2012 Year-In-Review!

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Can you believe we are already at the end of 2012? And what a year it’s been! A definite mixture of highs and lows…not an easy year, for sure…but a completely blessed one nonetheless. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in…it was a busy year! LOL

To begin with, Ron and I were BOTH incredibly blessed with many new opportunities to continue doing what we LOVE: there were several NEW VENUES for me to sing jazz (Elara Grand Vacations Resort, The Dispensary Lounge, Blue Fire Supper Club, Kelly’s Prime Steak & Seafood) and a couple of NEW SHOWS for Ron (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas & The Grand Ole Vegas Revue at The Plaza) in addition to all his emcee and hosting work (you can read all about my gorgeous hubby at www.RonSmithLasVegas.com)! PLUS, we had lots of opportunities this year to perform TOGETHER, which we love the MOST (Sun City Anthem, Starbright Theater, Wild Horse Country Club, Hit Parade, Toast of the Town, Showstoppers, Barbra Streisand Concert, etc.)!

Facebook ProfileOne of the “lows” this year was losing my older brother, Jeff. He passed away on March 26th, following a very long, painful struggle with alcoholism and all the various and numerous health problems he had because of it. Jeff and I had our difficulties over the years. Alcoholism is such a progressive, all-encompassing disease, and it literally takes over your life…and the lives of everyone around you. I had a hard time understanding what I believed to be his “choices” in life…I realize now they weren’t choices for him, he did the best that he could. My brother is finally at peace, and he will always be remembered as a good and kind man who adored his children and just wanted his family to be proud of him. And we are so grateful that we have his wonderful children, Tyler (15) and Sara (13), living here in town now…they are truly a blessing in our lives. You can read his full story on the memorial website we set up for him here: www.jeffreywaynerogers.com.

Trubble Smith: RIP 1993-2012

Trubble Smith: RIP 1993-2012

We also lost our dear, sweet Trubble this past year…my “bestest” friend and kitty of 19 years. She was such a joy in our life and such a wonderful companion through the years. I miss her so much….

Yes, a definite mixture of highs and lows…but thankfully, the highs totally outweighed the lows…again, fortunate and blessed. :)

My vocal trio, DANGEROUS CURVES, had a particularly incredible year. Here’s a little tidbit from our latest BLOG post, just to catch you up:

Dangerous Curves, 2012…it has truly been one of the most sensational years in Dangerous Curves history. And, while our history is rather short (should we simply say new?), it has been filled with the love and support of family and friends. However, we never dreamed just how much support we would literally see and feel than when we did our first Dangerous Curves, Indiegogo campaign. Crowd-funding?! That’s for big stars and artists with HUGE email lists and…well, you know…right? NO! We really didn’t know the depth and scope of your huge and generous hearts!

CD Artwork Composite

The above pictures show the fruition of that generosity in our sophomore CD called “Star of Wonder”, now available on iTunesAmazon MP3 and of course, physical copies available by simply emailing us at dangerouscurves@cox.net.

If that wasn’t enough, we have been nominated for “2012 Best Cabaret Artist – Female” on Broadway World Los Angeles! WHAT?! We couldn’t be happier! If you have a moment, would you go and vote for us? Here’s the link to vote on BroadwayWorld.com (you must first enter your email address and then complete the entire voting process in order for your vote to count). BUT PLEASE HURRY: Voting ends Dec 31, 2012.

Wow, 2012. A year filled with new fans and friends, performances, nominations, our newest CD and best of all, the absolute knowledge, that someone is listening. Someone really cares about us and knows us and loves us. Friends, we love you, too. Enjoy your holidays and we wish you a most happy and joyous New Year!

Shades of SinatraAs for SHADES OF SINATRA, we are still performing at the Clarion Hotel & Casino 3 nights a week, but we are now in the BIG 300-seat Wolf Theater Showroom (and beginning in June of this year, we moved to Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday nights at 9:00pm)!!! We continue to get wonderful crowds and so many positive comments and reviews about the show (you can read a few of them HERE on TripAdvisor.com).

