As We See It

[Confessions of a Showgirl]

I’m not really sure how I became a Las Vegas showgirl …

Maren Wade is Weekly‘s new columnist, taking you inside the backstage world of Vegas showgirls.
Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/Vegas Kool
Maren Wade

I have a confession to make. I’m not really sure how I became a showgirl.

I was born and raised in a small, rural Midwest town known as Los Angeles, California. (By Midwest, I mean my home was slightly west of the 405 Freeway.) At 3 years old, I was singing, dancing and generally annoying my family and friends. As I got older, it felt only natural to seek out a greater audience to annoy. So I spread it around as best I could, performing on TV, on cruise ships and in national and international tours.

Show after show, hotel after hotel, bar after bar—eventually the time came to settle down and find that ideal place for stability and spiritual grounding. Like a thousand lights flashing before my eyes, it hit me: What better place to plant my roots than Las Vegas?

So here I am, welcoming you to my new column, “Confessions of a Showgirl.” Perhaps in the past, the term “showgirl” was reserved for long-legged, 5-foot-8 beauties in feathered headdresses and sparkling thongs, but the modern-day showgirl comes in many forms, shapes and sizes.

Showgirls not only sing and dance, they also get sawed in half by magicians, have sharp instruments hurled at them by knife-throwers and swing from trapezes. In Vegas, they don’t even have to be women.

“Confessions of a Showgirl” will be a compilation of tales from showgirls past and present. It will give you a rare insider’s glimpse of the shows you see on the Strip. And one thing is certain: If you think we’re dramatic onstage, you won’t believe the drama behind the scenes. Welcome to our world, which begins just before the curtain rises.

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