From: Norm Johnson
For: Column 6-9-15
From the successful gurus who first brought you their methods to climb to the top…
…Now here comes anti-success guru Tom Rubin, who proves that the ladder of success (not to mention his comedic persona) has a few “loose screws.” Things will be looking up – at least from the bottom rung – as audiences experience incomparable hilarity when Rubin debuts his original, self-penned, one-of-a-kind, one-man comedy show, “Failure Is An Option!” at Ron DeCar’s Event Center, located at 1201 S. Las Vegas Blvd., June 18-20 at 7:30 p.m.
No one can speak to this mindset better than Rubin, who has had dual careers as a Beverly Hills entertainment attorney, a comedian, and spent some of his formative years living on a farm in New Jersey, where he gained an immense appreciation of manure (the cows seemed to really be moo-ved by his jokes).
Inspired by his experiences in the hyper-competitive worlds of the Ivy League, corporate America, and Hollywood, in this Stephen Colbert-style parody show, Rubin comically dismantles self-help concepts offered by serious self-help gurus, from positive thinking and empowerment to bucket lists and spiritual enlightenment. He is truly the anti-Tony Robbins. The hilarious twisted logic of his “success” system leaves audiences in stitches as they are entertained and uplifted by this unique and relatable show.
As for how Rubin came to write “Failure Is An Option!” he always wanted to do comedy with a theme. Having found the Tony Robbins-type success gurus to be interesting characters, he thought that the genre would be the perfect thing to spoof, of course backed by his own experiences with failure. “It hit me that I could do the opposite,” Rubin explains. “I could be a guru that tells it like it is. I would become the world’s leading expert on failure. My character is a Stephen Colbert tongue-in-cheek type of persona and the show is formatted like a fake seminar – in L.A., where I performed it in small theaters, the audience wore name tags. I’ve been told that it has a George Carlin-style feel.”
On the personal side, the Harvard graduate and Flemington, New Jersey native moved to Los Angeles to write and perform comedy while also building a law practice. As an entertainment attorney, he has represented a number of prominent clients and negotiated deals for television series including “Pawn Stars” and “The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.” As a stand-up comedian, he has performed for years at such venues as the Improv, Comedy Store, and Laugh Factory. His television appearances include CNN Headline News and Fox Business News, for which he provides comedic commentary.
Tom Rubin has all the evidence that failure can lead you into many things -- including your own showroom gig in Las Vegas. He cuts through the manure, so bring your sense of humor and leave your ego (and shovel) at the door.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
As June rolls into and over our little village, and summer announces its here, the 29th annual “Golden Rainbow’s Ribbon of Life” is preparing for its biggest day of the year to be held at the New Tropicana Hotel. Yep, gang, it’s definitely summer. This is an original production unlike any other in Las Vegas, featuring custom production numbers from the best singers, dancers and performers from premier shows on the Strip. Showcasing new acts and talent, each year’s “Ribbon of Life” audience is always surprised, thrilled and inspired by performances that are exclusive to the event.
The theme this year is “Rockin’ the Ribbon,” which will include a wide spectrum of rock ‘n’ roll-themed production numbers featuring elements of classic rock ‘n’ roll, Broadway themed rock performances, contemporary pop rock ‘n’ roll, rock opera and some rock ‘n’ roll movie themes. There will also be a Rockin’ the Ribbon After-Party in the Havana Room™ immediately following the show, where attendees can mix and mingle with some of the performers and partake in a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds from this one-night-only performance, which is one of the largest HIV/AIDSfundraisers in the state of Nevada, will benefit Golden Rainbow. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Show Tickets desk or by phone at 702-739-2411.
