I work at private parties and big events - upscale boutique openings, Broadway cast parties, cocktails at a diplomat's house - where the host simply wants good-looking people behind the bar. I heard about model bartending through a friend who owns the company I work with. They tend to hire people through personal referrals, or you can send in a photo. You don't actually have to be a model or a professional bartender - just attractive. I make my living as an advertising copyrighter, so it's a fun way to earn extra money.
It's really exciting work. Last Thanksgiving, I worked an event at Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs's Park Avenue brownstone. The crowd was mostly his family, other wrappers, and Tyra Banks look-alikes. All the furniture was white, and there were scented pillar candles everywhere. He had Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards all over the place, and people used them as ashtrays. It was definitely one of my most interesting Thanksgivings.
Like the Puffy party, the gatherings we work are pretty opulent. I've seen palatial apartments and served guests champagne with crystallized rose petals floating in it. I once worked for an artist who had 100 exotic birds in jeweled bird cages. It was unreal.
It's not the most serious job in the world, but the money is good. I make about $30 an hour, and tips can be as much as $250. My everyday work collegues usually laugh when they find out about it, but they admit they're envious, too. They always want to know what it's like and who I've met. One friend, who's always complaining about being stuck behind a desk all day, loves hearing about all of the big dinner parties with famous people - like the time I waited on George Stephanopoulos and some of his friends.
I do get asked out on just about every job, which I guess comes with the territorry - most of the guys I serve are just players. Sometimes, I wear my grandma's wedding ring to throw people off. Occasionally, it can get a little weird - like the time I showed up for work and the host answered the door in his boxers, holding a bottle of champagne. I just pretended nothing was wrong and began setting up as usual. That kind of craziness is rare, though, because most of the events are upscale gatherings.
That's why it's a great way to network. Once, after working a private party, the host asked me what other kind of jobs I did besides bartending. I told him I was also a writer, and as it turned out, he owned an advertising company and was looking for a freelancer. I ended up doing about $5000 worth of copywriting for his company! So the job pays off - and not just in tips.
Model Bartender - Brooke, 29