Phonfixdfw.com Presents – Jared’s Epic Party
Official Party Recap and Assessment
By Jared Guynes - 2/25/14
MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE EVENT WORTH SEEING
AOL News / Eye Opener News (This is the best video recap, a MUST WATCH)
Dallas Morning News
DFW Guide Live
Dallas Observer Photos
Dallas Observer Article
WFAA Channel 8 (ABC)
Much more media coverage is coming… several major media outlets including USA Today. I will update you when I have those links and information.
So the party is finally over, the venue is clean, and all of the stuff has been returned to where it belongs. The whole cleanup and tear-down process took from 2am Saturday until about 7pm on Monday if you were wondering, so Monday night was the first time I had a proper nights sleep and was able to get up in the morning without having a huge drama to take care of in some way. Here I am, finally, able to sit down and think about what just happened.
The party was… crazy. It happened so quick… the only thing I can compare it to was my wedding. Something that was awesome… but a blur. It was like it was over in seconds. In the course of the night I only had a single drink, which someone forced into my hand, and which I only drank because of thirst. I had 1 bite of 1 slice of pizza. I didn’t play a single game of pinball. I didn’t get to see half of the performances. When the pizza landed I was still working to set up tables, get plates and form a line. I had done the math right, and everyone was supposed to get 1 jumbo slice so that everyone could have one. As the hundreds swarmed in, I was not able to control the crowd as they stacked up 2-6 slices per plate, or took entire boxes. I stood there for nearly 30 minutes handing out plates and thanking people for their patience. Someone said to me “Jared why are you working at your own party?” and I said “I am not going to kick back and relax. You guys paid to make this possible, and people are still waiting in line outside. I have a lot of work to do”.
Oh yeah, the line. The line. The most terrible part of the party. I had been doing will call at my home in Rockwall, and Brandon’s businesses across DFW, in the mail, at 2 movie theater showings and a VIP lunch in preparation for this… to try to make it easier. Well… it wasn’t. My original intention was to have people start getting in line around 5pm, have doors open at 6:30pm for VIP and then 7pm for general admission. All of this was thrown out the window by Vanilla Ice, whom had an extraordinary long sound check. He didn’t want anyone to see him while he was sound checking, so I had to hold the doors. I had no say in the matter. This was all supposed to be done by 5:30pm at the latest. Well… I was wrong. The result was people waiting very long outside, some stuck in a cramped hallway with no way to get to a restroom or have access to water. It was bad… and I am sorry. That detail more than any other I am genuinely embarrassed about and will make sure in the future that nothing like that ever, ever happens again.
Once the doors opened at 7:25pm, things quickly took a turn for the better. DJ Baby Chino, the 11 year old phenom from Las Vegas was spinning on the Red Bull Booth to greet partygoers, and not long after the Graceland Ninjaz took the stage. At this point I was far too stressed about everything to do anything less than run around everywhere looking for fires to put out and make sure everyone was happy.
At some point CBS11 was following me around with a big camera, and they caught me on film as I came around the corner and saw the turtles on stage for the first time. They were up there with Richard (Partners in Kryme) and singing his new song “Rock the Halfshell”. Being the huge baby I am, silent tears started to come down my face as I saw. I guess the emotion of it all finally hit me…. The ninja turtles were here…. On stage… dancing. This is actually happening. Derick Winsetts TMNT costumes looked absolutely amazing by the way. And did anyone notice the TMNT1 Movie Shredder costume with a Japanese actor in it? Little details folks…
As the line was worked by my family (Ashley my Wife, Deirdre my Mother in Law, Mona my Mom and Christie my Aunt) my stress level began to slowly come down. My only concern honestly was getting everyone in, and getting everyone happy. The most harrowing thought I had as I walked around my dream turned reality was that somewhere, someone was not having fun and felt like I let them down. So, everyone that thanked me… I thanked back. Everyone that touched me… I touched back. I shook hands… gave hugs… told people I loved them… and I meant it. I wanted as many people as possible to understand how thankful I was to them for making it possible at all… and for their patience through the hiccups.
With the party in full swing and everyone inside, I wanted to go ahead and knock out the Guinness World Record Attempt. Remarkably, some people out there have wondered if this was legit, so to the skeptical here is our official Guinness record locater number from London. 454960. The only way to certify ON THE SPOT that we broke the record would be to fly a judge in from London. This has a charge of $8,000, so I decided against it. Guinness DOES allow for 3rd party certification with letters, photos, video and other documentation. I am assembling the physical mail package now to send to London for Guinness verification. With luck, we will have a physical record certificate in 4-6 weeks. I will provide copies of this to anyone who was involved in the party to have as a souvenir. A world record certificate would look great framed on the wall in your office, don’t you agree?
