Many Ybor nightclubbers may not like Kevin Christoffers, and he knows it.
“I’m one of those annoying guys you see on the street begging you to come into the club,” he said.
He is a promoter for Santoro’s Amphitheater Entertainment Complex, one of Ybor City’s top nightclubs. Like many students working in the nightlife, he has his hands full with both schoolwork and working in a business that never sleeps.
Christoffers, a senior majoring in international studies, has been working at the Amphitheater for only two weeks, but he’s not new to the nightclub scene. Before working there, Christoffers worked at other well-known Ybor nightclubs such as Lotus and Prana. He worked at Prana through Image Nation marketing, a promotions company.
He described his work atmosphere as fun and fast paced. He works at the Amphitheater on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and his shifts generally run from 10 at night until 2 the following morning. Christoffers said his job entails calling and e-mailing people to let them know of any big events hosted by the club. Despite the long hours, Christoffers finds the job stimulating.
“(I love) the interaction with other people,” he said. “I get there at 9:15, have a shot, maybe two. Come 10 o’clock, I go out on 7th Avenue, bust my butt for four hours, come inside and hang out with the people I work with and friends,” he said.
Ybor is notorious for its highly charged nightlife, a place where people go to enjoy a night out with friends. The city is also the setting of outrageous tales, of which Christoffers has many to tell.
He said that so much has gone on in the past year alone that it is hard to put his finger on one specific incident. He has witnessed everything from people getting Tasered by the police to drunken people passing out while walking down the street.
“Just last weekend I saw a girl actually fall asleep on the sidewalk next to a building. That’s how drunk she was,” he said.
Christoffers said he thinks Ybor is OK for fun and good times, but doubts the place is fitting when searching for a significant other.
“It’s not a place where I go looking for a girlfriend though, because people put on a front once they get to Ybor,” he said.
While working in Ybor, Christoffers said he has met big-time celebrities, such as New York Yankees baseball player Derek Jeter, singer Lance Bass from *NSYNC and former basketball star Michael Jordan.
“I don’t get starstruck too easily, but when Jordan walks in, it’s hard not to think, ‘Oh my God, that’s His Airness.'”
Christoffers has not always had just one job. While working at Prana, he got another job as a server for Bennigan’s. During that time, he worked seven days a week, which was rough on him.
“I’d be happy to have four or five hours of sleep,” he said.
He said, however, that working seven days a week is doable.
“I know of plenty of other people who are doing it and getting by,” he said.Christoffers said students who work late-night jobs that range from bartending in a restaurant to working in Ybor are all hardworking people.
“(They) do it because it fits their schedule the best,” he said.
Like many college students today, Christoffers works because he needs the money.
“I don’t have mommy and daddy paying my way through college,” he said.
After college, Christoffers has big plans for himself.
“I want to open up my own business when I graduate or work in public relations for NFL Europe.”