4AM DJ Tour Diary: DJ Phresh Hits Las Vegas

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m constantly producing performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day I get reports back from my DJs filled with the kind of wild adventures I rarely get to be a part of as a desk jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this 4AM DJ Tour Diary, read about DJ Phresh‘s insane weekend in Vegas. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

New York, Friday, March 18th, 7:14am: Vegas is a big deal for a lot of American artists and DJs, but at all I could think about was that one extra minute I had planned for on my Blackberry alarm — 7:15am is so much better than 7:14am, especially when it comes down to New York minutes. One of my managers, Arie Deutsch, was calling me in his Diddy-esque “Goin’ Back to Cali” voice to make sure I was up, and my other manager, Adam Alpert, was dually texting and emailing me to make sure I checked out a mention I got in Page Six for the previous night’s insanity. And so the day begins.

Showered, locked, and loaded, I rushed down the stairs of my apartment, Tumi and Incase bags in hand, right into my car, and proceeded to drive through the pothole run that is the route between Williamsburg and JFK Airport. With 10 minutes left before final bag check time, I pulled in at Terminal 5 only to remember that it is the terminal from hell when it comes to parking. I finally found a spot on the top floor of the structure and had to make what felt like a half-mile dash down the corridor leading to check-in. Gotta love it when they turn off the walkways in the morning! The check-in line was ridiculous, and in true New York nightlife fashion, I caught my breath, put on my best, and approached one of the female attendees, who then escorted me past the line and right up to the counter. “Please help this handsome, sweaty man catch his flight.” she said to her coworker. After the usual bag check and inspection of alien devices, later to be described as my DJ needles and equipment, I met up with Adam and Arie in the terminal and got my customary stash of snacks for the flight. After a couple minutes of safety prayers, I threw my iPad new music playlist on, and then it was heels up, and lights out.

Las Vegas, Friday, March 18th, 1:00 pm. Five animal crackers, a sandwich, a four hour nap, one remix, and twenty levels of Angry Birds later, and hello Las Vegas! There’s just something about Vegas that gets me every time. The minute I land it’s like the entire city is screaming “GO IN!”

The crew and I made our way out toward baggage claim, where our driver was waiting with his “love boat” sign. We got our bags and headed to our first stop on my Vegas Spring Break weekend, The Mirage. Light Group had me set up to spin at The Bank at the Bellagio, Jet nightclub at the Mirage, and The Bare Pool at the Mirage. Light Group is one of the major hospitality development and management companies in the States. I was introduced to them initially through Danny A., who cosigned me for my work at Upstairs.

Once we got to the Mirage, Arie and I decided to go check out the Bare Pool and see what the vibe was down there. It was 70 degrees in Vegas, which totally beats NY’s mid 40’s. When I got to Bare, I bumped into Kalika Moquin, who was running the show. She walked us right in and it was everything I expected. The music was on point, the vibe was right, and the crowd was sexy. It definitely took me a lot longer to blink than usual. After that, we decided to stop by BLT Burger and grab a bite before linking up with my homie, DJ Ikon. Ikon just opened up a sick sneaker store called Feature LV and he wanted me to check out all of the progress they had made since my last visit. Not even 5 minutes into my sneaker hunt, and I already had 3 pairs of kicks on the counter waiting for checkout. Once I wrapped up, I took a trip next door to my other good friends DJ Crooked and DJ Neva’s clothing store, KNYEW, which stands for Keeping New York Everywhere. I picked up a few shirts from some up-and-coming brands, and a couple accessories, and headed back to the Mirage for a pre-game nap. image

