Matt Dusk: In Sinatra’s Footsteps

Since high school, Canadian jazz singer Matt Dusk has dreamed of swaggering in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. So when, in 2004, producers of the new Fox television reality show The Casino cast Dusk as the lounge singer at the legendary Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, it seemed like a magic ticket to stardom. The 25-year-old Dusk also sang the series’ theme song, “Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad,” written by U2’s Bono and The Edge for Frank Sinatra, who never performed the song. The series followed two young owners/managers of the Nugget while Dusk kept audiences entertained in the lounge. Everyone’s expectations were high. The series was created by Mark Burnett, of Survivor fame. Thirteen episodes were shot. Unfortunately, the show never connected with viewers. Only three episodes aired when Fox canceled the series due to low ratings. Dusk returned to Canada and today, at age 40, he happily looks at that experience in his rear-view mirror. “[Not] a great way to launch a career,” Dusk laughs about The Casino from his home in Toronto. “I mean reality TV is a joke and it’s not reality at all. And it’s funny because I still get hate mail from that show. Well because it was all scripted, they think you’re being like a certain way and it’s not really me.” Dusk says. Dusk overcame that career setback to be
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Brian R. Sheridan, MA, is the chair of the Communication Department at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA (hometown of Ish Kabibble) and a longtime journalist in broadcast and print. He also co-authored the book America in the Thirties published by Syracuse University Press. Sheridan can be reached at [email protected]. Find him on Twitter @briansheridan and Instagram at brianrsheridan.

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