Xenii partygoers must be paying members or guests of paying members. It's why the entrance to Xenii parties often ends up being a somber meeting point for a collection of would-be revelers.
Xenii says the locations of parties are transmitted only to members. But by the time the parties get going around 10 p.m. each Saturday, word has usually leaked to both would-be crashers as well as the paparazzi, some of whom lurk outside well into the morning, waiting to catch a glimpse of the likes of Lindsay Lohan, who attended an Xenii party once with her mother.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday April 28, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Roving party: A story in Wednesday's Section A about the elite social society called Xenii incorrectly identified Jim Lefkowitz as an agent with Creative Artists Agency. He is a former CAA agent.
"They said I'm not on the list," a frustrated and shivering Sara Digiovanni said on her cellphone while waiting in a hallway that led into the Sunset-Gower Studios around midnight on a recent Saturday. Her friend, a member, had failed to give her name and another friend's name to the door people, Digiovanni said.
"I've been here a million times," Digiovanni, a Sherman Oaks resident, told a reporter. "We usually come at around 3 in the morning after going to Cabana [Club]."
Christian Anderson, a doorman and, to no one's astonishment, an actor during the day, said his job is strict and particularly difficult when he has to turn away friends or attractive women, most of whom are used to gliding past bouncers and doormen with ease.
"People will say anything to get in," Anderson said. "I get stuff like, 'I was Lindsay Lohan's co-star' and 'I'm a supermodel.' Someone said, 'I was Heath Ledger's body double.' "
Once someone has demonstrated that they exist on Anderson's or one of his colleagues' clipboards, men and women are sent to separate lines that lead to Xenii employees behind computer terminals. Identification is checked and the member and guests are given wristbands, whose different colors grant various degrees of access, such as to the VIP area.
Women coming for the first time are assigned a number in the database. They are photographed, often without their knowledge, when waiting in line. Perry says they like to keep track of who comes in.
Xenii has "not just the prettiest, but the highest-quality women," Perry said matter-of-factly.
The bulk of Xenii's roster consists of male professionals -- lawyers, doctors, agents, bankers, Realtors and entrepreneurs, among others -- who want a taste of the Hollywood lifestyle as seen on "Entourage," the HBO show about a young movie star and his friends gallivanting through L.A.
"When you watch 'Entourage,' you see all the things they do, and Xenii is it," said Michael Friedman, a 38-year-old anesthesiologist and Xenii member at a recent party who shared bottle service at a table with half a dozen women. "I tell my friends back East that it's just like the show here, and they still don't believe me."
Stars such as Jamie Foxx and the recent Oscar-winning group Three 6 Mafia have hopped on stage unannounced to sing and rap. Paris Hilton lip-synched her soon-to-be released single and members often brush shoulders with models and professional athletes such as Cuttino Mobley of the Clippers.
Almost all the women at Xenii events are guests of members or guests of Perry. Quotas are decided upon minute-by-minute depending on how the event is going.
At two recent events, towering soundstages the size of airplane hangars were transformed into nightclubs outfitted with sofas, bars, coat checks, strobe lights and a DJ booth from which a melange of rock, hip-hop, pop, house and perhaps a little too much Michael Jackson emanated.
Men dressed almost uniformly in blazers and jeans. Women not in knee-high boots braved the cold in short skirts, low-cut tops and slinky high heels. Mortgage banker Steve Pirt, 28, said he pays $1,000 a month to be a member. One of his top Xenii highlights was talking to actress Jessica Alba, whom he described as "friendly" after he encouraged her to venture onto the dance floor. "Not to be an elitist, but let's be honest, I want to be with the same demographic," Pirt said. He was invited to one of Xenii's earliest parties by a promoter friend and was impressed to see that drinks were on the house and that he was allowed to bring 12 friends.
Oh, and he saw cast members from "Entourage."
"Everyone wants to do something more than just go to the same venues and just drink" and pick up women, said Pirt, who was neatly dressed in a crisp white shirt and a dark blazer at the party. "They've created a country club in a nightclub setting."
Earlier that night, Pirt was puffing a cigar with a guest, a childhood friend from Sacramento and former Marine who could not believe his luck when he entered the soundstage filled with women.
But Pirt insisted that Xenii is not just about partying. At a meeting where select members get together with Perry to discuss ways to improve Xenii, Pirt said he met a future client who borrowed through his firm.