Friday, March 18th, 10:00 pm. After waking up and retrieving Arie from the sportsbook, we headed over to the Bellagio and had dinner at Yellowtail, one of my personal favorites. It’s also about 50 feet from The Bank. Once dinner was done, we walked over to the club, which was a total scene. It wasn’t even midnight yet, and it was already packed. We were greeted out front by Colin Comer from The Bank and a linebacker-sized security guard, who then proceeded to make an opening through the crowd toward the DJ booth. DJ Karma was opening and had the crowd nice and ready when we got there. I don’t usually drink — unless it’s with the Light Group crew, apparently. Because Jake Saady from Light Group walked into the booth with Karma in the middle of my set and it automatically became Patron time. At that point, I just went into autopilot and went in with all the hits. Vegas is a hits-only kind of town, and that’s one of the things I love about the crowds. They just want to dance. The Bank is a high-end room, and there’s no room for the too-cool-for-school mentality or wallflowers. As a DJ, it’s the perfect stage to exert your crowd motivation and party rocking skills. I stayed on until after 3am, tapped out, and passed the headphones to Karma.

Saturday, March 19th, 5:00am. In a perfect world, at this time of morning I’d be tucked under some high thread covers, dead-to-the-world-asleep, but not in Vegas. We leave The Bank and and somehow got from the Bellagio over to the a bright and modern hotel, whose name I was too drunk to remember, where we met up with some friends for some late night gambling, and then over to a friend’s two-story suite for the after-after party. The rest of this story has been redacted to protect the not-so-innocent and their fuzzy warbles. Bedtime: 10am.

Saturday, March 19th, 4:00pm. So tonight is Jet Nightclub, and a 10pm reservation at Stack. I was supposed to spin the Bare Pool earlier at 3 but the temperature dropped 15 degrees, so it’s not warm enough outside for the pool to be open. It’s a big let down because it would have been my first pool party in Vegas. But there’s always next time. Kalika and the Light Group crew were cool about it too, and let me know that they’d make up next time. So now it’s time to get productive, which means remixes.

Saturday, March 19th, 10:00 pm. I headed down to Stack Restaurant, where Light Group had us set up with an all-you-can-eat dinner for 6. The food was great. I usually don’t enjoy DJing on a full stomach, but I didn’t feel that weighed down or tired after the meal. After dinner, I ran up to the room to find myself real quick, and then came down and met up with JT and security. They took me over to the club through the secret “bat cave” entrance, which led right up to the red carpet. I had a couple shots taken, and then ran inside and hopped on with DJ Ikon.

Jet was insanely packed, and more hip-hop centered than The Bank. At around midnight, I got on with Ikon’s blessing and started to go to work. A short while later, Adam Alpert showed up with a huge crew to support me. Ikon had the “Patron Time” look in his eyes, so we went down that road again. My encore set was even more fun for me, because I actually got to spin house. New York clubs want to leave on a high-energy note, but every now and then you should smooth them out. Once the club finally closed, we decided to go meet up with my good friend and a great DJ, David Christian.

DC does the DJ booking for Light Group. We met over at this local Asian restaurant on Spring Mountain Road that all of the industry people go to. It was pretty packed for that hour of the night, and the food was remarkable. Good times were had, and I got a chance to meet some more of the local Vegas DJs. The camaraderie amongst DJs in Vegas is unrivaled. After failing miserably at downing the mountain of pad thai I ordered, I decided to call it a night and skipped past the sexting part of the night right for the pillows. Overall, the trip was successful and fun, and that’s the best you can ask for — good times with good people, and a whole lot of left-out details, because what happens in Vegas…well, you know the rest.

‘The Hangover’s’ Todd Phillips: Living in an R-Rated World

When Todd Phillips told me that he had read my piece on his latest film The Hangover, I was surprised that it had found his eyes. “Of course,” he explained. “There is this big machine at Warner Bros., where they send you these media alerts. Even if some fucking fat kid in Tampa writes on his blog, it somehow gets across your desk. It can be very depressing.” But Phillips has no reason to feel down. His raunchy, R-rated comedy is getting the kind of positive press that no Hollywood publicity machine can buy, and rightfully so.

