Hunkering down: Chippendale tour stopping in Jackpot

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JACKPOT — Ladies, hang on to your seats. The world renown Chippendale Dancers are making a stop on their 35th anniversary tour  9 p.m. April 11 and 8 p.m. April 12 in Cactus Petes the Gala Showroom.

Chippendale performer, Billy Jeffrey is the complete package — brains and brawn.

Both his grandmother and mother are originally from Nashville and that musical influence made an impression on Jeffrey at a very young age.

“My grandma was always an Elvis fan, so was my mom, and both had gotten to see him perform. My grandma would naturally be playing Elvis records when I was at her house. She started showing me Elvis dance moves. I picked ‘em up pretty fast and got my little Elvis routine down after a month or so.

“When we would go to the golf course, or she would go to one of her women’s functions, I would go with her. They would kick the Elvis music on and I would literally do kind of a mini Elvis concert for everybody. I very vividly remember those moments of performing at a very young age, how much fun I was having and, of course, the attention I was getting. It kind of stuck with me. I enjoyed dancing.”

Although he has no professional dance training (he is mostly self taught), his moves were influenced by entertainers such as Michael Jackson and several boy bands including New Kids On The Block.

Jeffrey attributes his start to fitness to Marky Mark.

“‘Marky Mark’ was the first celebrity to start working out,” he said. “He was Donnie Wahlberg’s brother, from News Kids On The Block. I had seen Mark ‘Marky Mark’ Wahlberg and said, ‘This guy sort of has it figured out, singing and dancing. He’s working out and different from everyone else. ‘Why can’t I do that?’”

“I bought the Marky Mark workout video. I wanted to be a fitness enthusiast, be in shape and have a nice lean physique, but didn’t want to be a body builder. I talked my parents in to buying me some weights out of the Money Saver. It took about three months of working out but I put on 25 pounds of muscle,” he said.

Jeffrey’s advice to getting in shape, “Don’t start your workout program. It sounds crazy. I say it to all my customers. Most peoples’ bodies are not ready to work out. It’s just like your car. If you’re gonna take a long road trip, let’s say from Elko to New York, you would put gas in your car, check the oil, fluids and check tire pressure. You would get that car ready for this long distance trip. People don’t get their bodies ready for this journey they want to take it on. What I tell people to do is a 14 day, reset and reboot.”

Jeffrey’s favorite food is sushi. “Sushi is just a drug to me,” he said with a laugh. “I have been fortunate enough to have sushi from every country in the world. I actually had a private sushi lesson with one of Michael Jackson’s sushi chefs in Asia. It’s become a little hobby of mine, and I love playing with different recipes. Sushi making is pretty fun.”

With opportunity of becoming a Chippendale, Jeffrey said, “I thought, ‘Chippendales? You’re kidding.’ The first thought that comes to mind to everyone is the Chris Farley, Patrick Swayze routine on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ I said, ‘No thank you.’ I told them ‘No,’ twice.”

Then Jeffrey was flown to Vegas and he watched a Chippendale show, before making his final decision. “About the first three minutes, I figured out how wrong I was. This was a Broadway meets Vegas-style production. A class act. I was one of five guys hired, out of 500 that day,” he said.

“We’ve updated the show and kept up with the times,” Jeffrey said. “As pop culture, costumes and everything has evolved, we needed to clean house. We had to do a big clean up. We have a 10-person cast and our own chef who travels with us. It’s a major production.”

“The best way to describe our show is a sexual emotional roller-coaster. We want each girl to see their fantasy, literally, live in front of them … It’s our goal. There’s eight, nine or 10 different guys, and everyone has their favorite at the end of the show. We have a flavor for every girl. It’s the girls’ night out.”

Last year, Chippendales toured 27 countries, according to Jeffrey.

I think the challenges we Chippendales have, are the old rumors, that we’re the gay guys, running around on stage, and looking at each other naked backstage. That couldn’t be more far from the truth … and, we’re not your Mom’s Chippendales anymore. Gone are the G-strings.

“I gave up going to football games, going on ski trips with my friends … To be able to live your dream, you have to be able to give something up.” It’s just a sacrifice you have to make in this business, Jeffrey said.

“I don’t call this a job. It’s an amazing experience. It’s been so much fun and one of the reasons is I’ve been able to experience it with everybody else,” he said.

Ticket prices start at $35 and may be purchased by calling Cactus Petes Hotlines at 1-800-821-1103 or 1-866-667-3386.

Two free tickets are included in price of admission and you must be 21 or older, to attend.

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