EP 71: Brittany Guinane (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 71.
[00:00:06] Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Brittany Guinean. Are you ready for this, Brittany?
[00:00:15]Brittany Guinane: [00:00:15] Yes, I’m ready. I can’t wait.
[00:00:17] Dane Reis: [00:00:17] Alright, let’s do it,
um, Brittany works as a dancer show, girl, Gogo and model for shows, corporate events, conventions, and industrials career highlights include Follies BearShare fantasy and Jubilee, where she was dance captain.
[00:00:32] she has also danced for the world’s top DJs at lax tau, Lavo, Xs, haka, sun, and Marquis. Brittany. That was 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, filling the gaps, who you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry?
[00:00:56]Brittany Guinane: [00:00:56] okay. Well, I grew up in Detroit dancing in a dance studio doing competitive dance, and I knew I wanted to continue dancing. I thought I wanted to be a dance teacher. So. I actually went to college and got my BFA in dance performance, mainly concert dance.
Um, and while I was there, I decided I would like to be a Las Vegas showgirl.
[00:01:17] And so I packed my bags after graduation and moved to Las Vegas, where for 10 years I performed in some of the production shows, which you mentioned. And with the closing of that last show, would you believe I went into more of the freelance modeling gig work,
um, and got my job dancing in nightclubs. And I’ve been doing that for the past three years.
[00:01:39]Dane Reis: [00:01:39] Fantastic. Well, let’s move on to this next section here. And Brittany, look, I am a sucker for a good quote.
[00:01:48] What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?
[00:01:51]Brittany Guinane: [00:01:51] quote that I really like is that everything that you desire is outside of your comfort zone, because if it was. So easiest to be with inside of your comfort zone, you would already have it. So in order to get the things that you really want in life, you might feel a little scared. You might feel a little nervous, but you have to push yourself.
[00:02:09] And I kind of find whenever I do have that talk with myself. No, Brittany, just do it. Just put yourself out there. It’ll be fine. I’m always so glad that I did.
[00:02:19]Dane Reis: [00:02:19] Absolutely. And I can totally relate to that as well. And you’re right. I think that if you aren’t. Feeling a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit unsettled with what you’re trying to do then you’re not really pushing hard enough. It’s very easy to rest on our laurels.
[00:02:35] Especially once we, if we book a big job and we’ve been really looking forward to it and we make that happen for us. There is certainly that time where you have to go, Oh, let’s just relish in this and enjoy that. We landed this dream contract, but at some point you need to turn that switch back on and start pushing again.
[00:02:55]Brittany Guinane: [00:02:55] Exactly. And I’ve been guilty of that. You know, I’ve in some of those shows, I was in Jubilee for six and a half years.
Um, you get that job that you really love and you stay there. But actually right now is a great example. We’re kind of all pushed to, I think everyone’s a little bit nervous.
[00:03:09] Everyone’s a little scared not knowing what’s happening or what’s coming next in these times. And. Now is that time to just kind of keep pushing yourself and see where it takes you. Everyone’s being really creative, but you’ve started your podcast.
Um, so it’s a scary time, but it could be a really exciting time for everyone to kind of get a new beginning or a twist on something old to make it work for now.
[00:03:32]Dane Reis: [00:03:32] Yeah, absolutely. And you know, we’re kind of blessed if we look at it this way to have this time right now, to delve into projects that maybe were on the back burner or just little things in the back of our head that we just didn’t have the time to commit to it.
[00:03:45] In the moment because all of us as professional entertainers, especially in that Las Vegas market, we are always hustling and looking for that next gig. That next job.
[00:03:54]Brittany Guinane: [00:03:54] Yeah, it’s been a nice,
um, downtime to, to really explore what it is that makes you happy. And when you have all this free time and you have the choice of how to spend almost every day, Uh, it’s kind of interesting to see where that takes you.
[00:04:08] Dane Reis: [00:04:08] absolutely. Well, let’s move on to this next section and Brittany, you’re an entertainer. I am an entertainer, and I think that you’d agree. This industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. And, 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.
[00:04:36] And while yeah, of course there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement 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.
[00:04:59] And how did you come out the other side better because of it.
