When Scott Topper first asked me if I wanted to co-produce and coordinate for his Party Time with Scott Topper show for 2016, I was honored. He told me straight up that the show was like “community theater” and when he said that, he had my heart and attention. Having a background in musical theater and also loving to support community, I knew the spirit in which the show would be produced and couldn’t wait. Shows like this are all heart. With an audience that reaches approximately three times the amount the Santa Barbara Bowl holds, as well as 5 million homes being able to watch the show on ROKU, this was a great opportunity to showcase some real collaborative talent and have fun.
The first order of business for me was to come up with something fresh for his show for the new year, something that had not been done yet. The sets in the past were gorgeous, and each year only got more beautiful. They were a lovely backdrop for guests to come, sit and be interviewed about their job. And while this is the basis for the show, I wanted the way they were presented to be different. I wanted to focus on a viewer “experience”, and do something different for 2016 that added dimension.
I wanted viewers to feel that they were sitting in on an actual event – complete with a theme, special touches, and that one of the guests be a caterer, who can develop some sample appetizers to have displayed as tied into the theme and talk about them. I thought the show could be more than just interviewing local event professionals- it could actually be to educate the viewer, provide resources and inspiration for planning an event as well.
The themes I presented were Moroccan Cabana (warm, jewel tones, guests seated on the floor, glowing lanterns, a real Chef from Morocco, and more), Industrial (later changed to Elegant Garden Theme with swagging garlands, fancy chandeliers), and Gentlemen’s Lounge (think Masterpiece Theater with roaring fireplace, full liquor bar, cigars and brandy), which also tied into a new division for my own event planning business that is targeting grooms.
But beyond the set design, food samples and conversation being about the theme, I also wanted Scott Topper, the main host and his co-host and partner in crime Mitch to be in attire that complemented the theme. What did that mean? For the Moroccan Cabana, we had them in tunics and Mitch wore a fez hat. For Gentlemen’s Lounge, we had them in smoking jackets and smoking artificial cigars I bought that puffed artificial “smoke” in front of our artificial fireplace. I wanted there to be atmosphere and “mood” on the set.
In putting together these themes for the new 2016 concept, I called upon some of my favorite people and services in the industry. A huge thank you to Ventura Rental Party Center and SPARK Creative Events for providing the essential elements of bringing my vision to life and being co-sponsors for the event. Your countless hours, staffing, planning sessions and heart made this year such a success! And to our wonderful caterers who co-sponsored the show with providing delicious meal for cast and crew as well as appeared as a guest with samples that fit the theme, thank you, World Cuisine Express, SBBC Gourmet, and Catering Connection!
We are also so grateful to Mira Bella Salon, who provided hair and makeup services to all our guests, getting them camera-ready!
You can catch the shows on YouTube or also on Cox Channel 17 – TVSB and see them first hand. Here is a summary of some of the delights of each show, categorized by show below:
Ep. 1 Moroccan Cabana: Set in a Moroccan Cabana, guests sat on luxurious pillows on the floor with glowing lanterns hanging from above and Chef Harold presented some of his Moroccan cuisine. Guests Warren Butler of the Montecito Event Center and Butler Event Center, Angelina Rodriguez of Vintage Rentals USA made an appearance , and make sure you check out Host Scott Topper and Mitch’s special Moroccan attire. No detail was overlooked the production of this episode. You can see the full edited episode here. | Want to see a fun, behind-the-scenes making of the filming of this episode? Click here.
Ep. 2 Elegant Garden Theme: Set amongst swagging greenery (provided by CocoRose Design) in a garden, SPARK draped beautiful fabrics and elegant chandeliers. Ventura Rental Party Center provided curvy lounge furniture and balanced the elegance with some rustic in the wooden coffee table. Guests included Sponsor Heidi Whitcomb of Ventura Rental Party Center, Lani Ballonoff of SPARK Creative Events and Jessica Miller from SBBG Catering. You can see the full edited episode here. | Fun, behind-the-scenes making of the filming of this episode, click here.
Ep. 3 Gentlemen’s Lounge: Set in a “library” type feel, SPARK Creative actually was able to deliver my dream request of a fireplace (you’ll have to see the episode to check it out), and Ventura Rental provided the masculine -esque furniture. We were able to set up a full liquor bar, pour whiskey, and “smoke” cigars. The food theme on set included mini cheeseburger sliders with mini pilsner glasses of beer to complement them and more, provided by the food experience experts at Catering Connection and guests included: Katie Schutte of KB Events, Ursula O’Neill of Catering Connection and Kerry Lee Dickey of Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events and also co-producer and coordinator for the 2016 Party Time with Scott Topper TV series. Make sure you check out Scott and Mitch in smoking jackets! Full Edited Episode Coming Soon! | Fun, behind-the-scenes making of the filming of this episode, click here.
Finally, a huge thank you to Scott Topper – a gentleman with whom I love working professionally at weddings and events with his DJ and Photobooth service , as well as JP- the Manager of the whole Party Time with Scott Topper TV series and the entire crew from TVSB. I am in awe of the amount of work you put in pre-filming, day-of, and post-production. I was especially impressed with your cool head , professionalism, kindness and patience with all of us who are not in the television industry. You represent your industry exceptionally well.