EP 106: Jaimee Gallego (autogenerated)
[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 106.
[00:00:05] Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Jamie Diego. Are you ready for this Jamie?
[00:00:15]Jaimee Gallego: [00:00:15] Yeah. What’s up guys.
[00:00:17] Dane Reis: [00:00:17] Oh, right.
right. Jamie was born in Phoenix, Arizona and attended the university of Arizona after which she joined the cast of . EFX alive in Los Vegas. Having trained did gymnastics as she grew up. She began performing on aerial apparatuses and dancing at studio 54 Vegas. She has performed in Ivan Keynes, 40 deuce, Loretta, the dream at the Wynn and assisted in the opening of Cirque du Soleil, first nightclub light at Mandalay Bay and many, many others. She has performed in almost every style. Then you type and setting imaginable Jamie’s artistic and creative skill led to the creation of her own company, where she choreographs directs and produces shows and custom experiences for stage productions, corporate events, industrials, and nightclubs throughout the USA. Jamie, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
[00:01:23]Jaimee Gallego: [00:01:23] Hi, I’m so excited to be here. That was beautiful. Dane.
Um, yeah, my name is Jamie Kay. Gallia. And I am a choreographer slash producer slash creative director slash unicorn. No, just kidding. Um, I basically create in all aspects and in Vegas, it’s really cool because one day you’re doing one thing and the next year doing another. So I love that lifestyle. You never know what you’re going to get. And basically I made people’s visions come to life. So.
[00:01:51] It’s really cool.
Um, what we do here. So I’m constantly creating for all those things you said, and, um, pretty much full time. That’s my craft.
[00:01:59]Dane Reis: [00:01:59] Beautiful. And you’re so right. This is something that I love about the Vegas market, because there’s so much corporate work. There’s so much one off stuff. Right.
Right. And there’s.
[00:02:12] Always a new thing and everyone wants something fresh and new,
right. Even if it’s a client from a previous year, they want it, or it’s always knew. Right. And it keeps us all on our toes and it’s so much fun to be in that setting. I think.
[00:02:24]Jaimee Gallego: [00:02:24] Sometimes you sit back and you’re like, wow, we just did that. And we pulled that off and it’s amazing. And literally two days later they’re asking for a proposal for the next year and how the topic and you’re like, Whoa, no downtime. There let’s go. So it keeps your brain just on fire and zooming, which actually that’s with the choreography. I think that’s why I’ve gotten so fast at it. Cause you just have to.
[00:02:44] Dane Reis: [00:02:44] Yeah, absolutely. And you get so good at it, you know,
you know, Oh, I know how this works and you know how people move after you’ve worked with them for a while and you know how to set things on people that you know is gonna make it look great.
[00:02:55]Jaimee Gallego: [00:02:55] Yeah, I definitely have a process. I can’t say it always,
uh, you know, goes at 100%, but I usually start there and then something good comes out of it most of the time.
[00:03:03] Dane Reis: [00:03:03] Yeah, beautiful. And let’s move on to this next section here in Jamie. Look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What’s your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone.
[00:03:15]Jaimee Gallego: [00:03:15] So just so you know, I love quotes. I have them tattooed on me.
Um, but actually the one I’m going to choose today is something that’s been in my house. Um, my very first house, when I moved here to Vegas and it was basically leap and the net will appear and I love this quote.
[00:03:28] Dane Reis: [00:03:28] Oh, that’s so good. And can you expand on that a bit on how that is applied into your life and your career directly?
[00:03:37]Jaimee Gallego: [00:03:37] Absolutely.
Um, basically, you know, when I said, Hey, I’m going to go audition and Vegas Hammond to move it to Vegas. And people were like, no, you can’t do that. I would just go, and then I was like, I’m going to start my own company. I want to do this. And, you know, so I just kind of always believed at least in myself and I’m definitely not afraid to go for it. So I believe in like, kind of taking action and seeing where you fall, because you don’t really ever follow you just kind of find somewhere new to stand. And so that’s why I love it so much.
[00:04:02] Dane Reis: [00:04:02] Yeah. it’s so great that you have embodied that quote because I’ve seen it through your work as well. And following you throughout a bit of your career, since we met about what was that seven, eight years ago now,
[00:04:15] Jaimee Gallego: [00:04:15] Oh, my goodness. Yes.
[00:04:18]Dane Reis: [00:04:18] Be the person that moves the thing forward and just. Take the leap and trust that nut’s going to be there.
[00:04:49]Jaimee Gallego: [00:04:49] Absolutely like creating opportunity has been one of the things that I strive for. And for instance, if I didn’t get booked for something or I’d be like,
well, I’ll create my own show. So it’s worked, it’s worked for me. And, um, anyways, it keeps me on my toes. So I love that.
