By Steve Green
It’s easy to find sexy men and women in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Robin Antin’s specialty is finding such men and women who can sing and dance -- and building big entertainment businesses around them.
Antin, a longtime choreographer, is best known for creating the Pussycat Dolls burlesque-oriented dance troupe in 1995 that eight years later morphed into a successful band. She later was involved in the creation of girl groups Girlicious and the Paradiso Girls and nightclubs.
Antin still has a traveling Pussycat Dolls burlesque-style dance show, but the actual band broke up after its last tour in 2009.
Lately, she’s been co-managing the career of up-and-coming Las Vegas entertainer Matt Goss while simultaneously expanding the Pussycat Dolls brand and working on a host of other projects.
Perhaps her biggest challenge is to create a successful reincarnation of the Pussycat Dolls band, which before dissolving scored hit singles and filmed sexy music videos like “Don’t Cha,” “Jai Ho!” from the movie Slumdog Millionaire and the 2007 Grammy-nominated “Stickwitu.”
Antin recently discussed her career and Las Vegas entertainment trends with Vegas Inc.
She met us at the Pussycat Dolls-branded gaming pit at Caesars Palace, where Pussycat Dolls dealers and dancers attract plenty of attention by marching through the casino floor to the pit for their shifts to entertain—and perhaps distract—gamblers.
She met us feeling energized by her projects and the prospects for Goss. As his producer, she had watched him perform the previous evening at his Gossy Room at the casino.
For someone so accomplished in the entertainment industry, Antin is surprisingly focused not on herself—but on her current and future stars.
“I want to make everyone else stars,” she said.
What do people want to see in live entertainment in Las Vegas and how has that changed during the recession?
They want to be entertained and sort of shut out from anything they’re doing in their regular lives. That’s what entertainment is all about, that’s why people escape to go to the movies. During the recession, the film business actually is doing all right—people want to escape to go to the movies.
Also, in the same way I’m doing with people coming to see the girls dancing and this sort of iconic Pussycat Dolls-type of entertainment, it for a moment makes you forget all of your troubles. And it’s inspiring, it’s aspirational for women.
For men -- that’s kind of an easy question! It’s sexy and they just want to be entertained.
For the women, I always make a conscious effort to make them feel like they’re a part of it—they’re actually empowered. Inside every woman is a Pussycat Doll!
During the recession, has attendance declined at the shows you’re involved with, or did you have to lower ticket prices?
No, during the recession we’ve done actually really well. It’s funny, I actually decided to move my Pussycat Dolls Lounge from (Pure nightclub at) Caesars Palace after almost six years there and take it over to Planet Hollywood, where it will be Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Saloon. The reason I did that was because of a change of partnerships and things and I went with my original partners.
We didn’t see any change really with the customers.
But as soon as I moved it (the lounge), the Pussycat Dolls casino (gaming pit at Caesars Palace) and all the merchandise started to grow even more. It may have been the sort of thing where people said, “I won’t go to the Pussycat Dolls Lounge, but I’m going to stay in the casino and I’m going to gamble more and I’m going to buy more merchandise and I’m going to see the girls dancing inside the Pussycat Dolls gambling pit.”
Read the entire interview with Antin at VegasInc.com.
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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