Jake Resnicow is a promoter, socialite, and Event producer who brought the Matinée dance party to the USA and co-produced this spring’s Lifeball after-party in Vienna, Austria. Well known for producing parties in Las Vegas, San Diego, and New York City, Jake's exploits were recently featured in the Huffington Post.

Through his Matinée parties, Jake aims to create dramatic spectacles that are all-inclusive and stay true to the Matinée brand. Since its launch twenty years ago in Ibiza, Matinée has become a globally recognized organization that is dedicated to bringing people together for lavish events that are proudly over-the-top and might include firework displays and theatrical flair.

Jake recently discussed his experiences working as a nightlife producer and the process of working on various charitable events via an exclusive interview.

Parties, entertainment, and lavishness

Meagan Meehan (MM): What initially interested you in the entertainment industry and how did you get into party promotion?

Jake Resnicow (JR): Entertainment has always run through my blood. When I was fourteen, I started an entertainment company, doing everything from MC'ing weddings to DJing school dances While studying at Georgetown, I took on a part-time job as Nightlife Editor for EDGE magazine. On a trip to Spain, I was blown away by Matinée, and decided to pursue my dream of bringing a world-class experience to the U.S.

It all started in New York City during Pride 2010 where we transformed Manhattan’s Governor’s Island into an extravagant dance arena, with explosive music and thrilling light shows. At sunset, a surprise fireworks display ignited the skyline. This was the moment I knew I found my calling!

MM: What kinds of parties do you typically arrange and who might attend and, generally, how do you select your guests?

JR: I love creating unique experiences. From our WaterPark Party in Las Vegas to LifeBall in Vienna, I strive to create one-of-a-kind experiences that cross borders and welcome new guests. During New York Pride this year, I welcomed the challenge to produce two concurrent and distinct parties on Friday: Matinee at Stage 48 and PentHaus at Copacabana.

Both were huge successes! I focus on creating experiences for all guests to be free to express themselves.

MM: What can guests typically expect from your events?

JR: My events are all about awe and extravagance, combining superior fantasy elements and theatrics. Expect high-production value and know you're going to leave WOWed! I love being a Special Event producer because I can look at every event as a blank canvas. Customer service is very important to me. Even at our biggest and most lavish events, the parties still retain a personal touch you would expect to find at a weekly party.

MM: Was it hard to get Matinee off the ground and how have you kept it afloat all these years?

JR: Absolutely, they say if you can do it in New York, you can do it anywhere...Well, it's been a long journey with ups and downs, but I'm so proud of how far we've come in this realm of entertainment.

In Las Vegas, we just celebrated our 7th-Year Anniversary with a choreographed firework show at the Newest WaterPark in the Country. It gives me chills to see so many smiling faces.

Matinee NYC Pride has now expanded into a three-day festival, and this has allowed me to reinvest in each event and continue to step up the production value. All the while, we've doubled down on our commitment to Pride with a Purpose, which achieved record numbers empowering people to donate their time and resources in exchange for free tickets our events. I just received an email from one of our participants, NY resident Brandon Gillis. These are the messages that really move me:

"Volunteering for the Trevor Project really was an amazing experience.

It helped me feel great about myself. It moved me. I'd love to come back and volunteer again and again. It's important to have opportunities like these, it's just so great to give back, and they really needed my help. I hope to hear about more opportunities!"

MM: Some of your parties are amazingly lavish, so which events do you consider to be your absolute most spectacular work?

JR: Producing the After-Party for LifeBall in Vienna this year was incredibly rewarding -- not only the grandeur but also for its impact in fighting AIDS. They have really made a difference, having raised over 22 million euros.

Charities, events, and future endeavors

MM: You do a lot of work with charities, so how do those opportunities arise?

JR: I love throwing parties, and I'm equally passionate about giving back. Giving back is among the most important and valuable things an entrepreneur can do, period. No matter how tough you think your life is, there’s always someone who has to face even tougher challenges. My parents instilled in me the importance of philanthropy when I was young: Giving back is where you give, and there's no tangible benefit; the biggest reward is the realization that you’ve made a positive change in someone’s life.

MM: You have worked a lot with AIDS charities, so is this cause especially close to your heart?

JR: Yes, it's an astounding fact that 54% of HIV-positive people do not know that they have been infected!

Early treatment dramatically reduces the risk of passing the virus. This was the theme of Life Ball this year which also helped to raise money for charity.

MM: If you could create any kind of party, in any location, with no roof on costs, what would be your "dream event"?

JR: That's a great question. How about a party on a spaceship orbiting the earth?! That would be a fun one to plan!

MM: What type of feedback have you gotten from attendees?

JR: During Pride, one guest messaged me that they wanted to propose to their partner on our LUVBOAT Cruise. I set everything up for the DJ to play Bruno Mars' Marry Me. It was such a magical moment. Another moment that made me say, 'I love my job!'

MM: What have been the best experiences you've had during your career in so far?

JR: I was incredibly proud to take over Universal Studios Orlando back in 2011. From the roller coasters to the massive stage, it was a magical experience. Our annual LUVBOAT Sunset Pride Cruise that sails into the fireworks each year is one of my favorite events. My mom trekked to New York to experience it with me this year... I was so happy.

MM: Are you currently planning any new events and would you like to discuss anything else?

JR: In November, I will be producing the official White Party Pool Party in Miami at the Raleigh Hotel. It will be my biggest event to-date in Miami, and all for an amazing cause: White Party Week has raised over $15 million for HIV/AIDS services for South Florida and the LGBT community. To hear more about my future events, follow me on Facebook and Instagram.