[00:05:02] Dane Reis: [00:05:02] Amazing. And let’s move on to this next section here. And Jamie, of course you are an entertainer. I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. And, you know,
you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being an entertainer, doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.
[00:05:58]Jaimee Gallego: [00:05:58] I constantly, I feel
like as an entertainer, you know, when, when it’s Christmas, it’s a busy day at work and when it’s new year’s and everyone wants to celebrate we’re on stage we’re under the lights were in the scene. So all of those holidays, you know, choosing to give up your family time or your personal loved ones and, and really for your love for the stage. So that was one thing that I chose and I loved it so much. It never bothered Me and my parents were very cool. We did some really cool things through the years that I’ve lived in Vegas. To celebrate in our own way for holidays. Um, but more importantly, one of my biggest obstacles was I would say my first surgery, you know, you know, it happens and read your contracts, entertainers, because I did not read this contract, but there’s a 99% injury rate. And it happens, you know, we’re young for so long and I got injured and I had to have knee surgery and that put me out, so I couldn’t dance. So I that’s where the, um, Choreography began. And I think my style of choreography, uh, using my arms because I couldn’t move with one of my knees. So it was very funny, but it was such a blessing in disguise because it made me organically start choreographing at a very young age and it just transitioned beautifully for me. So. As much as that was an ugly thing I had to go through at the time. It was it’s turned out awesome for me. So I’m very grateful.
[00:07:17]Dane Reis: [00:07:17] Oh, that’s so great to hear. And I also really appreciate that. You said. Read your contracts. It’s so important. And.
You know, The thing with contracts is that. A lot of the times if you’re working for the same companies again and again and again and again, you’re getting the same copy paste. Contract with new dates in rates, plopped into it. Right. But what you need to do is you need to form the habit of reading your contract. So read all those boring ones, even though, you know what they say. Read it simply because it puts you in the habit of reading them because. There will come a time that you get a contract. That’s a one off from a company that you’ve never worked for before. And if you’re in the habit of reading your contracts, you’re going to read that one and you’re going to catch something that could impact the rest of your career. Maybe there’s an opportunity to put it in a writer or. Maybe it’s simply knowing what you’re putting yourself up for.
[00:08:13]Jaimee Gallego: [00:08:13] Yes, I think we are so passionate and we get so excited for the yes. And we look at the rate or what’s the second most important, big, and then your availability and you just go and it’s really important to read those fine lines. So funny, but true.
[00:08:27] Dane Reis: [00:08:27] Absolutely. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.
[00:08:50] Jaimee Gallego: [00:08:51] For sure.
Um, you know, it’s really funny because you would think that I would, um, Have my moment here in Las Vegas, but really it was at such a young age. I mean, I just loved dance. And although I was doing swim, team golf, all these things, my parents kept me very active. I knew I wanted to dance. And then, I mean, I was entering student choreography from when I was little. My parents maybe couldn’t afford for like the solo lessons. So I’d be like, it’s okay, mom, I’ll just make it up on my own. And for some reason she believed in me and supported me and that all happens. So I’m assigned to very grateful for my parents’ belief in me, my mother. Oh my goodness. Um, so that’s kinda what started it. I would always have my friends over. I was definitely having making my brother video. Teaching routines and dancing and grabbing my parents. Um, and if they, I said, guys, I need an agent. I need to move to LA. Like, not even knowing what this meant. And, uh, they said, no, of course. So then I went to my grandma because that’s what you do. And I called her buddy and I’m like, buddy, I need an agent. So she took me this isn’t Scottsdale Arizona, where I was from. And she took me to an agency and basically hooked up with an agency so I could practice commercial work. And I. I mean, I just want it to be a little actress and I’m like, time. Changed now with all the TV, you know, dance is so popular, but back then it wasn’t as popular. And so it’s just funny where my head was at such a young age. So I believe that was the moment. Um, I went back when my parents moved and found an old. Report. Um, and it had laminated this beautiful dancer and I said, I want to be a choreographer. I don’t even remember doing that. Um, but here I am today, so it’s pretty special. I still have it laminated.
[00:10:27] Dane Reis: [00:10:27] Whoa. That is so cool. It’s great that you don’t even really remember doing it.
[00:10:33] Jaimee Gallego: [00:10:33] I don’t, it must have been in school and I’m like,
well, there you go. You know, put it out there.
[00:10:36] Dane Reis: [00:10:36] That’s it. Hey, Andy, you said golf. You were part of the junior PGA. Tourist stuff. Is that true?
