As we begin year #5, ‘Vegas Unfiltered’ joins a well-established network of News, Reviews, Best-of/Worst-of lists and much more…
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve devoted space on this blog to things about myself. From the beginning, it’s always been about you, the reader. I started Vegas Unfiltered Blog with the goal to offer advice, recommendations, warnings, and ways to make the most of your hard-earned dollars.
But sometimes I’ve told you a little bit about my own personal matters, too. Like when I decided to move to Sin City from rural Oregon. And when I shared my personal loss of beloved pets. And the time I stayed up all night, traumatized by seeing the Las Vegas Strip being boarded up and chained on Pandemic Shutdown Night.
Now I’m going to share another personal event, but this one will affect people in the entertainment industry, hospitality workers, and regular readers just as much as myself. In the weeks ahead, Vegas Unfiltered Blog will become part of a larger family: VEGAS 411. This multi-purpose website is a hub for Vegas-centric writers, commentators, and freelance workers such as myself.
VEGAS 411 also is also home to TicketKite, a ticket vendor where you can reserve seats to big productions like Mystere and Blue Man Group. It’s main focus, however, is ready-to-discover fare like Rock Candy, The Hilarious 7, Amazing Magic with Tommy Wind, and The BIG little Variety Show. It’s worth remembering that not every treasure performs inside an arena or a $60 million showroom.
My responsibilities at VEGAS 411 will grow far beyond integrating and maintaining Vegas Unfiltered Blog. As their new Deputy Editor and part of the senior management team, I’ll be working with our writers to make a larger impact, expand our reach, and create sizzling new features. And I’ve already brought Clay Bushes, a like-minded no-nonsense colleague, on board to stir up some shit.
I’ll also be VEGAS 411‘s “Man About Town”, so to speak. Throughout the year, I’ll attend events and openings, giving you up close and personal glimpses into everything VEGAS 411 covers. So get used to this smirky mug…it isn’t going away anytime soon.
I don’t sugarcoat shit. I’m not Willy Wonka.
You can be assured that I’ll continue to give you the clearest and most helpful information available. When something is worth your time, you’ll know it, but I won’t spare any feelings when another asshole like Criss Angel or the next train wreck production like Magic Mike Live or R.U.N comes into town. As always, it’ll be with the intention of helping you make the most educated choices for your Vegas vacation.
“Probably Biased. Definitely Honest” – Sam Novak, Vegas Unfiltered/VEGAS411
Stellar talent raises awareness and funds to combat opioid crisis through ‘Victoria’s Voice Foundation’
Ah, freedom…it feels so wonderful. Gone are the capacity limits, mask requirements and temperature checks. Restaurants are back to serving great meals, clubs are opening and entertainers have taken to the stage. As Las Vegas welcomes back conventions, sporting events and concerts, one of the first fundraisers out of the gate is MUSIC FOR LIFE: An Evening to Save Lives at Westgate Las Vegas.
If you caught my article from a few days ago, you know that June 5th will be an exciting evening with actor Mark Patton (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2) to benefit LGBTQ youth. As luck would have it, the star’s host hotel Westgate will have their own spectacular show on the same evening. On June 5th at 7 pm, a collection of world-renowned names will donate their talented vocals for Victoria’s Voice Foundation.
The story behind Victoria’s Voice is one of tragedy and inspiration. Westgate Resorts patriarch David A. Siegel and wife Jacqueline lost their lovely daughter Victoria to a drug overdose in 2015. Only 18 years old at the time, Victoria left behind a secret diary that her parents found with the help of a friend. The grief-stricken parents decided to publish the diary, along with helpful resources, as a book. Their hope is that Victoria’s first-hand account might change the path of other youth facing the same demons.
In the ensuing six years, Victoria’s Voice Foundation has grown into a a massive initiative of projects, events, videos and resources. They’re aimed at ultimately ending the tragedies that result from drug dependency and abuse, especially in our young population. You can learn more about the services available from Victoria’s Voice Foundation by visiting here.
After the chaos of 2020, the nation needs charities like Victoria’s Voice more than ever. That’s why Westgate Las Vegas is bringing the power of entertainment to their International Theater for a one-night concert like no other:
Music For Life
A tribute to life, this momentous program aims to feature the country’s top talent and recognizable artists to parents and kids alike, such as AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys, Chris Kirkpatrick of NSYNC, and Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees, in one of the most exclusive venues in all of Las Vegas, The International Theater of Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
Known to be the home of music icons Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick and Barry Manilow, this venue now becomes the site where David and Jacqueline’s friends and partners will come together once again to take the mission to the next level.
An Evening to Save Lives: MUSIC FOR LIFE is a special event to support the critical mission of the Victoria’s Voice Foundation to end the opioid crisis and save our youth. The work of the foundation is even more urgent now as the current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an alarming increase in the number of overdose-related deaths. All of your support and donations from this invitation-only event will help us continue our fight.
Music for Life is being produced by Johnny Wright, one of the most successful music executives in the industry. Wright has played a key role in the careers of multi-platinum acts like Janet Jackson, Menudo, Jonas Brothers, Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake and NSYNC. The concert line-up definitely reflects his background, with the inclusion of some significant performers from the boy band era.
World’s greatest party rocker DJ Lux will bring the crowd to its feet. Then Chris Blue, one of the brightest new stars on the scene, will take to the stage. Chris is the winner of season 12 of The Voice and is rising up the charts with his new single “Moon”. Watch the video here.
The roster of entertainers should thrill a broad spectrum of attendees. Fans of Detroit-style R & B can groove to the smooth, sultry sounds of Soul of Motown. This five-person act, which sets a new standard for tribute groups, just returned to Westgate Cabaret with their residency show. In addition, members Sean and Brandon Godfrey have risen to new heights with their NPerson duo gigs at Westgate’s International Bar.
