Shunock has made his Mark with The Space.

P.T. Barnum once said, “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”  

Well, that could easily apply to Sin City’s own resident showman Mark Shunock. When it comes to entertaining large crowds—for a cause—there’s no business like Shunock business. This one-time, self-described “Broadway nerd” has never met a microphone he couldn’t master. Whether it’s announcing at T-Mobile arena for the Vegas Golden Knights; hosting in the ring at Top Rank Boxing; or hyping the crowd on Allegiant field for the Raiders, Mark’s song-and-dance card is now full.

Top Rank: Mikey Williams Photography

“It’s definitely a balancing act,” Mark says. “I wear a lot of hats.”

That’s an understatement. But the actor-turned-sports host says he plans to leverage these high-profile platforms to serve a higher purpose: his proudest role yet as the patron saint for local nonprofits.

“Vegas is red carpet happy, so we’ll throw out the red carpet for the opening of Applebee’s in Summerlin,” jokes Mark. “Early on, I was like there’s gotta be a better way to give back to the community other than just showing up and getting a picture taken.”

So, eight years ago, while starring as Lonny in a successful run of the Broadway hit “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian, Mark created “Monday’s Dark” (when Broadway takes a night off), a bi-monthly “premiere variety show for a cause” at The Space, a 3000-square-foot community-driven, charity-based arts complex he opened off the Strip in 2017.

“It’s evolved now to this really cool grassroots, well-oiled machine,” says Mark. “We throw parties every other Monday where we write a check for 10 grand to a different local charity every time. We’re creeping up on a million-and-a-half raised, just by charging 20 bucks.”

Alicia Lee Photography


Not bad for a former hockey player from Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. 

But ever since Mark went from hitting the boards on ice to the boards on Broadway, he’s never left the spotlight.  After earning nods for roles in “Disney’s The Lion King” and “Rock of Ages,” (which moved him to Las Vegas), this crowd pleaser found a whole new audience. Nine years later, the host-with-the-most is still in Las Vegas and has no plans to drop the mics anytime soon.   

“People ask me, ‘You work full time with five jobs so why do you have a community center and a nonprofit?’ Because I can,” says Mark. “I want to leave the planet a little bit better when I take off, and that’s a testament to my parents.”

Mark says his folks are the most generous people he’s ever met, which might explain why he is the go-to guy for giving back. In fact, if not for his Canada-based parents wanting to watch his “Monday’s Dark” via live stream, Mark says the charity show wouldn’t have survived the pandemic, nor reached fans from all over the world. 

Alicia Lee Photography

“I’ve got regulars now who watch our live streams in Brazil, Alaska, Australia, Singapore, and Canada,” says Mark. “And they get in the chat room, and they’re like, ‘Man, we really wish we could be with you in Vegas!’”

Mark (who now calls fellow Canadian Shania Twain a good friend) says his journey so far has been a “cool ride,” but moving forward, it’s all about reinventing and coming up with programs to continue supporting the community. 

“We’re just getting started,” boasts Mark. “And by we, I mean my brain with ideas and a dry erase board.”

You can bet he will continue to use his showmanship for good. After all, the Shunock must go on!

David Hadden: Changing The Nightlife Game

David Hadden | Wynn Nightlife. As director of lifestyle marketing and talent for Wynn Las Vegas’ acclaimed daylife and nightlife brands, David Hadden has become a well-known name in the Las Vegas hospitality landscape. Recognized for throwing some of the biggest parties and brand events in Sin City, Hadden can often be found mingling with high-profile artists and influencers. We asked him to indulge our curiosity and provide us with a glimpse into his wondrous nightlife world.


How did you get involved in the entertainment industry?


David Hadden: I started in college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas hosting parties and events at different venues across the city including hookah lounges, event spaces, and popular restaurants. The events started small and grew as word got out. I didn’t really know what I was doing at the beginning, so it was a learning process. I threw parties for fun but quickly learned that there was a revenue component as well. I carried out everything from marketing and booking local DJs to the execution of events.

Right after I turned 21, I was recruited by Tao Group with a role in VIP marketing. At this time, I was learning how nightlife worked so I would assist multiple departments to gain knowledge. Coming into nightlife, I didn’t have many contacts or any reputation in the industry, so I needed to make a name for myself. To establish my own brand, I started competing in nightlife contests around the city that offered significant prize pools for each event. The winner would be spotlighted and announced on the mic in a venue full of nightlife tastemakers. After winning several contests, I quickly grew a name for myself, and opportunities were presented.

Photography by Danny Mahoney

A short time after, I was recruited to join the opening VIP marketing team for Hakkasan Group, where I helped conceptualize new events and liaised with the company’s VIP and celebrity clientele. After four years with Hakkasan Group, I joined Wynn Nightlife in 2018, where I’ve played an integral part of the talent and marketing department. In my role as director of lifestyle marketing and talent, I curate special events, build out marketing plans, manage top-tier artists, and collaborate with celebrities and influencers.


