PARTY PLANNER EXTRAORDINAIRE ‘PARTY CHARLIE’ SAYS...
Party, Celebrate and Socialize Your Way to Health and Success
By Bob Mazza

 

 

When you hear the word “party,” most people think of an of an out-of-control college blow-out. Over the years, “party” has received a bad rap. Webster’s definition is the social entertainment itself, such as a card party, a cocktail party or a birthday bash.

Los Angeles-based party planner extraordinaire Charlie Scola takes a completely different view.

“My definition of a party is when two or more people gather to lift each other’s spirits and celebrate life.”

After planning parties for entertainment superstars, motion picture and television studios, thousands of corporate executives and government officials over the past 30 years, Scola has witnessed all sorts of events and occasions.

“PartyCharlie,” as he’s affectionately become known, has taken copious notes to learn plenty of valuable tips along the way. He’s incorporated the years of knowledge into his new book Party Planning Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Party.

“Because I’ve witnessed it all over the years, the best advice I can give anyone is party, celebrate and socialize your way to health and success,” says the author and innovator in the food and catering industry.

Charlie believes you can “party hearty,” but you should do it with a healthy attitude. Socializing is very beneficial for health reasons, he believes. “Doctors suggest to party, celebrate and socialize to boost your immune system, and social contact in a friendly, upbeat environment is extremely reinforcing to who we are. By nature we are social creatures.”

Secondly, happier people live longer. “Studies have revealed that people who have a strong social support system have a greater sense of well-being,” he said. “And those who are socially isolated are at increased risk for poor health and dying.”
Says Charlie, “We need to jump into the game of life.”

Meeting people at social events is good for your professional life. “Even if you’re a guest of a guest, it automatically validates you to be on the guest list. This brings you into the circle.”

Charlie offers a personal approach as well. “Want to be a kind neighbor?” he asks. “If you know somebody who’s a little down or lonely, next time you’re invited to a party, do them a life-changing favor — invite them!”  How did “PartyCharlie” develop his unique approach to become so successful ?

With his family roots from Naples, Italy, Scola grew up in Newark, New Jersey from what he recalls was a poor but loving family. Raised by his Mom and Grandmother, Charlie learned how to cook as a youngster.  

“Our family gathered every weekend, so I watched them make fresh pasta mostaccioli, linguini, homemade sausage, manicotti, giant meatballs, neopolitan tomato sauce and much more. “It was a huge feast for everybody — the family, the neighbors, our friends, and kids in the neighborhood.” That background served to be the perfect beginning for Charlie’s career. “Food has the power to bring people together,” he says. “I really looked forward to helping prepare the meals and share the energy it brought.”

After working at bagel shops and peddling hot dogs and chili at small restaurants, he moved up a few notches to hone his skills at some of New York and New Jersey’s finest banquet facilities including the Town & Campus Banquet Center.  
His restaurant, Exclusively

Yours, was destroyed by a fire, which prompted Charlie to move to Los Angeles in the early 1980’s. He and a partner formed “Life’s a Party,” specializing in themed parties which put Charlie on the celebrity radar screen. Over the next decade, Scola planned parties for, with, and in honor of, a lengthy list of celebrities and personalities, including A-list actors, rock stars, sports stars, political dignitaries and high level military.

Working with such powerful people seems to come easy for Charlie. “I feel I’m just a friendly person, and try to see the positive side of everybody both personally and professionally,” he smiles.

There’s a definite theatrical side to his infectious personality, with his wide smile and his distinguished bald head. “It’s my trademark,” he says pointing to a cartoon-like character of himself on his business card.  In fact, Charlie utilizes the image as his signature logo on aprons, his website, stationary, brochures, etc.

In addition to his catering work, his resume features theatrical appearances and guest roles on network and cable television shows. He’s given back to the community via his charity work including the LA Food Bank and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Charlie’s favorite organization is the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, where he appeared several years ago performing a Jerry Lewis impression.  Two years ago, Charlie even donated his catering services for two days for 1,600 people during the telethon.

To work in such a high-pressure business, Charlie says it requires tremendous concentration and high energy. “For many years, I neglected all the stresses on my body,” he says. “But now I practice yoga at least three days a week, which has changed my life for the better. When my guests or clients say… ‘Charlie, you look great’ that’s the best compliment I could ever hear.”

As a final suggestion to anyone seeking party advice, Charles says:

“Many people miss out on great parties because of simple excuses, and sometimes school or work are more important.  But the next time a party invitation arrives in your email or mailbox,” Charlie says, “Reply with a smile saying you’d be honored to attend the party. That makes people feel great.”

Who knows . . . maybe “PartyCharlie” will be the party planner or caterer who is personally serving you.  Remember his words of wisdom: “I always tell people to party, celebrate and socialize your way to health and success. You’ll lift everyone’s spirits and your party will be successful.”    Party On, Charlie!

Bob Mazza is a public relations consultant and freelance writer based in Thousand Oaks, CA.  His clients include entertainment companies, authors, sports, lifestyle and corporate organizations nationally and internationally. Call (310) 994-4847
or email: mazzaefx@earthlink.net  



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