The Hangover is a deliriously naughty trip into the bowels of Vegas bachelor party hedonism, after three friends wake up from a wild night, only to find that they’re missing the groom. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifiankis are already being hailed as breakout stars, before the film has even hit theatres, and Phillips—who directed Old School and Roadtrip, but stumbled with School for Scoundrels—is once again one of Hollywood’s hottest harbingers of comedic swagger.

The movie is being referred to as the sleeper hit of the summer, even before it’s released. Does that put a lot of pressure on you? No, I think it puts a lot of pressure on the studio. They know they have a movie that works, and that’s good—I think that’s probably why you see ads for it every two seconds. But the best ad we have for the movie is the movie. That’s why we keep showing it. We’ve had 300 screenings just showing people, because there’s no better commercial for the movie than the movie itself. When movies work, they work because of word of mouth, because a guy like you will go back to the office and tell everyone they have to watch it. Then they’ll go, because they trust you more than a commercial.

Are you expecting the movie to open big? We don’t expect this movie to open big, honestly. It still doesn’t have Jack Black on the movie poster, or Tom Hanks, or whatever. But we just think we can stick around this summer a little bit. We feel like we are pretty clear up until Bruno. We can really play for a while.

You left Borat because of creative differences with its star. Do you think if things had gone better on the set of Borat, you might have been the director of Bruno right now? Maybe, although I don’t think I would have ever done another one. The thing with Borat is, it’s not a very director-driven film, and I really am a filmmaker, and I think part of our tensions on that movie were very much—and again I’ll take the blame for it—but you want to put your voice on something, but this is something that this genius has already created and inhabited. It’s a very difficult thing to do so, had even I done that I couldn’t imagine I would go do another one.

Is there a part of you that hopes you guys beat Bruno? No, honestly part of me hopes we beat every movie. I hope we beat Land of the Lost, because they open against us. To be honest with you, Bruno doing well just helps me in the long run. It helps everyone who’s directing comedies. Those movies doing well just helps the business. The more movies without those huge stars that can get made and cut through, the better it is for the business.

And then it’s movies like this that make the huge stars. It’s true, it’s like this cannibalizing thing, because then they become big stars, and then you need to get three new guys.

I called Zach Galifiankis “Jack Black with demons.” Does he have the potential to become that kind of marquee name, or is he too much on the fringe? No, because if you remember, Jack was on the fringe. I mean, I saw Tenacious D at the Viper Room a few years ago. You couldn’t be more on the fringe than Jack. Now he’s doing family movies like Kung Fu Panda, so no, I don’t think you’re ever too much on the fringe for Hollywood to take you and water you down into submission.

Have you seen Zach’s Between Two Ferns with Bradley Cooper? Of course, I was there because they were shooting in Vegas. I mean, Zach is one of the most unique comic voices, I think I’ve ever met. By the way, he reminds me of Sacha. They are very different in what they do, but it’s like, “Whoa, this is a true comic voice I am meeting now.” And Zach just continues to blow my mind.

How do you write a character for someone like that? Did he come in and make it his own? We wrote it with Zach in mind. I just thought, okay what is Zach? He’s left- footed, he doesn’t belong, he is an outsider, so let’s make this character a left footed outsider that he can inhabit. That’s why he crushes it so badly. This role is hand-crafted for him from the Franklin Mint.

What about Bradley and Ed? How would you describe their styles of comedy? I think Bradley, for the first time in a movie, really looks like a man. And I also always felt like he’s like a boy in other movies, because he’s kind of playing the spineless, put-upon asshole in the movie. Here he really takes the stage, and he runs shit, and he’s really alpha male. His comedy comes from an alpha male who keeps fucking up. And Ed, his comedy comes from being this henpecked, stuffed-into-a-box kind of guy.