So I do need to acknowledge some negative about the nerf guns. During and after the party, the boxes were raided by some un epic people and many guns were stolen. My wife confronted one party goer saying “Hey those are a donation to the children’s home!” to which a half drunk person replied “Yeah, I got a 4 year old child at my home that would love this donation” and stumbled past my wife with his stolen gun in hand. This part sucks… but there was little to be done about it. Had the Nerf war happened when I had planned, there would not have been many if any drunks around yet, but due to the previously mentioned soundcheck drama, my entire nights time schedule was thrown totally out the window. We had to improvise, which by the way, was why there was no time schedules on the walls. The times (and order of performers) actually changed several times during the night as the party went on. All a schedule would have done is made people upset that things were not going on schedule. Brandon and I knew things were messed up in terms of schedule, and our stress alone was enough… no need to let you guys in on it.
We are still reviewing the HD video from multiple angles and hundreds of ultra high res photos to verify our exact claim numbers to Guinness. As you might have expected, many people took guns home with them or never put them into the boxes at all, so what was donated to the Children’s Home on Monday was not a number that we can tell Guinness was actually used in the record battle. The amount of Nerf Weapons donated to Buckner was 383. Our initial photo evidence from the battle shows that there were between 620-700 guns used in the battle. It’s possible there were even more than that. We have some more work to do before we have the actual number, but we are at least certain that it was more than 461, the previous record. While we know we have all the numbers and proof to claim the record, it’s not official until Guinness adds it to their website, which will be 4-6 weeks. I just want to be very clear on that.
I was able at this point to walk around the party a little, and I saw Claudia Wells, Ernie Reyes Jr and Kevin Eastman all working the crowds signing autographs. We had originally planned to have them all at a table to sign for a few hours during the night, but made a last minute change. The previous night I had taken these guys to the Alamo Drafthouse, which had only 240 people show up. We sat them down at a table for this part. With less than 250 people, the total time taken signing autographs was more than 4 hours! We realized that if we repeated the table thing at the party, they would be at the table all 7 hours and still not get to 30% of the attendees. Instead they were all equipped with sharpies and instructed to roam the party as guests, taking photos and signing autographs with whomever asked. I am sure they still worked all 7 hours, but they did it on their feet instead of at a table. I am very proud of the professionalism shown by the paid guests (and the ones who came for free). Both Angie Boling and Big Al Mac I only saw for 1 second, but I know that they were both there. Especially Big Al, who needed his $750 appearance fee so he could leave and get back to his bar on McKinney avenue.
At some point as the party went on… it really started to hit me how crazy all of this was. Robocop… did you guys see him? He WAS ROBOCOP. His costume was 100% perfect… down to the jaw line and shape of his lips. He walked… talked… spoke ROBO. Miki the Monkey… did yall see him? We had a live monkey at the party! Party Foxes… Storm Troopers… Power Rangers… a huge Duck. It was nuts. NUTS. NUTS. Tone Loc killed it… Humpy Hump went bananas… Vanilla Ice brought the house down. I was told, only 5 minutes before his portion started, that they would be performing an updated version of the famous “Ninja Rap”. I didn’t know what that meant exactly… but I found out when you guys did. I was… disappointed this part in particular. The vision I had in my head was the original song from the movie… dance moves and all. This had all been communicated to Vanilla’s team from the start… but in the end… he did his 2014 version of Go Ninja Go. The fact remains, this was the first time in 23 years that 4 movie quality TMNT were on stage with him as he sung the song “Ninja Rap”, despite the version.
I didn’t know Vanilla Ice was going to dump water on the crowd until he started doing it, which made me feel really bad for the people with nice cameras and cell phones out. Baby Chino, who had extremely valuable mixers had to protect them with t-shirts and towels from the water. Some guy wearing a go-pro on his head was not phased at all.
As the party wrapped up, hundreds and hundreds of people stopped to thank me… many calling it the most epic night of their life. So many people… strangers and friends alike, made a point to say how happy they were with the overall experience, despite hiccups and the line/ticket issues. That meant so much to me… the reassurance… that the vast majority of the people there were very happy with what they got.
I bit off a lot… and I mean a lot… for a first time concert producer. There are people who do this kind of thing for a living, and for profit, that would not have touched a production this detailed and deep with a 20 foot pole. There are also people out there who are shocked and amazed that such a feat was even possible to begin with. All I wanted was Vanilla Ice and the TMNT… and 900 of you bought tickets when that was the only features. As we got more money than I had planned, we spent it. We spent all of it. In fact we spent too much, my final calculations show me somewhere between 4-6,000 over budget… which means that remarkably… I will be paying out of pocket for this. From the comfort of your computer chair you might be thinking that this is absolutely impossible… surely we had more than we needed. Nope… it didn’t work out that way. If you don’t want to take my word for it… you can take my wife’s. I put in 3 months of non stop marketing and effort… to do a party for no profit… to lose thousands of dollars. And despite the pain in that statement… I would do it all over again. It was worth it. It was amazing. It was epic.
