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James Donahower

Emcee from New York City, NY - Will travel up to 500 miles

$750 - $5000 per event
There is no situation that New York City-based emcee/auctioneer James Donahower can't handle. Drop him into any event, onto any stage, and he will make the program work — and work better. He's funny, charming, well-spoken, quick-thinking, gracious, and professional. But clients like James most of all because his work never feels like a hokey put-on. Even when delivering prepared material, he seems to be speaking extemporaneously. He is in the moment, and that is exciting to watch.

When he's not leaping offstage to engage a live event audience, James is a full-time actor/musician/writer. He can currently be seen in the WB/Amazon Studios film adaptation of Donna Tartt's “The Goldfinch”, starring Nicole Kidman, and in the upcoming Apple TV series, “Ray James.” Later this year, he will emcee the star-studded closing night awards ceremony at the 2020 Chelsea Film Festival in midtown.

A songwriter at heart, James cut his teeth in the mid-90s punk rock world as the leader of dirty pictures, a chart-topping Czech/American act that earned a Best of MTV Europe award in 1993. In 2015, he won the American Songwriting Award for Best Jazz Song. He wrote and starred in the absurdist musical comedy “Enlargement” – one of the top 5 best-selling shows at the 2018 International Fringe Festival and named “Best of Fringe” by (James frequently includes music in his onstage presentations.)

Fun fact: James has produced almost as many shows as he has emcee'd, so he knows live events from the ballroom carpet, up.

Here's are some nice things people have said about James & his work:

"We called on James to handle both a serious, international business audience and a more lighthearted and fun gala event. James masterfully bridged the two worlds. He brought exactly the right amount of gravitas to the keynote remarks and introduction to the chairman. And for the evening gala, James infused personality, warmth and humor into the proceedings, creating just the right atmosphere for 1000+ guests. James delivered for both segments with great aplomb and, as a result, Canon was thrilled. -J.B. Miller, Found and CEO Empire Entertainment (NYC)

“Though we provided you little, if anything at all, in the way of informational materials to allow you to prep for the show, your quick wit, convivial manner, good taste, and powerful presence helped make the fundraiser a slam-bang success for our little org.” -Jeff Hobbs, New York Times best-selling author and Board Member of The African Rainforest Conservancy

“James is a pro. He understands that he's just one element of a show with many moving parts. So he's a treat for the audience, but also for the show's producers.” – Michelle Byrd, Executive Director of the Producers Guild of America

“You are so funny up there that I almost forget how effective you are! But when we do that tally at the end of the night, the bottom line says we must be thankful to you for much more than your grace and eloquence at the podium.” - Candace Jarkow, Maverick Events

“He's like an American Johnny Rotten putting on a one-man performance of The Pirates of Penzance.“ -Jim Alexander, Melody Maker (United Kingdom)

“I had essentially fallen asleep. Then this guy came on stage.”
-Eric Grossman, The New York Press

Clean Comedian
Comedy Singer
Baby Showers
Bar Mitzvahs
Happy Hours
Bachelorette Parties
Bat Mitzvahs
Bridal Showers
Bachelor Parties
Fund Raisers
Halloween Parties
Birthday Parties (Kids)
Birthday Parties (Adult)
First Communions
Luau Parties
Wedding Ceremonies
Wedding Receptions
Engagement Parties
Family Reunions
Rehearsal Dinners
Please note James Donahower will also travel to Long Island City, Brooklyn, North Bergen, Bronx, West New York, Union City, Weehawken, Flushing, Fairview, Edgewater, Hoboken, Jersey City, Ridgefield, Cliffside Park, Palisades Park, Fort Lee, Secaucus, Ridgefield Park, Leonia, Englewood Cliffs.
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