At the prime age of 24, seasoned party photographer Parker Day has climbed the ranks via 222 Club's former DJ night Lights Down Low to become a promoter herself. If you're a club scene regular, you've likely seen the borderline-pornographic posters for her nomadic party, Tits, taunting from the windows of the former Transfer bar, or her countless ads for Stiletto (which hits AsiaSF next on Jan. 30) blasted through MySpace bulletin boards. Her hipster-beacon events bring a mix of hip-hop, disco, and indie-electro beats, stirring up near cardiac arrest on the dancefloor. Over the past year, Parker has also thrown the parties Vanity Affair, Cream, and Hold It, making it time to shed light on this up-and-coming club promoter.
Did you start out doing photography?
I had been going out to parties for years, like as soon as I got a fake ID. I went up to [promoter] Corey Sleazemore and said, "You need a party photographer." That was over a year ago, and then a couple months later I decided to start my own party, Stiletto.
Why did you want to start promoting parties?
Initially it was a way to get my photos out there on fliers. I started to think about what kind of an event I want to attend and saw a way to create it. I started getting into bigger parties and bigger productions rather than just something to do because you're bored and want to get wasted.
What party completely bombed?
Cream. I started and stopped it quickly. It was a little more generic. It didn't have a set feel, and the space was a little weird. I mean, with throwing parties it's this strange mix of the place, the mood, the music, the advertising, image, and branding. It's what people are wanting in that moment. There are so many variables, there's no recipe for success.
What work goes into promoting parties?
Finding a venue, finding DJs, and figuring out an advertising campaign. You want fliers hitting the street and plastering the world, and of course [you use] MySpace messages. It can be a lot of work. It suits me because I like focusing on all the little details. I'm an anal person that gets off on that shit.
Where do you draw inspiration from for the themes of your club nights?
I love movies and art. I'm just a big culture geek.
What are your biggest challenges?
Figuring out what people want and trying to make people happy, but still doing what I want. There's always that moment of wondering, "Is anyone coming; where is everybody?"
How does it feel to be one of the few female promoters?
It's surprising to me. I don't know why it's still a boys' game; there's no reason for it.
Why do you think there are there so few women in the promotion business?
Maybe because girls tend to be more timid. I hate to make any sex distinctions like that, really; I think the boys are just more likely to take a chance. Some parties are all-girl DJ nights [already]; it shouldn't be a big deal.
Did you expect to be where you are today, say, a few years ago?
No. I was just going along with the ride, riding the crest of the wave. I wasn't expecting to throw parties. But you know, I feel like I just gotta see where things take me. If I'm happy with it, I'll run with it. I won't be throwing parties forever but ... I'm having fun right now and people are responding to it. It's opening doors I never would have thought of.