Saint James Shatzer is the ultimate in behind-the-scenes magic makers. Serving as the Production Manager for Evantine Design, Saint James has shared his artistic, hard-working spirit with clients for over 25 years. He’s responsible for implementing the creative, technical, and logistical elements for each event design. Including everything from venue assessment, product procurement, design installation, scenic fabrication, and art department management.
A gifted and indispensable event designer, Saint James is the ultimate, problem-solving, multi-tasker. In addition to his artful contributions, his thoughtful, hard-working demeanor ensures each Evantine Design event is a unique work of art. And, when he leaves the office, he somehow manages to find enough joie de vivre to sing in a local choir. Get to know a little more about Saint James here:
What is your current role/title/job at Evantine? Production Manager and I have worked here for over 25 years.
What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
Creativity, energy and hard work, as well as on-the-spot solutions. Not to mention singing while working.
Sounds like you love what you do. What three words would you like to hear your friends use when describing you?
Loyal, kind, fun.
What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients and/or co-workers?
It doesn’t fit / won’t stand up / isn’t what was asked for – now what? I take care of the “now what” on a regular basis.
Before you started working at Evantine Design what were you doing?
I worked as an Executive Chef for Gordon Keith Wagner, Caterer. It’s true. An Executive Chef.
That’s why you style food like you do. Professionally, what are you most passionate about?
Helping people celebrate their lives. Each moment counts and life should be enjoyed.
Personally, what are you most passionate about?
Singing, cooking, my friends. All of the above, often all happening at once.
When you’re not working we can find you…
Hanging with my friends, singing and/or listening to music, there’s always plenty of music! Or, indulging in my addiction to crossword puzzles.
Where did you grow up?
Rural western Pennsylvania (really rural – the closest village was two miles away. . . .) and I left to go to college and never looked back.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure, if you have one, of course.
Hysterically awful old movies, especially those with big, elaborate productions, major sets and wild costumes. If I can question the historical veracity of the sets and costumes, so much the better (Cleopatra, anyone?)
Why does that not surprise me? Do you ever get a chance to volunteer? and if so, for who?
Whenever I get a chance, I offer time and support to AIDS organizations, because it’s still important.
Totally agree, Saint James. Do you have a preferred or favorite kind of event to design?
Weddings, because they’re about new beginnings and both the participants as well as the guests, tend to be really excited about them. Joyful, in fact.
Have you won any awards, or been recognized for any industry excellence?
Believe it or not, for essay writing! And I was Valedictorian of my class at The Restaurant School.
Name something you can’t live without.
My friends. They’re really my family.
If you weren’t working at Evantine, what would you be doing?
Running an antique store.
If we peeked inside your desk drawer what would we find?
A lot of “just in case” stuff and a picture of my dad. In fact, there’s a few “just in case” drawers.
What is your favorite hangout spot in Philadelphia?
Tavern on Camac.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
That I was married for nineteen years, carried the banner for the only neighborhood group to march in Washington DC in support of the ERA in July, 1978, and can yodel (Western, not Alpine).
Gotta take a second to take all that in. A man full of surprises. Have to ask, what advice would you give to your 23-year-old self?
Look more, see more, enjoy as much as you can. Take care of yourself – you actually are going to live past 30. Oh, and take more chances.
Thanks so much Saint James!