Paid-to-party girls in Singapore (Part 1)

Business is raging at popular night clubs like Helipad, Mink, Playhouse, Zirca and Filter, thanks largely to a …

Young, beautiful and confident, life is a party for these young women. Aged between 18-23, they breeze into popular clubs after beating the queues, and once they're in, drinks are on the house - paid for by the club and the men they hang around. Thanks to the party ambassadors who bring them in, they have easy access to VIP rooms, down only the most expensive alcohol, and are constantly surrounded by wealthy, good-looking people.

Yahoo! Singapore finds out what goes on behind the drinking and hardcore socialising these party girls are made to do. In the first part of the two-part series, we speak to Dana, a party-girl who turned party ambassador. After seeing life on both sides, she shares her story with us.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PARTY-GIRL

Business is raging at popular night clubs like Helipad, Mink, Playhouse, Zirca and Filter, thanks largely to a bevy of ready-to-party girls, who in turn get the men to follow.

Dana Lim, a 20-year-old polytechnic graduate, has been there and done that.

To some, being a party-girl is a waste of time and tiring, especially when the time comes for one to mingle with other partygoers in the VIP area but to Dana, who started being a party-girl when she turned 18, being one was all  about having a fun night and letting your hair down.

"You're away from the crowd and you feel superior from the rest of the other partygoers because you don't have to pay a single cent to have a good time in the club. Not forgetting that we are always brought to the VIP corner where they serve us free flow of alcohol," said the edgy lass, who parties about three times a week.

Lim, who became a party-girl after party ambassadors approached her on social media sites like Facebook, was sold on the idea of VIP access and free flow of alcohol, not to mention the ability to get her friends on the guest list.

Party ambassadors are hired by clubs to "invite" good-looking people to pump up the vibe at the clubs.

"This used to be a one-off thing for me and initially I thought I would try it out only once but turns out I rely on being a party-girl (or a party ambassador) to get into clubs since it's free entry for me. I can save money that way whenever I party," admits Dana.

The hardcore partying and drinking can quickly spiral into a life of easy men, drinks and drugs but Dana said she knew her limits.

"You cannot avoid mixing with another VIP guests who are fond of downing bottles of hard liquor but it's a good thing that I'm always surrounded by a group of friends who will protect me so I don't get too wasted this way," she said.

"You can get as high as you want but there are limits and you must still be able to know your surroundings fully well, especially when you're a party-girl — you have your own reputation to maintain and you don't want to regret anything the next day."

"The job isn't dangerous; if you have self-discipline, have no intentions of getting laid at the end of the night and know what you're getting yourself into then it's fine but I guess it differs for everyone," she added.

Dana Lim, 20, recounts life of being a party-girl and a party ambassador. (Photo courtesy of Dana)

There is also no strict dress code for these party-girls when they're out on the night but flip flops, t-shirts and shorts are a definite no-no.

"You definitely can't waltz into a club wearing your jogging attire or your home clothes. I usually wear what's comfortable and appropriate for the event, like a black dress with heels. Makeup does wonders too, slap on some and I am good to go," explains Dana.

Party girls are nothing new. In the clubbing industry, it's well-known that where the girls go, the men will follow.

But now these party girls are upping the ante. Easy VIP access and free flow of alcohol are no longer enough. They want cold, hard cash to the tune of about S$150 per night.

"It's not an act of greed and I am happy with the current perks but who would not want to earn a little extra cash? Unless things go overboard and I start feeling uncomfortable with having to appease people more than usual then I would stop."

But she's grateful she's not required to entertain or chat up men because all she has to do is "entertain (her) friends" and "that is good enough for a club because (she) still brings in the business".

With the opening of more clubs in Singapore, it's no surprise party-girls are a good marketing ploy for these new clubs.

"It's becoming a monkey-see, monkey-do thing — clubs will do whatever it takes to make the best out of party nights, thus the desperate calls for ambassadors, who bring in the party girls. New clubs will need a strong marketing and advertising strategy to compete with other clubs so this is one good way," Dana explains.

BEING A CLUB AMBASSADOR

How is it different from being a party ambassador?

According to Dana, who's been a party ambassador at clubs in the central part of Singapore, she gets paid by clubs to persuade people to party (i.e. the party-girls).

The perks? You climb up the social ladder, your social network expands quickly and booze and club privileges are endless.

But there's a catch — although there is no hard quota to meet, you've got to have a track record of being a crowd-puller. In Dana's case, she brings in about 10 or more clubbers each time.

"Being a party ambassador can either be a pain or probably the time of your life. The benefits are awesome and the same as being a party-girl but it is not something you want to do for the rest of your teenage years because as party ambassadors, we are obligated to party at least twice a week. We also have to be on the ball at all times and of course, we're the ones that bring in the crowd so the pressure is there."

But she added that although it can be a quite a chore trying to persuade people to party at the respective clubs, social media and having plenty of friends help.

Dana promotes events through word of mouth, communicating with them via text the night before (or the day itself), and releases a promotion on Twitter or Facebook when the clubbing night is approaching.

But these were not easy tasks when she first started out.

"My initial thought was to be different from the rest of ambassadors who excessively spam their personal Facebook timeline and Twitter accounts just to promote the clubs. I'm not an ardent fan of such spam so I certainly didn't want to do that. I passed on promotional messages to friends who in turn told other friends and that helped me spread the word."

"Of course, I promoted the events to strangers too. It really made me open up more to people I didn't know because my circle of friends was not enough,"said Dana.

But she admits that after a while, the constant clubbing and nightlife can become tedious.

"It becomes less of a party for us but rather an endurance test of how long we can pretend to be absolutely interested in partying and going for these social events. But being able to bring in a big group of people gives me sort of an ego boost, the more the better," she added.

In the second part find out who these party ambassadors are, what they do and how much they get paid to drive up hype for clubs.

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