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October 24, 2014

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‘Jersey Boys’ star Lauren Tartaglia: ‘This city is great — it is unique and special and insane and amazing’

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“Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas cast members Buck Hujabre, Lauren Tartaglia, Jason Martinez and Douglas Crawford arrive at Mark Shunock’s “Mondays Dark” at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas.

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The cast of “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas performs during Mark Shunock’s “Mondays Dark,” benefiting St. Therese Center/HIV Outreach, at Vinyl on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. Lauren Tartaglia is at left.

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As Robin Leach arrives for his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — he also is visiting Lake Como and Lake Maggiore this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with three of the stars of “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas. First up, as ladies always go first, is Lauren Tartaglia.

Hi, my name is Lauren Tartaglia, and I am an actress in “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas. “Jersey Boys” is my whole world. Obviously. To everyone else, though, we performers might seem a bit odd or rare.

I was living in New York, I auditioned for “Jersey Boys,” and I did what any actor would do. When I was offered the job, I took it. I took it, and my fiance and I left everything we knew behind and moved — to Las freaking Vegas.

That was six years ago.

An expat is technically “a person who lives outside their native country.” That’s how I felt at first. You do what you have to do in this business to survive, to make a living, to be an artist. But guess what? Something happened that I never expected.

I love living here!

There is a huge amount of performers who make their way to “The Vague” because of an incredible gig or a semi-bearable gig or even the hopes of booking anything. I am fully aware of the negative stereotypes (and loud looks) that accompany the declaration “I’m moving to Las Vegas.”

It is our duty to inform those shade-throwers!

This city is great — it is unique and special and insane and amazing. It’s made up of a tight-knit, supportive community who is in love with the arts. When you live here and you are in show business, you are embraced from the moment you arrive. Embraced by amazingly talented artists who are tireless in their pursuit to create and grow.

The truth of the matter is this: Everyone who lives in Las Vegas lives in the suburbs. Actors! Comedians! Showgirls! Impersonators! It’s true.

Life is good. We have yards, dogs, spouses and grill out on our days off and play corn hole. We go to Lake Mead, hiking and have “So You Think You Can Dance” girls nights with wine and Trader Joe’s apps.

Contrary to popular belief, we do not hang out in strip clubs and gamble in the dark with XL drinks hanging from our necks! The fantastically talented people who I work with have families. And drive SUVs.

Not that I’m saying we don’t have perks that come along with our jobs; we do. We get to do outrageous and glamorous things sometimes. We get free tickets on occasion and get to meet A- through Z-list celebrities, and I love every second of it.

But there is so much more to it than that, and so much more to what I expected when I packed up and moved here.

There is a magical pairing of this town with this business. It is a deep history and a unique optimism for the future all rolled into one. Even though we aren’t performing brain surgery or pulling people out of burning buildings, we are here to provide you with laughter, a connection and just a few moments of respite.

We are lucky to be able to provide that, and I am proud to say that I do it here — in Las Vegas — eight times per week.

But regularly seeing Flavor Flav drive down my street in a dune buggy is a serious plus.

Be sure to read our other “Jersey Boys” guest columns from Jason Kappus and John Salvatore. On Sunday, check out our guest columns from Boyz II Men heartthrob singer and Mirage headliner Shawn Stockman; Mirage chef Michael LaPlaca, who brings Italian home at his restaurant Portofino; and Jeffrey Bank, CEO of Alicart Restaurant Group (Carmine’s at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace).

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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