Peepshow’s resident Diva lives in the now
Longtime performer and musical artist Cheaza rolled into Las Vegas almost a decade ago. Since then she’s performed in bands on the Strip, and even had a stint as a singer and improv performer in Wayne Brady’s former show at The Venetian. For the past two years, she’s starred in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood Resort, taking on the boisterous, confident and sexy role of Peep Diva. As her character guides Bo Peep through the fantastic world of Peepshow, Cheaza herself continues to grow, both personally and professionally. She sat down with Kiko Miyasato to talk shop about her time in Las Vegas.
Q: Did you always want to be a singer/performer?
A: I started singing in talent shows when I was 5 and with my mom when I was 9. I’ve been around some of the greats in the business and they’re like my uncles and aunts—Teena Marie, Rick James, Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson. My mom used to be in Ike & Tina Turner … man, I’ve seen (it) for so long, never really knowing that’s what helped mold me as an artist.
Q: How has your time in Vegas been professionally?
A: I’m here to grow; wherever that next step takes me, I’m here to grow. This has been a great stop for me. My time here has been absolutely wonderful because I’ve learned so much, I’ve accomplished so much, I’ve seen so much. Having to be somewhat of a comedian in a show is a first for me. It’s been a great learning tool for me, more than I ever expected. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Q: How is it starring in a Las Vegas show?
A: It’s amazing. It’s given me confidence. It’s let me know that I could do anything that I put my mind to. We go through life always trying to get the next thing, but when you actually achieve that, I think that’s the important part, and you need to stop and take that in. I’m taking all of this in.
Q: What qualities do you and your character share?
A: Being honest to the now. Onstage I have to be honest to the now … because we pull guys up onstage, and I don’t know what kind of guys we’re going to get. Everything is quick, working off your feet. Being quick and in the now is what I try and do in my life and up onstage.
Q: Do you think Peep Diva could be a real woman?
A: Yes, she is. In our show I’m trying to help Bo Peep become independent and build confidence, and I do that as a mother. I want to help my daughter build confidence in life. My daughter is 17—I’ve got one more year to play Peep Diva in my daughter’s life! And what I mean is I want to help her find that confidence to enable her to go through life.
Q: Why do you think Peepshow stands out?
A: This show is about confidence and it’s modern. People can come and not only watch the show but be a part of the show. My goal stepping in to the role of Peep Diva is to make the audience feel more a part of the show. People not only watch Peepshow, they experience it.