'Ho-Ho-Ho Means High Anxiety'  By Lauren Melching

   The art of party conversation is an elusive one. Cowed by the pressures of the holiday season, people apparently are flocking to "conversation coaches" and "life instructors" to school them in the art of party survival. For those who are looking for a more personal session, there is a comedy writer cum life coach, Kelley Brower. She offers private tutorials for $75, conducted either in a Starbucks or in the Union Square production office where she works part-time. So many of her clients have brought up the issues of holiday party anxiety, she said, that she's organizing a holiday party for them Sunday. "We're going to play games so it's not awkward," she said. 

   Ms. Brower is small-boned and adorable, with loud tortoise-shell glasses and the ability to empathize with anything a client says. "My clients are really the coolest people," she said. Her approach is more therapeutic than that of Ms. Lowndes - she relies on improvisation exercises mixed with pointers she has gleaned from exhaustive study of self-help books.  Before meeting with clients, she has them send her by e-mail their bios and self-diagnoses. At a consultation last week, she had a printout on the table, underlined in several colors. "I'm a Capricorn," she explained. "I love colored pens." With the request to focus on holiday parties, she interviewed a first-time client about everything from the state of the woman's apartment to the title of the book she was reading. Then there was the self-assessment, in which the client was supposed to rate, from 1 to 10, all the major aspects of her life, such as friends, creativity, or career. Ms. Brower was helpful when the client stalled on "relationship," swiftly declaring, "I'd say you're a 2."

    There were some improvisation games, with Ms. Brower playing the stranger at the party, and then she played the client, showing what responses and questions would have worked best.The grand finale was creating a colorful diagram under Ms. Brower's guidance, with the client's boxed-off name in the middle of the page and different-colored arrows attached to different points. Orange: Must empathize more. Purple: Comment on something visual. Black: Avoid retreating into your head.The session was cozier and more helpful than the course at the Learning Annex, but this client still wishes January would hurry up!


Artist: DELLA VALLE  Music Video:  "LEGS SO LONG IT'S CRAZY"      Director:  Kelley J. Brower         Video Add Date:   June 29, 2009

Hello, it’s Andy Gesner and the HIP Video Promo staff, here with a brand new clip from an irreverent Jerseyan with a powerful libido and a sense of humor to match. “Legs So Long It’s Crazy” has everything that makes Jay Della Valle and his band so irresistibly entertaining – big riffs, great beats and lyrics, sex appeal, and a dash of sophistication Directed by showbiz veteran Kelley Brower (whose credits include work on That ‘70s Show and Saturday Night Special), it is a quirky tale and the cinematic equivalent of a roundhouse night. Animated sequences blur into live action, the footage keeps erupting into flames, and everybody wears outrageous (and frequently hilarious) costumes. The band even exercises some rudimentary choreography –spurred on, of course, by the red batons of the dancing girls. We’re psyched to bring you this unapologetic, hot under the collar new clip.