Vocalists include Chris Kirkpatrick of NSYNC, AJ McLean of Backstreet Boys, and my personal favorite….Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees. Jeff and I go back a number of years, and this Sin City mega-hunk is always ready to dive into charity events…especially ones that take place in his hometown.
To reserve your seats for this one-of-a-kind evening, follow this link. Tickets start at only $39.95 (plus taxes/fees). If you’d like to learn more about Victoria’s Voice Foundation, head here.
MUSIC FOR LIFE will be held Saturday June 5th at 7pm inside Westgate International Theater. Tickets start at $39.95 (plus taxes/fees).To better accommodate accessible ticket needs, Westgate Las Vegas Resort has requested that all special seating accommodations be solicited only through their representatives. Please contact a Westgate Las Vegas Resort representative for further help with your ticket purchase. Advance ticket purchase may be required. Telephone Number(s):702 732-5755 OR 800 222-5361
Sin City Dancing Returns in an exciting All-American way…
Yes, it’s true that Las Vegas is back. And if the packed airline flights that I’ve recently taken are any indication, that’s the way it’s going to stay. Restaurants, pools, and shows have opened up to increased capacity, and more fun and freedom are on the horizon. But what about dancing???
Photos from mid-April 2021
The pathway to reopening nightclubs in our new era is going to be tricky. Too bad there aren’t any outdoor dancing venues around town to speak of. But award-winning line dancer George Blick has a plan to make COVID-safe line dancing the latest Sin City trend.
Gallery by Vinnie Cassidy…
“Line Dancing improves stamina, muscle tone and coordination, is a great stress buster and energy booster. Dancing is a unique form of exercise because it provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise while allowing you to engage in a social activity. It’s a community, and it’s all about having fun” says George.
If you are in the camp that doesn’t find this activity to be appealing or hip, you might be in for a big surprise. Despite being a skeptic myself, I joined George and his crew, pre-pandemic, for an evening of fun at Stoney’s Rocking Country at Town Square. The youthful crowd was extremely high-energy and raucous, and all eyes turned towards George when he entered the dance floor. It’s quite a sight.
Blick Linedance began a YouTube Channel in October 2019, long before COVID-19 changed our way of life. An accompanying Facebook Page and official website keep fans up-to-date on the latest classes and events. George’s tutorials blend socializing, physical fitness and a love for good ole country music into a rip-roaring great time. Fortunately, the need for distancing of participants is built right into the checkerboard format. So…win-win!
“The only way to keep the fire going is to outrun the wind.” – George Blick
Dancing has always been George’s passion. The Laine Theater Arts graduate holds six consecutive World Championship titles, has performed for the Queen, entertained aboard cruise ships, and shared his talents in over fifty countries.
On May 1st, George will be heading to California Ranch Company in Temecula for an outdoor festival. The EDGE DANCE EVENT invites guests to grab their camping gear, hook up their RV’s and prepare for a boot-scooting good time. Tickets and registration are available here.
Closer to home, Blick Line Dance holds beginner and intermediate classes in Las Vegas for those yearning to get out and enjoy themselves in a safer setting. Sessions take place Mondays (beginner) and Wednesdays (intermediate) at 9am inside Seniors Helping Seniors. Their center is located at 451 E. Bonanza Road. Classes last one hour and are quite a bargain at only five dollars each. Click here for more details.
Going forward, George would like to take advantage of warmer weather to bring line dancing “out to the streets”. He’s actively seeking venues with large spaces, paved surfaces and courtyards to launch concepts like “Linedance Brunch”, early-evening nightclub socials and the like. Perhaps it’s time to bring flash mobs back to the Fremont Street Experience?
Vegas is back on its feet, and it’s time to bring a little “country” to Sin City. If you have a performance venue, group, club, or special event that could use an infusion of fun, contact George Blick to see what he can bring to the floor. You can reach him right here.
Hotel-casino chain announces In-room COVID-19 screenings and new protocols to accommodate the return of meetings and conventions:
Press Release 4/7/21: Following months of trials, MGM Resorts is adding cutting-edge enhancements to its Convene with Confidence program, one of the meeting industry’s most comprehensive health and safety plans, designed to get businesses back to doing business in person.
Now welcoming larger groups in accordance with increased capacity limits in Nevada, MGM Resorts is offering meeting planners the option for on-site rapid, molecular COVID-19 testing delivering highly accurate results for events large and small.
Since pioneering Convene with Confidence in September 2020 with an option for attendee testing in partnership with CLEAR, Cue Health and Impact Health, MGM Resorts has safely hosted close to 300 meetings and groups within the approved size limits using the protocols outlined in the program. Trialing the digital application for entertainment and sporting events, the Vegas Golden Knights recently began using CLEAR’s Health Pass for CDC health survey screening – processing thousands of fans at T-Mobile Arena each game night – demonstrating it is a smooth and efficient process, even at scale.
“Convene with Confidence is a result of close consultation with health experts and our increased focus on leveraging innovation to not only provide a better guest experience – but a safer one as well,” said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ CEO and President. “MGM Resorts has long been at the forefront of the rapidly evolving hospitality and events industries. We are confident we’ve built a program that enables companies to meet in person, giving them peace of mind as they do so.”
Stephanie Glanzer, MGM Resorts’ Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, said, “Meetings and conventions are critical to our company and to Las Vegas, in addition to the organizations putting on these programs. Developing Convene with Confidence, a completely customizable program, with multiple options for planners and attendees, reflects our deep commitment to the future health of the meetings industry.”
CONVENE WITH CONFIDENCE
Convene with Confidence consists of detailed protocols that incorporate health and safety into every aspect of the convention and meeting process. Efforts range from smart planning of the event itself to contactless check-in and increased cleaning schedules of common areas, with special attention paid to high-contact areas such as doorknobs and food contact surfaces.
Now fully operational within the Convene with Confidence ecosystem are several advancements, including optional COVID-19 testing protocol that delivers fast results and allows event organizers the ability to create a perimeter for their events and exhibitions.
