Literary Las Vegas: Heidi Harris

Heidi Harris grew up backstage in Las Vegas showrooms. The child of a showroom musician father and a singer mother, the Las Vegas native worked as a cocktail waitress and then took a turn at the mic and spent six years singing professionally.

In 1988, she eased her way from the stage to a new mic in talk radio. There were nights she’d be up all night singing and then head in to cover a morning radio show.

Through all her careers, Harris has used the fundamentals she learned as a cocktail waitress, lessons she shares in “Cocktail Waitress Wisdom: Life Lessons Learned While Carrying a Tray in Las Vegas.”

Harris is set to join Debra Gauthier, Trish Geran, Wendy Mazaros, Elaine McNamara and JoAnn Oppenheimer for a Women’s History Month book event at 1 p.m. March 31 at the 2191 N. Rainbow Blvd. Barnes & Noble.

For more information about the author, visit

Excerpt from “Cocktail Waitress Wisdom: Life Lessons Learned While Carrying a Tray in Las Vegas”

One of the first lessons I learned as a fresh faced 21-year-old casino cocktail waitress was that it ain’t all about you.

When someone is rude to you at work, or shows up in a foul mood, it’s easy to take it personally if you’re young and sensitive. (I was THEN — that would change.)

One day when I was fairly new, a girl was being rude to me for no reason, and I figured it had to be my fault. Even though I have a unique talent for ticking off anyone, sooner or later, up to that point, she and I had never argued, so I couldn’t figure it out. It was only when I mentioned it to my bartender that I found out what was wrong… “that’s because she put her rent money into the slot machines last night.” Oh, now I get it. I would see that movie a lot in the years to come.

No matter where you work, you’re going to run into people who are having bad days, for whatever reason. Once you realize it ain’t about you, and you’re not responsible for anyone else’s mood, you’ll be better off.

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