all showgirls have grandmothers like mine but if they did the world would be a far more entertaining place.

You can learn so much from your elders. Sometimes it’s not what they say, it’s just a matter of watching their mistakes and making sure you do the opposite. My grandmother has been an integral part of my learning process. She was a Canadian showgirl back in the day, a promotional model for Chrysler. She was busy singing and dancing and starring in commercials. She was quite stunning. Till this day, she’s always ready for her close-up. Every location is her next red carpet. Every family gathering is her next photo shoot. Every shower is her next performance of a lifetime. She’s always trying out the latest beauty products. QVC loves her and knows her by name. She’s eighty-six and still up on important showgirl news in such publications as People and Us Weekly.

Which is a relief to me because that’s when showgirls really go downhill—when they stop following the news.

She has this talent for speaking her mind and just letting the words fly out with absolutely no censoring. Sometimes it’s not what you say or how you say it. It’s just the fact that you said it at all. She has such a great outlook on life. For instance, after 36 years of marriage, she lost my grandfather. It was a sad time but she wanted to focus on the wonderful memories. At the funeral, whenever someone would come over to offer condolences, she would tell the secret to her successful marriage: “We fought a lot and we made love a lot. Keep having sex as long as you can. We were married for 36 years! Plus two before, in sin … well actually it was more than that.”My grandparents really had some great times together.

My grandmother came to Vegas to visit me not too long ago. She arrived, fresh off the plane in her Juicy velour sweat suit and her sequined Ugg boots, ready to take on the town. The key to being a good showgirl is to keep people on their toes. Never let them know what you might do next. My grandmother excels at that.

For instance, we decided to go see a show on the strip. Those big casinos can be intimidating and it’s easy for anyone to get lost in them. I dropped my grandmother off at the front entrance and told her to stay where she was so I could meet her there after I parked the car. When I got back to the entrance, she was gone. I had misplaced my grandmother! I tried calling her but there was no answer. She has a cell phone but never brings it with her. I’ve tried to explain to her that a cell phone is not just for her to reach people; it’s also the other way around. I guess I still have some explaining to do.

I searched every restroom, every gift shop and every gaming table. I alerted all security. We had a full search party looking for my grandmother for over an hour. She was the most famous person in the casino.

We finally found her in the most likely place a veteran showgirl would be found. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it sooner. She was nostalgically standing outside the theater. The first thing she said when I spotted her was “Where have you been?! We’re going to be late for the show!” We missed the show.

Luckily, they had a later show, and for that we were able to arrive on time. As we were waiting, my grandmother explained that she was never lost. She knew exactly where she was because it’s where she’s meant to be, in the theater.

A showgirl never forgets her home. She just forgets cell phones.

Anyway, the moral of this story is once a showgirl, always a showgirl … and keep a short leash on your grandparents.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to Negotiate a Pay Raise

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: How to Negotiate a Pay Raise
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: How to Negotiate a Pay Raise
As I demonstrated in my last column, showgirls are smart. However, throughout years of evolution, we haven’t yet mastered the skill of negotiation. Negotiation is like a ping pong match. In a world other than a showgirl’s, the opening offer is a starting point. The initial “offeror” quotes extra low, knowing that the “offeree” will ask for more. The “offeree” comes back asking for more, knowing he will take much less than what he is asking. Then, both sides meet in the middle and an agreement is made.

Here is how it goes for a showgirl:

Producer (aka Offeror): Congratulations! We would like to offer you the role of (fill in the blank). It pays (fill in the blank) per week.

Showgirl: That’s not enough to buy myself a coffee. After all these years of training, I end up with this? Well, you can take that offer and (fill in the blank.)

Okay, I have a confession to make. That’s not exactly what the showgirl says. It’s more like:

Showgirl: OMG! Thank you so much. This is my dream job and I’m so excited to be a part of the cast.

A few months roll by and the thrill of being in a glamorous Vegas show wears thin. The showgirl is physically and mentally exhausted and she starts craving those coffees she can’t afford. It’s time to negotiate a pay raise.

