Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When Should You Hire Your DJ FIRST ?

So, you've decided to have an event (Wedding, Birthday, Anniversary, Business Party, etc). You think you know where, you have ideas for food, you know which people you want there... Now what to do for entertainment?  The earlier you bring the Entertainment to the mix, the easier it will be to develop the Theme for your party. The capabilities of the person or group that is your entertainment will define the flow of the evening. You know people will eat. You know people will have cocktails and socialize. Then What?

     Most often, people plan nearly their entire evening and then remember... oh we need a Band or a DJ, or Magician, or something. This is totally backwards. Especially now that more and more people are having events not at a traditional Venue. Most Venues have a person that has great experience in managing the Flow of an evening. A good Entertainer has this capability as well. The right Entertainer will sit down and help you plan the Flow of your evening, and help you develop a theme that will forever be remembered by your guests.

     Included in my services is my expertise in event planning. I attained this experience from being totally sensitive to the attendees at many different kinds of events. One thing that I have found over the years is the importance of having a person in charge of mingling with the guests, constantly taking their "temperature". You will find that most entertainers and DJ's take this temperature from the Stage. However effective this is... nothing matches going out and talking one on one with your guests. Over the years I have carefully manicured and upgraded my equipment to make it easier to spend more time moving around the room and visit with your guests. I also move quickly, bouncing around the room, back and forth to my equipment, and back out with the crowd.

     We used to judge the "Temperature" of the crowd by whether or not they were dancing. Fact is, there are a lot of people out there that enjoy watching and listening. By playing the right music, you will get the people dancing that dance, thus giving the people that watch and listen, something to watch and listen to. Once in a while even the hard core dancers need a break or get thirsty. Now is the time for all the Girls to come up in a group and sing a couple of tunes, then maybe the guys, or maybe its time to play Minute to Win It. Oh, and now the Dancers are back, 4 or five songs later, its time for a slow dance... turns out the dance floor is packed with lovers... time for 2 slow dances in a row.

     If I am watching from the stage, I may even have an educated guess about what to do next. But, by talking with all of your guests earlier in the evening, I know that there are 5 women out there that will definitely be entertaining crooning out a couple of "girlie" tunes, and so n so's grandfather has this awesome rendition of Frank Sinatra, and your cousin's daughter who is only 8 sounds just like Taylor Swift. And then there was the advice from a couple of people that said "whatever you do, do not give the mcrophone to Uncle Charlie.. you'll never get it back", which might be ok, but in this case no one wants to hear from Uncle Charlie.

     Bring in the right DJ or Entertainer early in the planning stage, and these things can be put into the mix on purpose, leaving spontaneity for even more interesting developments. Your DJ should not just play music, he should be an MC. That is short for Master of Ceremonies. There are some bands out there that do this well, but if you have a band, you might still want a DJ to fill in the major MC skills and play during the bands breaks. Bands generally take 15 to 20 minute breaks every hour, unless previously arranged.

     To answer the title question, "When Should You Hire your DJ FIRST?"... I say always. Great Entertainment will get remembered long after the wonderful buffet has been digested.

     If you are planning an event this year, I am willing to do my initial consultation at no charge or obligation. This will help begin the initial planning, and find out if I am a match for your event. If you haven't thought of having an event this year.... think about it ... life is too short to miss great times with great friends!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Video and Light Show Upgrades!

Next time you are at one of my shows, you will notice that I have finally finished upgrading my system to a state of the art, multi-screen set up allowing me to perform with a complete Music Video Show. I finally have set up my DMX Lighting system so that it is controlled from the same computer that my music plays from. I now have the ability to Mix Videos, and control the lighting on the fly to match the mood of the particular song that is playing.

     I can also mix regular music and Karaoke in the same manner. You will see that it is really cool when all of a sudden while you are dancing, one of your friends comes up from the dance floor and sings the next song without skipping a beat on the dance floor. This makes for a total night of high energy and fun! This works best when singers give me a list of songs that I can mix in when the timing is just right for the mood. Other times when there are no performers on hand, you can come up and request a song and if it matches the mood at that moment, I can have it cued up and playing in as little as 5 seconds.

     I also have remote control capability from my Android, which frees me up even more to come around and get your requests and check the mood of the room, while staying at the "Helm' ready to crossfade to the next song right on cue!

     At some point, I hope to re-build one of my old computers to bring so you can search and request songs and send them right to my desktop as well. If you have not had the Music Video experience, you must check it out soon. Even the old classics are great to see... some of them you never knew were on video. I have videos from the 60's taken from Live Ed Sullivan Show, all the way to the current Club Mixes that you have danced to all over the country. Its time for something new... see you soon!