Jaymes Vaughan has lead an interesting life. He has circled the globe on Amazing Race and as host of the Chippendales World Tour. He is first openly gay member of this sexy stage show. The Chippendales are taking over Tulalip Resort and Casino tonight. The show is completely sold out but Jaymes gave us some time in his busy schedule.
Earle Dutton: You have been interviewing a lot of celebrities lately, like Joan Collins and Robin Leach. Who was your favorite so far?
Jaymes Vaughan: I hate to just pick one because it kind of makes me seem like a jerk but Susan Lucci was amazing. The timing of that interview was awesome. I interviewed her the week that my episode of The Young & The Restless was on the air. It was so cool to interview the Queen of Soap Operas the week of my soap opera debut. I got her input and her advice on how to make a career out of it. She was just so cool to do the interview in the first place but to also take time out of the interview to speak about me and my career. She is a very cool lady. She taught me how to slap and everything.
ED: What made you decided to go on The Amazing Race?
JV: I did that actually because my dad was sick at the time. I was a little scared of reality TV. CBS did an amazing job with that show. It is really true to life what happens. There is no manipulation. They don’t change things to make you a good or bad guy. I found out my dad was sick and we wanted to get him in an experimental cancer program. That cost a million and a half dollars. So, the chance to win a million dollars would have really helped. That was my fuel the entire race.
ED: What was it like being an openly gay man and traveling to places that might not be gay friendly?
JV: The only hesitation that I really had was when we were in Bangladesh which is a predominantly Muslin country. We tried to be respectful of their culture. They are a lot more modest and have a completely different way of doing things. We took our Chippendales shirts and turned them inside out. We didn’t want to offend anyone. It was not our job to go there to try to change or challenge them. We were just on a game show trying to win the money. Our production teams and security teams made us feel really safe so I didn’t feel I really needed to hide anything.
ED: How did you become a member of the Chippendales?
JV: I am actually the host of the show which is a little unique. If you saw me dance you would understand why I try to avoid it. I was actually performing in another show on the strip called “Bareback” at Harrah’s. Chippendales’ creative director’s girlfriend saw me in the show and told him to come see me. Then they offered me a job which I actually didn’t take at the time. I had a total misconception of what Chippendales is as a show. I thought it was a bunch of greasy dudes on stripper poles that love themselves way too much. After I turned down the job offer, I actually saw the show. It was a production number and completely different from what I thought. It was like a male version of the Pussycat Dolls. So I changed my mind and decided that it was cool and I wanted to be a part of it. But, since I had turned down the job offer, I had to go and audition. I got the job and became the host and singer of the world tour.
ED: What is your favorite part of the show?
JV: My experience is pretty unique since I am the host. I really like the audience participation. I really enjoy watching the girls and now guys having fun. I get to be funny and engaging in a different way. We have a great game show that people get to come on stage and complete challenges to win a VIP experience and it is really cool. You never know what is going to happen. It is different every night and a total blast.
ED: Are you the first openly gay member of the Chippendales?
JV: Yes, that is actually my title, The First Open Gay Member of the Chippendales. I didn’t want to be a part of a show that would put me on magazine covers and billboards while hiding that part of my life. I didn’t want some teenager to see me and think that I was being successful because I was hiding my sexuality. We really have changed the show. It is not just the ultimate girl’s night out, it is the ultimate night out for anyone. The support from the company has been amazing.
ED: Is there a message that you would like to send out to LGBTQ youth?
JV: Yes, on all of my social media I have a hashtag that says Be You. I think that is the best message every. For me, I became them most successful in my life when I started be out and completely me. People really need to know and like the real you. Just be yourself and get people in your life that love you for being you.