Convene with Confidence Strategic Partnerships
MGM Resorts has partnered with CLEAR, the secure identity company, to leverage its Health Pass technology – a mobile app experience that links verified identity with COVID-19 health insights, including a real-time health questionnaire, COVID-19-related test results, temperature checks via integrated kiosks, and soon the ability to link to COVID-19 vaccination records.
MGM Resorts has partnered with Cue Health, a healthcare technology company whose easy-to-use, portable COVID-19 test provides lab-quality results directly to connected mobile smart devices in about 20 minutes. The Cue COVID-19 Test for Home and Over The Counter (OTC) use is the nation’s first molecular diagnostic test available without a prescription with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. This fast and accurate molecular test, which was previously piloted for small groups, is now fully integrated into MGM’s ecosystem and can be administered at scale.
Tests are administered by Impact Health, a national provider of point of care healthcare services specializing in high-profile and high-volume events. The company is currently used by several federal and state agencies as well as corporate clients across the U.S.
How it Works
Prior to the event, attendees download the CLEAR mobile app to set up their account and verify their identity.
Before entering the venue, attendees answer a series of health survey questions.
Upon arrival, attendees take a molecular or antigen test. Attendees can access results by securely linking their testing account to their Health Pass through the app.
Attendees have their temperature checked at a kiosk (optional) and scan their QR code to share their health insights. Based on survey answers and test results, users are issued a red or green Health Pass on their app. Green indicates approval for event entry; red indicates further testing and healthcare support may be required.
Convene with Confidence includes a robust catalogue of new options that allow planners to customize their events:
Virtual Site Visits – Virtual site inspections and pre-planning services are available, including careful planning of event, meal and break times to safely optimize guest movement throughout the meeting space.
Hybrid Meetings – While many groups begin to return in person, individuals who aren’t ready to travel can take advantage of virtual capabilities coordinated by MGM Resorts’ in-house production team, delivering immersive experiences for all attendees, whether in-person or at home.
Creative Catering – Mealtime can be a significant challenge for meeting planners, especially for large groups. MGM Resorts has reimagined the catering experience, showcasing the incredible work of its culinary team, but with limited interaction.
Maximizing Floor Plans – Floor plans have been adjusted to allow for proper physical distancing within all meetings and events whether a larger-scale trade show or a seated conference. With MGM Resorts’ four million square feet of meeting space on the Las Vegas Strip, planners have complete flexibility to customize event layouts.
Glanzer added, “As vaccine distribution and utilization increase across the country, we are assessing options that would enable those meetings clients who so desire to seamlessly add proof of vaccine to their criteria for attendees. There is no singular formula for a successful program and our expert team will guide each client in building a framework that works for their organization.”
Enhancing MGM Resorts mission to provide seamless and convenient travel solutions, all guests can now take advantage of a selection of in-room COVID-19 testing options at its Las Vegas properties.
In collaboration with Henderson-based Community Ambulance, guests can choose from three tests depending on their travel schedules and requirements of their next destination. This new offering builds on MGM Resorts’ robust Seven-Point Safety Plan, designed to deter the spread of the virus and protect guests and employees.
In-room testing options are available at MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas properties and include:
● Standard RT-PCR Test – results in approximately 24 – 72 hours, based on lab availability
● Fast Molecular (NAAT) Test – results in approximately 20 minutes
● Rapid Antigen Test – results in approximately 20 – 30 minutes
Community Ambulance analyzes all test types and delivers results electronically to the guest.
Testing appointments are available daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. by calling guest services at the guest’s host hotel. Prices for in-room testing range from $140 to $230. Additional charges may apply for same day/after-hours requests and cancellations.
Here is my article, as published on 8/4/20, that details the Stay Well Lodging/Convention experience already in place:
There’s no question that traveling can have exhausting effects, both physically and mentally. Combine that with a few days of traditional Las Vegas excess and you’re likely to feel run down…or perhaps even ill. There are many types of recovery services available to counteract these symptoms. Or, you can be pro-active by booking your vacation in a Stay Well™ room at MGM Resorts.
Created by New York City corporation DELOS, the trademarked Stay Well™ concept was brought to Sin City in 2012 when dozens of fully-equipped, non-smoking rooms were introduced at MGM Grand. Since then, they’ve greatly expanded the number of rooms, introduced a Stay Well lounge and expanded the lineup to Park MGM and Mirage resorts. A select group of Stay Well protocols are also featured under the banner of “Fresh by Stay Well” at New York NY, Excalibur, and Luxor.
What makes a Stay Well™ room different from others? Everything! From the air you breathe to the water you shower in. From the sound-dampened walls and plant-extract memory foam mattress to red-spectrum circadian lighting, Stay Well enhances your body’s ability to relax, recover, rest and reinvigorate.
A Stay Well app by Cleveland Clinic allows you to maximize the available amenities and benefits. And perhaps most important of all, dangerous germs, viruses and other microbes are given the heave-ho by using non-toxic cleaning products and UV light-cleaning tools.
Famed alternative-medicine advocate Dr. Deepak Chopra serves as an advisory board member for DELOS. He endorses the benefits of their specialized guest rooms. “Stay Well Rooms are built on many individual features, which when combined, have an unprecedented positive health impact for the traveler. Your wellness experience has been specially designed in collaboration with leading doctors, architects, engineers, and medical institutions.”
“Amenities like purified air, healthy lighting, an allergy-friendly environment, dawn simulation, and aromatherapy increase energy, reduce stress, improve productivity and enhance your sleep quality. Our vitamin C shower infuser reduces chlorine to help skin and hair stay soft and smooth. Stay balanced, stay fresh, Stay Well.”
With all of today’s fears of contaminants within gathering spaces, Stay Well has expanded to offer its proactive health protocols to convention guests at MGM Grand by way of “Stay Well Meetings”. Air purification removes toxins, allergens, smoke and microbes from the air. Surfaces are treated with “WELL Shield”, a self-cleaning photocatalytic coating that destroys harmful organic compounds. Cleveland Clinic provides innovative menus and online tools to combat the negative effects of travel (like jet lag and poor diets).