Showgirl: I want to thank you for this amazing opportunity to be a part of your show. I have had the time of my life and I was wondering if we could discuss a few things.

Producer: Yes of course. By the way, you have done a fabulous job! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. Are you thinking you want to renew your contract?

Showgirl (to herself): Why are they asking that question? OMG! They told me I’m doing a fabulous job. That’s like the “It’s not you, it’s me” speech from a boyfriend. Why are they thanking me? Is this the goodbye? Am I getting fired?! I can’t get fired! After all my hard work and dedication, they’re going to thank me by firing me?

Showgirl (to Producer): Of course I’m renewing! Where is that contract? Can we do it now? By the way, I’m not sure if you noticed, but I’ve been starving myself a lot lately, hence the reason my costumes are fitting way looser these days. It’s actually been a really great thing that I can’t afford to eat as much. I think it’s doing wonders for my self-esteem and my career. Some other showgirls might not feel that way. You know, like the new ones you might be thinking about auditioning to replace me, but I would just like you to know that it’s fine for me. In fact, I prefer it that way.

Anyway, I’m so glad we had this talk. I’m really looking forward to this next contract … and to seeing how skinny I can get.

Okay, I have another confession to make. She really only says, “Of course, I’m renewing!” But she’s thinking about the rest of it.

Producer: That’s great news! We are so happy to have you! Oh and by the way, we were thinking we should cut back …

His voice trails off, as the showgirl gets lost in the inner dialogue of her mind.

Showgirl (to herself): They have to cut back? Now they’re asking me to take a pay cut? I mean, a minute ago they were firing me, so I should consider myself lucky. I’ll just write my lowest offer. Let them know I’m serious about staying. On second thought, I better go lower to be safe. Fine, this is my absolute lowest number.

Showgirl (blurted out): Alright! Here’s my absolute and final offer!

Producer (finishing his sentence): We were thinking we should cut back on rehearsals since you have all been doing such a fabulous job! What’s all this about an offer?

And that’s how a showgirl negotiates a pay cut.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Are You Smarter Than a Showgirl?

Confessions of a Showgirl
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Are You Smarter Than a Showgirl?
Picture this: I am on a game show. I like games, but I’ve never won anything. I don’t know why not. Anyway, I have the chance to win a million dollars! Now I’m really excited!
I’m competing against two men. One is a rocket scientist from NASA and the other is a Harvard professor. I’m going to show these guys that showgirls can stand with the best of them.
They explain the rules and now I know I have to be quick on the buzzer. I have great reflexes so that will be one of my strengths. Okay, first question:

Q: According to the proverb, what is the pot calling the kettle?
a) Hot
b) Noisy
c) Black
d) My hero

I hit the buzzer! I did it. See, I told you we have fast reflexes. Wait, I wasn’t paying attention to the question. Can you ask it again?

Hmmm. Let’s see. Both pots and kettles can be hot but they aren’t always hot unless they are being used. A kettle is noisy but pots aren’t usually noisy. Pots and kettles can be black but they can also be other colors. Why would a pot call a kettle its hero? That makes no sense. Come to think of it, why would a pot call a kettle anything? What is it calling with? I guess I would have to go with … c) Black. But I don’t think they realize that pots and kettles aren’t always black … just saying.
I got it right! Next question.

Q: In the U.S., if it's not Daylight Savings Time, what time is it?
a) Borrowed time
b) Overtime
c) Standard time
d) Party time

I have to sneeze. A-choo! Oh, I hit the buzzer by accident! Oops! I guess I should figure this one out. If you are saving time, it could be borrowed as well. It’s not overtime because you’re saving the time so it hasn’t been used yet. On the contrary, if you were partying with the time, then you would be using it. I mean, I don’t know the answer but it should be Daylight Giving-Away Time. I guess I have to choose Standard time but none of these answers work.

I got it right again! Eat your heart out Rocket Boy and Smarty Pants. The showgirl is in the lead. Next question.

Q: According to the old saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the (fill in the blank).”
a) Trash
b) Diapers
c) Bath water
d) Baby carriage

OMG! You should never throw a baby out! Who would do such a thing?! I’m not answering this question based on principle.