[00:10:43]Jaimee Gallego: [00:10:43] This is hilarious, cause it’s just a real quick fun story where you’re
kind of like your back personal life can sometimes, um, fit within your entertainer world. So I, my brother was a fabulous school for my whole family. Um, really is into it. So they said Jamie, and they bought me a hot pink bag and I was in, I was like, yeah, I’ll do this. And then I was like, okay. Yeah, for sure. And we were always competitive. So I was like, okay. And I was, I was pretty good. It ran in my family very natural, but it was funny because I think it’s a fun fact about me when I moved to the very first show EFX alive. MGM grand. All of the technicians play in this golf tournament. And so it was out at crim Valley and they kind of got teams together. Well, one of the technicians who I flew with, he was like, you golf. I know, I know your family and put me on his team. So we go out there and it was funny because they were like, Oh, she’s just a dancer. No, no. I was like, I had some skill there. So that was really fun to kind of interact and surprise everybody with that.
[00:11:37] Dane Reis: [00:11:37] Yeah, that’s cool.
[00:11:38] And. Yeah, and I want to piggyback on the spotlight moment quickly and talk about your number one, booked it a moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment makes it your favorite book? Did moment.
[00:12:02]Jaimee Gallego: [00:12:02]
Well, I can remember this moment. Um, I would say it was even, it was later in my career. It was around 2010, I believe. And I got a phone call, um, from Brian Burke. He’s huge. And he said, Jamie, you know, he was working over at LA rev and. In the beginning of Lauren, they had, um, actual from dancing with the stars ballroom, um, performers. And then they slowly were transitioning into dancers due to the elements, you know, different types of answers. So he called me and he said, Jamie duty ballroom. And I was like, sure, because we always say, yes, you know, I was like, I can partner. So I said yes, but also knowing, you know, it’s the win on Las Vegas strip and they don’t like rainbow colored hair or they don’t like tattoos. Well, I have a full back piece. I was corporate America, Jamie for a long time then. And then discovered, you know, you know, creative on myself. So anyways, here I am with a full back piece, boombox eighties, spray paint, and I’m going into the wind to audition. So I covered up all my tattoos, which was. The first thing. And I go in for a private audition and then the next thing you know, they call me and they called me for the job. And they were like, are you claustrophobic? Are you afraid of birds? And I was like, well, this is a very weird. The questionnaire for this job, but of course I was like, no, no. No, no. So I booked it. It was so exciting, but then what happens, your next part is you learn the performance. Like one, they pick one production piece, you go out, which, I mean, this was over the water, 30 feet deep it’s in the round, you’re on a rubber stage or in heels. And I had to perform in the costume for all the, um, we call them, you know, the big wigs, um, the suits. And so they’re all up there watching. Well, I was covering my tattoos, so of course I’m into costume and makeup. I had my. Um, Seamstress friend, make me a new chief that covered my tattoos. So when they said, Oh, we can’t have you in the show. I was like, but look. I could cover it with this. I had everything ready. And luckily I see one of the guys that they already had two sleeves and I was like, I think I’m good. And you know, they just made me cover it with makeup and that was it. And so I was so proud and I was so excited because it was such a challenge. There’s a whole, you had to get scuba diving certified and. I was just really into it. Like it was, I love being challenged and elements. There were incredibly challenging and being around , synchronized swimmers, um, you know, just all of that. So that was my dream job. Um, dragons, Loretta, the dream, and it was a very cool thing to be a part of.
[00:14:21] Dane Reis: [00:14:21] Yeah, that is such, or I should say was unfortunately,
[00:14:25]Jaimee Gallego: [00:14:25] Yeah, right.
[00:14:27] Dane Reis: [00:14:27] I can’t believe
that that news that came was a week or so ago now.
[00:14:31]Jaimee Gallego: [00:14:31] That was the first one. Yeah. And it was just like,
you know, I was posting my old pics and it’s really funny cause it hasn’t been that long ago, but I was like, why aren’t my pics as good as they are now. It’s crazy how technology changes so fast, but, um, yeah, that, that broke my heart a little bit. Um, let’s, let’s hope that it can come back or, you know, turn into a better opportunity for us out
[00:14:49] Dane Reis: [00:14:49] For sure. But that was hands down. One of my favorite shows on the entire strip, it had everything in it. It’s such a beautiful show.
[00:14:57]Jaimee Gallego: [00:14:57] Yeah. I mean in watching these athletes,
you know, so you’re not only like working to be better at your job. There’s so many other skills around you that you just adapt and everyone’s willing to share and teach you. It’s it’s so cool to be around.
