This was my initial thought. I was convinced that once people knew saw me operate at a party they would want to make all of my dreams come true. Look how fucking cool this dude is. He has killer dance moves. He just taught me a great drinking game. I better promote him.
No, my entire plan for success in a career as a screenwriter hinged on people enjoying drinking with me.
That plan had flaws.
My first wrap party wasn't even really a party. It was a Happy Hour on a Thursday night after filming. I proceeded to black out and be sent home by this guy.
My second wrap party was at a bowling alley. Again I blacked out. I tried to make out with Minnie Driver. I used some especially lewd dance moves with out 78 year old Script Supervisor. I split my suit pants and I lost my shoes. I'm pretty sure cocaine was involved.
The next day women wouldn't look me in the eye and the guys on the crew started calling me Superman not because I was cool but because I was so drunk I looked like a quadriplegic.
The girl that I was kinda sorta seeing immediately cut things off and essentially said "I realized who you actually are and it wasn't the guy you were pretending to be around me."
But whatever, I'm sure there are chicks out there capable of loving an unapologetic bro.
I went as a plus one to a couple Bones wrap parties and not wanting to make a total asshole out of myself, I restrained myself a bit. I met some people, got some good contacts and actually had a few job offers come out of it.
For my third wrap party, I finally figured it out. I brought a date, drank heavily, but not embarrassingly, talked to all of the people that I wanted to and then I left a little early to go have sex with my date.
The next day at work everyone complimented how hot my date was, how much fun they had with me and no one compared me to Christopher Reeve.
I have mastered the wrap party. And you can too. Just follow this simple step by step guide and avoid the mistakes of my youth.
WRAP PARTY 101 - Work gathering basics
So you've been spending 60 hours a week with a group of people for 9 months and you're finally going to get together on a weekend night to let the hair down a little. Sounds fun, right? WRONG. Wrap parties can be stressful as fuck. If you make an ass out of yourself in front of your bosses they will not soon forget it.
Stories are still told about the guy that pissed himself at the Modern Family Season 3 party. Don't be that guy and don't do all the dumb shit that I did. Instead follow these very basic principles.
1. Stay social early
Look I get it. You want to let it rip. But the truth is, most of your coworkers are old as fuck. They drove to the venue and valeted. Do you know what that means? They are going to stay soberish enough to DRIVE home. You can never assume that your behavior at a party will be forgotten simply because 'everyone was as drunk as you.' That is often not the case. Not everyone is like us.
2. Bring the right date
There is no shame in bringing a friend to a work party. If you don't have a wife or girlfriend, it might be the best move. Think of it this way. If you are on a third date with a girl, does she really want to meet a bunch of people she doesn't know and have forced awkward conversations with them? It will be miserable.
"Oh tell me what it's like to be a set medic? You give hungover people Advil? THATS SO INTERESTING!"
Bring a bro or a lady bro who is also in the industry and knows a handful of the people, you'll have more fun.
3. Dress to impress
You can roll into the office wearing a wrinkly Polo every day but if you show up to the party looking like a slob, people will judge you. I recommend a classic black 2 button suit with a dark shirt. Open collar, no tie. It's a good look.
WRAP PARTY 201 - Intermediate wrap party theory
If you use what you learned in 101, you will have a fine time and offend no one. But for those looking to make a bit more of a splash here are some mid-level tricks to maximize your experience.
1. Host the pregame
On every show there are a handful of young people: the PAs, the assistants, maybe casting, maybe costumes, possibly one or two staff writers. A good way to ingratiate yourself to your peers is have them all over for a drink before the party. This way you can all share a fleet of ubers and arrive together after taking the dye off with a whiskey or two. This also establishes your crew for the night. It's essentially the same motivation you would use for a normal pre game (minus the cost savings) but now you don't need to worry about when to show up and who to hang with at the party.
Note: Arrive at the party 1 hour after the open bar starts.
