Mr. Q the life of the nightclub party


His name is Brooks Smith, but he goes by "Mr. Q" at Marquee nightclub. He used to bus tables, but he danced with a joy so infectious, he was promoted to "mood director." He hypes the moods of clubbers.

How, you ask?

We begin on a Monday night at Marquee during a monthly promotion called "Party Rock," granting clubbers the freedom to dress and act more colorfully than normal.

Mr. Q meets me at the long queue to get into the club. Thousands will pour into Marquee. A lot of service industry people play here on their nights off.

Something you should know: Mr. Q is a fourth-generation native of eccentric Venice Beach, Calif., and he holds a 2007 master's degree in theater performance from UNLV.

So tonight, he feels very comfortable wearing zebra-print pants, a "Mr. Q" T-shirt, eyeglasses with no lenses, a real mustache and a white Marquee headband wrapped around a mullet.

"This is my 'London Calling,' 1960s-rocker mullet," he says flatly, as if he's said this a few times before.

We get on the elevator to ride up to the club. An attractive young blond woman is wearing hot pants, athletic socks and sunglasses that have those extra flip-up lenses, like a baseball outfielder's from 1985.

She chats up Mr. Q and declares she's a veteran of "Party Rock."

We walk through the club. Mr. Q is in possession of many white Marquee wristbands and several coveted headbands. He hands them out. Some wear them immediately.

Regular clubbers recognize Mr. Q as a sort of mascot.

"I'm friends with you on Facebook, woooo!" yells a woman with flashing boobs. No, she's not flashing her boobs. She has battery-operated lights flashing around her boobs.

Some women grab at him.

Some women grab at his giveaway wristbands.

A song we're hearing from the DJ -- Daft Punk's "Shiny Disco Balls." The intro, verse and chorus are all the same: "Drugs, rock 'n' roll, badass, Vegas hoes, late nights, booty calls, shiny disco balls." It's catchy. You can catch it.

Mr. Q walks me around the outdoor patio (which is not a redundant phrase, since Vegas has many indoor patios).

Mr. Q approaches a group of British women and offers a headband to the most outspoken traveler among them. She wraps her forehead with it.

The Brits are in town for a wedding. The bride, wearing a veil and sash, says she's getting married in a few days at Mandalay Bay.

In all, her wedding party numbers 37 Brits from Yorkshire who flew to Vegas because the bride and groom saw a movie that convinced them to marry here.

"We watched 'The Hangover' and thought it would be a good idea," says the bride, Jenna Cauwood.

Mr. Q identifies Cauwood's flock as a "hen party," naturally.

One of the bride's girlfriends walks up to me and says very cheeky things I wish I could print but that I will allude to as being of a Foghorn Leghorn nature.

Mr. Q and I bid ciao to the Brits and get back to our walk.

Mr. Q dances over the DJ booth, and the DJ tells me Mr. Q is the king of dancing.

Men give him fist bumps and palm-clasping bro-shakes, plus big smiles and a "Hey!"

Mr. Q knows Shakespeare, but it's not coming in handy tonight. There are occasions for Shakespeare, and there are occasions for fist bumps and skirts. This is the latter.

Now he takes me behind the curtains to show me his costumes. He's not always zebra-print-pants guy.

Sometimes, he's Lt. Dangle from "Reno 911!," or a Mariachi band leader, or "Where's Waldo," or Darth Vader, or a Viking.

When Mr. Q was a schoolboy, he was the kid who went to classrooms and house parties in costumes and jumped on tables to dance.

More women ask to take photos with him.

"Oh my God, he's so awesome," one says.

For such an outgoing guy, Mr. Q is humble about his distinction within the confines of this club.

"My mustache is more famous than I am, I promise," he says.

He used to have a handlebar mustache. But he trimmed it. "It was just getting hard to eat food."

For an official wild man, he is poised and together. He explains this is because he has a job to do -- to organize spontaneity.

"They wouldn't hire me, to have this job, if I was just a crazy person doing whatever he wanted every night. There's a method to the madness.

"We like to give the illusion of madness."

Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

 

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