Not about glamour for Vegas producers

CineVegas begins Wednesday, bringing the Hollywood dream of swimmin’ pools and movie stars.

Even as the likes of “Project Greenlight” somewhat de-glamorize the film industry, the festival reminds us there is no shortage of wannabe movie producers.

The same cannot quite be said of a Las Vegas producer. “If you say ‘entertainment business’ in this town they think you’re dealing with hookers or something,” jokes Bill Voelkner, who helms day-to-day operations for Mac King, Vinnie Favorito and Bobby Slayton.

Granted, much of Las Vegas entertainment, like the rest of the town, is now dominated by big corporate players such as Cirque du Soleil and AEG Live. But the middle tier compares more to independent filmmaking.

Many Las Vegas show runners are still on the young side and stumbled into their trade by accident. V Theater operator David Saxe learned the ropes when his sister was “Melinda — The First Lady of Magic.”

Adam Steck, who helms four shows, says he was “a kid in high school that used to buy the keg and get the band or DJ and charge five bucks. The light from the sky came down: ‘This is what I was born to do.’ “

He turned the corner from “promoter” to “producer” when the male revue “Thunder from Down Under” settled in as a standing show in 2001. Steck says he realized, “There’s nothing for ladies in Las Vegas.”

Voelkner credits Steve Schirripa — who managed the Riviera Comedy Club before getting hired for “The Sopranos” — for bringing him into the business of booking stand-up comics while he was working part time as a maitre ‘d at the bygone Maxim.

King’s show opened just before the Maxim closed. Voelkner moved with it to Harrah’s Las Vegas, where it’s now in its 10th year. Producers who come in from other cities “all get beat up out here because they just don’t understand how this town works,” he says. “They don’t understand casinos or how they’re motivated.”

Steck spends his days “dealing with the ever-changing ticketing system here in town,” haggling for ad placement or making sure the host casino is happy. “It’s tiring, but it’s what I love to do. It’s in the blood.”

Comedian John Padon is the latest to follow the path of Anthony Cools (“Freaks”) and Angela Stabile (“X Burlesque”) from performer to producer. He opened the new “Sin City Comedy” after deciding, “I would love to be in the back of the room watching somebody else have to be funny for a change.”

Voelkner does liken one aspect of his job to the Hollywood wheeling and dealing of “Entourage.” When it comes to the talent, he feels like an agent: “You’re trying to do what’s best for them, but you can’t always tell them the truth.”

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like