How has your prior experience helped you in your role at Wynn Nightlife?


DH: The first half of my nightlife career was learning the industry from both a business marketing and operational standpoint. As a fresh face, building relationships was extremely important. I’ve had to put in the work to earn my seat at the table. My position at Wynn Nightlife allows me to deliver innovative ideas and unique experiences through marketing, special events, and talent partnerships.


How has the nightlife and entertainment industry evolved in recent years?


DH: I think the nightlife and entertainment industry continues to evolve each year, with talent being a driving force and creating memorable experiences as the other. The landscape continues to grow in a competitive nature when it comes to its abundance of top-tier talent. Additionally, in recent years, more importance has been given specifically to experiential activations and events. Experiential activations and events allows marketers to create new experiences for guests, making each visit different from the last.

Here at Wynn Nightlife, we are always looking to raise the bar and be at the forefront of the entertainment landscape. Our brand creates a solid foundation while our team takes experimental marketing to the next level.

Photography by Danny Mahoney

What future Wynn plans/projects are you most excited about?


DH: In addition to my passion for hospitality marketing, I’ve always had an interest in the merchandising side. I’ve been given the opportunity to lead Wynn Nightlife’s retail program and I’m excited to express my vision through another avenue within the company.

Additionally, Wynn Field Club, our new powerhouse venue inside Allegiant Stadium is back for season two. Wynn Field Club has delivered a game-changing nightlife experience as the past season was incredible for the Raiders games and other stadium events.

Lastly, I’m excited about Wynn Nightlife’s experiential activations, as we have some great events that you won’t want to miss.


What do you enjoy most about your role within Wynn Nightlife?


DH: Hands down, my favorite aspect of my position with Wynn Nightlife are the people I work with who I also consider family. Coming to Wynn Nightlife has allowed me to bring my creativity to fruition and that’s a really good feeling to be trusted by the best in the business.

Photography by Danny Mahoney

Stay up-to-date with all things David Hadden on his Instagram and TikTok @davidhadden

Leading In Business: Daniela Madrid, Attorney & Realtor

As Owner and Managing Attorney of Madrid, Hadges, and Associates, Daniela Madrid is one busy woman. Add in her title as owner/realtor for Hadges House through Realty One Group, and Superwoman might be a more apt title.

Madrid Hadges & Associates offers multiple areas of legal representation: Personal Injury, Business Law, Criminal Defense, and Real Estate.

Prompted by former clients seeking real estate transaction assistance, Daniela was inspired to offer real estate services in addition to her Attorney areas of expertise. In Real Estate, Daniela regularly navigates the complex process of purchase agreements, as well as recovering clients’ earnest money deposits.

Daniela attributes her having lived in Las Vegas for over 21 years to familiarity with the city from both a Real Estate Perspective, to advocating for clients she represents through Madrid, Hadges, and Associates. She has litigated hundreds of cases and successfully argued contested motions in federal and state courts.

I ask what prompted Daniela to go into Law.

“I think it started from the fact that there were a lot of language barriers in my family. So any time that they needed something resolved, I had to translate for them and advocate on their behalf. …I felt the need to get them justice.”

Ms. Madrid is also passionate about philanthropy and giving back to the Las Vegas community, with a focus on women in particular. “That’s what I am always advocating for,” she says. “I think that’s part of the reason why I am interested in business. I like to work with entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses and…just educating them on how to succeed and [properly] structure their businesses.”

“My main goal is to help others. When you become my client, you’ll be treated like family” she says. |  @madridhadgesassociates | @hadgeshouse

Meet L.A. Laser Spa Founder Amber Reyes

L.A. Laser Spa is The 2022 Best Laser Spa Of The Year

Amber Reyes-Morris embodies what a successful businesswoman in 2022 represents. Opening her first two laser spas in Maui and Oahu, Reyes-Morris is the Founder and CEO of The award-winning LA Laser LV, a boutique-style laser spa in Las Vegas. “I am so blessed that my love for skincare has evolved into such an incredible business! We are thrilled to announce we are working on franchise opportunities in other major cities across the country as well. I am very grateful.”

Although some may describe Reyes-Morris as living a real-life fairy tale, it wasn’t always private jets and exotic islands. As a young girl raised on a small island in Hawaii, she learned that going after opportunities would ultimately set her apart. With dreams of always being in the beauty industry, she knew it would take more than hard work; Reyes-Morris faced challenges that only elevated her to successfully opening 3 locations for the LA Laser umbrella. “We were the very first spa to create memberships for our clients. Our customers would ask for finance options, and because I truly cared about them, I wanted to offer ways to experience our services. Because of this, we now have some of the most loyal clients in the city.” Reyes-Morris says. LA Laser LV is also known for the original “Fancy Fridays Botox and Bubbles” celebrations, offering VIP services, discounts, and a chance to mingle with the ladies who make LA Laser LV fabulous!

