Your workplace is almost certainly not like his workplace. (Although if it is, please forward a job application, toot sweet.)
“My stuff gets grabbed, I grab tits, it’s a very loving atmosphere,” says Enoch Augustus Scott.
Jealous? Understandable. What would earn you and me a pink slip, a hard slap and a lawsuit—and, for those of us of the male persuasion, perhaps a new lifestyle as a eunuch—is a professional necessity at Zombie Burlesque, where publicly squeezing your co-worker’s privates is a condition of employment.
“We’re really super comfortable with each other,” Scott says. “We’re backstage touching each other even more than we are onstage.”
Can it be any mystery why the 40-year-old, North Carolina-raised Scott—starring simultaneously in the brand-new Zombie Burlesque and the even brand-newer Pawn Shop Live!–adores being one of the hardest-working men in Vegas show business? Not that his manic workaholism couldn’t tax the stamina of anyone, living or undead.
Compare his workaday bump-‘n-grind against the routine of us daily drones, spilling caffeine on our keyboards and enjoying repetitive strain injury in between computer crashes:
“At Pawn Shop, I do all these characters and voices, six of them—maybe seven, I forget—and then Zombie, the first 20 minutes of which is me dancing and singing and talking,” says Scott, frequently running a hand through a cascade of wavy, luxuriant black hair that threatens to blot out his face like a solar eclipse. “I do the credits, I do the opening, I do a costume change, I sing ‘Eating Penis Doesn’t Make You Gay’ and ‘Zombie Prostitute.’ It’s a marathon.”
At the ‘Eating Penis’ portion of our story, let’s backtrack: Last November, Zombie Burlesque—a giddily raunchy, spoof-alicious collision of old-school burlesque and pop-culture zombie mania—opened at producer David Saxe’s V Theater at Planet Hollywood. Cast as the outlandish show host in ghost-white/green-tinted/blood-accented makeup—and in a series of costumes that begins with a white tuxedo jacket and zebra-striped fez, and grows more fashionably freaky from there—he’s like the love child of Beetlejuice and the emcee from Cabaret, swallowing scenery with nary a belch and often verbally jousting with the audience.
“He’s a unique talent here in Las Vegas and an amazing entity in the entertainment field,” says Zombie director Tiger Martina. “He’s a perfect combination of intelligence and spur-of-the-moment wit.”
While the Zombie creative team keeps tinkering—it hasn’t even had its “official” opening yet—word of its lascivious lunacy already has it playing to often sold-out houses.
In late January, only a couple of months after Zombie arose into the nighttime V lineup, Scott assumed double duty as a multicharacter performer in Pawn Shop Live!, an afternoon-show parody of the History Channel’s Vegas-based reality series, at the Golden Nugget’s Gordie Brown Theater. Though that show was more creatively troubled than Zombie—aw, screw politeness, it was a train wreck at supersonic speed—it’s being overhauled during an upcoming hiatus as it departs its brief Downtown home (last show: March 29) for a new Strip niche at the Riviera’s Starlite Theatre (first show: April 21.)
Despite the original version amounting to stage road kill, Scott attempts heroic CPR. Racing on and offstage like a rocket-powered Road Runner, he beep-beep-beeps through scenes as characters including Zack Galifianakis, Snooki, a cop, a mincing director, an evil councilman and—behind a sculpted puppet he operates with furious dexterity—the patriarch of the shop-owning family, known as Old Fart.”
“It’s a tough track, but it’s a comic tour de force,” says Pawn director Troy Heard. “He’s got endless energy and I don’t know where he finds it.”
Ask Scott, and he’ll tell you it springs from cans of Red Bull and fleeting dates with his pillow. “Naps are very important in my life, that’s how I do it,” says Scott at our interview the day after it was originally scheduled, postponed because he was “making myself crazy” and hadn’t slept. Complicating his already complicated days is straddling two shows still in creative flux, as dialogue, songs and scenes are added, shifted or tossed.
“It’s not to the point where I can relax into the shows,” he says.
Hopefully, he’ll get the chance. Until now, you could nickname Scott the King of the Quickies. You blinked? You no doubt missed him in flameouts such as Shear Madness, Stripped: The Play, The Awesome 80s Prom and the Grand Ole Vegas Revue.
“I used to think it was my curse, that any show I was in would only run two months,” says Scott, whose local rèsumè was also burnished by runs in the apparently bulletproof Marriage Can Be Murder and, most notably, in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. Recruited to the Rio Hotel’s version from the L.A. production in 2002, it was a planned two-week run that turned into two years. And then into a Vegas career.
Today, Scott is never far from a gig, his full plate also including playing an ’80s rocker character at the Venetian’s Bourbon Room, as well as deploying his skills as a “talker” to host local slot tournaments and pool parties and even gave time-share presentations. “There is too much work and I just can’t say no because work is not always going to be there,” he says.
Free time and Enoch Scott? Largely oxymoronic. When it isn’t, it’s overstuffed with what you’d expect—original one-man shows, cabaret performances and, of course, gay wrestling. “A side project I’m working on is called PGW—Pro Gay Wrestling,” says Scott of his collaboration with a friend that has taped footage in L.A. and at Future Stars of Wrestling on Boulder Highway. “I’m editing the episodes and we submitted the first one to a film festival. We’ve shot material for six episodes.”
Yet it’s a serious philosophy that drives his passion project. “As a gay boy, it was hard to think of myself as a physical being, as owning my body in a way other than dancing in a show or being artistic,” Scott says. “But feeling secure enough to be athletic is something I think young gay men need more of.”
Sometimes less of, as reflected in Confessions of a ’Roid Fag, or How He-Man Made Me Gay, Scott’s theatrical cocktail blending songs and original monologues about body dysmorphia that he staged in 2012 at the Onyx Theatre.
“It’s sort of a reverse anorexia,” says Scott—a bona fide gym rat—about the dysfunction that once plagued him. “Girls want to get smaller and smaller and disappear. Men want to take up more space and be bigger and bigger. I’ve gone down that rabbit hole. But I feel healthy about where I am now.”
Last year, he whipped up the cabaret-style Enoch Augustus Scott Experience, in which he described himself as “Las Vegas’ Singular Gay, Actor, Author and Performance Artist.” Accompanying him on both that and ’Roid Fag was his life partner, pianist Spencer Baker.
Bigger, badder, beyond-the-neon aspirations? Sure. Someday. Maybe.
“If television called, I wouldn’t say no. And I’d love to do Chekhov, go onstage and not give a fuck if anybody laughs,” he says. “But with ‘Eating Penis,’ I love the screams I hear when we do that, the screams when I pick up the penis”—detached and rubbery, we should clarify—“and slap my face with it. These howls of laughter are like food to me. I eat it up. It’s sustenance.”
Besides that … “I’m having so much fun grabbing zombie tits.”
8:30 p.m. Mon-Sat, V Theater at Planet Hollywood, $60 and up, 243-9820, VTheaterBoxOffice.com.
PAWN SHOP LIVE!
4 p.m. Thu-Sat through March 29, Gordie Brown Theater at the Golden Nugget, $27.45 and up, 866-946-5336, GoldenNugget.com; Beginning April 21, relocates to Starlite Theatre at the Riviera, 4:30 p.m. daily, $39 and up, 794-9433, PawnShopShow.com, RivieraHotel.com.