The NY Times' Sharon Waxman traveled deep into Amanda Scheer Demme's Fortress of Velvet Rope Solitude (tragically located in unfashionable Studio City) in an attempt to sort out why the temporarily clubless nightlife queen-in-exile was cast out of the celebrity-fellating Eden she so lovingly created at the Roosevelt Hotel, and to learn a little about the woman behind the clipboard-wielding legend:
"I'm definitely an artist-businesswoman, in the sense that I love to find things I'm passionate about, and make them known to the rest of the world," she said. "I'm a brander, a marketer. I'm an idol maker."
There is a touch of hyperbole to everything about Ms. Demme, and an intensity that is inescapable (though not necessarily the embodiment of Zen). She talks of her pride in making Teddy's "the No. 1 destination spot in the United States," and calls the club "my 'Pulp Fiction.' " ("It was a masterpiece.") Her biography, provided by a publicist, pronounces her "one of the very rare few that can be called an artist, entrepreneur, trendsetter, tastemaker, star maker and connoisseur without any trace of irony or hype." (Perhaps that should read "intended irony.") It observes that she is "an eerily well-rounded person" and "the hub of a wheel of activity that few could possibly appreciate." [...]
After her initial torrent of bravado, Ms. Demme seemed ready to accept some of the criticisms [about how she ran her nightclubs and reasons for bad press]. "My weakness in life, and it's always been my weakness, is I may say something that can be misinterpreted in the moment," she said. "I don't blame the other person, I blame myself. I've gotten better, and I will be even better." [...]
"I'm always going to be Amanda Demme. I'm never going to modify my behavior to work in a man's world," she said. "But I'll learn my lessons, and be a better human being, a better mother and a better friend." She paused. "Maybe," she said, and paused again, "maybe I have to not be so precious on certain things. And pick and choose my battles."
Such feats of humility are much more easily performed in the sanctuary of one's home than while playing gatekeeper at the club; we probably won't see how much preciousness Demme has abandoned until she sets up shop at her next venue. Consider it a bad sign for continuing self-effacement if she anoints her head bouncer "St. Peter" and soberly informs him to separate the "saved" from the "miserable, WB-level wretches" damned to partying at the Brent Bolthouse-sponsored night down the street.
- Rough Dawn for a Nighttime Queen [NY Times]