Scott Emrich, aka Scotty Em: patron of parties, godfather of gogo boys and a genuine nice guy in nightlife. He’s created three popular weekly events at Hell’s Kitchen’s Atlas Social Club that offer laid back unpretentiousness, very sexy dancers and two lovable hosting queens. And now he’s going to be Thotyssey’s first new weekly columnist! Meet Mr. Em.
Thotyssey: Hi Scotty, how’s it going today? I was wondering if you caught any of the Rocky Horror reboot the other night?
Scotty Emrich: We had it on at Atlas Social Club last night, but I didn’t really pay attention to it. Musicals really aren’t my cup of tea… or cup of vodka, I should say.
Mine neither! But it was cute. I do think these viewing parties are an interesting new nightlife trend, though. As a promoter, does it surprise you that people will come out just to watch TV together?
Nothing in nightlife surprises me these days [laughs]. I have to say, who doesn’t love to watch TV with friends? What better way to enjoy your favorite show or event then with good drinks, good friends and even the possibility of making new ones. With Drag Race especially, there’s something really special about a room of men from all different walks of life all bonding over one thing. If you are looking to meet someone new well there’s a built in ice breaker for you.
Yeah, Drag Race has really become the Super Bowl of gay culture; watching it with a group is everything. But then again, we can say the same with Presidential debates… I think gays just make better audiences!
Where’s your hometown?
I was born and raised in Astoria, Queens and that’s actually where I still reside. And no, it’s not far from Manhattan. And no, you won’t die crossing the bridge [laughs].
Bridges are long, though! So, how did you get into the nightlife game?
It all started when Shawn Mazur would see me out and about with friends at Bartini. He asked me to host a bottle at his rooftop party SPF with Brian Rafferty in 2012. I started hosting here and there for a year and got the lay of the land, then began producing my own events.
I always wondered about promoters… is it very cutthroat and competitive, getting gigs and claiming venues etc., or is there enough room for everyone to do their thing and be successful?
I haven’t experienced the cutthroat nature, necessarily. I have experienced a lot of gossip, negativity and back-stabbing, but that’s a horse of a different color.
For me personally, I found the most success when I really got in touch with what my brand was, and focused on what I enjoyed. For awhile, I would host parties or try to throw events that I didn’t enjoy, but I thought that’s what the scene called for, or what the public wanted. You have to love what you do. If you don’t, it shows in your work.
How would you describe your brand?
Fun and unpretentious.
Sounds good to me. Speaking of Brian Rafferty, he’s brought his party Trade back; and now it’s at Cielo, which has had a few other LGBT events recently. Do you think the gays will retake Meatpacking someday?
Anything is possible, and with Brian leading them back there it’s an even stronger possibility. I’m ultimately hoping to see a resurgence in Chelsea.
That would be great too. With commercial rent so high everywhere, isn’t it a wonder how any venue stays open though? And doesn’t that also relay how profitable these HK venues must be, that they’re still holding strong after all these years?
Thank god, otherwise I’d be out of a job!
We all would be! So one HK venue where, you’re the king three nights out of the week is Atlas Social Club. How would you describe that venue to someone who’s never been there, and why do you think it meshes so well with your brand?
I would describe Atlas as a unique, sexy, chill spot where you can turn up or turn down. The vast space lends itself for stolen moments with a cute guy, or barreling down shots with a large group of friends.
I think we mesh well because neither of us are trying to be something we’re not. We’re both true to ourselves. Ultimately, we want everyone to have a good time, get laid, go home and come back the next night [laughs].
Let’s talk about the nights: Thursday is Ga(y)me Night, a very laid back party with Holly Box-Springs hosting and games-mistressing. I stopped in there a few weeks ago and talked her ear off, and she’s a delight. How did you know she’d be a good fit for this night?
I absolutely cannot say enough good things about Holly. She is incredibly charismatic and talented and lights up the room. I needed someone who was funny, quick-witted that doesn’t take themselves too seriously which is what the night is all about. I mean it’s a room full of guys playing Jenga, Beer Pong, Twister and Cards Against Humanity [laughs]. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her since we started in February, and I love her so much I had to have her with me on Sundays too!