Stay Well amenities are clearly identified on the booking page of each hotel’s website. Every MGM Resorts property in Las Vegas (with the exception of Signature at MGM Grand) should be offering Stay Well enhancements or fully-conceived guest rooms by summer 2020. While no single program can prevent illness or provide absolute safety from infection, it’s helpful to know that options are available. So now you can reduce risk and reap the benefits of a healthier Vegas experience at the same time.
Vegas entertainers transform your online events from drab to fab with professional results…
If you’ve participated in online meetings at sites like ZOOM, Skype and Messenger Desktop, you know that they can sometimes be dry and clunky affairs. If that’s the case, perhaps you or your employers should consider a professional host.
Virtual meetings are a burgeoning field that will continue to grow in this era of social distancing. Fortunately, two entertainers with Sin City backgrounds have already mastered the techniques of this platform and can transform your conference into a fun-filled yet productive affair.
Jeff Civillico has been thrilling Las Vegas audiences for about a decade. Energetic and charismatic, the “action comic” has been a staple at corporate functions for the majority of his career. Quick-witted and gifted with flawless audience interaction, he knows how to capture and hold your attention.
Civillico’s experience on the Vegas stage has given him a unique perspective when it comes to emceeing. He’s hosted his own Vegas-based talk show and a pilot for Travel Channel. Throw in some tech-savvy ingenuity and it’s clear that Jeff is already at the forefront of virtual hosting.
Initially, I was skeptical of virtual events, thinking “so much of what I do is based on connecting with the audience… how could this possibly work?” I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the virtual events I’ve hosted so far. There’s emotion, laughter, spontaneity, even real applause… you just have to unmute everyone to get it! Is it the same? No. Is it as good? If we’re being honest, no. But does it still work in a different way? Yes, I believe so. – Jeff Ciillico
So how does having a host boost the success of web-based meetings? It’s all in the flow. As Jeff explains it:
A professional host has gone from being a nice add-on feature for your in-person event to an ESSENTIAL piece of your virtual event. Virtual meetings are going to be a little bumpy and potentially disjointed, especially in the short term. It’s going to be more difficult to get and keep attendees’ attention. You need someone who can pull all the event elements together to create a cohesive conference experience that is still engaging and impactful. You need a professional.
The difference between virtual and real conferences is similar to the “movie theater experience” versus watching something on television. It’s easier to be distracted or lose interest when you’re on your own turf. A professional host utilizes his or her unique skills to draw attendees in and capture their focus. For Civillico, team-building exercises and comedy seem to work best:
People are loving these shows/team-building workshop combos! It’s common knowledge that the attention span of a virtual event is shorter than an in-person event… “squirrel!” … so I’ve been combining my clean comedy show with a juggling workshop and it’s proven to be very successful.
One of the basic principals of performance art is “Know Your Audience”. That rule applies to corporate functions as well. Civillico tailors each hosting gig to maximize participation, engagement, and positive response from attendees. That leads to more productive meetings and greater long-term results.
These workshops can be more “corporate” for employees and reinforce themes of connection, trust, and teamwork. Or they can be more “entertainment-based” for families of employees. Regardless of how you want to customize them for your organization, these events are high energy, interactive, and FUN!
Win-Win Entertainment is a not-for-profit organization that Jeff spearheads. Based in Las Vegas, Win-Win Entertainment creates opportunities for professional performers to share their time and talent with children in need. They’re 100 percent volunteer-based, have no paid staff, and all performers donate their time for every event.
Win-Win has gone virtual during the pandemic, too, making it possible to continue its mission using the power of technology. Click HERE to learn more about how the organization has “pivoted” during the COVID-19 crisis.
We’re not going to let the coronavirus stop us from bringing smiles to children who need them. That’s our mission. That’s what we do. So for the time being instead of our regular in-person talent visits to children’s hospitals, we’re arranging “virtual visits.” After testing these virtual visits with several of our hospital partners, we’re rolling them out to our entire performer community.
Jeff gave the final performance of his Las Vegas residency last December, but his work with audiences and charities is far from over. Visit jeffcivillico.com or call (702) 777-2782 for more information.
Jay Jay –
Jay Jay is another virtual host with Sin City DNA. Like Jeff, he’s a high-energy, outrageously funny, and an absurdly handsome dynamo. The Australian entertainer/motivational speaker/model/TV show host has traveled the world, fronting gigs of every size with a level of expertise rarely seen, especially at his young age.
Constantly I hear from clients that a company has been using one of their internal staff to MC their conference. Usually the rationale is that the person
“can talk well on a mic” or “can tell a few jokes”. This may be true but what clients don’t understand is that being good on the mic or telling a few jokes is far from what a professional MC actually does.
A great MC should be facilitating the event, getting your guests involved, and interacting with each other, plus really pushing the key messages and main themes. So when your guests do leave, it’s an event that they will talk about for years to come. – Jay Jay
Jay also draws his hosting skills from the world of entertainment. His comedy and crowd engagement abilities are unforgettable. He’s also quite a magician, as you can see from this clip:
Sin City audiences were stunned when Jay stepped up to the mic last year for an interim hosting gig at Aussie Heat. Not only did he whip the crowd into a frenzy, but he got into the act and ripped off his shirt to flaunt a stunning set of abs.
Jay is at the top of his game when it comes to emceeing your function. Better yet, he can turn the reins over to you…AFTER teaching you how to become a more powerful public speaker. And what that boils down to is having a plan of action for when the pandemic shutdown passes.
I work with people who are in control of their own boat. What are we doing now? And what are we doing post-COVID? What’s your plan? This is the time to deal with it because there are no distractions now. It’s my plan to get you out of your head and give you accountability.
