Circus Freaks Welcome Amanda Schendel, 25, says she and her college buddy Heather Adams, 23, throw "sweaty, dark, raging parties that last far beyond 2 a.m." at their underground party palace in Banker's Hill.
"We have an 800-square-foot basement we like to describe as a venue," says Adams. For eight months, they've staged themed shows (African safari, Christmas on Halloween, office party) with bands, beer, and DJs. Bands such as ¡Society! and the Blackout Party have played, and DJ Kipper and DJ Jose have appeared.
"So far we've never had the cops there," says Adams.
"We're in a glorious spot, between a community garden and a construction site," says Schendel. "We still have our core group of college friends, and we've expanded on that."
The two Point Loma Nazarene grads discovered their ability to organize successful parties while attending their conservative college by the sea.
"There was not a lot of social interaction," says Schendel. "We discovered our own society of people that would go to every party we'd throw at garages or basements. They would know all the details about how to dress up. We had a lot of friends in bands and local promoters and bartenders we knew."
They say admission is cheaper for guests who dress according to theme.
"Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects and the Viewmasters are playing...June 2. That theme will be circus freaks. We want a bearded lady, an elephant, and if we could get midgets, that would be nice. We're a little leery of clowns." Admission will be $3 to $5. (For info, see www.myspace.com/sandiegohouseparties).
Heather works in video production and Amanda is a software copywriter. They've yet to make money on the parties.
"Two weeks ago we were driving home from Las Vegas," says Schendel. "We were talking about how much we hate our jobs and what if we could just put on parties? In three or four years we want to open our own venue.... Although it's a big city, San Diego has a very small-town feel to it. People want to come together for a good time with no pretensions. In L.A., it seems like local music is driven more by money and the coolness factor than by the music."