Good call! And another queen you’re working with there is Tammy Spenks, who hosts your Saturday night party there, Boys Night Out. That party actually started in Mr. Biggs, why did it move?
Well, to be quite honest, sometimes things just don’t work the way you wanted to. I love Mr. Biggs and [co-owner] Richie Friendly, but it ultimately didn’t work and we made the mature decision to part ways. I missed my family at Atlas, and I was welcomed back with open arms and a vodka soda.
I’m happy to say that BNO has had great success at Atlas thus far. I’ve worked with Tammy Spenks for almost a year now, and she’s like my ratchet BFF that I love turning all the way up with.
And this just in, this Saturday is your Halloween masquerade ball edition of BNO!
And now on Sunday happy hour. You just rebooted that party as Trick, with Holly and a revolving cast of hot gogo boys. How’s that been going?
Sunday Funday at its finest! Sundays are going really well. We have TRIX at the bar, and Holly performs a new trick each week, and we get to really get into it with the customers and get them to tell us their worst story with a trick for free shots. The go-go’s change each week, and I have some very delicious men in the next couple of weeks like November 6th when we celebrate gogo Nano’s birthday, and the birthday of that Cake!
Nice! By the way, I always wanted to ask you, do you make your own event posters? They’re gorgeous! Very eloquent.
Thank you! I appreciate that. I do make all of my own event posters. The beauty of technology is that I do it all from my mobile, so I get a lot done n the subway.
What program/app do you use?
Well, if I told you that then everyone would download it and start doing their own!
That’s fair! Now, regarding the gogo dancers: you seem to have a really good report with them, and I see a lot of mutual respect. I’ve spoken to a few who admit that that isn’t always easy to find in their biz. Have you noticed gogo dancers and strippers getting mistreated elsewhere in nightlife?
I’ve always said my Real Housewife tag line would be “It’s a Gogo World, and I just live in it!”
I have to admit gogos have a tough gig. They’re completely vulnerable, wearing next to nothing there to entertain guests and basically work them up into a sexual state. I try to treat them with the respect that they, and any other human being, deserve.
I think sometimes people think that if you’re a gogo dancer you must like the attention; you must like being groped and grabbed and have constant unsolicited sexual advances. But I can tell you, that’s not the case!
I fortunately haven’t heard about any mistreatment. The gogos I know will put you in your place real quick if you get out of line.
I’d say ½ my phone book is all gogo dancers! I’m fortunate to call many of them good friends: the kind that I can D dial at 3am if I’m having a bad night kind of friends.
Would you ever gogo dance?
I’m generally paid extra to not gogo dance [laughs]. I’m actually very shy, believe it or not. I wouldn’t be able to put myself out there like that.
Not for the faint of heart! But this brings me to the rare opportunity to promote this blog within this blog: you’re gonna contributing a weekly column to Thotyssey, featuring discussions with some of the hottest stars in the gogo world, accompanied by some beautiful original photos from top photographers! Welcome to the very small and very strange Thotyssey family! Any column spoilers yet?
Well…I can tell you I’m working with photographer Barry Eichner in November on an amazing photo shoot with some very beautiful guys–like Derek Michael, who’s returned to nightlife after a brief hiatus. He’s incredibly sexy, so this shoot will be sure to fog up some iPhone screens. Stay Tuned!
Anything else coming up for you?
My new line of self tanner… Just kidding.
We’ll all be needing that this season! Okay, so last question: What are you going to be for Halloween?
I can visualize it. It can work! Thanks Scotty!
Scotty Em has created–and hosts–three weekly events at Atlas Social Club: Ga(y)me Night on Thursdays with Holly Box-Springs (8pm), Boys Night Out on Saturdays with Tammy Spenks (11pm) and Trick happy hour on Sundays, again with Holly (8pm-midnight). He will soon be a weekly columnist at Thotyssey, and can be followed on Facebook & Instagram.
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