Swanky and stylish, LA Laser always welcomes customers with a friendly and highly educated staff. LA Laser LVs services include tattoo removal, skin rejuvenation, booty facials, skin tightening, and so much more. ‘Tis the season for flawless skin!!

Amber Reyes Is One Of Deluxe Version Magazine’s 2022

Top Twenty Women Of The Year

To schedule an appointment, call 702-994-1900 or visit

The Kitchen Coach on Her Book A Month of Happiness

The book A Month of Happiness with Ms. Mollie: Healthy Recipes for 31 Days of Daily Living, focuses on health, wellness, diet and nutrition. With her take on the kitchen and nutrition correlating to life, author Mollie Ann Holt encourages readers to analyze not only what is going on in their nutrition but also in their self care and relationships with others. The book urges readers to reflect on certain areas of improvement and make room for their future self.

“In my book I refer to life being a recipe made of these key ingredients: forgiveness, love of all kinds, trust, communication and health…What ingredients are you missing from life?” she queries. Reflection, call to action, breaking bad habits and creating new ones lead readers to grow for the better.

The tips and tools discussed in the book aim to “open up doors in people’s lives,” Holt mentions. While the workbook at the end of it is intended “to inspire people to be accountable. Write down what you want most in life everyday and write whether you accomplished it or not,” she says.

Some readers have described the book as, “truly so much more than a recipe book” and “full of great recipes with easy to follow directions.” Amazon and Barnes and Nobles reviews mention the book as being “good for your mind and your body” as well as “more than expected.”

Author Mollie Ann Holt looks forward to her book signing at Barnes and Nobles on May 21st, May 22, June 4, and November 5, 2022 for book signings at participating Barnes & Noble. For those looking for a quick read to help with creating new positive habits, Mollie Ann Holt’s A Month of Happiness with Ms. Mollie can be found online and in stores at Barnes and Noble, Walmart and

To learn more visit @authormollieannwriter on IG.

Star Spotlight: Rob Scott Wilson

Photographed By Santiago Bisso.

It has been a long week full of productivity. Deadlines were met, meetings were had and all the work has been done. Time to relax and unwind. Grab your snacks and a cold beverage, and melt into the drama-filled “Days of Our Lives.” With endless surprises and every next episode being more over the top than the last, viewers are sure to escape from their everyday lives and be submerged into the sensational world of the characters of “Days of Our Lives.”

Daytime television star Rob Scott Wilson captivates hearts through TV screens across the nation on cable, Hulu, Peacock and other streaming platforms. Wilson was cast for his breakthrough role as Pete in “All My Children” in 2013. “Some of the producers there were close with the cast and crew of ‘Days of Our Lives,’” Wilson tells. The “Day of Our Lives” producers agreed to a self-tape audition and Wilson received an offer for the role of Ben.

Wilson says, “I started on Days of Our Lives in 2014 for four years on contract. Then I did some costar and guest appearances and came back full time in 2018.” He expresses his gratitude for executive producer Ken Corday and head writer Ron Carlivati. “It’s great to have my contract and the luxury to work other opportunities as they fit in. I can still be creatively fulfilled and consistently working,” Wilson mentions.

“My career grounded me and changed my life. Work ethic is needed to pursue anything you want in life. You have to be consistent and persistent. You have to really want it and follow through. Passion is what will progress you to new heights.”

Although he has deeply established himself in the daytime  niche of entertainment, Wilson expresses interest in exploring other genres as well. “I am so grateful for my team and am also open to other opportunities as well,” the daytime television actor expresses. Comedy and action may be the perfect match for his next move! In the meantime, Rob Scott Wilson continues to create with the “Days of Our Lives” team and engage audiences through Ben’s character.

To learn more, visit @robertscottwilson on IG and

Peter Facinelli Talks Jennie Garth, Lily Anne Harrison, Parenting, Boundaries

Actor Peter Facinelli is best known for his role as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the blockbuster Twilight Saga films, and his role as Dr. Fitch Cooper on the hit Showtime series, Nurse Jackie, which aired from 2009-2015. His latest film, The Unbreakable Boy (out later this year) is adapted from the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, in which Facinelli is a producer on the film, and also plays the role of Preacher Rick.

The Unbreakable Boy is the true story of Austin LeRette (played by Jacob Laval), a boy born with a rare genetic brittle bone disease, autism, and an unbreakable infectious spirit that makes the people around him better. The film also stars Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond), Meghann Fahy, Gavin Warren, Zachary Levi, and Drew Powell.

