Monday, March 31, 2014

Checkin' out the Chippendales

I first saw the Chippendales perform several years ago when they gave tickets to my sister and me after we all worked together on a VH1 Divas Las Vegas special. I was happily surprised at the quality of their show! These guys are tanned, toned and talented.

So when I recently found out some girlfriends of mine were coming to Vegas I decided it was time to check out the Chippendales again since it had been so long. I also knew it would be the perfect way to show my friends a great night out!

For those who don't know, with the Chippendales there are no dollar bills thrust into the G-strings of these muscled men by overly excited and somewhat inebriated females. The Chippendales and their show in Las Vegas is an actual show, a Broadway style male revue with professional dancers, set to modern music such as rock, hip hop and techno. Although the guys occasionally dance in the audience (like a lot of shows), there is a no touching, no tipping policy.

Back to me and my friends. It was an hour and a half of music, dancing, zip off jeans, tear away tank tops, motorcycles, black light and fluorescent body paint... to name a few of the highlights!

Tanned, toned and talented....Chippendales perform in Las Vegas

Established in 1979, Chippendales was the first all male stripping troupe to make a business performing for mostly female audiences. The story of the early years of the Chippendales is racked with drama as co-owners fought over the entity and who should control it. However, the Chippendales brand has  come a long way, with none of the former owners involved for over a decade now. Today and for many years the Chippendales have produced and performed Broadway style shows worldwide. Officially, these men are seen by over two million people every year. They are exciting and entertaining, just like their adopted hometown of Las Vegas!

If you think the story of the Chippendales would make a good movie, you're right... "I Am Chippendales" is a big budget feature to be brought to the screen by writer and director Alan Ball (True Blood). This film is an adaptation of the book by Rodney Sheldon. Ben Stiller is rumored to take a lead role in the film as the choreographer Nicolas de Noia. This is a story about how the male dance club became one of the most famous adult entertainment shows in the world.  Sources: 3/31/14, Entertainment Weekly 3/31/14 and Deadline Hollywood 3/31/14 posts.

Chippendales hard at work onstage in Las Vegas

Chippendales was voted Best Male Strip Show for the third year in a row in Las Vegas Review Journal's Best of Las Vegas issue. 3/30/14

Pictured above after their 3/27/14 show: Bottom...Jonny Howes,  Jaymes Vaughan (singer), James Davis, Ryan Stuart, Top ..Sami Eskelin, Mikey Cross, Matt Marshall, Nathan Minor, John Rivera...(John Cook not pictured)....Also pictured, Lisa Cross and me (Anna Wendt)

Want to audition to be a Chippendale? According to their website you should be at least 5'10", be able to dance and learn choreography, rehearse for four hours a day, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, among other requirements.  For audition information email, or fill out the online application at, click on recruitment.

Want to see the show?

The Chippendales perform nightly at their special theater in the Rio Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. There are also special appearances in certain cities as well as occasional touring productions.

Photos courtesy of Chippendales

Link to story on "I Am Chippendales"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hollywood Underdog turns 3!

Today is the third birthday (anniversary) of my blog! I started Hollywood Underdog on March 23, 2011.

The catch is that I wrote several blog articles before I actually published or told anyone about it. Although excited about the idea of it I just wasn't sure if I wanted to be a "blogger." Was it a commitment I could keep? Or would I start it and then not be able to keep it up and forget about it? After several months I felt I had the hang of it and published them all at once in 2012.

It took some time to get used to writing a blog or article every few days. This can be hard sometimes and always will, and is the number one reason of bloggers who quit. unknown

During those first few months I trademarked the name and secured the domain. That first year I also spent weeks learning Google's Blogger application.  This included creating my blog layout and various settings, my Adsense account and application, selection then placement of advertising, listing the blog with the various search engines for optimization, and much more. Thanks Google for making this process as understandable as possible! What a great mental exercise! My husband would come home and find me hunched over my laptop, eyes glazed, neck stiff but excited about grasping something that would get me closer to launching my blog.