[00:05:03]Brittany Guinane: [00:05:03] I don’t know if there’s any key failure, but I would say being in Las Vegas,
um, there’s a lot of things that go into what you get hired for. Part of it is how you dance. Part of it is how you look or having a sister niche or a certain specialty. So I think over the years, there’s been times where you get these criticisms and it feels devastating at the time, but you kind of just have to get past it.
[00:05:29] It’s like, okay, well that’s not gonna work. So. How do I proceed from here? What I thought was going to happen? It’s not going to happen. Let’s turn this way or okay. You didn’t like my hair color. I can fix that. Let’s do that and see if that works.
Um, I think these are all things growing up dancing. I always thought, well, if my dancing is good and , I want the job and I audition and work hard, I’ll get it.
[00:05:51] But there’s so many other things that go into it. And it’s hard sometimes not to take it personally, especially when I first moved to town. And you’re young and you get put on weight notice or whatever, it’s, it’s devastating if you think it’s end of the world, but it’s really not, you know, it’s just, you have to take a step back and think like, okay, is this something that I can fix?
[00:06:09] Is this maybe not the right path for me? I think if you really just want to be in this career dancing, you don’t just get pigeonholed. And so. One position or one show or one job you have to kind of be open two other possibilities and you might find something that you’re right for. And that surprises you.
[00:06:28]Dane Reis: [00:06:28] Yeah, absolutely. And you’re so right.
[00:06:30] There are so many different factors that go into casting decisions and they are so far out of our control. Well, most of the factors I should say are out of our control, but I love that. You were saying, look, you have to move on. What can you do about it? Is there something that I can adapt? Is there something there, because that also comes from the maturity of being in that room, doing it time and time and time again, and really realizing that you can control some aspects of it.
[00:07:01] And for those things too. Take ownership and to see what you can do to make yourself better and see if you can make yourself more hireable. But again, also having the maturity of knowing when it’s time to say, you know what this was so out of my control, that I can’t really be upset. I did what I could do.
[00:07:20] And I’m just not what they’re looking for today.
[00:07:23]Brittany Guinane: [00:07:23] Exactly. And one really good example. I’m five, 10, maybe almost five 11. So my height is either it’s the reason I get hired sometimes, or it’s the reason I don’t get hired sometimes. It’s Oh my God. You’re five 10. And you’re hired other times. It’s Whoa. You’re, you’re really, really, really tall.
[00:07:41] And it’s yeah, there’s nothing I can do about it.
[00:07:44] And it sometimes hinders me from getting the job and other times , I’m immediately getting the job despite everything else. and some people straight up don’t care. And so I think not necessarily height, but there’s something always, maybe one person doesn’t like your face. Someone else loves your face.
[00:08:00] It’s not the end of the world. It’s just that time, that day, that judging table, that position, whatever it is, it’s you have to learn to not take it personally, kind of take it for what it is, see what you can learn from it and try to move forward.
[00:08:15] Dane Reis: [00:08:15] Absolutely. Like you said,
uh, sometimes they don’t like your face. Sometimes they do. I re I remember getting feedback, um, Kind of a sideways feedback from someone who had an inside line , on an audition I did.
[00:08:25] And the reason I didn’t book the show was the person casting it. For whatever reason I remind you, did them have their ex boyfriend. And that was it. That was the only reason had nothing else to do with my ability. Just that
[00:08:41] Brittany Guinane: [00:08:41] want to see his face to get them out of here.
[00:08:43] Dane Reis: [00:08:43] That’s it All right. Well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment.
[00:08:53] That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.
[00:09:08]Brittany Guinane: [00:09:08]
um, the moment that I realized I wanted to be a dancer, um, my dad took me to the Tina Turner. What’s love got to do with it. Concert.
[00:09:16] Dane Reis: [00:09:16] Amazing.
[00:09:17]Brittany Guinane: [00:09:17] And I was sitting there and I was just not moving. And he goes, are you okay? I was just staring like Slack mouth at the stage. And he goes, are you all right? And I said, yeah, I just, I want to do that.
