Never trust a skinny cook.
Well I’ve never been skinny a day in my life and my culinary skills consist of ordering at a drive-thru. But I’m an expert eater and I also know a thing or two about partying and let’s face it, when it comes to mixing (pun intended) the ingredients for a great party, we DJs are the cooks. But sometimes we get so busy cooking up amazing entertainment in our own proverbial kitchens that we forget how nice it is to actually eat.
If we never let our hair down I think we can lose perspective on what being a guest at a great party feels like. So, I would like to suggest that we have to fight for our right to party! Call it market research, field study, whatever. I mean, we owe it to our clients don’t we?
Seriously, we are in the business of creating fun, entertaining special events. It’s important to gain perspective from the other side of the DJ table once in a while. You can find out a lot as a party guest by noticing how you are being effected by things like the music programming, the lighting, the food, the service, anything. What kinds of things make you want to get on the dance floor? I can’t think of a better way to make your own gigs even better than to experience first hand what happens to your mood and energy in response to the environment created by whatever entertainment is creating it.
From where we sit (or stand for hour after endless hour) at a multitude of parties and special events week after week it’s easy to become jaded and assume we know what party guests are thinking and feeling. Yes, of course the traffic on the dance floor is an indicator of the popularity of a song. But that same song could be played at two different parties, one with a full dance floor and one empty. Why? The answer is there’s a million answers. But we can’t get a handle on many of those answers from just one perspective. I wouldn’t work with a personal trainer who never worked out. Okay, I probably wouldn’t ever work with a personal trainer, but you get the point.
When I’m meeting with wedding clients I always ask them if they have been to a wedding reception lately. If they have, we can start to discover things about their experience they liked or didn’t like and start exploring why some of those things happened. That helps us to either recreate or avoid those moments at their reception. DJs should be able to offer that same perspective – first hand experience of what worked and what didn’t – as a guest.
Everyone knows a little R&R is good for creativity and can relieve stress which can build up quickly gig after gig. But we work weekends. Its just what we do and is a part of most entertainers’ lives. Most of us have just come to accept that just like any other worker who works unusual shifts. But anyone can become resentful if they never get to party themselves. The last thing we want is to harbor resentment toward the very guests we’re entertaining. Sour grapes over people enjoying themselves is just too pitiful to contemplate. I know…cry me a river. Okay, the truth is no one is ever going to buy the fact that DJs don’t get to party. Most of us are party veterans, true party professionals whose penchant for revelry may have led us to the profession in the first place. And even when we’re working the reality is that its still a lot of fun. Our office is literally a dance floor. I’m not talking about digging ditches for a living. But if we’re working the way we’re supposed to be – especially at weddings which are high pressure gigs – we’re not drinking, eating or socializing. We’re working. You may even have to redefine your “weekend” and blow off some steam on a week day. Who says you can’t party on a Tuesday? That’s a how a group of fellow wedding vendors here in Cleveland started getting together once a month on what has become known as Super Taco Tuesday. Just a chance to party with colleagues who go through the same things we do. Its a great idea.