The following are excerpts from the latest episode of the Allison Interviews podcast with host and entertainment journalist, Allison Kugel, interviewing Peter Facinelli. In this interview, Peter talks what went wrong with ex-wife Jennie Garth, what he’s vowed to get right with his fiancée Lily Anne Harrison, setting healthy boundaries, parenting issues, and the personality trait that often leaves him embarrassed.

The full podcast episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify; and on YouTube. This interview is also available to publish in its entirety for print, as well as the excerpts below.



On what went wrong in his marriage to ex-Jennie Garth and what he’s learned from it:

“Every relationship is different.  When you’re with this [new] person, you are going to respond differently than I would have with my ex-wife (actress Jennie Garth). I think in relationships, in the beginning they are wonderful. You have this honeymoon period and it’s fantastic. Slowly, over time, somebody might say something that is kind of hurtful. The other person might permit it and then they get into a habit. So, bad things can become habitual, the way you start to treat each other, giving the other person permission or an allowance to talk to you in a certain way. Everyone has a bad day, but if that person talks to you in a certain way or does something, then all of a sudden they feel they have permission to do that because you didn’t say, ‘That hurt my feelings.’ You didn’t speak up.”

“All of a sudden it gets habitual and it grows, and then you get resentful.  When you try to change those habits…. I was actually telling a friend about this.  A relationship is like a tree. In the beginning, if it starts to bend you can correct it, but if you allow it to continue on that path there is nothing you can do to bend it back, because it has already grown in that way and solidified. “

On how he is protecting his relationship with fiancée Lily Anne Harrison:

“I think when Lily and I got together it was so wonderful and I said to her, ‘I really want to hold onto this.  I want to be really careful with each other, and let’s really work hard every day to not get into bad habits.’  It has been six years and I’m really proud of the relationship that we have, because we rarely ever raise our voice to each other ever.  If we have a disagreement about something, we talk it through.  I don’t fight with her.  Arguments don’t happen, because it’s unnecessary.  Nobody wins in an argument when you’re yelling.”

“[We are] really careful not to hurt feelings and make it okay to do that. Just being super careful to treat each other with respect, to treat each other with kindness, and be honest with each other at all costs. Once you start not doing that and feel you have permission to not do that, all of a sudden those arguments, yelling, it becomes habitual and corrodes the relationship.  I would say that is what I learned, is to just not get into bad habits.”

On whether he talks to himself out loud when he thinks no one is looking:

“It’s embarrassing, but yes, all the time to the point where my daughter came to me once and said, ‘My friend’s parents said they saw you at the airport and they said you must have been running lines or something because you were talking to yourself.’ (Laugh) I thought, ‘I wasn’t running lines. I was really talking to myself.’”

“I’ll also do it when I get angry, like if something happens or if somebody bumps into you and they are rude, and you didn’t respond.  I’ll then say to myself, ‘Hey buddy, get out of my way.’  I’ll start re-enacting the scene. I’ll go through five scenarios that never happened. I’ll think, ‘Maybe I should have said this, or maybe I should have said that.’ I’m literally acting out these scenes.  I wish we had a take-two in life.  Don’t you wish you could say, ‘Can I do that again?’”

On learning to establish healthier boundaries:
“What I’m still working on is boundaries with people. I’m such a giver and I give too much.  Then when I give too much, it gives people permission, or they feel like they have a right to take. Then whatever I’m giving, if I say, ‘I can’t give that right now,’ I usually get attacked for it.  When somebody is getting something all the time and then you say, ‘No,’ and set the boundaries too late, then they get upset.  If you set the boundaries in the beginning, they won’t get upset. But if you give, give, give something and then say, ‘I can’t give that anymore,’ because it’s just exhausting, all of a sudden they are angry because you have always given.  Like, ‘How dare you?’ Learning boundaries is something I’m still working on.”

On his earliest professional goal as an actor:

“I always wanted to be an actor when I was younger, but telling my parents I wanted to be an actor was like telling them I wanted to go to Mars.  They are both from Italy.  I’m a first generation American.  We knew nobody in the business. My first goal was to get a paycheck. I thought to myself, ‘You know, I’m going to do this and even if it takes me until 70 years old, I’m going to do this until I get a paycheck.’ Getting a paycheck was my only goal.”

On losing his daughter, Fiona, in Italy when she was just eight years old:

“I remember when my daughter was eight, and I lost her.  We were up in these mountains in Italy and I went to throw something out. I turned around and thought she went into this restaurant with my parents, because we were out in front of the restaurant. I went inside, sat down with the rest of my family, we were about ten of us. I just thought she was with one of her sisters. When everyone started sitting down, I said, ‘Where’s Fiona?’  They said, ‘I don’t know.’ I hadn’t seen her in like fifteen minutes. I’m searching the restaurant, and she was eight [at the time]. It was terrifying.”

