In New York City the celebrities are easy to spot, you see them in the movies, on TV, they travel by SUV limo, they have handlers, and where ever they go flash bulbs go off, and when I was there, it was always on the outside for the arrivals and departures. Only a few invited photographers got to go inside, to capture the action. These past few weeks that has changed as my role has morphed into the coveted role of the Inside Photographer. I now know why its so coveted, it's warmer, and there's a huge advantage to getting to know your subjects through the night to really capture their essence and produce a good shot.
This past Saturday night I arrived onto the social scene by getting one of those exclusive invites to the home of Mary Patel, a respected journalist, TV commentator, a political columnist for the weekly City Paper and a new friend. An Invite that was not tied as much to my blog, or being "The Paparazzi Guy" as Mary likes to call me, but a genuine interest in her for me to explore my passion in covering the happening Philadelphia social scene, a real supported who told me more than once that she enjoyed my work and now I can see that she is putting some genuine action behind those words (even embarrassing me by her glowing reviews when introducing me to many of the movers and shakers in the Industry and Social Set).
Who doesn't love Mary, she's smart (ya already know I love her column, Mike is a big fan of Inside Edition), she has eclectic taste in friends, style, she's generous and she's willing to lend her home as a venue to many of the charity events and causes where her heart lies.
Mary receiving a warm greeting by Director/Writer King J. Greenspon http://kingjgreenspon.com/
When Mike and I arrived at 8:30PM, the party was in full swing at the home which was named the 2006 Best Penthouse in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Business Journal and featured in Style Magazine. Her Friend Joe Barber designed most of the living space.
Below is Jessica Graham http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1977611/
who stars in "2 Minutes Later" (a film I will be reviewing as soon as I have a moment to come up for air) and Dylan Clements an actor on his way up, currently doing Philly Theater but looking towards the footlights of Broadway; he's also a microbiologist (now there's something to fall back on)
Starting left going clockwise, Megan Smith, PR extraordinaire, Film Reviewer William Kline, the niece of Noel and Artist Noel Zayas
. Every seat was near this foursome was taken as a fun time was had by all with lots of laughs to go around.
Republican City Committeewoman and Michael Dennis (writer/Director/Curator http://www.reelblack.com/
on the right, James "BuckMonkey
" [Events and planning company] Duggan
and a friend from Penn Film School
Mike you know, food, drinks big fun and loads of patience.
a guest, Anchorwoman extraordinaire
(greeted me like an old friend, HughE
how was NYC and Diane Keaton? I told her I wussed
out because of the weather), Michael Dennis, my new favorite documentary film maker, the great Tigre
Hill who is working on another controversial subject regarding Philadelphia, but I didn't get an OK to write about it (I saw his movie twice this week [Tigre
said someone sent him my blog this week and he says he's a big fan, no I to you dawg
]), and Dawn the attorney that works in my building who's last name I never got, but is a sweetheart and who's door I will knock on soon and drop off pixs
Our hostess Mary greeting Mark Webber http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0916407/
who received the Rising Star Award at the Philadelphia Film Festival
Publisher of Where Magazine (where I hope to get one of my photos published someday, Laura hello discover me - LOL
) Laura Burkhardt
and Wayne Knaub
co-founder of the Philadelphia Gay Hockey Team.
Entertainment Attorney Christopher Cabott
, Jessica Graham, Susan Helfrich
and Richard Wolff of TLA
Robert Drake, I didn't get a chance to talk to him, but have been a long time listener of his radio show, http://www.djrobertdrake.com/
For those of you not familiar with In Bed With Butch, it’s a local TV talk show that airs on both Drexel
-TV 35 and features a wide range of personalities on both the local and national level. Butch Cordova
Spontaneous dancing broke out, but I don't recall any music playing, just a lot of good conversations, food and cocktails.
Especially with these folks. Mike and I really connected with these girls. Dana, Sue, Julianna (she is on the fast track of actress hood) and Kathleen. I see future features on this blog with them. Already I burned up the phones with Dana last night for an hour.
Not sure who these folks are, but they are intense and I have no doubt they are in the industry.
Chad Jenkins director of "Recovering Satellites", a very moving story about Vietnam Veterans and who is working on the new Tigre
Hill movie, a guest, Mary and King
American Independents Award: Dermot Mulroney was supposed to show up at the party, but I hear he called it an early night. Dana scored a graph at the awards ceremony, which I skipped, darn it I could have used that photo for my portfolio. But we did have another award winner and bonafide
big featured movie star....
Move over Rocky: Mark Webber's
unlikely rise to become one of film's hottest acting talents is Philadelphia's newest rags-to-riches tale. In a story which could not have been scripted, young Mark Webber
has overcome amazing odds in his drive to become a successful actor. Born in 1980 in Minneapolis, he and his single mother, Cheri Honkala
, moved to Philadelphia when Mark was 10 years old. Poverty-stricken, the two were homeless, living in abandoned buildings and even a car in North Philadelphia and Kensington
. But things changed: Cheri became the founder and director of the Kensington
Welfare Rights Union and a well-known homeless advocate, while young Mark (when not with his mother at protest rallies) attended Philadelphia's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
leaves her calling card - Pamphlets on helping the homeless. I did totally gush over her when I met her, and told her how I marched with her group during the Republican 2000 convention protests here in Philadelphia. She was very modest of the work she has done.
Mary bids her guests adieu!
Here's a great write up on the Mary Patel and Joe Barber designed house. Besides designing the house, did I mention he did all the metal sculptures too.