Post-Emmy Mixer: Rain Can't Dampen High Spirits at SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
Rain moved this post-Primetime Emmys party inside SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills from its Garden Terrace, where hundreds of members from all peer groups made new connections and toasted longtime friendships.
The Primetime Emmy Awards celebration continued into the fall season when almost 300 Academy members gathered October 4 for an all-peer group Post-Emmy mixer hosted by the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. Rainy weather sent the party indoors from the planned Garden Terrace setting, where guests sampled tasty hors d’oeuvres (carrot-apricot fritters, anyone?), feted the night with wines from sponsor Beaulieu Vineyard, met old friends and made some new ones.
“There’s a great cross-section of all the peer groups here,” noted Spence Bovee, a member of the interactive media peer group. “It’s always good to have that – you get to meet people in different aspects of the industry. Most of the time, you’re interacting with your own peer group.”
Indeed, fostering the opportunity to forge new friendships and business relationships was the reason for instituting the mixers, said Member Rewards committee chair Bob Kurtz (animation). Some years back, “there was a questionnaire, what benefits did Academy members want, besides voting for the Awards,” he recalled. “They wanted to meet members outside their peer group, at a social event. It’s nice to help give back. I can’t say enough about the support of the Academy.”
Nearby, Diandra Newlin (performers) was chatting with new acquaintance Gregory Santana (daytime). “I went to the first mixer several years ago, when I’d just been accepted into the Academy,” she related. “I didn’t know anyone. People opened up, and I got their perspective, about the industry, about casting and technical stuff. ” For Santana, coming this night provided “a chance for camaraderie. When you work in tech [lighting], you don’t get to interact with others. I’m in my own booth, by myself.”
Kim Reed (public relations) had driven in the rain from his Westlake Village home to attend; after all, as the founder of a company that advises about awards campaigns, “I was very deeply enmeshed in the Emmy process this year for NBC,” he said. The mixer was proving to be, he added, “a nice event, classy. I like the setting.”
Standing together at a long table was a group whose convivial energy was palpable. “We’ve been fast friends for half an hour now,” said Juliette Youngblood (professional representatives) of her new pals, who were brought together by Sandra Marshall (performers) and included Rita Tateel (public relations), Rick Deats (performers), Paul Chitlik (writers) and Leandra Ryan (performers), a student member who had been an Academy Foundation intern in casting this past summer.
For Tateel, her first Academy mixer was a hit: “I was hoping to meet new people,” she said. “The lovely thing about these mixers is that you can just start a conversation.” The talk this night, she said, was about how the economy is affecting the industry. Also, said Deats, about their careers, and for Chitlik, “about love, because I just got married.” On that subject, Marshall made no bones about the fact that she’d come, she announced, “to meet a husband!” (No word as to whether she succeeded.) For Ryan, a recent graduate of the University of Texas, being there “was really nice,” she said. “I love meeting new people, and the food and drinks are great.”
In keeping with the night’s theme, said Youngblood, “I’m celebrating the Emmys. I thought they were phenomenal this year – the opening number, Jimmy Fallon, George Clooney!”
At a smaller table, Jacqueline St. Anne and Bonnie Nipar (both, costume design and supervision) were deep in conversation with Reed and Scott E. Harper (music). “We often come to the mixers together,” Nipar offered. “We’re good friends, and we’re party chicks! We’re both really aware it’s an opportunity to meet people we wouldn’t meet normally. I’ve met half a dozen people tonight, and gotten their cards. I’m sure I’ll see them again.” Added St. Anne, “we’ve had a couple of conversations about shows that won [Emmys] and why they won, and shows that didn’t.”
Thirty minutes past the mixer’s announced closing time, numerous guests were still lingering to chat – indicative indeed, of a rewarding Members Reward.