[00:09:29] And he goes, what be Tina Turner? And I was like, no, them. And it was the backup dancers and their fringy little. Two pieces, you know, proud Mary doing their shimmies, jumping up and down the whole time. That was when I was like, that’s what I want to do. I want to be a dancer. And honestly, from, I think I was six or seven at that time, from that time until now any time I have ever gotten to dance to proud Mary.
[00:09:54] It just, it makes my life makes me so happy and I’ve gotten to do it for dance competitions in high school palms. And there was a little section in fantasy and it just always makes me so happy to dance to Tina Turner.
[00:10:07] Dane Reis: [00:10:07] Yeah. I love that. And I love that you said that you were at the concert and you’re just blank, just staring and your dad had to go,
uh, are you okay?
[00:10:14] Brittany Guinane: [00:10:14] yeah, just not moving.
[00:10:16] Dane Reis: [00:10:16] can totally relate to that experience. And it’s always, when I’m watching something. That I’m absolutely in all of it’s.
[00:10:24] It’s like, it’s so much that my, the whole rest of my body can’t do anything else. It just has to just be paralyzed and absorb what’s coming in, through my eyes and my ears. It’s amazing, but I’m loving life. I’m loving everything that’s coming in, but if you looked at me, you certainly wouldn’t think I was enjoying the show.
[00:10:42] Brittany Guinane: [00:10:42] You’re just so engrossed and you’re taking it all in. And I think he was kind of heartbroken at first because the whole reason he took me, I had this Tina Turner cassette tape and I would play it over and over and make up dances in my room. And you know, the whole thing dress up, jump around. And so he’s thinking I should be dancing and singing like a normal person at the concert, but now I was just frozen taking every single thing in.
[00:11:04] Dane Reis: [00:11:04] Yeah, love that. Well, let’s piggyback on that question quick, and let’s talk about your number one book. That 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? That moment?
[00:11:25]Brittany Guinane: [00:11:25] Honestly, probably my favorite book that moment was when I got offered the position at Follies BearShare. So I had graduated from college and I was working at two different bars. I was running food. If I wasn’t scheduled, they were just trying to get extra money in my pocket. So I could move to Las Vegas.
[00:11:42] Everyone knew I wanted to do it.
Um, and I came to Vegas for a week and just went to tons of auditions. And I was at the audition for, I believe it was showing the sky. And someone saw me there and gave me the direct number. So the company manager at and said they would love you, just call them. They’ll give you a private audition.
[00:12:01]I guarantee I’ll get a job. So I called audition, watched the show. I was flying out that night. So I just barely, I had been auditioning all week long. This is my last night.
Um, I went and audition for the company manager. I flew home to Detroit and I got a call the next day. And she goes, we need to do here yesterday.
[00:12:18]When can you get here? So I packed up my whole, my whole apartment on campus.
Um, I put everything I had in like two suitcases and I flew to Vegas and that’s, that was that. And I started rehearsals at Follies for sure. Um, I actually knew someone who had just moved here and I kinda crashed on his couch for about a month.
[00:12:36] And so I got a roommate in my own place. I had no car, he was driving me to rehearsals
[00:12:41] and everything. Oh,
[00:12:43] but I didn’t care. I just, I was here and I was doing it
[00:12:47] Dane Reis: [00:12:47] Of course, you’re like, you know what? I’m here. I’m going to get this job. And then everything I’ll figure everything else out because I got what I actually came here for. Everything else will happen
[00:12:56]Brittany Guinane: [00:12:56] to this day. I can’t even believe the balls that I had as the young kid. Cause there was no smartphones. I actually took. A city bus in Las Vegas from the Tropicana to whatever place on Sahara, where you, the quest diagnostics.
Um, I just asked people on the bus how to get there.
[00:13:15]Dane Reis: [00:13:15] Amazing. Yeah, because it’s so hard to find the resources back then. Hey,
[00:13:18]Brittany Guinane: [00:13:18] Yeah. I didn’t care. I was making it happen.
[00:13:21], I thought I was on the movie Showgirls, so I was just out here making it happen.
[00:13:26] Dane Reis: [00:13:26] I love that. So good. 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 look, it’s a crazy time. We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:13:46]Brittany Guinane: [00:13:46]
um, so currently I’m trying to stay in shape. I’m doing a lot of outdoor activity yoga. , trying to say dialed into dancing. It is hard for me. I think I feed off of the energy, even of just being in a real dance class with other people. The whole zoom class, Instagram live thing was really hard for me.