I learned what I needed to and got to the point where anything more technical will require more time or a real expert and so "it is as it is" until it is time to change it.

If you read my beginning blogs from 2011 and 2012 you would notice they are more personal and "journal" like,  and that was fine. However I realized I wanted to write more complete pieces, so I do that mostly now. Although more challenging, I find it to be more satisfying as a writer.

This opportunity to branch out has been so good for me. I have always enjoyed a dual career in entertainment and marketing. However, sometimes because the money is better in corporate America than the entertainment biz, (at least for me),  I had tended to ignore my creative side for long periods of time. What I've learned is that I really need to do both to be content, balanced and to grow as a person and a professional.

The last thing I need to express is how much the people who supported me with my blog in the beginning helped me, especially my husband, two sisters and my mother in law. It's not easy to put yourself out there and I was unsure and a little nervous as to how it would be received. Their encouragement has meant a lot, and so has anyone else who read, commented, or passed it along to others.  Also, for those I have interviewed, gone to their shows to blog about them, or been involved in a story in any way thanks for your positive contribution to my passion project!

Here are some of my blog articles that have meant the most to me to write in the past 3 years either because I really enjoyed writing them or they had significance in another way.... you should call your Mother Change to Mind Day Without Mirrors's Rules a Downtown Tips to look good in every Photo Cares in Las Vegas to the Marys Taste of Shakespeare, my first "Vlog" Blonde in the Convertible I Miss Vinyl

Anna Wendt...Copyright 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Smart is Sexy...Free Online Classes

This is a blog article that I have received emails about asking for the information again. So, here it is for those who missed it the first time back in Jan. 2013. I can tell you quite a few friends have taken some of these online classes and have had positive experiences with them!

"The mind, once expanded to the dimension of larger ideas, 
never goes back to its original size." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

My friend Nicole Pano turned me on to these websites below that offer online courses sponsored by those well known schools most of us have heard of but many have not attended. Some of them are even Ivy League.

These sites offer online classes of which several are free, and others very inexpensive.

The best part is they are open to everyone, (unlike their brick and mortar counterparts).

Sites and links...  (This one is mostly Stanford, Caltech, Princeton & Duke) (Includes Harvard & Berkeley classes) (This site started by a Stanford professor)   (Carnegie Mellon University)

Just for fun here are a few more online educational websites.
(This one is more creative, some classes are not free but still very inexpensive)

SCORE Online Workshops (A great resource for entrepreneurs)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Are you thinking of hurting yourself?

I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way.

We spent many wonderful years together and had made a great life for ourselves.

She had great presence and her talent was much admired, not least by me....

I have been touched by the tributes that people have paid to her, and also the personal messages of support that I have received.

I will never forget her,

Mick Jagger's Facebook post...March 18, 2014

L'Wren Scott

Many people think that if someone is beautiful, famous or perceived to be successful, they don't hurt like everybody else. Everyone has struggles and feelings. That is the common denominator in all of us.

Thank you Mick Jagger for posting this tribute to your girlfriend of ten years, L'Wren Scott.

I am re-posting it in my blog because maybe someone who is thinking of hurting themselves will read it and ask for help.

As hard as it is to talk about something like contemplating suicide everyone should know they can reach out to friends and family. A message to those friends and family, if someone who is depressed, stressed or suffering does reach out to you please don't scoff at it or say they are being ridiculous. This could be your only chance to help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-8255

Monday, March 17, 2014

From Teen Heart Throb to AARP Heart Throb...Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe Rocks 50!

Talk about a booming birthday, not only is it St. Patrick's Day but the day started in Rob's home state of California with a 4.4 magnitude earthquake.

Making his mark since the age of 15, former teen heart throb and one of the best looking, most chiseled actors in Hollywood, Rob Lowe, turns 50 today. Of course, being Rob Lowe he makes 50 look goooood! By this I don't mean only in a superficial way. Many like to tease Rob for being the handsome, former bad boy that he is, but he really is much more than what meets the eye. He's rockin' 50 because he is healthy, adventurous, and continues to grow personally and professionally. No middle age slump here!