2. Seek out a few targets
Obviously everyone is going to be trying to get time with the executives and producers, but early in the night find some more approachable people. A department head, a mid level writer. Talk about something other than work, feign interest in that person's date. 'Oh you write ad jingles for children's toothpaste, how quaint! How did you get into that?" Then if it comes up organically, 'Hey I've been kicking the tires on this pilot and I have a draft, would you mind giving it a read?'
There is a 100% chance they will say yes. Then the next day when you send it to them this person will be thinking, 'Dave is awesome, he likes scuba diving, he was really nice to my wife. I'm going to read this pilot and help him as much as I can.'
3. Get the dance floor going
Despite what I said about making an ass out of myself on the dance floor earlier, the dance floor instigator is ALWAYS appreciated. Pretty much the number one indicator of any party/wedding: How lit was the dance floor?
If you followed my previous advice, you will have a clique of 8-10 people already from your pre game that can start things off. Don't be afraid to bust out some old favorites: Limbo, The Double Dutch or even the soul train. This shows the people that are paying for the party that you are fun AND a team player.
Wrap Party 301 - Advanced independent study
If you pass 201 you will be remembered fondly. You may have strengthened some coworker relationships and you may even meet up for a drink some day. That executive story editor will probably give you some nice notes on your script. It probably ends there. If you want to win your wrap party, follow these steps. But tread lightly my friends, experts only.
1. Go hard late
In 101, we learned to socially drink early. Talk to people, maybe eat some light apps. In 201, we learned it's ok to start the dance floor, just don't be an asshat. In 301, I want you to know that after a certain hour, it's ok to throw all that shit out the window.
The older folks who drove to the party will leave. Even the 30somethings will probably hit the road, they probably have young kids and a babysitter that they need to relieve. And here's the deal, the open bar may 'officially close at 11' but without fail a producer will hand their credit card to the bartender and say 'keep it open all night for the kids.' This is when you and your midnight marauders can really rip it up. Turn in the cocktails, wine and beer for some shots. Bust out some of those R-rated dance moves. Take some regrettable pics in the photo booth. Pull the jacket off, drop a couple buttons, you've earned it.
2. After party
Eventually, around 1230ish, the open bar will end. Your venue is likely not a bar but a banquet hall that isn't accustomed to staying open until 2am. There will probably be 10 or so of you that want to keep it going. While I would never shame you for hitting up the Avalon or another Hollywood late night staple, you can never go wrong with a house party. If you get back to someone's house and SOMEONE else brings up drugs, this AND ONLY THIS is when you bust out what you've held in your pocket all night.
It's like inception guys, it always has to seem like someone else's idea. Maybe after this you head to a rooftop pool deck. The back door at 8811 Burton Way never locks. Maybe you finish the night by getting a Grand Slam at Denny's. You could do worse.
Wrap Party 401 - Elective
Concerning the elephant in the room…
I told you if you didn't have a wife or girlfriend to maybe bring a buddy because it would be awkward to bring a new chick to a work function.
Well there was also another reason for this.
ON EXTREME OCCASION, there is a single girl that you have been quasi flirting with all season. Maybe she also brings a friend to the wrap party. Your question of course is: should we hook up?
The obvious answer is: no you shouldn't.
But if you pre game together, dance together, after party together…the thirst is going to be out of control and you might not be able to help yourself. My advice, use discretion. The last thing you want to be part of on Monday morning is a salacious story about you banging the costume PA in a broom closet at Bugatta. Whisper in her ear on the dance floor, if you want to do this, get in a cab and take it around the block and come back.
That way there are witnesses to her departure. Always have someone to corroborate your story.
Monday morning, get in early looking incredibly chipper. Some people will be moping around hungover. Compliment an older woman on her dance moves. Ask someone how their wife enjoyed the party and when you see the girl that you eventually spent the night with make no mention of it, but give her the smallest wink, a smile and keep walking.