You don’t hold back in this movie. There are holocaust and 9/11 jokes. Were there ever times when you said “Okay, this is too far”? Honestly, you can talk to any of these guys, I think I’m darker than any of them. So there are times when I am like, “Okay, we’re going to jerk off this baby now.” And Zach goes, “We can’t do that. I don’t even know if that’s legal.” By the way, it was Zach’s idea, he did it with a doll as a joke, and I was like, “Oh my god, we have to put that in the movie!” I do a lot of movies that involve a lot of mayhem, and when you’re doing a movie which embraces mayhem, you have to embrace mayhem while making the movie. You can’t be reigning anything in. You come to the set of my movie and you’ll think this is a very disorganized mess, and everybody seems high, and what’s going on? There is a baby over there and he’s not even in a baby seat. But it’s all organized chaos.

A friend of mine saw the movie, and he called it repulsively misogynistic and cited the two female characters as a “ball-cutting bitch and a hooker.” How would you respond to him? The Hangover is The Hangover.

I’m going to tell him this, by the way. He’s probably smarter than me. But what do you mean, repulsively misogynistic? That’s the character! Are you saying that there aren’t characters like that in the world, that there aren’t women like that? That’s who we chose to make the movie about. Does every movie have to have every representation represented? It does not pretend to be a movie about wonderful women and wonderful men. It’s a movie about fucked up shit. Talk about being a ball-cutter, have your friend get some fucking balls. It’s so hard to defend because there is no defense. That’s the movie.

What about Ken Jeong, who plays a villain? Ken is a mad man. He’s one of those guys who’s just fearless. And all you can ask for in a comedy is to work with fearless actors. Your last directorial effort School For Scoundrels was a box office disappointment. Did the old Hollywood adage that ‘you’re only as good as your last film’ trouble you? I certainly hoped it would do better. You’re right, it was a box office disappointment. I don’t think that if you work in Hollywood, that that’s particularly true. Maybe in certain peoples mind you’re only as good, but your career doesn’t end over a movie, and I knew that going in. I learned a lot from that film, like trying to make an edgy comedy PG-13 just doesn’t work. I was born to be a balls-out R-rated person.

There are only a few other directors out there who are doing mainstream R-rated comedies, like Judd Apatow and Adam McKay. Do you feel a kindred spirit with them? Yeah, we’re all friends, we all see each other in movies, and we screen them for each other sometimes.

Why did you choose Caesar’s Palace as the main location for your film? It’s a great hotel, it’s real old school, which is what I like about it for the movie. We wanted the guys to have a real gentleman vibe going to Vegas, not a bunch of twenty year olds going to Planet Hollywood or something.

Where else did you guys shoot in Vegas? We shot all over Vegas. What I love about the movie is that so much of it takes place in the daytime. You don’t really see Vegas a lot during the daytime, because it’s not really that attractive. We went to Pure, and shot there, The Bank at the Bellagio, Spearmint Rhino, all those kinds of establishments.

Could this movie have happened in any other city? No, I think Vegas has something about it. It’s about making bad decisions. You get off the plane and you immediately start making bad decisions. This movie could have been called Bad Decisions. It’s not about a bachelor party. It’s about reconciling the bad decisions you made.

The Club World Awards

For the last six years the Club World Awards have been presented at a huge gala in Miami during the Winter Music Conference. Club World Magazine, formerly known as Club Systems International Magazine, is a book strictly for the club industry. I spoke to Club World Awards’ honcho Kerri Mason who told me that, “this year’s awards ceremony was canceled because of the perception that the economy would stop many from attending the WMC.” This turned out to be only partly true and according to Kerri, “the gala will be back on next year.” I am one of the twelve judges who vote on the people or organizations that have excelled in the past year and the votes are weighted so that you vote for the best, second best, and so on. I don’t know the names of the other judges as it is a big secret – I guess it’s so they can’t be bribed — but I am perceived to be above reproach and I’m therefore allowed to show myself. Here is this year’s ballot for your interest. I will reveal the winners here exclusively, tomorrow or Wednesday.