I have never met or worked with Rob, (unless you count sitting next to him at the 2000 Emmy Awards).  Reading his book a few years ago I found him to be more serious, interesting and humble than I had expected. In other words, don't hate him because he's beautiful!

He has been happily married for 23 years to Sheryl Berkoff and they have two grown sons.

A former member of what was known in the 80's as "The Brat Pack", he has continued to work regularly since his first major acting role in 1979. My favorite roles of Rob's are The Outsiders and Austin Powers in Goldmember...(where he surprised many with his comedy chops).

AARP's tribute to Rob Lowe's 50th

"AARP congratulates Rob Lowe on his 50th Birthday"...Being in any way associated with AARP used to be a delicate issue with celebrities who always want to seem ageless, but things are changing. AARP is a powerful group and the word "retired" is not what it used to be. These days retired doesn't mean "old", it just means you made enough money to not have to work!!

This is how he used to look from a poster torn out of "Tiger Beat" magazine and hanging on my sister's wall along with Scott Baio, Leif Garrett, Matt Dillon, and the late Andy Gibb and Michael Jackson.

Happy Birthday Rob Lowe. Let's see what you do with your next 50 years!

Rob Lowe, 1980's....

"Stories I Only Tell My Friends"......

Rob Lowe..."Stories I only Tell my Friends" on Amazon

Sources: by AARP Lowe

Excerpt from

A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.
The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.
Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

2014 Paralympics are on!...March 8-16

Did you know the 2014 Winter Olympics are still going on?! Today is the first day of competition. The opening ceremonies were held last night for the 2014 Paralympics, also in Sochi, Russia.

If you want to support the athletes and watch them compete, here is all you need to know...
Team USA....2014 Paralympics Opening
There are 692 athletes from 45 countries participating in the following sports of the 2014 Paralympics...

Alpine Skiing/Snowboarding


Cross-Country Skiing

Ice Sledge Hockey

Wheelchair Curling

Broadcast Schedule: 

(In addition to broadcast you can watch live streaming on

EXCERPT: NBC and NBCSN’s coverage schedule for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

Saturday, 8 March Alpine skiing (downhill) - LIVE on NBCSN, 1:00
Opening Ceremony on NBC, 13:00
Paralympics Day 1 Coverage on NBCSN, 17:30
Sunday, 9 March
Cross-country skiing - LIVE on NBCSN, 1:00
Paralympics Day 2 coverage on NBCSN, 23:00
Monday, 10 March
Alpine skiing (super-G) - LIVE on NBCSN, 2:00
Paralympics Day 3 Coverage on NBCSN, 12:00
Tuesday, 11 March
Biathlon - LIVE on NBCSN, 2:00
Ice sledge hockey – Team USA vs. Russia on NBCSN, 15:00
Wednesday, 12 March
Wheelchair curling – Team USA vs. China - LIVE on NBCSN, 13:30
Paralympics Day 5 Coverage on NBCSN, 15:00
Thursday, 13 March
Ice sledge hockey semi-final - LIVE on NBCSN, 5:00
Ice sledge hockey semi-final - LIVE on NBCSN, 12:00
Friday, 14 March
Snowboarding on NBCSN, 3:00
Paralympics Day 7 coverage on NBCSN, 23:30
Saturday, 15 March
Cross-country skiing - LIVE on NBCSN, 3:30
Ice sledge hockey final on NBC, 13:00
Wheelchair curling final on NBCSN, 18:30
Sunday, 16 March
Alpine skiing (giant slalom) - LIVE on NBCSN, 4:30
Closing Ceremony on NBCSN, 15:30
Saturday, 17 March
Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games Review Show on NBC, 13:00

This unprecedented Paralympic Winter Games coverage is made possible through the support of the broadcast and streaming sponsors BMW, BP, Citi, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Procter & Gamble and The Hartford, marking the first time the media delivery has been exclusively sold to USOC sponsors. End of excerpt from