For those who visited the Tradeshow Mainstage at the 2018 Gentlemen’s Club EXPO in Las Vegas, you probably saw Nick Failla. Or, more accurately, the blur of a hulking figure as he moved throughout the Mainstage, making sure that every aspect of its set-up and design was perfect. Failla and his company, Nicky Biggs Entertainment, designed and produced the Tradeshow Mainstage in 2018, providing the sound, lighting and 3-D mapping effects (everything but the LED dance pole, which was provided by Pole FX).
Though his sound, lighting and systems-integration company is new, Nick Failla is no Johnny-Come-Lately. In fact, he’s worked in the gentlemen’s club industry for two decades, mainly as a club DJ/emcee. Failla began his career as the jock for Centerfolds Cabaret in Phoenix, Arizona, and his career recently came full circle as he’s returned to Centerfolds, this time as their general manager.
ED had the chance to ask Failla about his company, Nicky Biggs Entertainment, and how his 20 years of industry experience has helped him develop a sound & lighting company that serves the unique needs of strip clubs. And if you want to know what a club DJ listens to inside and outside the club, check out Failla’s customized Spotify playlist, courtesy of StripJointsMusic!
ED: When and where did you start working as an adult club DJ? What brought you into the industry initially, and what made you decide to stay once you got there?
FAILLA: I worked as in radio, nightclubs, and even roller rinks for years prior to DJing in the adult nightclub industry. I had a friend that had fallen on hard times and was sleeping on my couch for a few months unable to find a job. We were in the car talking about how to get a job and happened to be driving past Centerfolds Cabaret in Phoenix, Arizona. I pulled in and told my buddy I was gonna show him how to get a job! I actually started working just one day a week and filling in shifts for Centerfolds. The money is what kept me in the business at first; we all know how crazy the $$$ was in the late ’90s early 2000s. I couldn’t tell you exactly when or why, but after a few years I just felt this was where I was meant to be and was my career path.
“There is an art to finding the happy medium between budget and quality, lasting equipment, and we guide our customers based on meeting their needs, not on the bottom line.” – Nick Failla on his company, Nicky Biggs Entertainment
ED: Will you work as a club DJ in the future, or have you transitioned fully into sound, lighting and systems installation?
FAILLA: I’ve actually taken the General Manager position at Centerfolds Cabaret, my original club, as I continue to build my sound and lighting business.
ED: Talk about Nicky Biggs Entertainment. If I’m a club owner and I want to know what you can do for me and why it would help my club, what would you tell me?
FAILLA: We are a small company that prides ourselves in customer service and quality workmanship. We take the time and energy to do the job right the first time. We approach every project with almost two decades of gentlemen’s club experience, not only approaching from a sound and lighting angle but from an everyday user’s angle. We understand the duty cycle of 15 hours a day, 360-plus days a year, and having multiple users operating the gear. We also pay special attention to training and support, as too many companies leave after the installation and basically say, ”you’re on your own.” There is an art to finding the happy medium between budget and quality, lasting equipment, and we guide our customers based on meeting their needs, not on the bottom line.
ED: You produced the mainstage at this past Expo. What did you find most gratifying about that experience? What is your favorite part of attending the Expo each year? What do you most look forward to?
FAILLA: I would say the most gratifying part of the experience was the feedback from attendees, and even people that didn’t attend that saw internet coverage saying this was the best stage they’ve seen in years and this is what the main stage should be! Actually, my favorite part of the Expo is seeing and meeting new industry friends and networking.
ED: What is/was your favorite music/songs to play on a busy Saturday night at the club?
FAILLA: I treat music as a business; l I have my personal favorites, but when it comes to working a DJ booth, my favorite thing to play is what the crowd responds to and each crowd is different. I love driving the energy of a room with the music I choose.
ED: If you could see any concert or lineup of artists, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
FAILLA: Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Atmosphere.
Here’s more about Nick Failla!
Where do you originally hail from: Washington D.C.
Previous clubs: Centerfolds Cabaret
Years employed in club industry: 19 years
Years in the industry: Over 20 years in the entertainment industry
Favorite recording artist: My favorite artist changes all the time.
Industry hero: Dennis DeGori, I believe the E11EVEN model is the future of our business!
Favorite feature entertainer: Too many to list!
Favorite DJ or industry pro: Too many to list!
Favorite part of your job: I feel that working in the entertainment industry keeps you feeling younger and more connected to the changing world.
Pet working peeve: Lazy people
Advice for fellow industry professionals: This is a big business but a small community, so treat people with respect and don’t burn bridges. If you are wrong or make a mistake, own it, fix it, and move forward. If the people around you want to hold that against you that’s their problem, you’ve done what you can and are already working on the future.