On the advice he gives his, now, young adult daughters:

“My daughter is now 23 and she was asking me for advice the other day. I told her, ‘Honestly, I don’t know if that is the right thing, so you have to go with your gut. This is what I would do, but you are you. You really have to decide for yourself, because me giving you that advice, I don’t know if I’m right.’  I’m having an adult conversation with her and wanting to help her, but also wanting her to go with her gut. At the end of the day, it was a job she had gotten offered and she didn’t know if she should take it.  If she took it and was miserable, then I gave her bad advice. I told her, you have to search inside, and really, you have the answer.”

About Journalist and Podcast Host Allison Kugel
Allison Kugel is a veteran entertainment journalist with close to four hundred long-form celebrity and newsmaker interviews published and syndicated, worldwide. She is author of the memoir, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record, and host of the podcast, Allison Interviews, where listeners can tune in to hear the full conversations behind Allison’s print interviews. Watch and embed the entire interview video with Peter Facinelli @YouTube. Listen to the audio podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at

Dianna Agron Talks Naya Rivera, Mayim Bialik, Being Jewish, Indie Filmmaking

Dianna Agron took television fans on an emotional ride playing complex popular girl, Quinn Fabray, on the hit television series Glee, which ran for seven seasons on FOX. The wildly popular show won multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, People’s Choice, and Teen Choice Awards during its tenure. Throughout the series, Agron’s character portrayed a foray of teen girl issues ranging from the common to the more dramatic. From cattiness and romance drama to matters of celibacy, teen pregnancy, and adoption; nothing was off the table. It speaks to Agron’s depth and range as an actress.

Since wrapping the show in 2015, Agron has gone on to build her resume in films, including winner of this year’s Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award-winning film, Shiva Baby, and most recently, As They Made Us, starring Agron, alongside Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen and Simon Helberg, and written and directed by Mayim Bialik.



Allison Kugel: I’m used to you as a brunette in this movie and here you are back to blonde-ish

Diana Agron:  I know, and I’m going back to brunette for another role in a month.

Allison Kugel: How did you like having the dark hair?

Diana Agron: I do like it. I think that I always welcome the opportunity to change for a project. 

Allison Kugel: Did you know Mayim Bialik, personally, before her film, As They Made Us, came to you?

Diana Agron: I did not. I knew who she was by her work, but we didn’t have a personal relationship prior to this film.

Allison Kugel: How did the role of Abigail come to you?

Diana Agron: It was through my team. I immediately responded to the script and the character.  There is a lot of personal truth to my life, and it was being expressed through this piece. Mayim and I had a Zoom chat in which I felt that we connected deeply in our shared truths, but I had no idea if she felt that I was going to be right for the part. Within the hour I had the call that I was receiving the offer, and it just felt like a complete whirlwind and a surprise. I made my manager tell me the news again, because I thought, perhaps, I had heard him wrong. It was very sweet.  

Allison Kugel: The writing in this film was so good that you forget there is a script involved. 

Diana Agron: Yes. I think that is what I responded to as well, this very naturalistic feel.  It felt very embedded in truth and experience we kind of shared. We had a very strong open dialogue about grief, loss, love, and complicated relationships. Mayim had really incorporated in such a full spectrum of these emotions and how that works through individuals and a family, collectively. It did feel very real, and I obviously can speak personally about the elements that were very real for me. I think everybody brought their own truths to the table and incorporated those into their characters and into the story. 

Allison Kugel: I can relate to it very much. I had a very complicated relationship with my dad, who is now living with us. It’s a strange thing, because I remember growing up, and especially in my teens and twenties, I thought, “I can’t wait to get away.” We were constantly bumping heads. Now it has kind of come full circle and he’s become a much gentler person in his older years. I’ve become much more understanding of human nature as I have gotten older, so you kind of meet somewhere in the middle.

Dianna Agron: I can understand that completely. 

Allison Kugel: On another note, you are Jewish, Mayim is Jewish, I’m also Jewish. We are not always portrayed accurately or reasonably in the media, whether in television or film.  Like other minority groups, we are often made into caricatures. In As They Made Us, you see the complex humanity of a group of people, and what ties it all together that goes across all people of all different groups. That was another thing that I really enjoyed about this film. What is your opinion of how Jewish American’s are typically portrayed?

Dianna Agron: It’s interesting that you bring that up, because that was one of the things that I loved so much about this storytelling, is my character’s connection to her Judaism and how that is expressed with her young children as she is teaching them, and how that part of her family aspect is just very causally there. It’s just who they are and it’s a part of her daily life. Obviously, there is a strong connection that she has to it, but that’s not saying or doing so much.  It’s just part of her character and part of her life. I do think that sometimes Jewish storytelling as it shows up in media is much more specific about either the Holocaust or you see it in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and this has been brought up and critiqued about Jews in film, where maybe one half of the couple is Jewish, but the other one isn’t. There are just so many ways with how it is expressed in the media. Not to say that anything is necessarily right or wrong. I think it’s project to project, but I did like that this was just an underlying element to who she was and that it just seemed so normal. 