Rank 1-6 Best Superclub 6 Circa, Toronto 3 Palladium, Acapulco 1 Pacha, New York 4 Rain, Las Vegas 2 Pure, Las Vegas 5 The Pool at Harrah’s, Atlantic City

Rank 1-6 Best Club 5 Beta, Denver 1 Cielo, New York 2 LAX, Las Vegas 4 Ruby Skye, San Francisco 6 Stereo @ Parkwest, Miami 3 Smart Bar, Chicago

Rank 1-6 Best Lounge 3 Aero Bar, Miami Beach 4 Apple Lounge, West Hollywood 6 Mynt Lounge, Miami Beach 2 Playboy Club, Las Vegas 1 Tabu Ultra Lounge, Las Vegas 5 Slide, San Francisco

Rank 1-6 Best New 2 Beta, Denver 4 Home, St. Louis 5 Lavo, Las Vegas 1 Prive, Las Vegas 6 Shrine, Mashantucket 3 Versus, Los Angeles

Rank 1-6 Best Sound System 1 Advanced Audio Technology, Glo 4 FBP Group, Body English 5 Systems By Shorty, Splash Bar 2 Mike McCray of Sound Investment & Speed of Sound, Beta 3 Louis Puig & David Padilla, Stereo @ Parkwest 6 The Pool at Harrah’s

Rank 1-5 Best Lighting System 3 Aerobar, Miami Beach 1 Lighting Methods, Glo 5 FBP Group, Lavo 2 Lighting Methods, Palladium 4 SJ Lighting, Versus Rank 1-5 Best Video System 3 FBP Group, Lavo 2 Ohm Productions, Tattoo Bar 1 SJ Lighting & Sound Investment, Rokvegas 4 Mike McCray, Beta 5 US Communications, Hawaiian Tropic Zone

Rank 1-6 Best Interior Design 6 Aramik Gragosian, Versus 4 AvroKO, Lavo 5 Deepsleep Studio, Parkwest 1 Jeffrey Beers International, Fuse 2 Niemitz Design, Shrine 3 Seed Design, Christian Audigier

Promotion Rank 1-6 Best One-Off 1 DJ Am & Travis Barker at LAX 5 Labor Day with Kaskade and Deadmau5 at Wet Republic 2 Made, Pacha & AM Only present One Night Only 4 N9Ne Group presents Midsummer’s Night Dream 3 Made Event, Sunday School for Degenerates 6 Steve Lockwood, Vegas Blondeshell Awards

Rank 1-6 Best Party 2 Summer Surprise Series at Pure 6 Aquatic at The Pool at Harrah’s 1 Dance.Here.Now. at Cielo 3 Glow at Ibiza 5 Godskitchen at Body English 4 Perfecto at Rain

Technicians Rank 1-6 Best Resident DJ 5 Colette, Smart Bar Chicago 4 DJ Vice, Lavo Las Vegas 1 Francois K, Cielo New York 6 Oscar G, Space Miami 3 Paul Oakenfold, Rain Las Vegas 2 Victor Calderone, Pacha New York

Rank 1-6 Best Resident LJ 2 Eric Moyano, Bliss Lounge New Jersey 5 Eyeball, Mixx Atlantic City 3 Jeff Novak, LAX Las Vegas 4 Jose Vargas, Glo Westbury 6 Matt Beecher, mur.mur. Atlantic City 1 Timmy Lights, Pacha New York

Rank 1-5 Best Resident VJ 5 DVDJ G-Funk, Beta Denver 2 Eyeball, Mixx Atlantic City 4 Roonie G, Saddle Ranch Los Angeles 3 VJ Psyberpixie, Set 1 United Vision, Pacha New York

Rank 1-6 Best Sound Product 3 Cerwin Vega Passive Series Subs 1 Funktion-One Dance Stack Array Engineer 4 Sencore SP495 SoundPro EX 5 Martin Audio Omniline Micro-Line Array System 6 Crest Audio CC5200 Amplifier