Um, but I’ve been taking gigs and I’m really excited that people still want to be entertained even though their gatherings have to be small. Usually the guests have to wear masks. We have to wear masks. So it’s slightly altered, but people still want that entertainment element, whether it’s dancers or Showgirls.
[00:14:25]I think that’s like a good feeling that they still want us there. I just think it’s going to have to be a little more creative. We’re going to have to reimagine
[00:14:33] how we interact with the people that we’re entertaining right now. I find that they think it’s a novelty that. The show girls are wearing masks or the dancers are wearing masks.
[00:14:43] I think that will wear off,
[00:14:45]I’m hoping that we get back to at least having showrooms, even if it’s socially distant in the audience,
um, people need to be
[00:14:53]Dane Reis: [00:14:53] Yeah, absolutely. And did I see you on a social media post in the Jubilee costumes for a big opening of valleys?
[00:15:01]Brittany Guinane: [00:15:01] Yes.
Um, we actually, we did the Jubilee costumes for the grand opening of the Flamingo, which was the first day casinos opened back in the beginning of June, which was very exciting that they, used Showgirls for the grand opening of the strip. Um, and then Bally’s the, the Jubilee finale costumes.
um, for their grand reopening and we had an Elvis and some dancers and everyone in the hotel kept telling us that how much they missed all the Jubilee dancers in the Jubilee show. And they were wondering if it was coming back.
[00:15:31]You know, it was sad to say, it’s, it’s not, you have a show coming in, but I’ve heard shows aren’t coming back until 2021, which makes me a little bit anxious, but it’s more time for us to train and.
[00:15:43]Get in shape, maybe be creative ourselves.
Um, I think Vegas was kind of on its way to changing one more time. Anyways, it was kind of going away from the big production shows and more into these headliners and even the mega nightclubs. It seems like, , that might be on its way out, having all those people crammed into a space, but I hope they can still figure it out because I very much enjoy my job dancing in a nightclub.
[00:16:08] Dane Reis: [00:16:08] Yeah, absolutely. Well, I love all that insight and I think that you are. Correct. That Vegas was already feeling like it’s time for a switch it’s time for a transition.
[00:16:21] Of course, no one. I don’t think really anyone knew what that was going to be. And now we really don’t know what it’s going to be, but we certainly I think have more of a direction of where it has to go. So I’m excited to see what it’s going to happen. What’s going to happen,
[00:16:35] Brittany Guinane: [00:16:35] Yeah, I know all of us are . Anxious to get back to dancing, I’m working and doing what we love, but it’s fun to see in the meantime, what creative ways people are finding of providing entertainment or still having shows. I’ve seen some driving shows here in town with live performance. And I know the Mayfair supper club has been running.
[00:16:56] So that’s all exciting. And hopefully some of the other venues can take some cues and maybe we can figure out ways to get more things
[00:17:02]Dane Reis: [00:17:02] Absolutely. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. 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?
[00:17:22]Brittany Guinane: [00:17:22] I hope so.
[00:17:23] Dane Reis: [00:17:23] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:17:30]Brittany Guinane: [00:17:30] Nothing. I immediately graduated and here I am
[00:17:34] Dane Reis: [00:17:34] Great. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:17:40]Brittany Guinane: [00:17:40] try to be as versatile as possible. Fake it till you make it be confident.
[00:17:46]Dane Reis: [00:17:46] Great. 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?
[00:17:58]Brittany Guinane: [00:17:58] staying connected with people and,
um, always being personable. People know that you’re going to show up and do a good job. Sometimes that goes further than the best talented person. And I always try to give out what I can and hopefully it comes back.
[00:18:12] Dane Reis: [00:18:12] Absolutely. Absolutely. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now?
[00:18:28]Brittany Guinane: [00:18:28] I honestly think social media is probably the best resource. The more that you put out there, it seems like the more calls that I get when I was in shows, I always got booked as a show girl. And when I was going, I always got booked as a Gogo. So I
[00:18:41] Dane Reis: [00:18:41] I think
[00:18:41] that’s Yeah. I love that. And I liked that you brought that up because so many people still are discounting the power that social media has, maybe it’s because.