Q: What piece of advice most often follows "If at first you don't succeed"?
a) Throw in the towel
b) File an appeal
c) Try, try again
d) Talk to James

Who is James? Is he cute? I wouldn’t throw in a towel. What would that do? The answer is b) File an appeal. I always appeal because then I convince them I succeeded and then I succeed!
Hey! How did I get that one wrong?

Q: According to the popular phrase, "Don't bite the hand that (fill in the blank).”
a) Helps you
b) Pays you
c) Feeds you
d) Spanks you
It’s b) Pays you. Showgirls don’t eat so it can’t be c) Feeds you.
Wait, I got it wrong? I would like to appeal.
This game is getting close and the rocket scientist and Harvard professor are ahead of me. I need to get back on track. Next question.

Q: The TV series Sex and the City is primarily set in which city?
a) Chicago
b) New York City
c) Miami
d) San Francisco

Oh no! I have an itch. I didn’t get to the buzzer in time. The rocket scientist hit the button before me! This is horrible. I’m going to lose! It’s such an easy question!
He answered Chicago? Who wants to have sex in Chicago?
I’m back in! Okay, here it is: The million-dollar question.
(Dramatic pause.)

Q: What are chicken cutlet breast enhancements made of?
a) Chicken
b) Silicone
c) Pork
d) Fish

This one is easy! Every showgirl knows those breast enhancements are made of silicone! (If you don’t, you might want to brush up on your history with my past column, “The Evolution of Cleavage.”)

I bet you’re wondering if I got the million dollars. Well, the answer is no. If you can figure out why, then you are smarter than a showgirl. (I’ll give you a hint: I started with the words, “Picture this,” which means, I wanted you to picture me winning a million dollars. Maybe if everyone pictures me winning a million dollars it will happen!)

Anyway, if you didn’t get it right, you are not smarter than a showgirl. But don’t worry. It’s like they always say, “If at first you don’t succeed, file an appeal.”
Thanks for playing!

Follow Maren on Twitter @marenwade 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vegas Then and Now

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Vegas Then and Now
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: Vegas Then and Now
As I was searching deep in my dressing room shelves for my favorite bedazzled Swarovski bra, I came across an ancient artifact. I felt like Nicholas Cage in the movie National Treasure. Well actually, I guess I was more like Diane Kruger because as far as I know, Nicholas Cage appears to be male. But I guess you never know …

Anyway, I found a diary of a showgirl from the 1960’s! Apparently, confessions from showgirls date back further than I thought. Fifty years ago, Ingrid Liebschreiber travelled all the way from Germany to Las Vegas and became a showgirl. Her story is fascinating. She doesn’t hold anything back. I was really surprised! (I mean, not surprised that she didn’t hold anything back because she’s a showgirl and that’s what we do.) But I was surprised at how different Old Vegas was from New Vegas.

Vegas Headliners Then: Ingrid writes, “showgirls were treated like royalty.” They were escorted into the most exclusive lounges. They mingled with historical headliners like Frank Sinatra, Harry Belafonte and Elvis Presley. In fact, Ingrid says she even had an affair with Elvis and got pregnant! Can you imagine the headline? “A showgirl pregnant with Elvis’ baby.”  

Vegas Headliners Now: The closest a showgirl can get to that headline now is, “A showgirl pregnant with Elvis impersonator’s baby.” Which probably isn’t news. I’m sure it happens more often than we think. And it doesn’t happen in those exclusive lounges from back in the day. It probably happens in those loud nightclubs where no one can hear himself think. Which is why it happens in the first place.  

Vegas Audiences Then: After their shows, showgirls were showered with lavish gifts from the audience, like jewelry and furs. Apparently, there was an abundance of wealthy suitors with sufficient cash to entertain.

Vegas Audiences Now: Most of our suitors now have insufficient funds, or they take yours and then you have insufficient funds. Which reminds me, I have to call my bank.

Vegas Showgirls Then: Aspiring showgirls would come to Vegas from all over the world in hopes to perform in a real Vegas show. Ingrid came all the way from Germany.

