Over the last few weeks, various Las Vegas shows have resumed under specific rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19. There are rules about having smaller audiences, greater distances to be maintained between show attendees from one another, as well as the public and performers wearing masks.
Recently, we spoke with dance captain/dancer Olivia Richards of the female revue X Country. We visited Olivia and her colleagues at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for a group CYInterview last year [see here]. In our latest CYInterview with her, she tells us what it has been like to go back to performing, after being off for seven months.
“You know, to be honest, there’s a lot of emotions involved with it. On one hand, we’ve all been unemployed for about seven months, so, you know, it’s been a long time waiting and we really didn’t know when we would come back. We got the go ahead only a few weeks before we reopened up. So, we didn’t have a lot of prep time, but overall it’s a really exciting experience. This is our job and we love it. It’s also our passion. We’ve all been dancing our whole lives, we’re all trained dancers and in addition to that, we’re all really good friends. So, ultimately always having a job is great. And then there’s always a little bit of nerves coming back, being on the stage again, but we were all really surprised with how easily everything fell right back into place and how great it felt to be dancing together on stage again.”
For those wondering how a Las Vegas show is setup as we are continuing to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Olivia explains how her Las Vegas show X Country is dealing with it:
“That’s a great question. So, our room is 350 seat capacity and we’ve taken it down to 80 guests. So, we’re only having 80 guests in our showroom. They’re all social distanced, six feet apart and our ushers are being very strict about making sure our guests are wearing masks, we are wearing masks, we’re really far away from our audience. So, previously the audience was really close up and now they’re quite a bit far back, which is providing a little bit of a different experience. We’re getting to see the whole thing from a faraway distance and I think it’s actually providing a really cool thing for people to be able to come and see live entertainment. Backstage, we’re taking a lot of precautions, a lot of sanitation is happening, everyone’s got their PPE, we’re all like making sure that we’re very focused on strictly adhering to the guidelines and rules that have been set for us by Caesars.”
Originally from Oklahoma, Olivia tells us the story of how she ended up moving to Las Vegas to pursue her entertainment dreams:
“There aren’t a lot of options for professional dance in Oklahoma. I did do a company there called RACE and that was a fun dance, jazz community that I got to perform with. And then, when I was seeking something bigger, I considered New York or L.A., but it’s just such a huge financial commitment being that the cost of living in those cities is so much more expensive than what Oklahoma is and one of my mentors back home suggested, ‘Well, what about Las Vegas?’ And it was something I hadn’t considered. So, you know, I kind of did the American dream where I sold everything I had and I moved out to Vegas with just under $1000 in my bank account. I didn’t know anybody and I didn’t have a job and I had to come here and struggle for a while before I found my footing. And once I did, it’s been nothing but a great journey.”
Featured columnist Jay Bildstein joins us for this CYInterview where he speaks with Olivia Richards about a variety of dance and training topics.
You can listen to the entire CYInterview below:
Listen to the entire Olivia Richards CYInterview: