I promoted at several of Hollywood’s hottest clubs during a period of unemployment, mainly to see what all of the fuss was about. While it was fun and definitely had its perks, it also confirmed quite a few of the suspicions and stereotypes I’d previously held about how the industry works.
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Bottle service is awesome ... as long as someone else is paying for it. It's a pretty expensive way to get self-esteem. But if you have a couple of friends who drink and run up bar tabs then maybe the premium of bottle service isn't that bad as long as you keep it to one bottle. But once that runs out, so will any chicks at your table.
Let me say first say that I don't have a problem with anyone. Every ethnicity is welcome at my house. Clubs, however, are more racist than old Southerners. In the words of Chris Rock, "If it's all white, it's alright." Clubs would prefer to not have too much of any ethnicity other than white, lest their club become known as "the Asian club, etc" The sterotype for Persians, and again I am pointing out the sterotype not my personal opinion, is that they are rude and obnoxious and scare off the women by being too aggressive and reacting angrily when rejected. Perhaps it's endemic to LA but that's what it is. Clubs with heavily Hispanic or African- American clientle are thought to be prone to violence.
Take a giant sherpard's crook and go to the nearest fashion school. Round 'em up and hand them bottles. No actually mass texting is the promoters tool. You collect phone numbers by any means necessary, group them by how attractive they are (seriously) and text blast away. Facebook and email is also used although the former has a tendancy to get lost in the mix and the latter is primarily effective for holidays (e.g. Halloween, New Year's Eve).
If there's one thing people standing on the other side of the velvet rope aren't, it's original. The same things are said: "But my friends are in there" (and they ditched you? Shitty friends) "But I'm on the list" (weird, I don't see Dickhead listed here) "It's my friend's birthday" (there's always Facebook) "I know the owner" (not well enough, apparently) The best story is my own. Before promoting I once hired a high-end escort to walk me in. I didn't go online and call her up. She just happened to be at the hotel bar we were pre-partying in. I paid her $50 to walk in with me to the nearby club. I'm sure it was the easiest money she made that night.
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There is definitely a hierarchy. At the top are the promoters that deal directly with club. They are a known brand and bring the "right" people (read: white people, hot girls, Hollywood hipsters, low-level celebs). The promoting team will be small and often consist of trust-fund kids. At the bottom are ethnic promoters with ethnic crowds. They are like cattle herders, just trying to bring the most people through the door who are willing to pay cover. Being a promoter is very much a chicken-and-egg type of thing because to get hired by good venues you need a good crowd and to get a good crowd you need to be already promoting good venues. There are really two ways a promoter can move up the hierarchy. One is to start at the bottom working for a club that is looking for more business. They'll be actively looking for more promoters and might give you chance. Slowly you build your crowd by promoting crappy places well until you have a good enough following to get a slightly less crappy place and that will attract slightly less crappy people to your "list" (which is really just numbers in your phone that you text). This positive feedback loop continues until hopefully you cease to have crappy people and actually have a good crowd. By far the easier way to do it is to find a promoter who is already doing good venues and become his sub-promoter. You'll be listed on the clipboard as one of the promoter's "subs" and he will get credited for the people you bring (but you'll have your own tally to delineate between your people and his). Usually you'll have some minimum number of skanks - I mean people - that you'll have to bring each night to keep being his sub. Eventually if you bring enough people you might become his promoter partner. Ideally the promoter you work for is a friend so he knows and trusts that you'll bring good people (i.e. hot girls) and doesn't do things like steal your people or not pay you for people you bring in. If he doesn't know you then you'll have to convince him that you have hot girls you can bring out.
It varies quite a bit but I'd say a decent mid-level promoter makes about $25K per year. Most of them have other things they do on the side - usually acting or personal training. Sometimes dealing drugs. Many of the lower level promoters are involved in scam or almost scam industries like payday loans, pre-paid legal services, mortgage loan modifications, multi-level marketing, etc because they aren't real 9-5 jobs and allow the flexibility to go out during the week. Sketched out yet? Mid to high level promoters can make from 60-100k. The top of the food chain can make 150k-200k+ believe it or not. All for pouring liquor down chicks throats.
Plan ahead. Know how hot (or not) the venue is. Get there early, brings girls if you can. Dress appropriately. Be nice to the bouncer but not too nice. Don't throw a tantrum; it looks retarded. Be ready to grease. Sneak in a flask so your money is spent getting in and not on overpriced drinks.
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