Allison Kugel: Not that the Curb Your Enthusiasms of the world are bad, I think they are great, but we need stuff like this too. 

Dianna Agron: Yes, I think it does add to a balance. When I was promoting [the film] Shiva Baby, that whole film centers around one woman’s experience at a shiva, mourning somebody that she kind of knows, and was brought to it by her parents. That was so interesting because everyone who was interviewing us about that film had said to us, “This is like my Italian family, this is like my Greek family,” and so on. We all come from different cultural backgrounds, but there are common truths to dynamics with family, friends, or communities, which are so universal. It’s been nice to be part of both films and have that kind of storytelling be incorporated into my work. 

Allison Kugel: Although the material of As They Made Us is heavy at times, there are some really funny moments.

Dianna Agron: Especially Candice [Bergen]. She made me laugh so consistently throughout filming. Her delivery is perfectly spot on. And she is not trying to be [funny].  Her character is really just expressing things how she sees fit, which is so funny, because I think it is very understandable that everyone grieves in a different way. Some people say things that are wildly inappropriate to the moment, and it just feels so real and honest.

Allison Kugel: Towards the end of the film, Dustin Hoffman. who plays your father, his character passes away and there was a moment after the funeral that I loved where Candice Bergen’s character, your mother, starts gossiping about people that were at the funeral. Your character, Abigail, gets mad at her. I actually said this out loud to my screen as I was watching.  I said, “That’s how she’s grieving! She’s gossiping to take her mind off what just happened.”

Dianna Agron: Totally. 

Allison Kugel: I think that is actually why people gossip at times, to kind of take our minds off the war in the Ukraine, the pandemic, all of these heavy things that are going on in the world. We need to focus on something else. We need to make it light. 

Dianna Agron: Sometimes at the expense of other people (laugh). That is so not my experience. I feel it’s the last thing I ever want to indulge in or engage in, but I so understand. That was the thing.  All of the characters are so human and then you have these incredible actors bringing such humanity to the screen in this way, in this story.  I had done a film with Candice about thirteen years ago where I also played her daughter. It was so wonderful to reconnect with her and to connect with her as an adult. I was such a young thing then. That I really enjoyed, and she is just as delightful and just as hilarious as ever.  

Allison Kugel: Was there a funny moment on set you can share where you had to kind of like break the tension and just have some fun in between takes? 

Dianna Agron: I can’t point to one exact moment, but I will say that every day we were experiencing this wealth of storytelling because we would ask Candice and Dustin about specific projects or what growing up in LA was like back then. They were just so generous and giving. I typically find that most actors love to share, on and off screen. It’s not one or the other.  It usually is both. There were just many personal moments that they were sharing where you couldn’t believe that the first director I had was so and so and the most famous line in that movie wasn’t originally there and it was just found on the last day of filming and that was so special to be able to really dig in and ask them anything that we wanted. Simon, Mayim, and I were like, “Okay, and then this project, and tell me about this.” I had no expectations.  I thought maybe they would want to go and be by themselves in between set ups and take rests. They were always there and game, and just so much a part of sharing at all given times. Then Candice has this very sweet dog Bruce who was always around and every now and then he would pipe up in a scene and we would have to relocate him.  It was really such a joyful experience despite being in an enormous amount of pain and sadness in moments on set. 

Allison Kugel: What is Mayim Bialik like as a director?

Dianna Agron: What was so obvious to me after our first chat was that she had already thought about this project, and these characters in this world, so thoroughly that we could have gone and made that film the next day. It was so obvious that it was a story she could tell so beautifully. She really hired such a beautiful team of people that worked so well together. There was a feeling of ease, even though we were this kind of tiny but mighty crew.  Independent filmmaking isn’t necessarily as glamourous or cushioned, but it is my preferred way to work. I love eliminating all the frills. It never felt like we weren’t able to accomplish our goals for the day, which was such a testament to how well-organized Mayim was, and how well thought out and planned every day of shooting was. I loved watching Mayim’s reactions to things.  I was always looking to her to see how she was experiencing what we were filming.  

Allison Kugel: Some of the subject matter of this film was about dying and death. What is your take on that part of the human experience? Where do you think we go? What do you think death is all about? 

