In Defense of Nightclub Doorpeople


They’re not all the devil — they’re just doing their job!

And you can actually help your own chances of getting in by humoring them a little.

These thoughts just came in from Calen David — a/k/a the above-pictured drag star and hostess Epiphany Get Paid — about which faces in the crowd generally get picked to get in, and what you can do to become one of them:

“This judgement is usually completely controlled not by the ‘door god’ but by YOU. The way you interact with this person can make or break your chances of getting in. The reason a person does it and not a machine is because they want the door to be flexible and the policies to bend for certain people.

“The system of a tough door isn’t ageist, sexist, racist, or hetero- or homophobic. It is almost entirely based on your personality and how your flash interaction with the door god goes.

“Now some of us have gotten to know this person, and some of us dress up so well that it’s embarrassing for the club to have you waiting in line. Also if you are very dressed, i.e. club kid, drag suit and tie, muscle guy, girl in hot heels and an expensive fur, AND you have a sparkling personality, you can go directly to the front and plead your case to them. There is no harm in trying, and most often this show of confidence will part the velvet rope for you. Your 10 friends are a different story.

“The door god is also mischievous and malevolent at times. They will often play little games with you or others in exchange for your safe passage. In the past I have thought this was mean, but now I think it’s just to entertain themselves. The outcome of this game is up to you: say something nice, make them laugh, or compliment them genuinely and you’ll get in. Remember they are just bored, so do something entertaining.

“And lastly, but most important: Think of the things you like about clubs or why you go. Great music, fun people, interaction with strangers, the possibility of going home with someone, drinks, dancing. The door god gets none of this. They stand in the cold for 5 hours doing nothing but keeping guard. This makes it slightly monotonous and boring.

“Interaction with fun people equally dressed to party sheds a glimmer of light and distraction in the job of the door god. They WANT to let you in. But your bland personality, your ill fitting lack of a thoughtful look, mashed potato body, and your slightly dehydrated skin keeps you from being noticed, so you are relegated to the purgatory of the line.

“At this point you should just go somewhere else and try again next week. And if this makes you bitter and resentful, remember you are in NYC and there are hundreds of thousands of other places that would probably pour you a stronger drink, with a gentle atmosphere to quell your spurned soul. And give a little more thought to what you didn’t do to win the favor of the door god.”

Got it? Start now, people, and stop your whining.