TALES FROM TINSELTOWN: The success of any Hollywood party can befound in the stars

The "play's the thing" in London or New York. In Tinseltown,

however, the party's the thing. Parties are usually thrown for every

reason except fun. That's not considered essential. Meeting the right

people is.



The commodity of choice for Hollywood parties is, naturally,

celebrities.



Going over the party checklist: "Let's see ... food, drinks, favors,

music ... wait! ... where's my celebrity? Someone forgot the

celebrity!"



Paulette Kam knows better. She always remembers to bring a celebrity to

the party. What's more, rumor has it her guests enjoy themselves. Kam

has been event planning at the Beverly Hills PR agency Baker/Winokur/

Ryder for 15 years. How good is she? She recently managed to get such

celebrities such as Dylan McDermott, Julianna Marguiles, Angela Bassett,

Keri Russell, Albert Brooks, and Selma Blair (Legally Blonde) to enter

Orange County and attend the grand opening of the new 172-acre St. Regis

Resort. (For those of you unfamiliar with SoCal geography, Orange County

is the staid community south of LA that the glitterati only visit when

bringing their kids to Disneyland.)



Kam and her eight-person staff have worked with such clients as Revlon,

Disney, and Nike, launching preparations for some events six months

prior.



She relies on her agency's own client base - as well as her

relationships with agents, managers, and publicists at other agencies -

to rope celebrities for media attention or endorsements.



The key to working successfully with VIPs in the hospitality industry,

Kam says, is to offer them "a relaxing environment with no surprises."

It's a simple and fair exchange: the celebs are trading on their fame

for some nice perks. Be realistic in what you ask of them and pitfalls

will be avoided.



"A VIP invite list should have names that will help garner interest in

the media," Kam says. "But you also want to invite people who you

believe will genuinely enjoy that particular environment. Make it the

right fit."



Of course, September 11th changed things. For the following few weeks,

lavish parties - even for charity events - were deemed

inappropriate.



"We advised our clients to postpone or tone down any celebrations.

However, we are starting to feel a change and people are trying

desperately to get back to normal," Kam says. "There are many worthy

causes out there that desperately need money and support, and special

events must be continued to help raise those much-needed funds."



Events are getting back to normal with the studios too, evidenced by the

return of premieres for films like Bandits, The Last Castle, and From

Hell.



Next week I'll give you a recap of the premiere for the latter film,

which I happened to have worked on. But don't worry, I promise to render

an utterly unbiased, objective, and professional opinion of From

Hell.



Like hell.



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