At school I was elected to organize the annual school dance. I just wanted to know what your opinions are on what makes the best dance so that we can have the best dance of all time?
- Planning in Pennsylvania
Well, of course the first step toward ensuring your party has only the finest people in attendance is to do as much vetting as possible beforehand regarding your guest list. You have to ensure that only the most elite classmates are able to attend – and sometimes appearances can be deceiving. I mean, look at Bill Gates or Steve Jobs – Gates looks like Wormser from Revenge of the Nerds all grown up, and Steve Jobs looks like the cool teacher at the acting conservatory whose classes fill up crazy fast – as much as I’m a firm believer in someone’s packaging reflecting inner their inner perfection, there’s just no telling sometimes from outward appearances what kind of glory could be held within a person’s wallet.
So – for this to work, you’ll need to be very selective with who you wish to invite and who you make apply for the privilege. I personally believe that while making sure that only the upper crust of school society is in attendance, it’s also equally important to make sure the most fascinating and entertaining “lower tier” guests are also given an invite. One of my closest and dearest friends, Dirk Carrington, has the misfortune of coming from a family that only nets a little over $20 million a year. His father is the head of Carrington Construction, and produces cookie-cutter mansions for the nouveau riche – do I hold this against Dirk? Not at all – he happens to be the funniest, brightest, most well-read, sassiest little gay I know and I adore him – he remains a fixture at every single one of my events and no matter where you are in the mansion you can always hear the two of us cackling away as we hold court at the head of the table. And yes, I mean drug table, not dinner table – parties aren’t for eating, that’s what poor people do because they’re not sure when their next meal is coming. Everyone knows you binge and purge pre-event, ensuring that the only thing anyone at the party will ever see you consume is massive amounts of uppers and downers mixed liberally with alcohol all while wondering how you manage to keep that lithe, body of a ten year old boy figure.
Now that you’ve gone through your social circle and social outer-circle and given word-of-mouth-only invites to the top of the top-level classmates and only the very best of the rest, you’re ready to let word spread amongst the rest of the student body that you might – I stress might – be willing to allow a few others to straggle into your dance and serve as conversation fodder for the rest of us. Begin holding tryout’s for the last remaining spaces available at your event. This should involve not only an extensive personality interview conducted by you and a committee of your choosing, but also should entail a grueling application process in which potential guests should provide you with a financial statement evidencing any stocks, mutual funds, IRA’s, and any possible 401(k) plans.
Another often overlooked aspect to perfect party planning is the actual event staff. Arabella Manor would be lost without the tireless efforts of Consuela – you just can’t find stellar help like her these days. I can’t tell you how many times mother has had to remind Daddykins that she isn’t the kind of chambermaid to be fucked with – there’s no tackling of the help in nothing but a bathrobe in the Arabella house – good help is hard to find and worth keeping. I write this here because I know she’s never going to read it – while she’s learned extensive English, reading it can still prove difficult, ensuring she has no idea how badly she’s needed – never let staff know they’re irreplaceable, one of the benefits to a shaky economy is you can dangle that job in front of them like an economic carrot on their dirt road to retirement.
Now that you’ve got proper guests and staff, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got only the greatest DJ spinning for you – if you can’t get Oakenfold go with Tiesto, and if neither of them are available try Morillo or Carl Cox – making sure you have the best music on earth will make your dance a hit for years to come. And remember, when all else fails, set the auditorium on fire (after you get your guests out, of course) – everyone will definitely remember that, and they’ll be thanking you later for their chance to be on TV when the news cameras show up to cover the inferno!
Please remember that if I am anything, it’s a giver, and I love nothing more than to tell you how to live your life, because frankly, I’ll do a much better job of it – write me at AskAlistair@gmail.com and if I’m drunk/bored/high enough, I’ll respond by putting you on blast in this column, as I don’t engage in direct conversation with anyone that’s beneath me.