Well, naturally, the act has evolved
|"This'll kill ya. We're workin' up a Beatle medley for the act."|
over the years. For business reasons, mainly. I mean, you've gotta change with the times or the crowds go elsewhere. And in a town like Vegas, there's plenty of elsewhere for them to go.
So I've been adding new gimmicks to the act, new twists, new cast members. When I started at the Sahara, it was just me. That was enough for 'em in the beginning. Hell, half the act was Q&A with the audience. Now we've got, what, forty people in the cast -- dancers, backup singers, et cetera. Not to mention the pyrotechnics, the lighting. It's quite a production now. A circus. And all of this costs money. I should know that better than anyone, since it comes outta my
bottom line. But my manager, Doug, keeps giving me the old "spend money to make money" routine.
Where is Doug, anyway? He's never around when I need him. I'm the Invisible Man
, and he's the Invisible Manager
. Heh. Probably off snorting more of my money up that big schnoz of his. Don't print that.
Listen, while you're up, pour me a drink, will ya? Scotch and soda. Thanks. Woah, easy! Easy!
I gotta show to do in 20 minutes. There you go. You can take your hand away. I got it. No, really. I got it. Thanks again, kid.
Eating and drinking has been a part of my act since the beginning. It still gets 'em -- watchin' the food float in the air and then magically disappear. It's very simple, but very effective. Through trial and error, we've found that brightly-colored stuff tends to "read" best from the audience's perspective. You'll see me onstage, drinking what looks like blue Kool-Aid or somethin'. Lemme tell ya, that used to be vodka with food coloring. But I was a younger man then, and eventually my doc told me I had to cool it or my liver was going to file for divorce, citing spousal abuse.
So now it's just water. Heh. Killjoy. I guess it was for the best. I used to get pretty hammered onstage back then, but now, what with all the added fireworks, I gotta stay relatively sober. I usually have a quick belt before the show, but it's just one. I could really get hurt up there, y'know? One false move and KABLAMMO!
Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah, the beginning. It's 1970 now, so that was, let's see here, fifteen years ago. Fifteen years! Jesus Christmas! When I started, there was nothing on the Strip like it. I was the first of the old time movie monsters to come to Vegas, and I emphasize the F-I-R-S-T. Now, ya got Dracula doing three shows a night at the Torquemada. Godzilla's packin' 'em in at the Sunspot. Even the Creature from the Black Lagoon has put together some kinda act at the, uh... at the...
HEY, RANDY! YOU'D KNOW THIS! WHERE'S THE CREACH PERFORMING THESE DAYS?
That's right! The Cucaracha Club. Poor Creach, playin' a dive like that. No wonder he drinks like the fish he is. Don't print that either. Nice guy once you get to know him, though I'm not sure what his "act" consists of. He's like Esther Williams. Wet, he's a star. Dry, he ain't much. Maybe he brings a tank with him onstage. I dunno. I haven't made time to catch his act. Maybe I should.
But, anyway, getting back to my point. There are a lot of monsters in town these days. Frankie, Wolfie, Drac, they're ALL here 'cause that's where the dinero is! And those
bastards you can see! I gotta convince some dumb tourist from Bumblefuck, Iowa that he should spend his dime and his time on me instead of them. Hence the lighting and the effects and the songs. You know, I still do an hour a day of vocal training and an hour a day of dance rehearsal. Still
! At my age yet! That's in addition to the million and one other things I gotta do during the course of a day.
Right now -- this'll kill ya -- we're workin' up a Beatle medley for the act. Get this. We open with "Nowhere Man" then segue into "I'm Looking Through You" and finish with "You Won't See Me." Nah, it ain't ready yet. We gotta have costumes -- at least the gals do. I, of course, do the whole show au natural
, except maybe for a top hat and tap shoes. And if you think that
didn't take some gettin' used to... Brother, you don't know from stage fright until you've appeared in front of a packed house with your invisible dong flapping in the breeze. Sorry, I don't mean to be so vulgar. Don't mind me, kid. That formula's done screwy things to my brain.
|Totie Fields almost crushed him.|
Anyhow, for a new number like the Beatle thing, we gotta have costumes, choreography, the whole schmear. The whole thing is storyboarded. Plus we gotta secure the rights to the songs. Doug handles that shit, thank the Lord. Or at least he would if he'd keep the spoon outta his nose for five seconds.
No, no. I bust Doug's chops, but he's a good guy. Saved my life once. Totie Fields almost sat on me one night at the Trocadero, but Doug knew where I was and tackled her to the ground. He was like a Secret Service agent. I tell ya, if Doug had been in Dallas with JFK in '63... well, who knows? The whole world might've been different.
Retire? Me? With three ex-wives and six semi-visible kids to support? No, sir, it'll be a long time before this Invisible Man fades from view.
Well, you know what I mean.