[00:18:53]They feel they’re a little bit behind the eight ball on it. Maybe , you don’t want to admit that this is a legitimate part of the industry and our industry getting work now, but the fact is it’s here to stay. It is how we are getting hired. it’s what casting directors are looking for. So you have to jump on board and I’m so glad, glad that you brought that up and that you are doing that and you are making.
[00:19:18]Social media work for you
[00:19:20]Brittany Guinane: [00:19:20] I agree with you. And I have evidence that last gig that I just did. The casting director said they went on Facebook to specifically be reminded of who has worn Jubilee costumes. So they could book someone who had done so into those costumes.
[00:19:35]Dane Reis: [00:19:35] there you have it right there. 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?
[00:19:50] Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:19:54]Brittany Guinane: [00:19:54] It’s such a tough question. Cause I always wished I had done cruise ships. I would have to trade off, going to college to do that. And I made so many good friends, but I. I think there’s maybe no need to have gone to college for dance. It was a great experience, but I wish I had done more, shows, more traveling. I love everything I did, but I wish I would have done more.
[00:20:14]Dane Reis: [00:20:14] Yeah.
[00:20:14] And you know, people in these podcasts have brought up their experiences on ships, but no one has said, I wish I would have done ships. And I’m glad that you said that because I really, really thoroughly enjoyed my time on ships. I’m glad I did them for the length of time that I did them. And what I love about them is that you get so many reps on stage.
[00:20:37] You get so much performance experience in various styles that you really get the opportunity to hone your skills. I think more so than any training program that I’ve ever been a part of could have offered me. Plus you’re getting paid plus you’re traveling.
[00:20:53]Brittany Guinane: [00:20:53] Exactly. That’s the only thing.
Um, but you know, when I was graduated in high school, the internet was not what it was these days. I would have had no idea in a suburb of Detroit, how to even go about getting on
[00:21:06] Dane Reis: [00:21:06] a cruise
[00:21:06] ship Totally. And we’re also fortunate now, and especially the younger people that are up and coming into this industry, listening to this podcast. You’re so fortunate because you have everything at your fingertips right now, and there’s so much information available.
[00:21:20] The whole world is quite literally your oyster. I love it. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.
[00:21:36]Brittany Guinane: [00:21:36] I think the best golden nugget it’s not even from being professional, it’s even growing up is just to always be nice to everyone and network. And think of if people like to work with you, they’re going to want to work with you. That’s going to go really far for you and professional world.
[00:21:54] Because once you get to professional level, everyone can dance. Everyone has trained. Everyone is here today. but it comes down to well, who is enjoyable to work with. Who’s going to be easy. Who’s wanting to show up, who’s going to work hard. And that goes a lot farther than sometimes being the best
[00:22:10] Dane Reis: [00:22:10] Stanford. Absolutely. I could not agree. More being nice to everyone is paramount to having a successful career and to wrap up this interview, Brittany, it is time to give yourself a plug.
[00:22:25] Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:22:31]Brittany Guinane: [00:22:31] You can find me on Instagram at LV, Brittany G and on Facebook. I am Brittany. Good name and. . The only thing I would like to promote is that as
[00:22:41] things are opening up to try. If you were comfortable to,
um, try to support people who are maybe teach in a class.
[00:22:48] If you’re not comfortable. I know some studios, even though they’re doing it in person, you can still go over zoom and make a donation or pay online. Or if there’s performances happening, just do what you do and to support because it’s not going to happen overnight where everything has suddenly opened and ready to go.
[00:23:04] I think it’s going to be slow. The more we can support the slow trickle yeah. Things happening. It’ll ramp up a little faster, at least that’s what I think.
[00:23:12] Dane Reis: [00:23:12] Perfect. . And for everyone out there listening, I put the links to both of our social media handles in the description of this episode.
[00:23:20] So you can easily click and connect. Brittany, thank you so much for , joining me today. It has been a pleasure to have you on.
[00:23:27]Brittany Guinane: [00:23:27] Thanks for having me.