Now that I have had time to take a breath I wanted to take a minute to talk about the amazing Oscar Party that took place at Ajna.
What made me do it ? -
Because Royale Marketing already had an ongoing relationship with the venue, I was in a fortunate position. The very first time I set eyes on the place I knew that it would be perfect to do our Oscars party there. The Oscars is my favorite event night of the year and because of the tragedy in Haiti last year, I did an event called "Oscars For Haiti." This year, because of my own family's misfortune in the battle with cancer, I decided I would do it in association with The American Cancer Society.
How Did It Happen ?
I was introduced to Leonard, a man who has a strong connection with the ACS. I mentioned that I would like to do the party and he passed me on to Tamara Ehlin, director of the society for Manhattan and Brooklyn. I explained to her what my intentions were and from that day forward, she and her colleagues were were encouraging and extremely helpful in putting the whole thing on.
My next step was to go to donators for the auction. This was probably the easiest task because I already have many strong connections in the fashion and entertainment world. Also, I had help from Marie Merin, another PR company in the city. Everyone was so generous: Celebrity hairstylist Ric Pipino donated a haircut, Urban Boulder and Victor Sabido donated wonderful jewelry pieces, The Sanctuary Hotel a one night stay, Nicholas Routzen a lovely limited edition signed photograph and Akua Noni Parker from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre a 2 hr personal ballet lesson.
The technical side, however, wasn't so easy. Ajna had never hosted a live television event before, so I had to call on my friend Bruce Benedict to help me. I met Bruce at last year's New York Fashion Week and quickly learned he is the master in the city for anything to do with audio-visual or any type of stage production. Bruce being Bruce, he not only worked out all the logistics but also very kindly donated his services to the charity. I have to honestly say without his experience and advice we wouldn't have been able to get this done. Thank you, Bruce!
Then it was on to the menu and seating plan. General manager of Ajna, Franck Macourt, came up with the brilliant idea that the guests could eat the same items on the actual Oscars menu in the Kodak Theatre (put together by famed chef Wolfgang Puck). Now we were really rockin' and rollin'. It was to be as if you were actually there in LA for the Oscars themselves. Especially once I rolled out that red carpet...which of course I couldn't resist, with that wonderful entrance that Ajna has - all 30 feet of it!
Would I Do It Again?
Ha ha, hmmm. Yes, of course I would, but it would have to be with the same team. Without them, none of this would have been remotely possible. My colleague at Royale Marketing, Sameer, and of course the American Cancer Society kept up the support and kept me on my feet.
It was really a very pleasurable experience. Still to this day, I couldn't tell you who won what award, for what film, even for what year because I was running around all evening. I didn't even get to eat! But when it was all over I had one LARGE Jack and Coke and relaxed until Monday morning - when we had to break down all the sets and return all the gear. But that's another story for another day.
I'd also like to thank the editors here at Joonbug for publishing in honor of the event. Thanks, gang.
See you soon!