SOCIAL ARTISTE' OR PIMP?
Someone asked me what it is I do the other day. Are you a Promoter? An Event Planner? A Fundraiser? A Producer? A web designer? Party Host? What the heck is it that you do? I found that to be quite an interesting question actually. At the time it, however, it came across as an indictment from someone who leveled a personal critque at me inferring that I collaborate (not her word) with too many different types of people living various different lifestyles in events of various genres, none of which are my own, that made me truly less of an event planner. Ok and your point is? I reallyhave no interest or desire to throw an event per week in order to fill some event quota for a social or dating business. Secondly, would that title of "event planner" if conferred bestow an illusive degree of honor in my life that was somehow illuding me?
Anyway, I got to thinking. Do we care about labels or how we are defined by those around us. Perhaps I do, admittedly maybe more than I care to admit. After a first draft of this piece which came across as more of a rant, I received a complimentary email in return from Lifestyle Guru Beth Schoenfeldt of Flo Inc., informing me that my undefined essence was really what she instructs to her core clientele as a part of a methodology to reach new heights in life, we must not live in carefully prescribed boxes and defined parameters. Not her exact words and perhaps there is a degree of embellishment here, but when you get a compliment from a intellectual female goddess who is a rising female self improvement motivational star, you listen and take note, unless of course she also leveled a critique . ;-)
The fact is that there are many promoters, event planners, producers, nightlife experts extraordinnaire of various stripes and persuasion. I have no desire to duplicate anyone's effort. If it is a crime to collaborate, instruct, empower, enlighten and involve oneself in and with people and who's art form you love, then I am guilty as all hell. If it is my desire to steer clear of hustlers and shameless self promoters that is consumer perogative.
Anyway, I diverge but it seems to me the one place where one who cannot necessarily paint, draw or write but who has some sense of style, a flair for interior design combined with the the gift of gab can with a moderate amount of time and effort throw an event. Although admittedly these days the flat economy has created a city full of event organizers, promoters, networking gurus, charity fundraisers and spinmeisters bombarding and saturating the social market with events of questionable quality chasing a social clientele who has grown numb from the down economy and endless promotions, comps, discounts, drink specials etc. The reality is that there are not enough people, dollars and creative events for everyone who endeavors to do so to profit from doing so. It is no surprise then that many of the self annointed event guru's who find themselves hosting events by necessity or passion do not seem to be having much fun at all, which is understandable given the pressure that exists to deliver as promised to sponsors and venue owners. In my humble opinion far two few planners are setting expectations at realistic and appropriate level given the current climate. Hype aside, it may be more productive to shoot for the stars but be a tad more candid about best and worst case scenarios as well as consider adding the Art of Networking and collaboration to insure the success of their efforts. Not that any creator/producer or designer is comfortable alleviating some of their craft to others but ironically those with the most intuitive skill whom I have encountered are the most willing to engage in a healthy degree of collaboration, while still others are caught up in their self promotion which only hampers their efforts. Prima Donna's need not apply, but likewise I caution rip off artists who merely seek to mimic or duplicate the art of others without paying a royalty or collaboration fee. That is genuninely not my cup of tea.
Needless to say I have been exposed who have more than a passing fancy and skill in the event organization sphere in Manhattan. There are some true artists who host events which are socially and culturally significant from the sensual realm to the charitable realm, including but not limited to Palagia of Onelegupnyc, FlirtNYC, Tatiana & 4PM Events, Mistress Evita, SF Management, Happy Hours.com, Rick Weissman's Fun with Wine, Gabrielle B. & The Women's Entrepreneurial Network, some of whom I have had the opportunity to collaborate with and others who's art I have appreciated from mere attendance at their uniquely themed and style events. In the cases of the folks mentioned above, their is a degree of meticulous care, planning and execution.
As for others including the angry putz who leveled this critique at me, lets just say that there is a psychotic element in the Manhattan Nightlife scene. That is vaque enough. For some of you that will mean the same person and for others it will mean someone else. That is all I will say. A handful of event planners, producers and promoters who have an amazing sense of style taste as well as an intuitive feel for what will get people to come to an event or bring business to a venue or help bring revenue to a well needed charitable cause. For me that is critical because the sense of urgency I felt with regards to community building and enlightenment Post 9/11 in NYC was as great as an adoloscents lust for the obvious the first time he was exposed to visual art of the opposite sex...or the same sex, not that there is anything wrong with that.
I got to thinking of the scene in the movie Nightshift with Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton. You know the one....two guys working the morque who start an escort service because Michael Keaton fancys himself as a "love broker" rather than a pimp.
Since so many people have asked me what I am here is my answer. I am a Social Artiste'. Maybe some of you think of me as pimp. Well in fact to some of you, I guess I have effectively been a pimp although I would prefer to think of myself as hook up broker or matchmaker, although obviously not in the vein of one for hire as I have not charged anyone for regular or intermittent sex......yet!. On the other hand in the economy that may not be a bad thing.
I love people, I love culture, I love charity and bringing those forces together, especially those far more talented than I am in so many ways. Do I want to duplicate or mimic them. Perhaps sometimes. But envy is not a productive emotion besides which it precludes you from enjoying and loving beautiful things in life. Thus, I would rather and prefer to find synergies between members of the ever expanding London Network, business, romantic, financial, cultural. At the end of the day, the London Network is about community building and not always taking the credit. I will be the guy at your party, event or gathering trying to blend in so that I can better enjoy what it is that you designed or contributed to making. If I am hosting an event, it will still be essentially YOUR event. My world is not about me and perhaps even better you will not always know or feel my presence unless you feel love in the air, then that is where I want to be.
My contribution?....is to make sure the world and those that I know and interact with appreciate the full value of what they are being exposed to and the precious time that we have on this Planet Earth and the most amazing city in the world...and you know I am not referring to Miami, Dubuque or LA. That is the essence of my life and The London Network. If I love what you do and are about...I want others to also. I have linked some of my favorite folks in Manhattan Social Directory by placing their logo on my site and recommend you visit and patronize them if you have not already.
Salud! and L'chaim of course.