Dianna Agron: I’ve been dealing with many years of my father’s own illness (Dianna’s father suffers from an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis) and watching that move through his body. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t imagine there is an enormous amount of time that we have left with him, which is really not what you would wish for at all, and very deeply sad. It has placed a lot of importance on the time that we have. He’s been sick more years of my life than he has been well. The way I have had to process that, is that while I would have wanted the version of him, I knew as a very young person to last much longer, I am so lucky to have experienced many other versions of him and still have access to him and connect with him. It takes a toll in many different forms, your cognition, your physical health, etc. Death has been prevalent in my life, because I’ve lost many people that I loved, and it always feels like it wasn’t the right time. I, unfortunately, lost many people when I was very young, and my father is very ill and only sixty-six years old. I pride myself in being very present with the moment with my family and my friends and knowing that your health and wellness are not guaranteed. That centers me a lot.  As [death] relates to everything on the Other Side, it’s not something I often think about, but I’m sure that will be more prevalent the older I get. 

Allison Kugel: Soon we will be coming up on the two-year anniversary of Naya Rivera’s passing. Can you tell me what was unique about your friendship with her that was different from your other Glee castmates, or even from any other friendship in your life?

Dianna Agron: Naya was my first friend on set. We were quite isolated, because we weren’t involved in the entire pilot. We had our very brief moments in the pilot, and everybody else was very involved in the singing, dancing, and all the rehearsals. So, she was my point person and we kind of instilled each other with confidence in those moments. She was just very unique and special in the way she carried herself with such confidence and certainty. If she believed in something, or in you as a person, she would always uplift those ideas. She was very, very strong in a way that I think I have adapted to moments in my own life that have been quite difficult and the adversity you can overcome if you experience it at a young age that makes you more resilient. She had that strength in spades. Any strength that I had she had ten times more of it.  It was really inspiring and nurturing to be around. She was also wickedly funny and had the best comedic timing. She is one of the people that I speak about when I say it’s so strange to think she is not here. She had years and years of love and gifts to give people, and I was so lucky to know her.

Allison Kugel: That is beautiful. What do you think you came into this life as Dianna Agron to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach? 

Dianna Agron: Whoa, not an easy question! I feel particularly connected to storytelling. When I say that, I don’t mean as it relates to my job. I feel so connected to the human experience, and that is something that has always drawn me in. I lived in a hotel when I was younger because my dad was the general manager of a few hotels, and I would witness and question… there was a complete, big world of people coming in and out of my environment from everywhere in the world. As I started being able to travel more freely and explore different cultures and people, it is something that really interests me. I feel much better when I’m learning new things about new people and cultures. I think that has let to also me wanting to be a storyteller and connect with people on that level. I think that if that is something I can share and encourage in other people to be really open minded and to look outside of their own worlds and communities.  Go bigger and deeper to find something really meaningful.  

Allison Kugel: Interesting. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Dianna Agron: I don’t know if it is the best advice, but it was certainty very helpful to hear as it pertains to my life and my career. I had a colleague say to me, “This path of yours is not about what you say “yes” to. It is more about what you say “no” to. I think as you are receiving gifts, be it jobs, opportunities, etc., it can feel difficult to say no to something, because you are so happy to be there and to be part of the conversation. I think being really honest with yourself about what serves you and how you can organize your time, when you really drop into those truths, so much more magic is available because you’re being so authentically yourself and you’re not compromising for other people. 

As They Made Us, written and directed by Mayim Bialik and starring Dianna Agron, Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen and Simon Helberg is out in theatres and on VOD digital platforms April 8th. Listen to and watch the entire interview on the Allison Interviews podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and on YouTube.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Welcomes Élia Beach Club

Authentic Beach Elegance Defined

That’s the mantra of Élia Beach Club at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of Curio Collection by Hilton and owned by JC Hospitality. Get ready to be transported to an authentic pool club experience that feels like you are in Mykonos or Tulum. A beach house, a terrace, sand, and water. Élia takes pieces from around the world. Raw materials, progressive beach house music… mixed in with live music… bongos, saxophones, trumpets.

Managing partners Jason “JROC” Craig, Michael Fuller, and Mio Danilovic have come together to create a new day club experience for Las Vegas. They are nightlife veterans with a long list of notable venues on their roster. There was no doubt in their minds… They wanted to work on this project together. “We are bringing a new venue to life,” notes JROC.

Élia’s designer is Francois Frossard. He also worked on Joia Beach, which is Danilovic’s venue in Miami. It has a different feel from the other pools around Las Vegas, and you’ll see that as soon as you enter. Élia will have its own entrance and valet separate from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, but hotel guests will be able to enter through the property.


Fuller says, “we’re trying to carve out our own niche or marketplace, we’re not trying to compete or compare ourselves to anybody else and we’re changing the platform of what we think a beach club or a day club should be like, it’s refined, it’s mature and we think that’s going to resonate.” Fuller adds, “I think coming out of quarantine people are looking for a little bit more of an authentic experience. It’s not always about being loud, noisy and aggressive… it’s a little bit more dignified. When you go to Mykonos or Ibiza, these are people that are jet setters that travel around the world to the best parties in the world and the music is much more textured, the soundscapes that you hear are people that have been going to clubs since they were nineteen, and they could be 30, 40, 50, 60 years old, so we wanted to create something that transcends not just to Millennials but to the Gen X and Baby Boomers even.”

