Welcome to Las Vegas Speakers Bureau’s new blog, Communique. This is the place to turn for ideas, insights, and knowledge about hiring the best speaker for your next event. With more than 40 years in the speakers and entertainment industry, it is here I will share with you the ins and outs that can only be garnered by being in the trenches. If it is trends you are interested, this is the blog for you. Twice a month I will share my insights and tips about audience engagement, getting the most bang for your buck and highlights from my favorite speakers who create memorable experiences.
First, a bit about me. I left the state where I was born and raised, New Jersey, in 1976 with $300 in my pocket determined to make it in Las Vegas. I was offered the opportunity to work for Russ Gerstein and Bob Kane who were opening a Las Vegas movie studio. My job lasted three months as Kane struck gold creating the superhero “Batman” and Hollywood summoned him.
I was left without a job but not for long. Famed actor Telly Savalas needed a secretary, and my can-do spirit attracted him. Kojak, the 1970s crime drama starring Savalas in the title role, was filmed in Las Vegas and I found caterers, locations, and extras for the show. Telly saw I made things happen. No matter what he needed, I accomplished it. He encouraged me to open my own talent agency, and I did. I went on to build a multi-million-dollar Talent Agency/Event Company/Speakers Bureau/TV Prodn .I have had the pleasure of hiring some of the biggest stars, CEOs, and amazing storytellers in the world, everyone from the late Anthony Bourdain, President George H.W. Bush, Michael Lewis, the author of “The Big Short,” Michael Douglas, Keith Urban, Kevin Costner, Goldie Hawn, and Susan Packard cofounder of HGTV, and many more …
Savalas wasn’t the only celebrity who mentored my start. I remember being at Caesars Palace working on a Tv show with Talent.. . Always full of excitement, Caesars Palace was bustling a bit more than usual as Frank Sinatra was in-house shooting a commercial. Unbeknownst to me, a part-time actor I had once cast for a role served as Sinatra’s valet. He introduced me to Sinatra. Frank walked me into the catering department to meet the director. He asked if I did events and I replied, ‘sure,’ although at the time I wasn’t even sure what constituted an event. I became one of Caesars’ out-of-house Talent &Event planners. That relationship continues 40 years later. Named one of the Top 10 Celebrity Star& Talent brokers in the world .(Discovery Chanel)
Today, my Speakers’ Bureau & Talent Agency thrives, and my list of good friends in the celebrity & Speaker World is long, and many appear at the events I help arrange.I have had an Amazing Journey and would love to continue the momentum with You.I look forward to sharing my ideas with you here, on my new blog and would also love to hear from you. Send me your thoughts at Jaki@JakiBaskow.com