From Columbus, Ohio to the Big Apple, Zach is here to change the image of the typical promoter. I met Zach randomly (as I do most people) on a Saturday night at my favorite all night eatery Coffee Shop. And from my first experience partying with him at the Grand Opening of Amnesia on a frosty Winter night, I knew he was my type of guy. Zach keeps it real and is all about r-e-s-p-e-c-t having a good time.
Here's more about this Cowtwon native.
Jay Singleton: So how did you start promoting?
Zach: I was going out a lot with Jeremy Asgari and Rishi Trivedi and thought I could just hop on board. They laughed at me at first, and I said what's the big deal? Eventually I realized it was a lot of work.
Jay Singleton: What were some of the first places you promoted?
Zach: I started at Pop Burger and Cain, it was fun. It was around the last year Cain was alive.
Jay Singleton: What is your favorite thing about promoting?
Zach: I love seeing people happy and seeing smiles on people's faces. I enjoy entertaining.
Jay Singleton: And your least favorite?
Zach: The stress, people bitching, always expecting more, always wanting more. No one is ever completely happy. For example, a person may have to pay a small cover and then I give them drinks for the rest of the night, but that's not enough. Or better yet, they need more drinks. People are just ungrateful. They expect so much, and sometime you can't deliver because of the club or the circumstances.
Jay Singleton: Is there more stress from the patrons or the club?
Zach: Both! You just never know what you are gonna get. Things change from one night to the next
Jay Singleton: How do handle when a doorman doesn't like someone from your group?
Zach: That's always a hard issue to deal with. It depends on the situation. I am always honest with poeple. I always fight for people to get in and if that doesn't work I try to figure out if I can get them into somewhere else. I want poeple to have a good time
Jay Singleton: Where do you promote?
Zach: Kiss & fly on Tuesday, Wednesday night's -Tenjune, Thursdays Marquee, Fridays at the Hudson Hotel, Saturdays at Veranda or Covet. And I might be starting a new Tuesday party at Lavo and Wednesday at Juliet.
Jay Singleton: So do you prefer more exclusive, high-end clubs over the "one for all" type of spots?
Zach: I like a more commercial club with a less strict door policy. I like when it's just a party and not so much of an image scene with everybody's nose in the air, it's a lot more fake. A club that is popular, tons of fun but a little less strict allows for poeple to have a lot better time. And when I walk in to those venues the difference in the atmosphere is night and day. In the high profile places, I feel like they don't have high energy, people are just sitting and they don't look happy. I would rather do a party where people are having fun, they are wasted, they are dancing around and being crazy. I will go wherever that is.
Jay Singleton: Do you even go out when you aren't promoting?
Zach: Yeah, I like to go to dive bars. My favorite is Puck Fair, they have the best Whiskey. I like to go to a bar and chill out because I'm in it so much, I like a quiter scene. Or if I'm in the mood to party, I go to smaller spots like Goldbar.
Jay Singleton: Describe your perfect night?
Zach: People hit me up, they want to come out, it's a great party, the doormen knows me well, we work well together. People come in, they say my name, they find my table, they drink and dance.
Jay Singleton: So is promoting a hobby or a profession?
Zach: Yes and no, I would love to own a restaurant oen day and I know a lot promotion can lead to that. I don't plan on promoting for more than the next two or three years. Also, I don't just promote, like may of the others out there. I have a 9 to 5; I run operations for a T-shirt company called Evol (www.evol.com). And on top of that, I have my own marketing and events company called Elevated Ethos, (www.elevatedethos.com)
Jay Singleton: How do you manage that?
Zach: I just keep going. I'm out 5 nights a week and then I work 5 days a week no matter what. I don't know too many promoters that really do that. People are baffled that I can get up and do that everyday. I do nightlife to meet poeple and widen my network and make sure people are having a good time. It's not my end all be all.
Jay Singleton: Sometime promoters have a less than holy reputation. How do you describe a bad promoter?
Zach: Someone who doesn't respect all people. No matter the circumstances, no matter if they don't look the way you want them to or not. You should always treat them with respect. Especially for girls, when you say you are a promoter, they automtically change color and they become distant. Yes promoter is my title, but I'm really just out here having a good time, and trying to help other people have a good time. Trying to do everything you can to make people happy.
Jay Singleton: Is promoting easy?
Zach: When I started I thought, "who couldn't promote?...You aren't doing anything. You are getting drunk in a club and dancing, who can't do that?" And the first night I thought I was going to go insane. I had 25 people coming at me asking me a question, "can I get this, can I get that" it's a very high stress environement yet it yields high rewards.
Jay Singleton: What are some of the rewards?
Zach: You meet a lot of poeple, which can create long lasting friendships and also create great potential business opportunities. And in the end it is fun. Once you can get past the stress factor and relax, it is complete bliss.
Jay Singleton: What's the difference between the way you first started promoting and the way you promote now?
Zach: When I first started, I was always stressing, worrying about everything going right. I have matured as a promoter and realized how things work and just taking steps in advance to ease the wrorry. I tell people in advance of anything that may prevent them from getting in. I've learned that you can't just bring everyone out and you learn to work with the doorman. I've learned to relax and everyone in the end has a better time that way.
So whichever day of the week tickles your fancy to get you party-on, you will probably find Zach, standing on the couch of some hotspot, with a glass in one hand and his blackberry in the other. Make sure to go say hello or better yet, say his name at the door.