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
The commodity of choice for Hollywood parties is, naturally,
Going over the party checklist: "Let's see ... food, drinks, favors,
music ... wait! ... where's my celebrity? Someone forgot the
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
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
Of course, September 11th changed things. For the following few weeks,
lavish parties - even for charity events - were deemed
"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
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