It’s a dubious skill, but one nonetheless: I’m pretty good at crashing parties. Some of the highlights include meeting Ron Jeremy in the VIP of Filmore’s; Rosedale pool party with Shawn Hewson of Project Runway; a Bay Street law firm Christmas party, complete with free wine and live band. My latest was crashing a Fashion Week shindig at the One King West Hotel two months ago after leaving work late one night.
I don’t go looking to crash parties (mostly), but rather find them serendipitously. But when I do find something worth checking out, I do like the challenge of it.
So here’s my tips on how to make your evening a memorable one:
Rule #1: Assume you’re already invited. This is key. You can’t appear nervous or that you don’t belong or seem unsure. Just walk in, confident, like you’re part of the crowd. Don’t peak your head in or anything like you’re trying to get a look. People who are invited don’t do that. So just do the same and 90% you are good to go.
Rule #2: Start a conversation with the nearest person you see. I always try and do this. This is a corollary of Rule #1. It’s about blending in so spark up a conversation. Don’t just stand around. Talking with someone also gives you information about the party itself; in the case a bouncer or enforcer asks you what you are doing you can answer. Once this happened and I replied “I’m with Mike!” i.e., Mike the guy I was talking to. They left me alone after that.
Rule #3: Try and find a crowd. Sometimes you won’t get in the first time and getting in with another group can work. I find this less successful, but if you’re personable enough it can work.
Rule #4: If all else fails, find the back door. I almost never have to resort to this, but occasionally there’s a back entrance. At the One West the doorman wouldn’t let me in so I had to go around the hotel to the private elevator entrance (entering with an actual, unsuspecting guest) and just followed the music and walked in. I had to go up a few floors, but the music was loud enough that I knew which floor to get off of.