Vegas Showgirls Now: Now, you have to move 2,500 miles to New York just to get hired for a show in Vegas. You would think it would be easier just to hold auditions in Vegas but what do I know. I’m just a showgirl.

Vegas News Then: Ingrid had to be very careful about anything she said because it was a small town and news travelled quickly back then.

Vegas News Now: Hmmm. News travels fast here too.

So I guess the truth is, showgirls haven’t changed at all. It’s comforting to know that in this fast paced world, some things can stay the same. As Ingrid said, “Once a showgirl, always a showgirl.”

It was as if Ingrid had written all of this just for me to find in my dressing room years later. If I hadn’t been looking for my bra, I never would have found out what Vegas was like back then.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I wasn’t exactly digging through my shelves in my dressing room. I was digging through the icons that look like shelves on Amazon, more specifically the Kindle store, but I was in my dressing room. It turns out Ingrid’s diary wasn’t just written for me. It’s available to everyone in fact! It’s called Love Target and every showgirl and non-showgirl should read it!

Okay, I have one more confession to make. Or maybe Ingrid does. How should I put this? Technically, Ingrid isn’t a real showgirl because she’s not a real person. But she is a character based off the life of the real showgirl Heidi Loeb Hegerich. Heidi’s book Love Target is part fictional memoir and part historical novel, which begs the question: Did she really have an affair with Elvis?! A showgirl never tells … or maybe she does.

For more of Heidi’s (I mean, Ingrid’s) adventures in Sin City and New York visit https://www.lovetarget.comorAmazon.com, available in paperback and hardback, too.

Follow Maren on Twitter @marenwade 

Click here to see in Las Vegas Weekly

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Showgirl's State of the Union Address

Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: A Showgirl's State of the Union Address
Maren Wade's Confessions of a Showgirl: A Showgirl's State of the Union Address

As a showgirl, I get the chance to work in many different kinds of productions. Operating in these varied worlds, it’s not unusual for a showgirl to be a member of several unions. The problem comes when a showgirl gets confused as to which ones she belongs to.

There was a union I joined for one particular touring production. I’ve been a member for over six years, and I hadn’t paid my dues in a little while … like, maybe six years. So they sent me a suspension notice.

Anytime you see big red print that has a negative word associated with your name, it’s not a good feeling. I got confused by the state of my unions, and I panicked. I immediately went online to pay my dues.

As soon as I submitted my payment, I realized I had paid the wrong union! I mean, it was the right union—in that I also owed them money and paid it. But I had only worked in this union once. Now that I’m working in Vegas, it didn’t make sense for me to be a part of it anymore. So I didn’t mind being suspended. I just didn’t realize that I didn’t mind being suspended. I needed to explain this to my union and get my money back.

So I got on the phone to speak with a representative. Listen, there’s been a huge misunderstanding, I said. I’m aware that I haven’t paid my dues in quite some time. However, I swear I had no intention of paying you.

In fact, I was going to let this one go to collections. As you can see, I haven’t worked in this union for years. To be honest, it’s not one of the major unions. Do you think this is an effective union if I haven’t worked the entire time I was a part of it?

You know, I’m thinking it might be time for you to take a careful look at your own house and see if that’s in order. The truth is, if your union was more important, I probably would have made more of an effort to pay my dues all these years, instead of letting it slide.

Anyway, if you could just see your way to getting this money back to me, that would be really great. This was an error and I think you guys should respect that. After all, I am your union member.

Then, I think my phone disconnected. I called back and I got a different person. I had to explain the entire thing all over again. Would you believe my phone cut out again? So frustrating. It’s impossible to get good cell service anywhere these days.

I wonder if the cell phone people have a union I could speak to about that.

I’ll tell you, some of these unions should really have more respect for their members. I mean, how am I supposed to pay my other unions if this union keeps trying to take all my money? I’m sure I’m not the only one dealing with this.

You know, we should all unite and have our voices heard! We should start a union! Who’s with me?

Follow Maren on Twitter @marenwade

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