[00:15:07] Dane Reis: [00:15:07] Yeah, for sure. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And, Hey, it’s a weird time, right? We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:15:28]Jaimee Gallego: [00:15:28]
Well, I feel very fortunate. I mean, any chance that you get to create right now, I feel like everyone’s just kind of creating because we’re so bored in what can you do? And I even had some video projects booked, but then they do the shutdown number two. And so we just, and I was like, you know what? I just want to be safe. Let’s just wait. Those aren’t the right things. So we started doing some virtual stuff, some virtual conferences I’ve actually gotten into like the greenscreen performing and editing video, all this stuff together. So that’s been really interesting for me. I recently had, um, I got to participate in assistant choreographing for the piano man. It’s a little show that just happened. Everything’s kind of happening in smaller, um, you know, quantities to dancers, you know, we’re starting you know, really small and these are like private events and we’re checking off all the boxes to make sure it’s appropriate right now. Um, but basically they think we’re creating right now. And then hopefully as soon as we can open the doors and live. Outside of our bubbles. Um, you know, they’ll all kind of come out, but I am leaving town. And when I get back, my next project is kind of like a Ray Charles tribute. And I’m so excited because I just love his music. And that’s my literally next week I start on that project. So pretty excited about that. Again, working with a small, small group of dancers right now, everyone’s trying to stay safe. Um, And then my most exciting venture is I’m really dipping into, um, my personal brand J K choreography. So what I’ve been doing is creating, you know, you know, it’s hard to get all of your friends to come take class at three o’clock on Saturday. So I’m creating my choreography. Um, and then you can buy it and do it whenever you want or take it to your studio. You know, I’m also trying to reach a wider audience because I am from not only the West coast, the East coast. So my friends out in Maryland or. On the other side, you know, the whole world. I mean, so this way my product is out there and if anyone’s interested, they get to just jump on and get a taste of my choreography, you know?
[00:17:18]Dane Reis: [00:17:18] That is so cool. And are you marketing that too? Individuals studios. Corporate clients is everything. How is that working?
[00:17:29]Jaimee Gallego: [00:17:29] So right now, it’s basically four. I have a bunch of combos. I literally just launched it. So I’m
kind of gonna push it probably the end of the month or the 1st of October. Um, it’s more intermediate and advanced levels of what I just created, but my goal would be to create even some, um, Levels one, two and three, some basic levels to really touch because I have a lot of friends out there that were dancers or haven’t danced in a while, and really want to just kind of have some fun and move. And then for those more serious customers, there’s always the custom choreography. So this way I’m showing people how easy it is to do this. And literally I have some new, um, Products I’m filming myself. You can create anything and do it. You know, it is a little bit more challenging. Um, but if people are really serious about their craft, then I got it all on there for you. So you’ll enjoy it. I literally walk you through counts. I perform it. So you know what it should look like. I talk you through like face you Face the mirror do all the things. So I’m, again, there’s a, there’s a learning curve there, but I’m figuring it out and it’s exciting.
[00:18:29]Dane Reis: [00:18:29] Yeah, that is so cool. And you’ll have to keep me posted as that moves forward, because I’m excited to see what happens with that.
[00:18:38]Jaimee Gallego: [00:18:38] Absolutely me too.
I mean, there’s so many ways I want to take it and, um, we’ll see kind of what clicks and what works. So that’s the stage I’m in right now. It’s very early, but super excited.
[00:18:48] Dane Reis: [00:18:48] For sure. And it’s going to be so great for so many people to be able to see your choreography. And I think especially for a lot of , those corporate clients as well. Cause I think something that you do incredibly well. With your choreography
when it, when it is specifically for a large corporate, you know, 1,000 people, 2000 people in a ballroom kind of choreography on a stage somewhere. Is that you are so good at choreographing for the space that you’re in and making something read to the back of the room. Because I think sometimes a lot of people will do lots of crazy stuff in it. It gets lost after handful of Rose. Right. But I think you do such a, well, well, it’s such a fantastic job at choreographing for an entire room in that corporate setting that it’s so beneficial for. I think any of those, the agencies or the corporate clients, or what are they the DMCs and that are looking to find choreographers to supply talent for a venue. I think you’re a perfect match for that kind of client, because your choreography is so good at. Being in that setting.