Looking toward 2013, we are planning to start booking some out-of-town shows in addition to continuing our shows at the Clarion Hotel… lots of plans, lots of dreams, lots of great things ahead!

stick_figure_drawing_goalsOn a personal note, 2012 was a definite year of change and self-improvement for me. After watching a video of myself in the Valentine’s Show that Ron and I performed at the Starbright Theater (“Love is a Many Complicated Thing”), I sadly realized that the past 10 years of being married and living in Las Vegas had brought not only tremendous JOY and LOVE to my life, but also an additional 30 or so pounds!!! What?!?!? How did that happen? I mean, I knew I had gained a few pounds over the years…marriage does that to you, right? But 30?!?! Holy COW (pun intended)…I honestly had no idea. SOOOO, I decided that day to DO something about it.

I had just finished reading Jennifer Hudson’s book, “I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down” and immediately got online and signed up for Weight Watchers. Yes, THAT Weight Watchers! It was exactly what I needed. I’ve never been a person who does well with “meetings” of any kind (maybe I just don’t like people that much???), but I LOVE gadgets and tech stuff, and I LOVE being in charge and making my OWN decisions…I definitely don’t respond to someone else telling me what to do. So after reading through a few of the options, I decided to sign up for the ONLINE PLAN and track everything using my iPhone. PERFECT for me! I signed up for a 3-month plan to start with (about $18 a month for ALL the tools I would need) and figured I’d try it for 3 months and see how it went. What did I have to lose, right (besides the obvious lbs)? Well guess what? In those 3 months I lost 16 pounds!!!!! And I am not exaggerating when I tell you it was WAY easier than I thought it would be. All I did was stick to the plan and the weight literally fell off! I was EATING AND LOSING WEIGHT. I felt great. THIS was something I could actually do the rest of my life…yeah, I became a “believer”. Thanks Jennifer… ;-)

Weight Watchers

So, I decided I would keep going and lose ALL the weight I had gained since moving to Vegas…all 30 pounds of it. But I also decided AFTER that initial 3 months that I really did need to start getting some regular exercise. Not so much for the weight loss (Weight Watchers was taking care of that part), but for my own health. Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger (as much as I would like to think I am), and it was finally time to start an exercise plan that I would STICK with. But finding something that I could get excited about…now that was the kicker. Hmmmm….what to do?

184999497163930721_j8k2MhS1_bWell, over the years I have had several friends who were runners, and I always remember them talking about the “high” they would get, and the amazing feeling of “accomplishment” they would have when they’d finish a “LONG run” (which for them was, like, 8 miles, and for me would be 8 minutes!). And then I read a Facebook post from a friend where she talked about running 10 miles that day, and I thought to myself, “That’s insane…that would take 2 hours to do!!!” I wrote her and told her that she was my hero, and I could NEVER do that, and guess what she wrote back? That a year ago, she couldn’t either. But she did a program called “Couch-to-5K” and went from not being able to run 2 minutes without feeling like she was going to die, to being able to RUN a 5K in only 9 weeks. Wow, really??? Okay, again…what have I got to lose??? Let’s give it a shot!

So I purchased the “Couch-to-5K” app for my iPhone and went for my first RUN! Okay, not really a run…it was a slow jog for 30 seconds, then a walk for 2 minutes, then another 30-second jog, then walk, then…you get the idea. Each day I did the program, the time of the jog interval increased slightly, and the walking time decreased. It was not easy, but it also was COMPLETELY doable. So I did it, and continued to do it 3 times a week for the next 9 weeks, and at the end of that 9 weeks I ran in my first 5K RACE!!! Since then I have run in 2 more 5K’s, ran my first 10K in November (hubby’s 1st 5K), and have already signed up for my first HALF MARATHON next April. Yep, I am officially HOOKED!

