Monday, March 31, 2014

Sonja Morgan Talks Real Housewives, the Sex Appeal of Parties and Sonja in the City
Classicalite was lucky enough to catch up with Sonja Morgan, star of The Real Housewives of New York, for an insightful Q&A.

We asked Sonja about her successful company Sonja in the City, what it's like throwing the best parties in New York and, of course, her fellow housewives.

Still--despite our best efforts--Sonja remained as classy and diplomatic as ever.

Classicalite: How do you possibly find time to star on Real Housewives of New York, run a successful event planning company and raise millions for charities, all while looking so fabulous?

Sonja Morgan: Even though it's reality TV, I don't think a lot of people realize how many hours go into location and outfit changes between real life and the life that we film on camera, because even though we give you a slice of our real life, it's not always chronological.

There's also some set design, so that's when the interns come in handy. We have to move furniture for camera angles up and down the stairs at times. Especially for doing an art show, party or luncheon, and some things just can't be filmed like family photos or paintings that are not cleared, so there is a lot behind the scenes that goes on. And it takes 85 hours of film to make one 45-minute episode.

So, you only get to see the silly but funny moments and then, of course, when we're at our very worst--because that makes the best television!

C: Tell me a little bit about what it's like to run Sonja in the City and the kind of clients to which you typically cater.    
S: I have people who have known me for decades that call me to put together something memorable for a special occasion, a corporate event or a charity that we have collaborated on before.

But now, with the show and my website, I've even had people email me asking me to do a sweet 16 or a bat mitzvah and those are fun, too. I really pick and choose because I don't have so much time, especially while I'm filming for five months.

The Sonja in the City events that I do on the show I sometimes only have a couple of days to put them together, but the jobs I choose I have sometimes up to a year to plan.

C: What's the most fun event you recently hosted? 
S: I would say every event I plan is fun, that's why I do them. I only work with people I enjoy working with. I loved the season six Sonja in the City premiere party at Tokya, where we had over 450 people and all my co-stars came. They looked so beautiful. We had wonderful sponsors, and I gathered tons of press, plus my daughter was able to attend and everything I do is to make sure she is secure. Bravo has been wonderful for that. All my co-stars' children were invited. I adore them all.

It was a great learning experience for my interns and came together beautifully in the short span of a week, even though I had to travel to three cities within the same week doing promotions for the show.

I also really enjoyed putting together the Sonja in the City charity event for the LIGALY youth center for the LGBT on Long Island at the East Hampton studio, which is a huge airplane hangar and I performed my caburlesque singing song skit that I wrote and choreographed.

Hank Stampfl of Speakeasy Modern brought 90 Broadway and Off Broadway performers to blow away the 500 in attendance. Many thanks to David Klimnick and all his genius he shares with the LGBT youth.

C: Is it hard for you to attend parties that aren't put on by your company? I imagine it's difficult to attend functions you know could have been planned much better if your company was hired to produce them. Can you think of an event you attended where you thought, 'Oh my God. They really should have hired me for this.'     
S: I'm not going to lie, I prefer my parties to other people's parties in general. But that's because I love entertaining. The biggest problem I experience is bad layout, and this creates lack of energy.

People go to a party to interact. A party needs sex appeal. A good hostess knows how to create a good mix. With a placement dinner, it is of the utmost importantance that the hostess possess this skill. I earned "the straw that stirs the drink" moniker in the early 90s for my ability to seat a room, put a guest list together, broker a deal and make a marriage match...and I pride myself in that.

I love putting people together.
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