Part 5 – Vegas, Baby
I had never been a tour guide… I was kind of sick of “living” out of my car – I only lasted a month and a half on the actual road trip out of nine months… Maybe taking on six months of work wouldn’t be that bad… I could pick up my road trip later… I really liked what I saw of the parks and thought it could be good to do some more… I had a college friend in Vegas… Money wasn’t amazing – $70 a day – and we did 3 day camping trips! BUT, the company “housed” you – well, if you consider “housing” sharing a hostel room with two other male tour guides on 14th and Freemont Street in downtown Las Vegas next to the drug dealer and hookers “housing” then, yes, I was housed. Sure! Sign me up!
I lasted four months as a tour guide. I’m WAY too much of a stage manager. A good tour guide needs to be part stage manager, part entertainer. But I met someone in Vegas – not the tour guide and I was liking it a bit better than my very first trip the previous year. There was an Olive Garden in Vegas – maybe I could work there for a while. I guess I should just move my stuff out there. So back to St. Louis I went to load up a moving van and drive it to Vegas.
I am glad I lived in Vegas, especially the years I lived there, 22-32, single for the most part (dated a lot). I had a lot of fun, and I don’t think it treated me “that bad.” Vegas tends to chew people up and spit them out. When the economy was good people would go to Vegas because they heard “you can make six figures being a valet/bar tender/cocktail waitress, etc.” They get out there and that doesn’t work out that way for them and they leave. It’s incredibly transient, outside of The Strip it is full of strip malls and cookie cutter housing. I worked as a waitress and cocktail waitress on the Strip and loved it. I was young, carefree, enjoyed going out to the clubs, dancing, etc.
I knew I didn’t want to be a cocktail waitress forever and one of my best friends from college was living in Vegas. She contacts working for a non-profit theatre company who were looking for some volunteer stage managers for a show. With a flexible schedule I decided it was important to keep my toes wet and started volunteering. One of the board members, Ken (R.I.P. my friend) was a Stage Manager for “O” at Cirque du Soleil. After working with him on a project he came to me and encouraged me to apply for a stage management position at “O” when one came available. It was time for me to have that “real” job and I was honored to be considered.
I worked at “O” for two and a half years and then at Mystere for another 2 and a half. Over the next couple years I settled down a bit, bought more furniture, got a dog, had a few 3-4 month relationships, made some friends, saw some shows, traveled a bit, bought a town-home and then 6 months later turned that into a rental when I decided it would be a good idea to buy a 5 bedroom house with my best friend. Lesson learned on that on as I no longer have the house or the best friend – but that is a far different story.
So like I said – it sure wasn’t bad. I liked the proximity to the outdoors as I had found my love of hiking. It offered amazing playgrounds within 20 min to a few hours drive. I loved working for Cirque and with the talent, the athletes, the artists. I also found my love of fitness in Vegas, in kind of an unfortunate way.
I get asked all the time “what was it like living in Vegas?!?” I never really know how to answer that… kind of like anywhere else – I went to work, the gym, movies, shopping, events, etc. I didn’t spend all my time on The Strip – do you think you could live in Vegas? Have you lived in Vegas?
Head on over to Part 5!
|Print article||This entry was posted by Mandy on December 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm, and is filed under Co-pilot. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|