Aleza Freeman

Aleza Freeman Writer

My name is Aleza, which is Hebrew for “happiness,” and pronounced “ah-leeeeeee-zah.” I’m an award-winning writer and editor with a background in journalism, web writing, copywriting and editing. I’m also a mom, wife, pet owner, amateur gardener and proud Las Vegas native.

Celebrity Interviews

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“Weird Al” Yankovic

weird al yankovic

Wired for Weirdness: Pop parody icon Weird Al Yankovic never tires of satire

Vegas Seven (2012)—Part of me will always be the wide-eyed 8-year-old who choreographed dances to my first cassette tape, “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D. My artistic interpretation of “I Lost on Jeopardy” was an epic journey, earning rave reviews from my parents.

I’ve since grown to admire the accordion-playing pop satirist, songwriter and best-selling children’s author, and he’s grown to become history’s biggest comedy recording artist with three Grammy Awards, four gold records and six that have gone platinum. His newest album, Alpocalypse, which includes parodies of Lady Gaga, the White Stripes, Katy Perry and several originals, was nominated for the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. …

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Carlos Santana

Super Man: Santana strives to be supernatural, never superficialguitarist carlos santana las vegas

Vegas.com/L.A. Times (2010)—Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana has been to Las Vegas many times, but never as a tourist. He first visited in 1967 as the opening act for the Grateful Dead. His memories of the experience — as well as the venue — are, let’s just say, more than a little hazy.

“I was on acid,” he says, laughing. “I don’t remember.”

In 2009, Santana commemorated another Vegas first when he became the first resident artist to rock the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. Through 2010, the Joint will be the only place west of the Mississippi where fans can see him live.

His show, “Supernatural Santana: A Trip through the Hits” is true to its title, featuring songs that span his entire career, from his first Top 10 hit, “Evil Ways,” to his latest hit “Into The Night.” …

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Howie Mandel

Howie Does It: Live standup still ‘Howie Mandel’s ‘primal scream’

Vegas.com/L.A. Times (2009)—When Howie Mandel was first asked to host a new game show for NBC, his decision was “No Deal!” Not only did the comedian have no interest in hosting “Deal or No Deal,” but he actually turned down the gig more than once.

“It was so far from anything I was aiming for,” says Mandel, in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “I didn’t get it. I didn’t want to be a game show host.”

Related Article: Meeting Mandel has one writer seeing stars 

It was actually Mandel’s wife who convinced him to take the deal in 2005, putting the Canadian-born comedian with the clean-shaven head at the helm of the national hit program alongside 26 models.

So does Mandel’s wife of almost 30 years, Terry, ever get jealous of her husband’s female co-workers?

“You know what, I haven’t played the show for her,” whispers Mandel (Terry is sitting next to him). “If you can tell me what day this article comes out … I think had she seen them, if she was aware, she might be, but she is not aware. She doesn’t speak a word of English and she doesn’t know what’s going on.” …

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David Spade

David Spade Shows His Cards

Vegas.com/L.A. Times (2009)—The interview begins 15 minutes late. Comedian David Spade has just finished rehearsing for the CBS sitcom, “Rules of Engagement,” and is heading home when he calls from his car. The voice and the laugh are recognizably his, though tinged with an audible air of exhaustion.

Spade explains that he arrived in California only one day earlier, directly following three months of shooting the movie “Grown Ups” in Boston.

Just switching from movie mode to television mode is an adjustment, but now the “Saturday Night Live” alumnus will have to switch gears once again to prepare for his stand-up act at the Venetian in Las Vegas. …

 

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Hugh Hefner

QA with Hugh Hefner

Vegas.com/L.A. Times (2009)—The Palms Las Vegas is a second home for ultimate bachelor Hugh Hefner. A partnership between the Palms and Playboy Enterprises led to the 2006 opening of the first Playboy Club in 20 years, as well as the 9,000 square foot Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, atop The Palms Fantasy Tower. While Hef admits that Playboy Enterprises was a victim of the politically correct American climate during the ‘80s and early ‘90s, now, he declares, “The bunny is back.”

When you started out in Chicago in the ‘50s, did you ever envision that the Playboy logo would be emblazoned on a Las Vegas hotel and that the bunnies would be dealing cards and serving drinks to Las Vegas visitors?

Well, nothing that came to pass is something that I could have imagined. When I started the magazine, I didn’t put a date on the first issue, because I wasn’t sure there would be a second — I didn’t have any money. So what came to pass thereafter, that it so influenced society, that it became a brand known globally, that it turned into all of these different kinds of things from playboy clubs to television shows, to casinos — I could not have imagined. I was kid who dreamt impossible dreams, but I could not have imagined what lay ahead for me. …

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