Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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She stands only 5 feet tall and weighs just 98 pounds, but this pint-sized powerhouse really packs a punch. Taya Parker stands tall, and her dynamic 32DD-22-32 measurements landed her a dream come true performing on The Strip. But just as stardom got underway as the singer, dancer and headliner in the new show Striptease at the Sahara, an unexpected hiccup halted her plans.
But the brown-eyed brunette is vowing: “You certainly haven’t seen the last of me!” Fortunately, there’s already been a lot to see of her. She was the 2009 Penthouse Pet of the Year, January 2008 Penthouse Pet of the Month and was on the December 2010 cover again -- one of seven in all. Before that, she was featured in special editions of Playboy.
Taya became the darling and winner on Season 3 of Bret Michaels’ Rock of Love Bus and turned up in VH1’s Where Are They Now about reality TV stars. Her Web site is TayaParker.com.
“This girl is not going away,” she told me. She’s a triple-threat 30-year-old, laughing, “I can’t be 29 forever, and I’m proud to be 30. It’s the new 20, and I know blonds do not have more fun!”
Taya’s dream of one day finding Strip stardom began when she came here as an exotic club feature dancer, and she won the 2007/2008 Exotic Dancer's Entertainer of the Year Award. “I kept my clothes on when I came to Las Vegas until we started the new Striptease show -- then I took off my top!” she laughed. She had a full-time gig for Penthouse appearing on behalf of the magazine.
She kept the dream of becoming a Las Vegas showgirl alive and before the pictorials received a vocal scholarship in the Midwest near her Ohio hometown. When theatrical producers wanted to take stars from the adult world and transform them into a Vegas show, Taya was called. Vivid starlet Nina Mercedez, four-time Miss Nude World champion Aspen Reign and burlesque artist Tali del Mar also were hired.
Taya received the final OK last August and had less than three weeks of rehearsals, during which time she convinced producers that she could sing as well as she danced. “We had an amazing show, and the singing and dancing was outstanding,” said Taya, who moved here full time.
"I was honored to share a stage with so many amazing performers, all of whom quickly became very close friends. I have learned a great deal from their experience, and that is a priceless gift. They have made me a better entertainer."
By the end of September, she opened and won rave reviews. The dream had come true, but then at New Year’s because of another act departing the showroom, it left Striptease to carry the full financial burden instead of half. The costs overwhelmed the production, and it went on hiatus to restructure the costs. Taya is hoping that producers will have the show up and running again by mid-March.
She’s using the down time to record a debut album. The first single, "Nothin' to Lose," is available on iTunes, and she's recording additional tracks in Ohio and Pittsburgh, as well as shooting a photo pictorial in L.A. “A lot of incredibly wonderful things have happened from opening on the famous Strip, but I can’t wait though to get back to Las Vegas,” Taya said.
“Our show wasn’t in competition to Peepshow or any of the other topless revues,” she said. “It’s totally different from anything on The Strip, and this is not a tabloid case of Holly Madison vs. Taya Parker. I’m not gunning for what she’s accomplished. No topless takeover bid. I want to be princess with my own Las Vegas success on my own merits.
"I made a conscience choice early on to keep my focus on pictorials and sexy 'strip-style' dancing. I set very clear limits for myself from the start, which, for me, did not include porn. It was important to me that my talents always remained the focus of my steps forward in my career. I belong in Vegas -- I was just born to sing and dance.”
Taya knows she has to often clear up misconceptions about her upbringing. “Contrary to what people think about the myths, I didn’t come from a troubled upbringing. Or take the wrong side of the tracks. I had a wonderful childhood and a loving family who still support my independence and what I do today.
“I have no shame in showing off my beautiful body. I have been blessed, and I’m doing no different than anybody else marketing sex as a way to sell and promote something. I’m just honest about it, though!”
Taya is a single mom with a young son she’s raising and supporting herself. “I was too young when I married at just 20 years old. But I have no regrets. He is the one in my life who motivates me the greatest. I want to make him proud of me and show him that’s it’s important to believe in yourself, your dreams and talents.
“I hope to be a positive example to him of someone who pursues goals through honesty, hard work and determination. My career paths and prospects, as is my life, are an open book. I don’t take lightly the responsibilities that go with that and raising a son, and I handle it with an element of care.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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