I never care about what level you’re at. I care that you listen, you take action and you get your “wins”. When you get your “wins’ it feels amazing. I’ve heard all the excuses – I’ve made half of them. But it’s not about me. Most people have never had anyone in their corner. I want to speak to your soul and move you straightaway.
What Jay promises is a guaranteed success for you and your business. His methods are targeted at booking more clients, achieving greater financial opportunities, and delivering highly-impactful messages. To help, he’s offered free online motivational-speaking classes that emphasize support for COVID-19-affected individuals. Once you see what Jay can do, you’ll want to be a regular client, too.
You’re itching to get back out on stage so you can impact millions! But hey – remember your stage isn’t only physical. You can now be on stage virtually. Want to be BOOKED out on virtual stages globally? I’ve made my chess move, it’s your turn. DM me and we can set up a call and make that happen for you! – Your Success Wingman
Vegas performers and influencers share their tips for staying healthy while at home….
A strong body and clear mind both aid in warding off infection. They also help in reducing stress during these tenuous times, Nobody knows for certain how long the quarantine will last, but when restrictions are lifted, the stars of the Strip will need to be in top shape and ready for their first night back.
Vegas locals work hard to make your Vegas visit something worth treasuring. And just like you, they’re facing a lockdown that has not only put them out of work but confined their activities to the home. Spouses MaKenzie Fly (Sex Tips) and Colin Cahill (Atomic Saloon Show) have been working overtime to entertain everyone via their new page Mak and the Cheese. It’s packed with wit, skits and original songs to make you laugh. Here’s a sample:
Some have been sharing their tips to stay in peak physical condition, and you can join them in their quest for optimal health. Whether you’re limited to household objects and portable resistance bands or have a full gym set-up on your patio…get out there, use it and be safe.
Hunter Hobbs with a special message for Vegas Unfiltered readers…
The world-famous hardbodies of Chippendales male revue were some of the first on the scene with online fitness tips. Profile recipient Ryan Worley caught the eye of TMZ for a pair of video tutorials that launched the Chippendales series. Using everyday objects like almond-milk jugs, pillows, and staircases, Worley demonstrates how to tighten your glutes and build upper-body strength.
Aided by Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”, towering hardbody Pat Tanksi shows how he stays limber and flexible. His handsome canine companion “Geno” donned a trademark collar and bowtie to join his dad for a set of slinky moves. You can expect more helpful videos from the men of Chippendales in the days ahead. Be sure to see the guys in person when Chippendales – The Las Vegas Show returns.
Le Reve – The Dream at Wynn boasts a cast of 60 gorgeous guys and girls. They’re a stunning collection of athletes that dive, flip, sail through the air and dance on water. Muscular lead performer Alexander Stabler is known for his graceful movements, strong legs and world-class gluteal development. Here he keeps “dat ass” firm by performing squats in a driveway, using his partner in place of a squat rack. There’s also a breakdown of Alexander’s cross-fit plan, with weight provided by stone-filled backpacks.
The erotic side of Cirque du Soleil comes to life in ZUMANITY at New York NY. Longtime cast member Wayne Skivington (read his Vegas Unfiltered profile HERE) stays in top condition year-round, whether at the theatre’s training room or in his own home. Here he works up a sweat in the back yard, pounding a sledgehammer onto some concrete.
Westgate‘s Soul of Motown features a five-member cast with lush vocals and nonstop dancing. During the production’s hiatus, vocalist Brandon Godfrey has been featuring his “Quarantine Fitness” regime on Facebook. Regular physical activity keeps his body as tight as the show’s gorgeous harmonies.
Jennifer Romas shares the Westgate Cabaret with Soul of Motown‘s cast. Her successful SEXXY has performed hundreds of shows in the gorgeous space. The production’s creator and star continues to rehearse and will be ready to excite audiences when the doors reopen.
“Men of Sapphire” offers a masculine take on the traditional stripper club bump-and-grind. Their billboards feature Roberto Alejandro Granados, an absurdly handsome accomplished dancer who’s been involved in large-scale productions like Jeff Timmons‘ MEN OF THE STRIP and Chippendales offshoot 53X.
Here, Roberto demonstrates how to keep your abs tight, using the Dual Ab Roller, an easy to use piece of equipment that’s readily available at Amazon.com for under $12. Click HERE to order.
Gunnar Walcavich is a real live “Ivan Drago”. Much like the mountain of muscle from Rocky IV and Creed II, Gunnar aka “The Big Gun” is a boxer of Russian descent. He’s also six feet four inch of power, energy and drive. But unlike the villainous character made famous by actor Dolph Lundgren, this resident of Henderson is kind, caring and funny!
Now an NFPT-accredited personal trainer, Gunnar hosts online fitness sessions. However, he prefers the one-on-one approach, where he can focus on the “personal” aspects of personal training. He’ll even do personalized visits in your home. Once an overweight young man with a goal to go “from zero to hero”, he’s transformed his own body and can do the same for you.
Here’s what Gunnar has to say about fitness in regards to the COVID-19 situation:
During the pandemic, I know money‘s been tight for people so I’ve been accommodating rates for everyone. They started out at $35 a session, but because of the pandemic I’ve been doing $20 a session. The sessions last anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes and create a very intense HIIT (high intensity interval training).
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to up your game, personal training opens new doors to health, confidence and inner peace. To learn more or arrange an appointment, text Gunnar Walcavich at 608-622-5945 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All In The Family
We’re always wishing to have more time with our families. Now that it’s here, you can make the most of the situation by having your loved ones join in on your workouts. Adam D. Tucker aka “Vegas McGraw” was recently featured in my Hot Guys of Vegas column. His spot-on impersonation of Tim McGraw draws in fans from around the country. But it’s Adam’s bulging arms and gleaming pecs that earned him a spot in the segment.
Here, Adam uses his son Beau for added weight in a garage workout that’s as fun as it is effective.