Rank 1-6 Best DJ Product 6 Ultrasone Pro DJ Headphones 4 Stanton Da Scratch 3 Pioneer MEP-7000 & SEP-C1 5 Allen & Heath XONE:4D 2 Denon DN-HS5500 1 Traktor Scratch Pro 2 JBL VP Series

Best LED Product 2 Megalite Axis LED 1 MBT LED Panel 4 Elation Professional FlexLED Tape 3 American DJ Accu LED MH 5 Chauvet COLORdash BATTEN

Rank 1-5 Best Video Product 1 Edirol V-8 Video Mixer 5 Green Hippo Hippotizer V3 R2 Media Servers 2 DJScreen.com DJ Screen 3 Numark ArKaos GrandVJ software 4 Sencore/Lumagen RadianceXD

Rank 1-6 Best Lighting Product 1 Robe Color Wash 2500E AT 5 Elation Professional Design 300 Series 2 Martin Professional SmartMAC 6 MADRIX – LED Lighting Control Software 3 Road Hog Full Boar 4 Chauvet Q-Spot 250 LED

Rank 1-5 Best Effect Product 4 Omnisistem Magic Box 3 MediaLas Showlaser System Infinity 5 Technological Artisans ClubCat Laser 2 X-Laser XA100G Skywriter 1 Martin RGB Laser 1.6

People’s Choice Rank 1-6 Best DJ Set 4 Danny Tenaglia “Futurism” Party 1 DJ AM & DJ Jazzy Jeff at Shrine 2 Pacha NYC presents David Guetta 3 The Martinez Brothers, ÉTÉ D’AMOUR 6 Kaskade, SF Love Fest 5 Erick Morillo at Tao Memorial Day Weekend

Service Rank 1-5 Best Bottle Service 5 Christian Audigier, Las Vegas 1 LAX, Las Vegas 4 Shrine, Mashantucket 3 Tabu Ultra Lounge, Las Vegas 2 The Bank, Las Vegas

Industry Insiders: Elizabeth Blau, Restaurant Queen

Elizabeth Blau, founder and CEO of Las Vegas restaurant consulting firm Elizabeth Blau & Associates, was recruited by Steve Wynn early in her career and has helped shape the Vegas restaurant landscape. She caught up with BlackBook about having the occasional truffle, getting hooked on Wii, and where the Vegas connoisseurs dwell.

What establishments do you like in Vegas? I love Blush. I love Tryst for more of the big night club, and I love The Bank at the Bellagio. I love Bartolotta at the Wynn, I love Nobu and Cut as well.

What’s your job description? I am a restaurateur. I have four restaurant operations with my business partner, Kerry Simon — one of which is Simon at Palms Place, and another restaurant with my chef husband, Kim Canteenwalla. I’m also a restaurant consultant.

And a judge on Iron Chef, right? Yes and a judge.

How would you describe what you do among all of those pictures? I am very lucky because I have the most amazing job in the world, and I get to travel all over the world and eat. I work with amazing people, and I run concept restaurants, make restaurant partnerships, and do everything involved in restaurant deals.

Who are two industry icons or people that you admire in hospitality? There’s a gentlemen named Shep Gordon, and he is just this amazing guy. He represented lots of musician and he represented the Shaft. He’s the one that got Wolfgang and Emeril involved in the Academy Awards. I also have to say Wolfgang Puck. I just think he’s extraordinary.

What are some positive trends you’ve seen recently in your field? I think we got to an unattainable level of success, and this current economic crisis is bringing all of that back around. We started to have restaurants with $60, $70, $80 entrees, and now it’s coming back to the experience of an evening of dining and entertainment. The hoopla over a $1,000 bottle of wine has waned a bit, and now it’s more about the experience: great service, being treated extraordinarily well, and cooking great food. Food may be simpler and more approachable now — however, I don’t mind indulging in a truffle every now and again.