Running Photos

So, that’s where we are. I reached my goal weight in September and have now kept it off for 3 months! I feel better than I have in my entire life! SO WHAT’S NEXT for Lisa Smith?!?!? New goals? New performing possibilities? Yes, and YES! But you’re just gonna have to wait till the next BLOG post to find out what they are…so stay-tuned! :)

In the meantime, if you’re not busy this Monday night, New Year’s Eve, come on down to Bootlegger Bistro, 7700 Las Vegas Blvd S, and celebrate with us! Gary Peterson and I will be there from 9:30pm-12:30am…LIVE JAZZ, GOURMET ITALIAN CUISINE, CHAMPAGNE….what more could you want?!?

Bootlegger NYE WEB

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE….see ya in 2013!!!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Okay, so as you can tell by my the fact that I am actually WRITING something, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is going to be to update my blog more often…like more than once every 6 months!!! LOL… So, I thought I would start the year with a few highlights from the past few months and give you a little update as to where things are now…

SEPTEMBER was a busy month for Ron and myself. First, we headed down to California over Labor Day weekend for my 20-year Young Americans Japan Tour Reunion…what a BLAST! So many people that I hadn’t seen in years…and they all looked fantastic (and surprisingly YOUNG…ya gotta love that about performers)! A HUGE thank you to Tiff, Craig & David for planning everything and putting in so much work to make sure the entire day was so successful…you guys are the best! Immediately upon returning, Ron and I went back to work preparing for the Heritage Makers Annual Convention, where we hosted the HM’s Got Talent competition, and performed a bunch of our own material, less than 2 weeks later. It was a LOT of work getting it all ready, but ended up being so much fun. Thanks so much to Doug, Brytt and Chris for inviting us to perform, and congratulations to the winners of the competition and to all who participated…you ladies ROCKED! The following week, I was off to the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco for a couple of days to sing an evening of Jazz at a swanky corporate event…got to sing all of my favorite music, wear a pretty dress, and I got paid too…gosh I LOVE my job!

Shades of Sinatra on Channel 13 News!

OCTOBER was equally as busy and also oh-so-much FUN! The first week was filled with special appearances with Shades of Sinatra as we went throughout Las Vegas (San Gennaro Feast, Radio Appearance on KJUL 104.3, Spotlight Appearance on Hit Parade, Television Appearance on KTNV-Channel 13 News) to promote our headlining weekend, October 3-4, at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. We added several new songs to the show this past year–You Will Be My Music, Lady is a Tramp [Ella & Frank version], The House I Live In, Winners, One For My Baby, Where or When, Please Be Kind, Don’cha Go Away Mad–and the crowd really seemed to love all the new stuff.  As a bonus, we also got to promote our brand new CD!

The next week (from October 7-12), Ron and I flew to Hyannis, MA to rehearse & perform with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra for their Gershwin Pops Concert. Talk about FABULOUS and FUN! Wow, we could not have asked for a better experience. The symphony conductor, Jung-Ho Pak, is not ONLY one of the most talented conductors we’ve ever worked with, he is seriously one of THE NICEST people we’ve ever met! We cannot express enough what a wonderful experience it was working with him and with everyone involved with the orchestra…we are just so grateful for the opportunity we were given. The show turned out to be a wonderful success for all involved…the 1400-seat theatre was completely sold-out for EVERY night of the performance!

“Rhythmic razzle-dazzle, toe-tapping jazz and swinging tunes explode in a tribute to the indomitable master of melody, George Gershwin. From Broadway to the silver screen, from Fred Astaire to Sting, Gershwin’s creative output transcends musical styles and idioms with off-the-charts hits like An American in Paris, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, S’Wonderful, and Summertime.  An intriguing virtual performance of Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue combined with a dynamic singing duo, husband and wife team Ron and Lisa Smith, up the volume on a performance packed with entertainment.”

