Interview: Green Valley Ranch & American Casino's Wayne Shadd
Watch out Newton... there's another Wayne in town!
Unlike most people toob watchers encounter in Reality TV Land, Wayne is one of those guys who talks and acts like a 'real' person - a high rolling executive version of Survivor's Rupert Boneham (minus the tye-dye and caveman vibe of course). At turns goofy, playful, exciting, and unpredictable but always astutely professional with an aura of honesty and dare we say it... reality.
Sure, jumping into the pool at the Playboy mansion and getting sloshed and wet while on 'work assignment' at a Vegas Ultra-Lounge is slapstic buffonery on par with any Curly, Shemp and Arbuckle. But eavesdropping in on Wayne's bar talk conversations with Hotel Manager and resident 'Felix Unger with-a-vengance' Michael Tata showed us a thoughtful and friendly side of both of them we hadn't seen before. Instantaneously, turning all VT staffers into major Shadd and Tata fans, making Tata's his sudden death only weeks later a heart-dropping shock to us. The VT crew would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all members of the GVR family.
We contacted Wayne via email through the GVR website and he was gracious enough to donate a little of his not-so-spare time to answer a couple of questions for us. Thanks Wayne... this drink on the head is for you!
VT: Give us a little background information. Where did you grow up?
WS: I grew up a Navy brat. I was born in Honolulu, moved to Okinawa, Japan (that"s where my mom"s from), then to California, Vegas ('80-'88), England and back to Vegas ('91).
How did you end up in Vegas?
WS: My dad retired from the Navy and went to work in the computer industry and got transferred to Vegas in 1980.
Your first job was at a Texaco station and now you are at another 'Station' - Station Casinos' Green Valley Ranch. What attracted you to pursue employment in the gaming industry?
WS: I was living in England and was looking to come back to Vegas. My sister told me she had just started working at a brand new hotel called the Rio. I went and applied for a front desk job and I got it. I thought that being in the industry was only going to be temporary as I was also going back to UNLV. But I was having too much fun and, 13 years later, I"m still enjoying it.
Do you ever hit the tables/slots?
WS: Yes, but not as much as I use to now that I have my little guy Dylan------diapers cost a lot of money!
What do you like to play and where?
WS: Video poker. A local bar called Winchell's. Every time I tell someone where I'm going, they think I'm going for doughnuts! The owner's dad really was Winchell's doughnuts himself.
So how has your life changed since American Casino began airing?
WS: I do get recognized more which is pretty cool! Yet my wife and my friends make sure that nothing changes in my life from being on the show.
Can you tell us about your first autograph request?
WS: It was my mom asking me to autograph this piece of paper for her-------then I realized it was a check for some money that I owed her!
You've earned the nickname 'Shamu Shadd'. When did you start living la vida agua loca?
WS: I've always loved being in the water. Matt Sacca and I went to Philadelphia together at the beginning of the year and we had to share a room. I took so many tubs at night that he kept calling me "Shamu." I guess I'm kind of stuck with it now.
We're told that the "drink over the head" thing is taking over college campuses as the 'social' toast of choice. What's the history behind this very cool trademark move?
WS: One of my best friends is from South Africa and every time we'd go out, that was his way of saying "Cheers." We've been doing it as a group of friends for as long as I can remember.