The following is an article written by a very good friend, and one of the founders of this particular benefit. However, when this got started back in 1987, not one of the founders thought it would be still going on into its 29th year, as today it is bigger and better than ever. The millions-of-dollars raised over the years have gone on to help, I’m sure, thousands of those in need. I would like to thank Esther Lynn who granted me permission to use her article, for which she researched, composed, and published on June 1, 2012. This is just as she wrote it:
Lola Falana Stu Scott with Barney and George
was the Superstar Aid for AIDS Benefit, performed in the Cafe Continental Theatre at the Stardust Hotel, on June 14, 1987. The idea for putting on a show came about after Las Vegas entertainer, comic ventriloquist Stu Scott, let the community know that he himself was dealing with AIDS. Prior to that, victims of the relatively new disease were blaming their deteriorating physical condition and poor health on things like the "watermelon diet." Stu Scott told the truth and traveled to Carson City many times to appeal for funds to educate the public about this terrible plague. When concerned locals decided to help raise money, the logical way was to take advantage of the big-name entertainers who were regularly performing around the city, and use their talent for this cause. The beneficiary of the funds raised would be AFAN (Aid for AIDS of Nevada), with the help and encouragement of AFAN's executive director, Wes Davis. We knew we could get the performers. It was hoped that the event would take place in March, but what was needed first was a hotel showroom to house the production. Hotels in the city were contacted. Every one of them said "no thanks." It seems that in the ‘80s, AIDS and a tourist destination were not a good match. A spokesperson for one hotel stated that they would never be involved with anything related to AIDS, because it "was bad for tourism." It was suggested by one fundraiser representative that it was also bad for tourism to have dancers dropping dead on showroom stages. This "new plague" was taking its toll in villages and cities around the world, including Las Vegas. The last hotel approached was the Stardust, then was undergoing major and extensive remodeling. It was Gary Golbart (then director of the hotel's Lido de Paris production, and now a rabbi in Los Angeles), who made things happen. Golbart wound up serving as executive producer of the Superstar Aid for AIDS Benefit. A committee of concerned, hard-working members of the community - including Bill Moore, Judge Seymore Brown, Norm Johnson, Jim "The Vegas Vampire" Parker,Lamont Patterson, Donna Searles, Mark Tan, Bill Willard and Judi Wolfe (today, only two of these people are still living) - was formed, and some well-known personalities, including Forrest Duke, Pete Mikla, Donald O'Connor, Ralph Pearl, Line Renaud, Debbie Reynolds, Joan Rivers and Rip Taylor, signed on as Honorary Chairpersons, lending their names and appearing in TV spots to get the word out. The Superstar Benefit brought talent from all over the Las Vegas Strip together and set the standard for all such fund-raisers that followed. With maitre d' Bob Van Dura and a crew of friendly and efficient captains taking care of business, the theater, then called the Lido Showroom, was filled with an enthusiastic audience who paid $25 each to see Las Vegas headliners that included, among others, Lola Falana, Joseph Gabriel, Mickey Gilley, Robert Goulet, Loretta Holloway, Kenny Kerr, the McGuire Sisters, Guy Mitchell, Roberta Sherwood, the Smothers Brothers andSuzanne Somers, plus cast members from City Lites, Les Folies Bergere, Legends In Concert, Lido de Paris, Minsky‘s Burlesque and Splash. The event raised about $20,000 for AFAN. Up until that time, garage and bake sales, individual donations, and bar-top "tip" jars with coins, checks and a few folded bills inside, was how monies were raised to assist people living (and dying) with AIDS in Southern Nevada. The volunteers involved, along with the Stardust hotel, were pioneers when it came to putting a face on AIDS. It was a month after the Superstar event, that Golden Rainbow performed its first show. Golden Rainbow, named after a popular 1968 Broadway musical, was the brainchild of singerBree Burgess and Bally's Hotel credit union manager, Peter Todd. The organization was founded in response to the 1986 AIDS death of popular Las Vegas entertainer, Chris Carter, who died alone on a cot in his brother's garage because his family wouldn't allow him in the house. Today, Golden Rainbow remains one of the most successful AIDS organizations in the nation. As for Wes Davis, he is currently employed at the brand new Container Store in Town Square. Stop in and say hello.
The McGuire Sisters
There are still three of us remaining. Esther Lynn is the third along with this writer and Jim Parker. I hope you appreciated reading this as I did bringing it to you.
Well, gang, I hope you can make it to this year’s event. It’s the best one ever! I’m outa here