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By Jacqueline Monahan
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Tom Rubin’s "Failure is an Option” At Ron DeCar’s Event Center

It’s good to have options – even if one of them is failure.

Comedian and motivational speaker Tom Rubin proves that good things do come in small packages.  Short in stature but long on laughs, the self-styled self-help guru’s show Failure Is An Option sets out to debunk all the big guys of feel-good empowerment therapy.

Oprah and Chopra and Robbins.  Goodbye!

Tom Rubin 70562
Tom Rubin
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Rubin recently completed a three-day run at Ron DeCar’s Event Center, a vintage Vegas venue featuring a plush gold stage curtain and 15-bulb chandeliers.  The intimate space seats 300 and is easy to fill with Rubin’s ebullience.  Never will you see a guy who is this excited to pass on his message of failure, negative visualization, and low expectations.

It’s all B.S.! shouts Rubin from the semi-circular stage flanked by video screens that illustrate his concepts.  Photographs show the guru with the likes of Edison, Aniston, Jolie, Obama, and Springsteen; others depict an ocean of adoring hands reaching for the man of mediocrity management.  Rubin himself is decked out in a shiny black suit, pointy shoes, and call center headpiece, its microphone in an arc along his left cheek.

Along with his B.S. banter (never pronounced using the initials, by the way) Rubin claims that the key to success is luck.  Forget empowerment (it’s delusional). Forget bucket lists (too dangerous).  He talks down networking and nametags and introduces the audience to the brother Albert Einstein never talked about: Yerno.  Most people, claims Rubin, can be summed up by that name.

Covering relationships, money, sex, and fulfillment, the 80-minute show is crammed with ever more affordable deals in B.S. Jiu-Jitsu, Rubin’s self-help course on becoming a B.S. Martial Artist.  What starts out as a $4995 asking price gets deeply discounted by show’s end, with a set of Ginsu knives thrown in for good measure.  Sharp.

A master of voices, Rubin flavors the humor with Australian, Indian, Cuban, and Russian accents, delivering an exaggeratedly Austrian Arnold and a pissed-off Joe Pesci, updated for modern technology.  “What is so LOL about ME?”

Other failure-is-an-option tenets include: If you try to be happy, you can’t.  Complain more.  Masochists are happy.  Nobody listens to advice and nobody changes.  Work sucks.  Your “friends” don’t even want to talk to you (in this modern era of Facebook and texting).  You probably don’t look as good as you say you do.

His advice to men who want to have sex:  No chivalry. Date Russian women. Speak with an accent.

His advice to women:  Have more sex with men you hardly know.

Rubin explains it all, sometimes in fast-paced double speak which makes an odd kind of sense.  Eye contact is important he insists, especially when everything is basically B.S.

His audience participation exercise consists of getting everyone to stand – and then having them immediately sit down again.  Nametags, he maintains, make everyone look like they’re for sale.

The only Robbins this native New Jersey guy recommends is Baskin Robbins.  Sit down.  Eat.  Don’t try too hard.  It’s all B.S. anyway.

It’s good to have options.

About Ron DeCar’s Event Center
Located at 1201 S. Las Vegas Blvd. between the Stratosphere Hotel and the Fremont Street Experience, Ron DeCar’s Event Center features 6,000 square feet of vintage Vegas elegance.  Along with a full restaurant and bar menu, the Event Center hosts an ever-changing lineup of shows, including Big Band Saturdays, Swingin Sundays, Rising Stars, The Julius Show, and The Bluezmen.

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