[00:19:55]Jaimee Gallego: [00:19:55]
Well, thank you so much for that. That’s an amazing compliment. I’ve been around some very successful creative directors and I’ve learned from them. And I mean, that’s what I just keep trying to do is grow. But with these clients, they always want like a personal touch. So I think that’s a part of it too. And they’re looking for something each one, and it’s usually always different, but if you can find it, that’s your key. And definitely we have some crazy gigantic spaces here, um, in Las Vegas and it’s always changing and. You know, the bigger, the better it’s crazy, but I love, I love the challenge. I mean, this new years, I got to do a production on an led floor and that was the first time. But literally cooking up with the, you know, the team, the production team, and all the time we put into, you know, this dancers on a jelly fish, you are a 11, you are B3. I mean, it was intense. It gave me quite the headache, but watching the final product was really. Um, enjoyable.
[00:20:47] Dane Reis: [00:20:47] Oh, that is so cool. And let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. Hi, I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?
[00:21:07]All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:21:15]Jaimee Gallego: [00:21:15] I would have to say, I must go to college. My parents would want me to go to college. I want to make them proud.
[00:21:20]Dane Reis: [00:21:20] Right. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:21:27]Jaimee Gallego: [00:21:27] Someone once told me I was so passionate in my performance that the mistakes I made didn’t matter. So I just really try to commit fully and whatever I create.
[00:21:36] Dane Reis: [00:21:36] Oh, there’s so much to be said about that so much. It really is. About seeing you, especially when you’re going into that audition setting. I think because it’s one thing to. Nail all the steps perfectly, but look, you’re also. In an audition things don’t have to be 100% sure. There’s an element of seeing if you can pick things up and stick with the choreography, but at the end of the day, when you get yourself into rehearsal, there’s going to be the time to get the. Those every single little itty bitty count figured out it’s more
[00:22:07] about showcasing yourself.
[00:22:09]Jaimee Gallego: [00:22:09] And selling you and who you are and bringing you to the table.
[00:22:14] Dane Reis: [00:22:14] And the third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.
[00:22:26] Jaimee Gallego: [00:22:26]
Um, basically I try to stay in my own lane. I try to keep up with the pulse of what’s new and it’s very important for me to, um, stay original.
[00:22:36]Dane Reis: [00:22:36] Great. And I would say you’re doing a brilliant job at it.
[00:22:40] And the fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.
[00:22:53]Jaimee Gallego: [00:22:53] I am in love with the Pivo. It sounds crazy. I call it Peter, literally.
Um, It basically object tracks me and these, these geniuses created it in a studio. So I can go into the studio and you know, you don’t have this boring tripod setup of here. I’m going to dance and try to Shanae and keep within the screen. Um, keep within the frame, you know, so the Pivo tracks me as I run around the room and that’s, what’s so cool about what I’m selling online.
[00:23:18] Dane Reis: [00:23:18] Oh, that’s so cool. I’ve seen videos of those things. Not, I don’t know if I’ve seen specifically that one, but things like it. That is so cool.
[00:23:25]Jaimee Gallego: [00:23:25] Yeah.
I mean, in this time it’s who knew, but it’s, it’s awesome.
[00:23:29] Dane Reis: [00:23:29] Yeah. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry. What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:23:46]Jaimee Gallego: [00:23:46] I would not be so affected by the rejection that we all go through.
Um, I think I made it very personal every job or any decision, you know, that impacted, I just took it personal and it’s really simple. It’s just really business. So I think I’d take it a whole.
[00:24:04] Dane Reis: [00:24:04] Yeah, for sure. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with our listeners?
[00:24:17]Jaimee Gallego: [00:24:17] I would simply share that,
you know, um, you might be a no today, but tomorrow you could be a yes. So believe in yourself, no matter what anyone says, because your time in the spotlight will come and everyone eventually shines. It could be a day, a year, four years later, but your time will come.
[00:24:34]Dane Reis: [00:24:34] Oh, that’s so true. Stick to you. Do you. And the good things happen.
[00:24:42] And to wrap up this interview, Jamie, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:24:55]Jaimee Gallego: [00:24:55] Yes,
I I’m, I’m so excited about my new, um, I basically created a choreography page and it’s my online virtual experience. And then you can also follow me as I create, you know, in this world and up and down the crazy Las Vegas strip. So, um, it’s basically J K a. Why choreography and it’s at J K choreography. Um, that is also my new website. So go check it out and subscribe to me. J K choreography.com. And come play with me, check out what I do follow me. I promise it’ll be interesting with all the backstage things I see. Um, things you shouldn’t see, so it’ll, it’ll keep you on your toes and come check me out.
[00:25:31] Dane Reis: [00:25:31] Brilliant. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Jamie just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with her.
[00:25:41] Jamie. Thank you so much for being here today. It has been so much fun and such a pleasure to talk with you.
[00:25:47]Jaimee Gallego: [00:25:47] It is an honor to speak with you. Thank you for having me, Dan, it’s been such a pleasure.