Dec 17th 2009 4:02PM Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Las Vegas in many instances, is partially culpable for their own downturn. I have lived there since the early 90's and many casinos were arrogant with visitors, that they had profiled as undesirables. I was detained in the Venetian for an hour, for nothing. After they realized that I was indeed a gambler with a Venetian card, they returned my money to me and claimed that the video evidence was blocked, and they were unable to see anything illegal. BS. They saw the video and I had done nothing wrong. No apology, no remorse.
I am in my fifties, age wise. I have been treated poorly at many casinos to include The Monte Carlo (asked to show my ID in front of a crowd), Treasure Island (falsely accused of panhandling gamblers for money), The Mirage (followed and questioned by security), MGM (told by casino host to leave the high roller slot area, even though that is where I like to play), Paris (asked to show ID, even though I was a registered guest at the hotel), Excalibur (waitress told me to play or she would not serve me, even though I had just dumped $100 into a high roller slot), Bellagio (asked to show ID), Caesar's Palace (my $100 bill jammed in the slot machine and the attendant did not believe that I had put my money in the slot machine, and that I was trying to get money put in by someone else. after 30 minutes of reviewing the video, I was given my $100 bill, no apology, no remorse), Plaza (told by sports book writer not to clap for my team that I bet on, as they scored a touchdown. turns out he had a bet on the other side and threatened to throw me out, if I cheered anymore), Fremont (accused of topping a bet on a card table. after being detained for 30 minutes of video review, I was given my winnings, no apology, no remorse), and many other slights too numerous to mention. This is not good for business. I am not a poor man. I work in the motion picture industry and make a good living. I do not look underage. I fit a profile that they have, and that is un-American. My money is good. I am born in the US, and my family's ancestors have been here for a long time. I graduated cum laude from a major national university on the West Coast of the USA. So, I do not feel the casino's pain. They brought it on themselves.
Oddly enough, I never had a problem at The Sahara. Other casinos treated me very well and were always professional. The good casino list includes the aforementioned Sahara, Mandalay Bay (always nice, always open minded), Luxor (paid attention to a problem and took care of it, professional), New York New York (friendly staff), Imperial Palace (tolerant, mostly professional staff), Palms (professional friendly staff, fun place), Rampart Casino (friendly staff). The Station casinos are usually people friendly, as are the Coast Casinos.
Las Vegas had better remember that without the tourist and gamblers, their town is nothing more than an overgrown desert town. Many of the casino workers despise the tourists and gamblers, even though they are their lifeblood. How stupid is that? Better change your attitude from the ground floor up. The Native casinos are closer, more convenient, and nicer to folks in general. I now live in Los Angeles and look forward to coming to Las Vegas every chance I get. I go to the friendly casinos and have a good time. The unfriendly casinos can go down, as far as I'm concerned. They have a good thing. They should appreciate it and treat all guests as welcome. If they don't change, more hotels will close. It is inevitable. The Native casinos are growing and are here to stay. Better get off your high horses and get real. Remember that Stardust is still waiting to get rebuilt. Your jobs are in jeopardy folks. Attitude of gratitude is what is called for. Good Luck.
Oct 1st 2009 4:37PM I do not agree with what she did. However, it is important to inform those of you who do not work in the motion picture industry about the real behind the scenes going ons.
First off, I have acted in 78 movies and 74 television shows. I have had some starring roles in a few independent movies that had premieres at the Sundance Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, New York Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival, amongst many others. I have always had to pay my flights, hotel, transportation, and meals. That is the independent film life.
In fact, the 2 previous movies that I had starring roles in, had their World Premiere at the prestigious Venice Film Festival in Italy. I made $100 per day under the Screen Actors Guild "ultra low budget" contract on the movie that was screened in Venice, Italy. I flew myself, at my own expense to Venice, Italy, and paid for my hotel and most of my meals. The whole trip cost me a little over 2000 dollars. I made 1800 dollars on the movie under the SAG ultra low budget contract. So, it cost me 200 dollars out of my pocket to attend the film festival, walk the Red Carpet, attend the photo calls, be interviewed for television, internet and radio, etc. If only media attention paid my bills.
This is par for the course when it comes to indies. The reason is that all the money has been spent making the movie. Sometimes a studio will pick up the movie, but good luck getting them to pay for anything unless you are a STAR. This year, when I had another starring role in an indie movie that had its World Premiere at the same prestigious Venice Film Festival, I could not afford to go. I had made only $900 total on that movie under the same "ultra low budget" SAG contract. I missed out and that is the way it is.
The point is, there is always more than meets the eye when it comes to Hollywood. In my 28 years in the industry, appearing in speaking roles in SAG or AFTRA union productions that number 78 movies and 74 television shows; I have made an average of 15k per year. 28 years average. So, you see, there is always more than meets the eye.
In the end, it would have been wiser for her to attend these film festivals. I know she wasn't paid top dollar when she originally did the movie. Trust me folks, the money is made by the big wigs, not us actors. Only the chosen few get million dollar contracts and all of it is transient and fleeting.
Who knows what really happened behind the scenes?
Jul 29th 2008 4:12PM The chickens have come home to roost for the airlines. For decades, air travel service and basic humanity have been in decline. I was once not allowed to fly back from Miami to Los Angeles, because the other passengers were afraid I had AIDS. I had been in a car accident in Miami and had lost weight. The captain and gate personnel assured me that I would get onboard last, in order to accomodate my injuries. At the last moment, the gate personnel closed the gate doors and blocked my way. They told me that the captain had not okayed my being onboard, even though I had purchased the ticket and had a boarding pass. I had to argue with them to pay for my hotel. I was able to leave the next day on Pan Am airlines with no problems whatsoever. What was the name of the airline that lied to me and did not let me board the plane?
Fortunately, I did not develop an infection from the delay. I had to wash my wounds and change my dressings myself with no pain medications as the hospital would not give me any. What a night of misery, loneliness and pain. All brought to you by the folks at CONTINENTAL AIRLINES.
Another time, I was performing in Phoenix, AZ. My grandfather passed away and I took a quick flight after the show, to Roswell, New Mexico through Albuquerque. I came back the next night and performed. The next day at the airport, I was informed of a new carry on baggage fee that was to take effect in 2 weeks. Because, I carried some of my instruments, I was told that there would be a fee. I said that first off, the date for the fee to begin was 2 weeks away as clearly posted on their signs at the counter. I further told the desk clerk that I had been at a funeral for my grandfather and that one of my bags contained personal items of my grandfather that were set aside for me. She then replied, "Well, which is it? A funeral or a show? "Both", I replied. She said that was hard to believe. I then showed her the paper that had my photo on the front cover for ths show I had performed in. I then showed her my grandfather's funeral notice. She didn't like my tone of voice and got her supervisor. He came and took the canvas bag of my grandfather's and shoved it rudely into the sizing box that tells you whether your bag is too big. He bent many of the documents (letters, photos, etc.) as he crammed the bag into the box and said, "It will fit in the overhead bin, but you still have to pay the $50.00 carry on fee." I complained that the fee was not to take effect for 2 more weeks as clearly posted at the desk. I pointed to the sign itself. "You pay the $50.00 fee, or you don't get on board", was his final rude reply. The airline that did this? The folks at
I could go on, as I travel quite a bit. These are the most egregious of the numerous incidents I have personally experienced. SO, TO HELL WITH THE AIRLINES. Let them figure out that without the customer, there is nothing. No CEO's, no stock options, no bonuses, no pensions, no paycheck. I only fly when I absolutely have to. The train and bus are fine with me. Different problems with much less arrogance.