Parent/child routines are a great way to establish habits that will last a lifetime. Of course, heading out to the sidewalk for some biking (or a stroll with the wagon) are perfect photo opportunities, too. So enjoy the eye candy and take to the streets (or the yard) to burn off those unwanted calories. Just remember to observe social distancing guidelines to protect yourself and your neighbors.
Musician Haini Wolfgramm is one of the founding members of The JETS, the phenomenal pop group from Tonga that swept the world. The JETS – The ’80s & ’90s Experience is an awesome concert event that you’ll want to enjoy over and over…once it returns to Planet Hollywood‘s V Theater, that is (read my full review HERE).
Haini is a fitness enthusiast who seemingly spends as much time at the gym as he does behind his guitar. Keeping those biceps pumped to the max has become a family experience, thanks to a backyard gym that’s getting everyone into shape and keeping them happy until the quarantine is lifted.
Wayne Skivington gets a special mention in the “family” category, too. Young son Rowan is quickly following in his father’s footsteps with an athletic prowess that would make teenagers and grown men envious. Follow the Skivington’s father/son workouts on Instagram by clicking HERE.
We are all in this together. Let’s use this time to disconnect from society but reconnect at home. I’m going to be posting some in-home workouts ideas to do with your children. Have fun, it will mean more to them than you might think.
– Wayne Skivington
When a city is overflowing with professional entertainers, it’s not surprising that those who cover the scene can hold their own, too. Greenspun Media publisher Jamal Parker and gorgeous wife Mackenzie Marshall Parker (The Doll Factory) show how the family gets loose with this splendid TikTok dance:
Alberto del Campo is a longtime Sin City resident who’s performed in huge acrobatic productions like Le Reve, KA and now The Beatles LOVE. His two boys Alex and Zach have inherited dad’s athleticism. They’re also members of the LOVE cast.
Here, Alberto gathers his sons along with wife Genevieve for a fun roller-skate workout that they like to do poolside. You might find it to be a bit of a challenge, but for the energetic Del Campos, this is just another day. of fitness fun.
If you’re a newbie to roller blades or could use some help with brushing up on the basics, fear not. The magnetic and talented Del Campo boys have launched their own YouTube channel. Here’s one of their tutorials:
Dance As If Nobody’s Watching
Sure, the beach clubs are dried up for now and the nightspots have gone dark. But when ya gotta dance, ya gotta dance. Party people have been taking to their back yards, front yards, driveways, patios…and even the streets…in order to shake their groove thang.
Endia Abrante of ShowgirlArrivals.com is been streamlining her diet and using an E-Stim ab belt to keep things nice and tight for when the clubs reopen. Recently the entrepreneur/deejay/aerialist/duck rancher strapped on some rollerblades and donned a unicorn-themed onesie to blow off some steam.
Later came the glowsticks and a neon party costume to throw a solo virtual rave. Fortunately, her best friend Dusty Demetria was there to document the invitation-only affair. If you haven’t followed Endia’s outrageous Facebook page, you’re really missing out.
Bad boy Kris Davis is one of those guys who does what he wants when he wants to do it, and the name of the game is “fun”. The beefy host at Golden Nugget‘s Troy Liquor Bar was bitten by the dance bug a long time ago.
A veteran of Vegas male revues, Davis continues to move and groove whenever the mood hits him. A crowded market, the heart of the casino floor, or even the top level of a parking garage…when this big boy wants to dance, feel free to join him. Otherwise, get the heck out of the way.
Relentlessly funny man James Michael aka the Redneck Magician has been posting a series of videos from his parking lot. No doubt the neighbors enjoy watching his antics from behind the protective glass of their windows. And you can catch his roller-disco antics by visiting his Facebook page. Then check out his show when Redneck Comedy Magic returns to The STRAT.
Remote-Access Class Action
Sexy celebrities like THOR’s Chris Hemsworth have been sharing online tips and virtual classes to get your body into superhero condition. In the spirit of giving, most of them are free.
Hi there all, during this period of self isolation and uncertainty, I am offering six weeks of my health and fitness program @Centrfit for FREE! Go to centr.com and sign-up. Centr was founded to make health and happiness accessible to all, and I hope that this will make that access even easier during the current global health crisis. I think now more than ever is when we need to focus on what I believe to be the 3 key pillars to living healthier and happier- movement, nutrition, and mental fitness.
– Chris Hemsworth
Here in Sin City, we’ve got several heroic figures who are donating their time, sharing their talents and generously giving you the shirt off their backs.
Pole-fitness enthusiast Alberto Del Campo (see above) was also featured in my Hot Guys of Vegas column. Since the COVID-19 quarantine went into effect, he’s been offering free online pole fitness classes via his Instagram page. Click HERE to follow Alberto and get in on the action.
Regular attendees to the annual Mr. Olympia Fitness Expo are sure to recognize entrepreneur Tim McComsey. The registered dietician/trainer has been uploading Social Distancing workouts on his YouTube channel. He also offers virtual workouts through Zoom, Skype and FaceTime. Follow this link to visit Tim’s Facebook page and send him a personal message. Sign up for one of his TrymFIT programs, tell Tim that Vegas Unfiltered sent you and you’ll get extra supplements perks!
Dancer/actor George Blick (Sex Tips, Aussie Heat) is a rhinestone cowboy of sorts. The big-city hunk has a little bit of country in him, as he’s an award-winning line dancer. George is gearing up to present a live line-dance class soon. Visit George’s Facebook page to keep posted on when the next one will take place.
You might remember this profile article I wrote on Teresa Van – Trainer to the Stars. Teresa is offering online training courses (for a fee) along with free videos that you call follow along at home. Click HERE to view Teresa’s online information and get started right away.
Makenzie Fly and Colin Cahill are “Mak and the Cheese”…
Makenzie Fly is a respected performer and also a skilled instructor of yoga. Husband Colin Cahill filled me in on what they’re up to in the days ahead:
Kenzie’s teaching live yoga class Monday on Instagram (click here for her page), and probably Facebook too if we can figure out how to stream both simultaneously. When it comes to our exercise for this it’s been primarily bodyweight workouts in the living room, running stairs in our apartment, yoga, and lifting heavy foods from the fridge to our faces. I’ve got those resistance bands you posted about a while back shipping to us currently.
