Hosting some of the best all-inclusive parties in NYC nightlife today, this stylist-turned-Everything is about to conquer a new bash at Paul Sevigny’s gorgeous Casablanca, Candyshop! Let’s get the golden ticket from Andersen Anderson!
Thotyssey: Hey Andersen! I hope all is well! How was your week?
Andersen Anderson: Amazing! Busy, stressful and alcohol-fueled, but productive overall. Can’t complain.
Is “Andersen Anderson” your real name, by the way?
Ha! My last name is actually Anderson, but I was pretty screwed after The Matrix movie came out, so I’ve been called “Mr. Anderson” ever since. I decided to just go by Andersen with an “e” because it’s more of a first name. But whenever I need to RSVP to events, it’s generally first and last name… so that’s where Andersen Anderson was born.
Where’s your hometown?
I’m born and raised in NYC, Brooklyn to be exact. But I’ve lived in LES, Queens and currently I reside in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
What did you want to do for work and art in the beginning?
Growing up I actually wanted to be an architect, but the amount of math seemed boring. So I decided to do some styling work instead, and scratch my creative itch.
Were you always a social butterfly?
I was always really social and fun, but I didn’t party in my earlier twenties. And I had a long-term boyfriend, so I was pretty much a home body. After we broke up I dyed my hair blonde, went to a club alone and made some friends… then I had a six night a week party schedule.
How did you establish yourself in NYC nightlife?
I started out with mainly bottle service straight clubs, I would meet promoters and they loved that I was always clad in black and always down to party and friends with pretty girls so I got a lot of invites. I didn’t start going to fun queer parties until a few years ago, with my best friends Allan & Angel Kent who introduced me to a ton of people… and we’ve been partying ever since.
I love Bartsch and Ladyfag parties, so I wouldn’t miss one no matter how early I needed to be up for work. But then I started going to the PrettyUglyParty at Diamond Horseshoe– thrown by Erich Conrad and Drew Elliot. One night Allan, Angel and I all showed up decked out in all white and feeling super festive. We told Erich we wanted to host, and there it was. From there, I’ve hosted for a few different parties, some weekly gigs like Strut, with Deryck Todd, and others guest hosting.
What is the craziest thing you’ve seen in nightlife, whether a gig or just a night on the town?
[Laughs] Water sports… I’ll leave it at that.
What’s the key to being a good nightlife host?
I think knowing your audience, being attentive and making sure all of your guests are boozed up and having a blast… but also just having fun yourself. There’s nothing worse than working a party you genuinely don’t have fun at, and you’re seated in a corner with a stick up your ass until you collect your check. People pick up on the energy, and it puts a damper on things.
What do you think of the current state of NYC nightlife?
NYC nightlife for me is great. There are several different scenes, and a lot of the same faces, but I’ve made some great relationships and I don’t have to spend a ton of money to get swirly drunk… so I can’t complain.
You often host Erich Conrad’s ZIGZAG Thursdays at LeBain, which would be classified as more of a “mixed” crowd party. Do you think the whole “gay nightlife v. straight nightlife” scenes need to end, or is there still a need for compartments?
The thing about ZIGZAG is that it’s intended to be open for everyone, however you choose to identify, Erich just wants a great party, which is why I love it. You’ll see me twirling on a dancefloor every Thursday night.
There are always going to be some sort of compartments, that’s just the way the world is conditioned. But everyone should be comfortable, welcomed and free, no matter where they are. That’s what nightlife is supposed to be: escaping your troubles, celebrating your successes, and just having a great fucking time.
What are the best and worst things about being a nightlife host?
The best things are being able to go out with your friends on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. And in some cases, if you can put together a party then you can hire all of your friends, and you know they’ll be nothing but good vibes.
The worst thing about being a nightlife host is when certain people feel a need to compete or feel threatened, and there’s the unnecessary shade. Also: when you’re booked for a gig and you get a cold… SUCKS!
You mentioned Deryck Todd, who’s Tuesday night Strut at ACME that you often host is a favorite night for many in the East Village. Why do you think this party resonates with so many people, and what do you personally enjoy about it?
Strut is a great party, and coming up to its three year anniversary, it’s lasted which is telling but also many different people from different backgrounds and social scenes have hosted it which keeps it interesting.
So, Paul Sevigny (yes, her brother) has been making nightlife interesting for years, and his new venue Paul’s Casablanca has been written up as something really special. What are your impressions of both Paul and the venue?
The venue is gorgeous, and Paul is straight to the point and wants to support great parties. I’m excited to be curating and hosting this party with some of the most amazing people I’ve gotten to know in NYC; should be an epic night.
Candyshop is a mix of every flavor in NYC. It’s not about a scene, I just wanted to the party to be a culmination of dope-ass people who’ve done fun and epic shit throughout the city, and have a positive wavy vibe all under one roof for a sick night. The venue makes you want to dance all night, drink champagne and throw on your best diamonds. WHY NOT!?
Is this gonna be weekly, or monthly, or we’ll see?
Another great addition to our weekly lineup, congrats. So, in closing: if you were an X-Man, what would your superpower be?
I would be Mystique, so I could change outfits hourly!
Spoken like a true host! Thanks, Andersen!