What’s something that people might not know about you? People may not know that I’m a mom. I have the most adorable four-year-old little boy, and he likes to get into boy things. So we are constantly out hiking and trekking around for animals at the zoo and things like that.

Does he have a love of fine dining? Has he taken that from you? He does. He likes to cook, and he has his own kitchen. He’s traveled so much that there was a time where instead of going to a hotel we rented a condo at a resort, and he said, “Mom, I don’t know if I like this place, there’s no room service.” And I thought, “Surely we’ve been traveling too much.”

What’s on your radar right now? I’m obsessed with the Wii. My parents got the Wii and the Wii Fit for the holidays. It’s exercising mixed with video game competition. Everyone in our house goes on. You’ll find yourself a champion on the Wii, and then you’ll get dethroned. It’s a good way to get some exercise and competition — plus, it’s fun.

What’s on the horizon for 2009? We are working on a new restaurant that opened at the Encore at the Wynn called Society. We just started working with the Kor Group, and they’ve got hotels opening up all over the world.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? I love junk food candy, like Jujubes. Only the really bad stuff — not the expensive chocolates.

Industry Insiders: Jodi Myers, Sin City Bank Teller

Jodi Myers, managing partner of The Bank nightclub at the Bellagio, on where her industry pals hang out in Vegas, her love of local poker legends, and how she climbed up the Sin City nightlife ladder.

Where do you go out? Honestly, I travel for my work, so I’m definitely always going to the new places and checking out the newest things. I went to the opening of Atlantis, and it was crazy! By far, Dubai is the most liberal place in the Middle East where they can go and relax a little bit, a kind of Vegas-by-the-sea.

What are you doing tonight? Tonight I’m going out with old friends in town, and we’ll probably hit up some of the local hot spots — as every place has their “industry night,” starting off at Caramel lounge in the Bellagio, and just hop around to the rest. I’ll go to a rock bar called like Wasted Space and then to Hard Rock and the Rocks Lounge. Maybe New York, New York and then to Nori, which is just a little lounge.

How did you get your start? I started out in Minnesota where I grew up before I went to college where I actually got my start in the nightclub industry; I paid my way through school working the bar in night clubs. Right after 9/11, I graduated from school and went to Vegas — where nobody was hiring. I finally got a job as a cocktail waitress in a club and worked my way up to marketing and was a nightclub host. I opened up Jet nightclub in the Mirage, and from there, I kind of moved higher, trained doing managing and different things. They made a me a partner in the Bank nightclub in the Bellagio, so I saw everything from hiring to everything else that’s involved in opening and running a successful club. Now, because I want to be involved in all of our entities, I’m also the president of customer development.

What made you stay in the game? I’ve always loved the hospitality industry and meeting new people, so for me it was just a natural thing that I got into. I didn’t realize you could make a career out of it until I moved to Vegas. The nightclub scene out here is crazy! I just enjoy what I do. I saw the potential in the industry, so I just kept working hard and trading up.

Do you have any non-industry projects in the works? As far as charity goes, I haven’t been involved in just one cause, but in a number of them. For instance, we’ve done different events — and just did one last Sunday and donated food goods for the holidays to a number of local charities. Every week, I have arts and crafts day, something silly I do … I make pieces of art into clothing. I always think I can do it myself, but I’d say about one in ten of my attempts turn out. But it’s fun and therapeutic … it’s anything from creating clothing from works of art to painting them, and I have a whole room devoted to it.

Who are your industry icons? I would say [poker legend] Bobby Baldwin. He is an amazing story. where he came from to where he is now, and he’s such a giving, amazing person.

Who do you bounce around with? One thing about working in this industry is that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet lots of people. One night I’ll be hanging with celebrities who come to Vegas or who I meet at one of my new hotspots around the world, another night with some powerful executive, the next night I’m with friends. They’re all completely different people every night.

What’s in the future? I plan on growing with the company as I have in the past … the Light group is expanding into the hotel portion of things, and it’s growing fast.