Interview with Courtney Henley-Anderson, That Girl at the Party


I met Courtney in March, at the Eau de Sisley Trio launch event at the Carlyle. Amongst a sea of icy socialites, Courtney stood out with her spunky presence and sassy style. A TV producer, activist, and permanent staple of the NYC social scene, Courtney Henley-Anderson just launched her own online magazine, appropriately called “That Girl at the Party.”

Termeh Mazhari: So where did you get the nickname “That Girl at the Party”?

Courtney Henley-Anderson: I first started attending parties about 3 years ago and I would often run into the same people who would say “Hey aren’t you that girl I met…” at this or that party.  At the same time, I had this whole spiritual awakening about taking Life less seriously and bringing more Joy into Life and making Life more of a party.  So I thought it would be a fun and a memorable name for my brand.  I also like that it has a certain naughtiness, which amuses people and makes them remember it.  I recently got a shot of Orlando Bloom at a Burberry party and he just cracked up when I told him the name of the site.  In the future, I intend to launch a product line that says, “I AM That Girl At The Party” because often when I tell girls the name they proudly claim the moniker for themselves or their friends!  One girl went so far in trying to be “that girl” that she pulled her pants down for a pic, which was REALLY crazy!  She hilariously and quite mistakenly seemed to think that the site is a “Girls Gone Wild” type of thing, which it definitely is NOT!

Termeh Mazhari: Tell me about “That Girl at the Party,” the online magazine…

Courtney Henley-Anderson: People have always told me that I have a very distinctive writing voice and my Life has been a real crazy mix of experiences.  That Girl at the Party is my online voice chronicling my adventures on the social scene and my views on Life in general!  Thus, as well as, event coverages, I cover music, films, Broadway, my favorite products, and my favorite causes.  The motto for the site is “Because the Party is Life!” because I believe that we are all so blessed just to wake up every morning and live Life!  I am hoping that people will inject some real Joy into their Lives and start making everything they do their party.  In addition, I feel that most event websites are too vacuous and just yarn on about one event after another.  Thus, I hope to bring a spotlight to some of the important charities I believe in and how people can leave their mark on the world.

Termeh Mazhari: How often do you go to these parties?

Courtney Henley-Anderson: Last year, I attended about 600-700 parties but it varies widely.  Most parties occur from Monday to Thursdays and the summer tends to be less hopping.  I have also cut back a bit as I used to hop from event to event.  But now that I have launched TGATP and am actually covering events, I sometimes just stay at one event the whole evening, especially if it is glittering and/or the cause is important to me.

Termeh Mazhari: Do you write about every party you attend?

Courtney Henley-Anderson: I used to try to write about every one and be completely honest about the good and bad parts.  But interestingly, I just had a really bad experience with one PR company that got pissy that I didn’t give their event a glowing review. (The old adage, “If you can’t say something nice…” came to mind.) Fortunately, the corporate sponsors intervened on my behalf.  But it was such an awful feeling, that I think in the future, TGATP will only cover the truly fabulous!  The wrath is just not worth it!

Termeh Mazhari: Despite the millions of people that live in this town, you end up bumping into the same people at every party! Does it ever get boring for you?

Courtney Henley-Anderson: I love seeing the same people as it is like having a private party at each affair.  There are, of course, some people that I would rather NOT see as this scene has an enormous amount of infighting, jealousy, pettiness, greed, false entitlement, and just general bad behavior!  Thus, it is not so much “boring” as it is disappointing.  I recently had to use the whole “we are not curing cancer” analogy to one self-important French party crasher!  He lost his mind and began to harass his friends by demanding they send him a certain amount of party invites every day!  It sometimes reminds me of high school but my Mom says it sounds more like kindergarten!  I am, in fact, currently developing a network reality TV show about this scene as it definitely has the requisite drama and villains!  The aforementioned French dude would make an awesome “Spencer Pratt”-type!

Termeh Mazhari: What’s your favorite neighborhood in NYC?

Courtney Henley-Anderson: My own.  I love Williamsburg as I have lived here since before the annoying hipster invasion.  So the people that make my food, pour my drinks, deliver my mail, etc have known me for 13 years.  The party scene can be very shallow in terms of interpersonal relationships.  That’s why it is very important to have links to your community in your downtime.  Brooklyn allows for this more than Manhattan.  It will be very hard to eventually leave here!  I also love Brighton Beach, which is my second home in the summer. It’s less of a pain in the ass to get to than the Hamptons.  You can just jump on the Q train and it’s a straight shot.  Also, I have a good friend in Far Rockaway, which is like another world! It’s like a train ride to suburban America! If I could live anywhere else in NYC, it would be that adorable little area of the West Village with all the lovely brownstones near Greenwich St.  I knew this couple with an amazing mews house there and they gave it up, which I will never understand!

Termeh Mazhari: What are some of the best events you’ve been to this summer?

Courtney Henley-Anderson: Some awesome events that I have attended so far this summer are: the first Sobe Summer Friday which was perfect and featured a performance by Robin Thicke.  And three very special galas, one for Samsung with a performance by John Legend, another for the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and one for the Young Members of the Met.  I also went to the MOMA Garden Party, which was fantastic and had not only DJ Cassidy but Estelle as well!

Termeh Mazhari: What’s a surefire way to make you come to a party?

Courtney Henley-Anderson: There are four key components that make me want to attend an event.  Since I am, first and foremost, an Activist, if it is a cause that I believe in such as the Red Light Children folks who fight global child sex trafficking or Charity: Water that brings fresh water to poor regions around the world; I will definitely attend.  Secondly, I try to attend events and parties that are quirky and will make for an interesting read for the public. Thirdly, location.  I am unlikely to travel to Jersey unless there is absolutely ZERO going on in the City.  Then the venue itself speaks volumes.  Anything at the American Natural History Museum, the Met Museum, or the MOMA is usually fantastic.  I also adore the house at 632 Hudson.  It is this gorgeous Italian villa in the middle of the Meatpacking District!  I will attend anything held there!  I also love the Stephen Weiss Studio, which is owned by Donna Karan and has a lovely rooftop garden. Food is also a vital component.  If a great chef or restaurant is catering, count me in.  Next, the entertainment.  If DJ Guestlove or DJ Cassidy is the DJ, I am there without question!  I also dig DJ Kiss and DJ Nick Cohen.  A performance by a hot artist is also always a plus.  And finally, as we live in a celeb driven culture, I will also attend an event if it is adequately star-studded as it provides great shots for the site. I do not, however, do the red carpet thing, as the whole point of That Girl At the Party is that I am “AT the Party” not outside of it!


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 8:22 am and is filed under Interview, New York City Events, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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