But honestly, it’s been a huge struggle to try to stay active. I’ve definitely been putting on the poundage this past week so we started hitting the workouts hard this week. Our new song “Quarantine 15” more accurately represents our fitness journey since the shutdown.
Makenzie also has a YouTube channel to help you get started in the world of yoga. Here’s the intro to her video series:
For all people curious about yoga! This channel is meant to be a no-excuses platform. Got 5 minutes? Let’s practice. It’s not meant to be perfect. Don’t think, just do. Anytime, any place!
Until very recently, MaKenzie shared the Sex Tips stage with handsome “Hot Guys of Vegas” recipient Shyllon Melatti (read his Vegas Unfiltered profile right HERE). While the actor/singer/dancer/model prepares for a juicy new role (I’m sworn to secrecy) he and his partner have used the quarantine downtime to raise an adorable rescue kitten named “Merlot”.
And while being a pet parent can be physically exhausting at times, it takes more than a sprinkle of catnip to keep Shyllon’s stunning torso in check. You can find out how he does it by joining a live workout on Instagram. The session takes place Saturday 4/11 at 9am PST. The full-body workout requires no equipment and is free. Click HERE to participate.
Be sure to keep plenty of water and a towel handy, because “Master Melatti” knows how to make you sweat.
The stunning acrobatic couple of Mary Wolfe and Tyce Nielsen is professionally known as Duo Transcend. The America’s Got Talent favorites had just signed on to join CELESTIA at The STRAT when COVID-19 rolled into town, shutting down every show on the Strip.
While waiting to finally live their dream of a Vegas gig, Duo Transcend has been hard at work on…working out. They’re teaching live classes via the ZOOM app and have posted 30-minute no-equipment workouts that you can access right here:
If you or any of your Vegas friends are offering online fitness tips or classes, send an email to Sam@VegasUnfiltered.blog and I’ll be sure to update this article with the information. Be smart, be safe, and be strong.
Fundraiser at Mansion 54 assists women, children and pets in crisis…
Please join us October 3, 2019 for an evening of celebration and commemoration in honor of 30 years of providing help, healing and hope to the women and children of the Las Vegas Valley. – The Shade Tree
Time is running out to get your tickets for the biggest benefit gala of the season. The Shade Tree presents the 30th Anniversary Mask Off Gala at downtown’s stunning Mansion 54. This year’s party commemorates three decades of hope and help provided by the volunteers and benefactors of The Shade Tree.
Known as a place for growth and brighter futures, The Shade Tree offers a safe haven and assistance for homeless/abused women, children and their pets in times of crisis. A wide array of programs is available from inclement weather sheltering to basic and acute medical care, meals, skill development, mental health services and housing.
You may recall my previous article that mentioned Noah’s Animal House, a partner program that provides sanctuary for the pets of Shade Tree residents. Noah’s Animal House recognizes the risk that pets face in volatile domestic situations, so they provide the very rare service of allowing household animals to join their companions on a journey to a better future.
As you can imagine, all of these services require funding. The Shade Tree relies on volunteers and donors for their continuous operations. This Thursday October 3rd, you can help their mission while having the absolute time of your life. Join your community’s movers, shakers and goodhearted friends at Mask Off Gala 2019.
The cast of LE REVE will perform over Mansion 54’s glass-covered pool…
Starting at 6 pm, VIP ticketholders ($400) will gain early access to a cocktail reception that features a private performance by cast members from LE REVE – THE DREAM. They’ll enjoy generous passed appetizers by Searsucker Las Vegas, a live auction, open bar by Breakthru Beverage Group and early access to the silent auction.
Christina Aguilera is a sponsor and Guest of Honor at Mask Off Gala 2019…
The highlight of the evening will undoubtedly be an appearance by Guest of HonorChristina Aguilera. If you’ve been unable to attend Christina Aguilera – The Xperience at Zappos Theater, here’s your chance to get up close and personal with the musical superstar. Aguilera is a proud sponsor of The Shade Tree and her residency at Planet Hollywood donates one dollar of every ticket sold to the 24-hour-accessible emergency shelter.
Cast members of CELESTIA perform at a recent function at Mansion 54…
Mask Off Gala takes place at a beautifully-restored historic property originally known as Hartland Mansion. It’s located just off of Las Vegas Boulevard not far from the Sahara Hotel. Senior Sales Executive Anthony Salamone gave me a behind-the-scenes tour last week and shared a sneak peek at what’s in store for the gala’s guests. I can’t tell too much, but the evening is sure to be etched in the memories of every guest.
Mansion 54 is richly steeped in history from Sin City’s golden era. It’s currently used as a events venue for charitable functions, weddings, music videos, TV/movie scenes and photo shoots. You can learn more about Mansion 54 by visiting the official Facebook page or their dedicated page on the Nevada Film Office website.
The dress code for Mask Off Gala 2019 is “Semi-Formal Masquerade”. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the event runs through 10 pm. Sponsorship opportunities are available by visiting this page. Tickets to the gala are available by clicking HERE.
Mansion 54 is located at 1044 South 6th Street in Las Vegas. Free valet is provided. Street parking is discouraged due to space limitations. Organizers encourage the use of rideshare services such as LYFT and UBER.
Photos: Sam Novak, The Shade Tree, Mansion 54, Christina Aguilera via Facebook, FLO Advertising, Chris V./Kayla R./Richard N. via Yelp!
A real-life couple shares how they became internet sensations…and their secret for being “Vegas-ready” every day.
Over the past few months I’ve shared some self-improvement experiences I’ve found in Las Vegas. Spa treatments, a weight loss center, a custom straight-razor shave and more. Then I was lucky enough to make the acquaintance of a charming couple who share their awesome knowledge and advice on skin care. And no matter what your age or gender, you can always learn from people in the know.