CMA Awards - October 15, 2009

From Gershwin to Motown…just a few days later I had the opportunity to perform the following songs,

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Natural Woman
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
My Girl/Guy
Proud Mary

for the Motown themed CMA Awards at the Golden Nugett Hotel & Casino, dressed in 1960’s clothing, complete with big, blond wig & 3-inch Go-Go boots (ouch!).  The event planner/client, Jodi, turned out to be incredibly nice and even followed up by writing a fabulous review on GigMasters when it was all finished:

“Lisa was easy to work with, accommodating, talented, adorable and fun! Everyone loved her. I’d recommend her to anyone.” – Jodi Owens, Event Planner for Credit Management Association, Las Vegas, NV (Oct 15, 2009)

Lisa Smith

The next day I headed down to Riverside, CA with Dennis & Karen Michaels (two of my very FAVORITE people to sing with!) to perform for the BIA (Builders Industry Association) Awards Dinner at the Mission Inn Hotel. We were hired by Stargazer Productions to do a “singing waiters” gig…lots of GREAT MUSIC and I didn’t actually have to wait on ANY TABLES! Gotta love that!! Lol… :)

I ended the month (October 31, Halloween night) at Les Artistes Steakhouse at the Paris Hotel & Casino, singing an evening of Jazz Standards with Gary Stevens (piano) & Jeff Davis (bass). Their “regular” singer had another gig that evening so I got to fill in…what a great night!

Um, feel free to call me again anytime guys…seriously, anytime!

Dangerous Curves at Lupus Walk, 2009

Las Vegas Lupus Walk!

NOVEMBER was mostly about rehearsing for the numerous Christmas gigs coming up in December! In addition to getting ready for our annual appearance at the Las Vegas Lupus Walk (where we sing the National Anthem every year for the Alliance for Lupus Research), the gals of Dangerous Curves decided to take on a few more “challenging” arrangements for the Holidays, including a KICK “A” big-band arrangement of Jingle Bells that ended up requiring a few more rehearsals than we were used to!!!!! But the good news is, it really paid off! In fact, we’re thinking about keeping that new rehearsal schedule as we head into the new year…

November also marked the beginning of the 3rd month of our album “Girl Talk” being on iTunes…it’s been really fun to watch the sales increase month after month!  It’s been getting great reviews too!  In addition, we used this month to finish our EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and create a NEW website. You can check them both out by visiting us on the web at www.DangerousCurvesLasVegas.com.  And remember, you can follow us on Twitter AND Facebook as well!

Howard Hewett, Lisa Smith, Galaxy GlennThe only other appearance I had in November was as the opening act for Howard Hewett (legendary singer/songwriter & former member of the group Shalamar) at the Coker Foundation Annual Benefit Concert.  The event was hosted by the very talented comedian Galaxy Glenn and I presented 30 minutes of Jazz, Blues and R&B. To be quite honest, I was more than a bit nervous opening for such incredible talent…but everyone was extremely nice, and the concert turned out to be a HUGE success! Whew!!!!

Dangerous Curves, Christmas 2009Well, that brings us to DECEMBER! The beginning of the month was all about Dangerous Curves…with 7 performances in 5 days, the girls were quite busy!  On December 6th we had the opportunity to sing at all 3 services for the wonderful congregation of New Song Church in Anthem…we sang an absolutely BEAUTIFUL a cappella arrangement of Star of Wonder, written by Terre Roche (of the incredible vocal trio, The Roches). Thank you to Pastor Dave & Pastor Marta for always being so welcoming and for inviting us back again & again!

Immediately following those performances, we jumped in our cars and headed down to the Library District Performing Arts Center for the Performing Arts Society of Nevada’s Annual Holiday Show, where we shared the stage with some of Las Vegas’ best talent, including three of OUR favorite musical ladies, Kellie Wright, Cyndi-Lee Mack & Dolly Coulter. We premiered our new Jingle Bells arrangement AND sang a very fun rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town with Dennis Michaels, based on the FABULOUS Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters arrangement recorded back in 1943! Thanks Tom & John…we always have a great time performing in your shows!

