“Nah man, you’re not on the list. Sorry.”
A summer ago I worked a door at the Ivy Hotel in San Diego. The Ivy is a boutique hotel that also features several nightclub venues. Think Modrian Hotel and the accompanying Skybar in Hollywood. Drunks bad-mouthing you. Hotheads challenging you. Older women grabbing you. Sigh. Well, that one I kind of miss. I’m only teasing.
Still, despite the occasional tussle, epithet and sexual harassment, there was one thing I especially enjoyed while working at this venue – the ability to make connections.
People went to great lengths to pamper my ego and butter me up. I liked to let them do it. Did I take bumps? Sure I did. But what I was really after was business cards. My philosophy – What can you do for me if I do you this favor?
I got damn good at making contacts and forming alliances. When I stacked another card into my rolodex, I would tell myself, “Welcome to my arsenal.”
Here we are a year later and my ability to shmooze remains. I’m managing the lists at the cover unveiling party for Tyrese Gibson’s Mayhem, the actor/singer’s new comic book venture.
If you haven’t read about this feature or seen the cover art, do yourself a favor, Google it. Synopsis? I’ll indulge – it features a masked vigilante that brings justice to the streets of Los Angeles. Maybe the local love will pique your interests. This thing is guaranteed to top the lists this summer. Good man, Baby Boy. You know what you’re doing.
“I’m sorry sir, just give me a second. I remember your name being on here, just give me a second. Oh, there you are. I’m glad you could make it. I hope to see you in there.”
I collected at least five or six business cards this evening. All were offered and all were appreciated. I understand the importance of presenting your skills and ability to be a social commodity early on. First impressions are that important.
So to those folks that I met at Lucky Strike Lanes this past Saturday, thank you for being so welcoming. I hope to be in contact with you soon. To the others that confused me as being the list-guy for Club Nokia or the Conga Room, it was nice meeting you as well. It was quite a busy night at LA Live. I grew more familiar with the overall venue and even learned a few things about the Banda group that was present. (If you saw any caballeros walking around downtown the other evening – they were making their way to Nokia.)
So, why all this talk about business cards and lists? Well, I wanted to let you know how I came to arrive at this party. I paid my dues and met the right people. I’m still laying the groundwork, but events such as these remind me that my efforts will pay off. It also helps that my girlfriend receives the opportunity to rub elbows with folks from fashion. She is making a name for herself before even formally entering the industry. I’m just working to get folks to remember mine. Michael Chavez Booth. Nice plug, Mike.
The event was enjoyable. There were a few notable celebrities in attendance, including Director Michael Bay and Academy Award Nominee Tajari P. Henson, who is a complete sweetheart. Perhaps she wasn’t doing too much acting in Benjamin Button. She really is that kind. (Yes, I did just make a Button reference.) Lest I forget, the man of the evening, Tyrese Gibson was also in attendance. And despite his initial requests, he did not show up with a white tiger. He did however have an enthusiasm about him that made even the comic book hater take note.
The venue was quite attractive – a mesh between upscale lounge and Glow-pin bowling at the local alley. Except, the local alley never looked this good or smelled this nice. I liked the large leather seats and dark oak fixtures. It’s rare to see such stylish fixtures in a bowling alley.
The service was commendable, including most efforts made by security. One of Tyrese’s guests had on flip-flops (Gucci mind you) and in order to bring him to dress code, they provided him with socks and bowling shoes. At one point however, security did suspend my list – apparently too many folks were getting through without proper attire. I felt this issue could have been addressed in a more appropriate fashion. Still, servers were on the ball and not too distracted by the recognizable crowd.
I would enjoy venturing back to Lucky Strike. I could spare a few to grab a quick drink or roll a few gutter-balls. I just need to make sure I make dress code. Dang, no hot-pants.