The morning of July 15th, Davi Davenport, my parents and I buckled up and drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. We were on our way to the Fiesta Hotel & Casino's Club Tequila for my first performance in Vegas!
Davi had invited me several weeks before to come and perform as she had been asked to become the host of the Sherry Gordy Presents show in near future, and she has been my advocate for some time. Upon arrival to the hotel, I found out that SGP had given me my own hotel room - I felt like a bonafide superstar! I ended up fitting in an hour nap before called to soundcheck, but I couldn't really sleep. I was in Vegas about to sing for the king of Motown Records, Berry Gordy's, daughter!
Upon arrival to soundcheck, the stage was starting to awake with musicians, background vocalists, and instruments were getting final tweaking. I was one of the first performers to arrive and therefore checked in, sat down, and awaited the next step. When more performers started to filed in, we began chatting. Some came as far as Chicago and some as close as Las Vegas.
When I was called up to the stage for soundcheck, that was when I first met the band. The band was led by Skip Rice, who was also the bassist. When we started in on Stevie Wonder's song, "Superstition", I couldn't even describe how close knit this band was! One. Solid. Block. Of. Music. Bliss! I just knew then I had made it to the big leagues, and I wanted that forever. After soundcheck, I went back to my hotel room and began to get ready for the show later that night. I had the room all to myself, so I of course danced like a fool while curling my hair, warmed up my voice with those ridiculous sounding exercises, and danced some more!
At last, with gold heals on, curls intact, makeup applied and gown in place, I began my walk back downstairs to the casino and into Club Tequila. The place had transformed. Lights were low, people were starting to file in, and the red carpet was warming up. The night was about to begin. I knew I was coming on later in the show, so I mingled, but didn't talk much, and began to center myself. My party had a reserved booth and table over to the left of the stage where I mainly sat. When it was nearing my time to perform, I made my way backstage. Some other performers were backstage as well, and I talked with a few, prayed with another, and then simply observed everyone as I began to center my thoughts, again.
When the performer in front of me pulled back the curtain and exited stage, Davi Davenport went to the stage and introduced me. When I heard my name being called, I took one last semi-deep breath and pulled the curtain aside. That's when I became Jayme Claire. Me. I took a moment to thank Sherry Gordy for having me on the stage, and then we were off to the races! With my heavenly band surrounding me, I sang with all my heart. The crowd was up on their feet and others were in their chairs groovin' and full of smiles. I felt alive exhilarated, and 100% right. I savored each moment.
When I exited the stage, I wanted to put the entire band in my pocket to go!! I stayed behind stage for just a little bit more, and then made my way to the crowd to see the other performers. The rest of the night was full of meeting new people, and many red carpet photos.
Big thank you to Davi Davenport for her belief in me, and opening this door as well as to other events in the Los Angeles area.
The host/MC that night was Bobby Brooks Wilson. He is the son of legendary R&B singer, Jackie Wilson, and is a performer himself. It was a pleasure to meet him!
And as if this night couldn't get any better, I had the opportunity to personally meet Sherry Gordy, the honorary woman herself! So sweet and kind.
The next day, my parents, Davi and I checked into the Harrah's Hotel in anticipation of seeing the Righteous Brothers perform that night in the Harrah's Showroom. Davi knew Bucky, and had gotten us front row seats. The show was spectacular!! After the show, Davi and I headed backstage to meet vocalists Bill Medley and Bucky Heard.
My first trip to Vegas to perform is something I will have to cherish for the rest of my life.