I learned a lot… and I mean a lot. With just a little better planning and some timing/staffing changes I could have made sure than 90% of the problems and issues that happened were never issues at all. If I ever do this again, which apparently is what the public wants… then I will do it with the knowledge and skills that I have gained from this. To anyone who was hurt, who felt they didn’t get their moneys worth, that thinks I took advantage of them, please accept my genuine and heartfelt apology. Every one of you who paid to be there made it possible, and you having the best time of your life was my #1 goal. For many of you I made the goal… and for some others I fell short. I can say that with the staff, funds and knowledge that I had to work with going into this, I absolutely put forth my BEST EFFORT. I am happy with the overall result, and I think it was a truly unforgettable night.
And now my long list of thank-you’s and acknowledgements.
First and foremost I would like to thank Crowdtilt for providing the online platform to make this all possible. To Mary Yap for believing in me from the start and guiding me along the way. I would like to thank Brandon Noll, my long time friend and sometimes partner in amazing ideas (anyone remember milkmycow?) who donated $5500 and months of time and effort to make this possible. This party would have NEVER happened without his involvement. Its that critical. Brandon… thank you man. To the early adopters… the people with the $50 and $100 crowdtilt tickets who helped up shatter the tilt goal… thank you. To the sponsors of the party, who gave more than was needed to help us have a more healthy budget, thank you. To TunerReady motorsports in particular, whom not only donated $500, but also helped to sell 18 tickets himself in the Waco area. To Nick with Mobile Media Graphics who made those awesome wall banners at the party and the cool TMNT race car. To Christian who setup and manned the NES tables and the tournament. To Josh Miller who made the epic Power Glove trophy. To David Stoner of Arcade Factory and Steve Nordseth of Fun for donating games. To the members of Pinside for their support, to the pinball owners who brought games and vids to the party to make it more epic. To Pujan and everyone at Exquisite events for the $8000 discount on the VIP room decorations and lighting. It looked amazing guys. To VideoBob, the man behind the movie cars at the party… and his amazing wife. To Miki the monkey, whom is like a brother to me. To Brandon from Sun Bru. To Leo with El Jimador, to Brandon with PBR, to Megan with Fatboy. You guys provided so much to the party to make it over the top. To Serious Pizza, Cane Rosso, and Alamo Drafthouse. You guys let us make the party even bigger than just Gilleys. To Kevin Eastman and his beautiful wife for their kindness and love of the fans. To Ernie Reyes Jr for being the same old guy we love and remember. To Partners in Kryme for his love of TMNT and the fans, a true class act! To Claudia Wells, who’s love for life and fun was magnetic and brought happiness to everyone she was around. To Derick Winsett, for making the TMNT suits that inspired the parties existence. To Jason Ybarra, Art and friends, for doubling down on turtle duty and letting me get his van here from LA. To Reiko for being the best Robocop impersonator on the planet. To all of my friends who believed in me… who came from far and wide to support me.
To my family for everything. My mom, dad, sister, aunt, brother in law, my mother in law, my father in law, my sisters in law, my other brother in law. You guys RAN THE EVENT. From the setup to teardown, from will call to the behind the stage. From the doors to the floors… you guys were everywhere. I am so proud to be apart of a loving, supportive family.
To my beautiful wife Ashley. The woman who lived a normal… quiet life until I came around. She has embraced my dreams and helped me achieve them, she has dutifully stayed up late and got up early. She shared in my pain… my happiness… she was there by my side every step of the way. She is everything I could ever hope for in a wife and a best friend… she is everything to me. Any woman who could deal with this and still stick around (only Leah Noll can understand) is a woman of the upmost quality. I am the luckiest man on the planet to have her.
To the people I didn’t mention here directly but helped in some way… to the people online who are kind and understanding… to the people who made this dream possible. To all of you… I say from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!
I learned a lot and take a lot of experience and knowledge away from this. You cant put a price on this kind of experience for me… and if we should ever do… I don’t know… Epic Party 2…you better believe that it will be more polished and easy to handle for everyone.
Life returns back to normal for me, if you can call the life I live normal, and the epic party will slowly become memory… and perhaps… legend. Good and Bad, it will always be amongst the most memorable times of my entire life and I cant be more thankful to all of you for making it reality. See you around.