Swift started his club career as a sound tech at raves and parties. When he worked a rave at the new Velvet Room three years ago, management was impressed with how he ran the lights and asked him to start coming in on weekends.
"The lighting is what keeps my interest piqued all the time. It's like painting in the air, working with colors, balancing light and dark. Sound is fairly cut-and-dry, but lighting lends feeling to the whole experience."
Bryan learned about lighting from "Stymie," who now runs the lights at Eleven50. "I coupled my own artistic talent with what he taught me. And I'm always looking for new inspiration at concerts or in videos, wherever I can."
Worst "oh shit" moment: "We had a salsa night for a while, and one night I came in at 9 p.m. thinking it was going to be a DJ. But when I arrived, there was a 12-piece salsa band waiting to be set up -- and we hadn't rented any of the right equipment. Ten phone calls later and several car trips, I managed to finagle a mixing board, 15 microphones and some monitors. All within two hours, all basically favors from friends. And it turned out to be one of the best bands I ever heard at the club. "
Swift says one of the perks of the job is meeting celebrities and other VIP guests. Coolest: Danny Masterson, Ashton Kutcher, Wilmer Valderrama (all of "That '70s Show") and Brittany Murphy. Biggest pain in the butt: Biz Markie.
According to Swift, Fridays are more of a "metrosexual" night at Velvet Room with "tighter T-shirts, shinier pants." Saturdays usually consists of mature adult hip-hop aficionados. "Most [of our patrons] are more concerned with the club experience than the music itself. Not to say they don't appreciate music, but it's more about seeing and being seen, hanging in the VIP and just being ballers."
The VIP area is a key part of the club's success, says Swift. "It's the most coveted area of club. From my standpoint, I want us to always have the dancefloor packed, but a lot of the time, the VIP area fills before the dancefloor."
"Cute girls can always come up to the booth and say hello."
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