The music will be programmed to resonate with everyone. JROC describes it as a happy beach vibe.’ He says, “transitioning off the pandemic I think people are looking for something more experiential. Obviously, there are great DJs out there that people want to see, we do have a great roster of musical talent, a little bit different than some of the other venues’ programming but world-class nonetheless. We’re bringing in resident DJs you’d find in Tulumresident DJs you’d find in exotic spacesas well as popular international guest DJs that have put out some great music, bringing asound that we are really looking for.”


Élia will extend past sunset. There is a beach house on the inside with raw wood and rope that has an organic feel, you can also see the pool that’s up top. The second level is called, The Terrace. The club wants to be an in-between space also, it wants to see a second round. The club will activate the beach house, the downstairs living room, and the upstairs terrace. That’s when a different DJ comes on and might play more of a deeper house music. There will be fire dancers and a bongo. It’s about letting the party evolve.

They plan to do parties around the full moon too, with lantern lighting. Élia will take culture from places around the world and bring it into the space. JROC adds, “international travel still isn’t 100 percent, so if we’re able to transport someone through our ambiance, vibe and aesthetic, and create their reality in our vision of being in these exotic spaces, then I think we’re winning.”


The day club will also have an elevated food menu. It’s a different product from what the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas resort pool will have. It will even feature a couple of outside brands. Everbowl will offer Acai bowls and more. The club is working with Truff Hot Sauce too. Élia will also have beers from around the world that you normally wouldn’t be able to get in Las Vegas.


Fuller says the locals are extremely important to them too. He was born and raised in Las Vegas and wants to own the locals market, “being a native here that’s important to me and it’s always been part of our philosophy, at the end of the day when you take care of the locals, the locals take care of you.” Fuller says if he was looking at one award to win it would be Number One Local Pool Party.

JROC agrees, “it’s time to go back to taking care of people again, ya know, remembering people’s names, making sure they are taken care of really well, going back to looking people in the eyes. We’re not trying to hit people over the head with our minimums, we want our pricing to be competitive with the market but we don’t ever want to have anyone leave the venue feeling as though they spent the money… and they weren’t fulfilled with that experience. It’s really important to us.”


The Élia team has a health and wellness program they are really proud of as well. “Prior to our first team meeting, we organized yoga in a group workout session for the staff. Before we go into our pre-shift every day, we are going to be doing a vinyasa and breath empowerment for 5 minutes. No phones.. no yelling, none of that. We want our staff to be in a good place… positive mind, and positive heart,” says JROC.

Élia Beach Club will be open Thursdays to Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. |  @eliabeachlv  |

Dr. Michelle Farnoush Expands Her Practice To Newport

Dr. Michelle Farnoush is an award-winning reconstructive and cosmetic dentist. Until recently, she has been based exclusively in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. Now she has expanded to Newport Beach to share her healing powers with Southern California.

Michelle’s extensive educational background includes degrees from McGill University, Columbia University, UNLV’s School of Dental Medicine, and the Kois Center for Dental Excellence. We managed to distract Michelle from her busy schedule and inquire about her growing practice.

How did you get involved in dentistry?

“I was drawn to dentistry through my older sister, who is also a dentist back in Canada. In university I would shadow her at her office and my passion for the responsibility and reputation as a healthcare provider grew from there.”

Dr.Michelle Farnoush with husband, Faisal Sublaban

What do you enjoy most about dentistry?

“Our smiles are powerful: it’s how we express a range of emotions and share our confidence with the world. As a reconstructive and cosmetic dentist, I have the opportunity to help build my clients’ confidence and become part of their journey to a new beginning. It takes trust, excellence in aesthetic techniques, and great customer service to make someone’s goals become a reality.”

Tell us about your practice.

“We are a dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile. By using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures, we guarantee beautiful, healthy, long lasting smiles in both form and function. My entire dental team is highly trained in evidence-based comprehensive care, and our proprietary approach to aesthetic and artistic dentistry gives our clients a whole new way of taking control of their experience.”

How has the field of dentistry changed in recent years?

“The transition to digital technology has been one of the biggest advances in dentistry: straightening teeth without goopy impressions, making same day crowns, and especially using technology to facially generate and digitally design a brand new smile. All of these things have made dentistry more efficient, predictable and longer lasting.

What’s in the store for the future?

“Expanding to the Newport Beach office provides us with new technology and adds a fresh, modern elegance to my clients’ dental experience. The exquisite environment we create at each client touchpoint is what sets us apart. We want to become your first step to a better lifestyle.”

Dr. Michelle Farnoush is at the top of her game. With the expansion to her brand new office in Newport Beach, her future is looking as bright as the smiles she creates.