Hometown: Jefferson, MN
Birthday: January 6th
Below is from an article about James Davis aka “Leigh”
(courtesy of The Las Vegas Sun)
It’s difficult to believe that it has been nearly 15 years since I departed my small hometown in Jefferson, Maine, some 2,900 miles away to the Entertainment Capital of the World.
I had spent the better part of my life using an outhouse in the modest home where I grew up, and yet here I was at age 16 leaving everything I knew for the fabled glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip.
With little more than lint in my pocket and even less of a game plan, I somehow, for reasons I cannot explain, managed to find a niche in a place that would chew up and spit out the most tenacious of us.
It might sound as if I’m giving myself a lot of credit, but I believe that Las Vegas’ diversified entertainment, business and hospitality industry is what allowed some wayward kid from the sticks opportunities to succeed where otherwise he might have met with bitter disappointment and failure.
That’s not to say there weren’t setbacks along the way.
From hosting at the Olive Garden to bussing tables at Drai’s Nightclub to modeling at Fashion Show mall to wearing sports apparel for Puma to appearing on “do not disturb” signs for the Palms to singing lead vocals in my own metal band to Chippendales at the Rio dancer/guitarist and to now pursuing a career in acting at the International Academy of Film and Television, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be doing any of these things, let alone do them well enough to make a living.
Well, except maybe the Olive Garden gig.
No matter what my desire has been as an artist, Las Vegas has had the subculture to support it. Living here has allowed me to test the waters of what career paths I wanted to take.
It can’t be overstated how many professionals live here who posses a wealth of knowledge to get you headed in the right direction. To all my mentors, I couldn’t be more grateful for your guidance over the years.
Here I am going on and on like a daytime advertisement for online community college. Bottom line: As a dancer, trapeze artist, choreographer, filmmaker, musician or feng shui dog house architect, Las Vegas has the infrastructure for you to follow your passions.
While New York has Broadway musicals and Los Angeles fashion, TV and film, Las Vegas is an intriguing blend of both cities.
If you are motivated, driven and inspired by everything, or one thing, or maybe you’re just not sure like I was, our beloved city of lights holds a lot more beneath its glossy veneer than just slot machines and keno tournaments.
But, hey, if that’s what your passionate about, we can make that dream come true, too.
After 15 years as a Las Vegas resident, I can honestly say that it’s not only a great place to start out, but also to end up.