Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SINdustry CITY visits the Yummy Low Country

June's Vegas 4 Locals meeting was held Thursday June 19 at Louis's Fish Camp in Town Square on Las Vegas Boulevard. The Fish Camp is one of two restaurants bearing Louis's name; apparently the "Fish Camp" qualifier means to indicate it is the more colloquial of the two. (Southeastern style with a concentration in matters New Orleans, mint juleps a specialty, two bars, and a three-hour happy hour. "Laissez le bon temps &c," it seemed to say.)

A crowd of approximately 1000 was in attendance. (OK, it's approximate. Sue us.) Tom Wilkinson did his usual good job of bringing off the whole networking opportunity nicely, and Ty Ku and Snow Queen provided complimentary liquor at the rear bar that some thoughtful patrons (modesty forbids) liberally supplemented by ordering other spirits in stock, allowing Louis and his stockholders to make a little money on the whole deal.

This round of the monthly informal gathering of businesspeople featured a band called BluesStorm. They were a four-piece that played classic rock covers and had those present dancing openly as soon as they became sufficiently loosened up. Our staff declined invitations to participate, however. Most of the conversation was in the front of the store, but we staked out a table in front of the band and let the party (or at least the dance party) come to us.

Waiters came around with complimentary fishy hors d'oeuvres including deep-fried alligator with authentic Texas Pete hot sauce (product of the TW Garner Food Company of Winston-Salem, NC). Our waitress, Jackie, was another Chicago native who had moved to Las Vegas (we seem to be averaging one per event lately) who expressed righteous indignation at our having been refused the name of the well whiskey on our last visit to the Palms: "It's not like it's vodka!"

Attendees were handed out coupons for prize drawings in between sets by the band. Selecting the (random) winners were the "CB Girls" of Callback Magazine. The "winners" of the prizes were required to be in attendance at the drawing, and several prizes had to be reallocated when holders of the lucky numbers were unluckily absent. (One member of our crack staff had a ticket that was one number off from an absent "winner's" ticket, but the CB Girls were unimpressed by our claims that such ordinal proximity dictated that the prize be awarded to her instead. Well, this is Vegas, and it comes as no surprise when one cannot beat the house.)

The party was still going at the obscene hour of 8:30 P.M. when we left. Some people just don't have to get up in the morning, I guess.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

SINdustry CITY "Wrap" with the Local Talent at Torino's!

Elements of our staff attended the “Wrap Party” meet-and-greet on 29 MAY 2008. The Wrap Party is held the last Thursday of each month. Anyone affiliated with film, TV, video, and related fields may attend, and they don’t seem especially picky about how “related” your work needs to be: they weren’t exactly checking union cards or anything. The function was held at Torino’s, which is at 5570 West Flamingo.

May’s meeting fell on the eve of the 48-hour film challenge (which SINdustry City is avoiding this year due to a morass of other exciting developments that we couldn’t weasel out of). There were a lot of nice people there, some of whom are listed below:

Amanda, who is a statistician who got her M.S. at the University of Houston and is working for a casino in Vegas (author declines to mention which one to avoid complications). Amanda was at the meeting because she is pursuing opportunities for on-camera talent.

Ryan Harrison, who doubles as a videographer and on-camera personality, although he is overly modest about the latter. One of Ryan’s short films was shown to those assembled.

Mike, who is an actor but does not have a business card. Mike did share some tips with me and several others in an informal conversational group about how to cry on cue, possibly the hardest skill an actor has to master (aside, one would guess, from getting out of doing one’s own stunts).

Arvetta Nolan, a manager at Dream Casting in Las Vegas, (, and Ott Ashton, also with Dream Casting. Our operative met with Arvetta only briefly. Ott mentioned that he had been stationed at Ft. Benning, GA, while in the military and had also appeared in Rush Hour 2; he can tell you about it when you see him.

Athena, who is a receptionist at Dream Casting and who still hits despite being 23 years old.

Guy Chapman, one of whose short films was shown. Guy has several acting credits on the Internet Movie Database and does videography/filmmaking as well, obviously.

Polo Amaro, who is a videographer, and who also sells real estate.

William Fern Shaw, who does on-screen work and writes.

Shannon, who described herself as “talent.” Shannon still has her Chicago area code on her cell phone. Those assembled wondered aloud why she hadn’t switched to (702), but Shannon stayed true to her Midwestern roots and conducted herself admirably in other respects as well.

Free alcohol was not forthcoming. Torino’s offered Pabst Blue Ribbon for $2, and a “well” (as opposed to “call” (really, how long have you lived in Vegas?)) whiskey and soda was obtained by one of our researchers for $4.50. The researcher limited the sample size to two (2), especially since Athena was giving him hell for “slurring.” Sure he was, Athena.

The staff is looking forward to next month’s meeting. Not everyone present is mentioned above, but everyone who provided a business card is (strong hint, strong hint). Also, a bit more information about the organizers might be forthcoming if we get motivated.