On Wednesday, December 9th, we performed for the ROWC Annual Holiday Party out at Nellis AFB. We did 30 minutes of music, which included:

  • Star of Wonder
  • Love Being Here With You
  • Old-Time Radio Medley (Sentimental Journey, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Old Cape Cod)
  • Cloudburst
  • Jingle Bells
  • Moon River
  • Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We had a wonderful time, and the ladies were so complimentary. A big thanks to Virginia & Janet for inviting us!

The next day, December 10, Dangerous Curves appeared on the Hit Parade Show at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. Hosting that day were the incredibly talented Mark Giovi & Robin Vincent (of “Swing City Dolls”). We sang Jingle Bells & Star of Wonder. As always, we just LOVED performing for the Suncoast crowd…they are always so appreciative of everything we do!

We finished the week at Studio 8 Ten, downtown in the Art District, performing for their Annual Holiday Open House on Friday evening. We presented an hour of music (a mixture of Holiday music and some Dangerous Curves’ favorites) for the guests and staff. And talk about a wonderful cause…here’s a little information about Studio 8 Ten:

Studio 8 Ten is a non-profit arts and crafts studio providing paid training and employment for adults with disabilities in Las Vegas’ Transition Services supported employment programs. Resident artists train in the design, production, and sales of over 50 different handmade products, all unique to our company, and learn the specifics of running their own business. Studio 8 Ten fosters pride, self-sufficiency, and self-esteem by providing positive interaction with the community and opportunities to show off their personal talents. All proceeds from sales in the gift shop go directly back into the program to purchase supplies, upkeep facilities, and pay the individuals for their efforts.

Just before our performance at the Stirling Club, December 15, 2009

The following week, Ron and I performed a 30-minute version of our popular “Christmas Thru the Decades” Show for the Towne Club Holiday Luncheon at the Stirling Club at Turnberry Place. This is such a fun show to do because it includes all the BEST Holiday music from the 1930’s thru the 1960’s! Songs such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1934), Baby It’s Cold Outside (1944), Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1944), Let It Snow (1945), White Christmas (1947), Blue Christmas (1957), What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (1960), Please Come Home for Christmas (1960), Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (1960), You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch (1966), and more…

(Note: The years given above are based on certain recordings of the individual songs, not necessarily the year the song was written.)

The week of the 21st, Ron and I performed the show 2 more times. First for the Foreign Travel Club Holiday Party (20-minute version of the show) at Desert Vista Community Center in Sun City Summerlin, and then out in Boulder City for the residents & staff of the Nevada State Veterans Home (full 1-hour show). Both audiences were so wonderful and appreciative…particularly at the Veterans Home. It is one of our all-time favorite places to perform! Thanks so much Angela for having us back again this year!

To see available shows OR to book Lisa & Ron Smith for YOUR event, please visit www.BeyondTalentProductions.com

New Year’s Eve found me at 2 different gigs at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. The first was with Shades of Sinatra for our New Year’s at NOON Show in the main showroom, and the second was an evening of Jazz at SC Prime Steakhouse for their New Year’s Eve Dinner. Accompanied by the FABULOUSLY talented Dehner Franks on piano, it was an evening I will not soon forget! Completely wonderful in so many ways. To begin with, the restaurant is absolutely stunning, the food is spectacular, and everyone that works there is so nice. Secondly, it was such an HONOR to work with Dehner! He is so incredible and so much fun to sing with. I need to say a HUGE thank you to Glenda Zuhse (who recommended me for the gig, was SO sweet & accommodating the entire evening, and even arranged a Birthday cake for me!!!!) and Terry Jenkins for giving me the opportunity. Thanks for everything!

And that about wraps it up…2009 was quite a FULL year! I am grateful for so many things in my life–my family, my friends, my health, having a “job” that never feels like a job, those who actually take the time to read this blog :), etc–but I am MOST thankful for my dear, sweet, sexy, hard-working husband who is my best friend and supports me in everything I do…I love you so much honey…thanks for a great year!

Look out, 2010, HERE WE COME!