Greg Woerdeman may not be a household name, but you’ve probably heard about this overnight sensation. The handsome blue-collar hunk rose to fame in the most inauspicious of ways. Stepping in front of news cameras this January to alert drivers about impending weather and road conditions, the District Operations Supervisor for Tennessee Department of Transportation set the airwaves on fire. In no time at all, #TDOTHottie was born!
What happened next is the kind of story you read about in magazines….the new viral sensation was doing talk shows, personal appearances, photo shoots and romance novel covers. A bit of a private person up to this point, Woerdeman had no previous social media accounts or activity. Luckily for him, lady love Torrey Peak stepped up to guide and promote her beau’s new-found fame.
Torrey (far left) at the 2013 NPC Flex Lewis Classic…
Torrey is no stranger to the spotlight. A Certified Surgical Assistant and gifted photographer with her own successful business, the Emporia, Kansas native was once a competitor in the NPC Flex Lewis Classic. If you’ve watched that sport, you know how important it is to be meticulously groomed and looking your best every hour of the day.
Recently the professional photographer found herself on the other side of the lens when Torrey joined Greg for a series of Furious Fotog photo shoots together. They’re featured in a stunning collection of romance novel covers that bring their healthy lifestyle and passion for each other into focus. So now more than ever, the handsome couple is working their hardest to look their best in the safest possible way…today and for the future.
Greg joked during an on-camera interview that his secret to looking hot is a cup of coffee, eating “somewhat okay” and going to the gym a lot. Of course we’re only as good as the things that we put into and on our bodies, which is why Torrey got involved with a line of carefully-created body and skin-care products named BEAUTYCOUNTER.
Influenced by her work in the medical field and frustrated that the FDA considers thousands of chemicals to be safe when they’re actually harmful, Torrey did research to find a smarter choice in skin care. “I believe that a lot of diseases like MS are misdiagnosed. It has to do with toxicity in the body. It’s so frustrating to me. We have one body, and everything we pile onto it is unbalancing our system and derailing it. What you wear on your body is literally affecting the next generation”.
Torrey used the ingredients in conventional chemical sunscreens as an example of this gene-altering situation. “Parabens (compounds used as preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals) mimic hormones in your body. They disrupt your endocrine system and cause things like erectile dysfunction. The increase in sunscreen usage has actually led to a rise in melanoma. It’s just crazy”.
That’s why Torrey and Greg have entrusted their health and appearance to BEAUTYCOUNTER, a line of skin care, make-up, bath/body and sunscreens created by a company with a social mission:
One by one, we are leading a movement to a future where all beauty is clean beauty. We are powered by people, and our collective mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Formulate, advocate, & educate—that’s our motto for creating products that truly perform while holding ourselves to unparalleled standards of safety. Why? It’s really this simple: beauty should be good for you.
Since our first product launched in 2013, we’ve created our own high standards in pursuit of clean beauty. Over 1,500 questionable ingredients are never used in our formulations. We advocate for stricter guidelines and regulations to shift the personal-care industry away from using harmful and questionable ingredients.
We’re proud to be a part of a global movement of brands using business as a force for positive change. We support nonprofits we feel aligned with, and invest in new forms of giving by partnering with leading scientists to find safer ingredients that will create the better products of tomorrow. We work to minimize the environmental impacts of our products, packaging and footprint through our sustainable ingredient sourcing and our recyclable product packaging.
Having been on my own journey of self-improvement, I was intrigued by this approach to personal care. So I got with Torrey and she provided a series of questions to determine my skin type, unique problems and long-term concerns. Then she sent samples of the products designed to safely address those needs.
Being the macho guy that I am (lol) , I leaned heavily towards COUNTERMAN, the guy’s line of BEAUTYCOUNTER products. Having just recently gained a new appreciation for the art of shaving (read about that here) I wanted to try COUNTERMAN’s take on concentrated shave creams. A fragrance-free blend of shea butter, aloe and a unique Sequoia Stem Cell Complex, Smoothing Shave Cream leaves my face feeling soft, smooth and wonderfully hydrated.
Another new favorite in my daily routine is COUNTERMAN Energizing Charcoal Body Wash. I’ve been attracted to the detoxifying properties of activated charcoal and keep a bottle of capsules on hand for if/when I overindulge in Vegas nightlife. My personal care regime has also grown to include charcoal toothpaste, body lotion and wash.
Of course, products that boast one beneficial ingredient like activated charcoal can also contain a myriad of harmful ones. Torrey looked into my choices, pointed out the harmful chemicals they contain and made it clear that spending more than for typical Bath and Bodyworks-type brands is worth it when crucial benefits matter.
Living in a desert climate with mature skin has its own challenges, so Torrey recommended that I try the Rejuvenating Regime, a collection of cleanser, toner, radiance serum and day cream. Used together, this line firms and nourishes my face while fighting the effects of time and environment. To amplify the benefits, I added Resurfacing Overnight Peel, a twice-weekly treatment that reduces pores, lines and dark spots to make my rugged mug glow like a young guy’s once again. It may never make me look like #TDOTHottie, but perhaps a little less like Charlie Brown’s grandfather.
Now that Torrey and Greg are enjoying their newfound popularity, they’ve decided to share the benefits of COUNTERMAN and BEAUTYCOUNTER products by officially endorsing and being consultants for them. I’m pleased to be one of their customers and you can, too.
Don’t wait until an anniversary, family gathering or trip to Vegas motivates you to jump start your personal-care regime. Make COUNTERMAN and BEAUTYCOUNTER a part of your daily life and enjoy looking and feeling your healthy best right now. Follow this link to take the survey. Then contact Torrey Peak by clicking here to get started.
Note: this is an non-endorsed article. I really do use these products, appreciate their effectiveness and support what they stand for.