Monday, September 13, 2010

What do you do when someone pulls a fire alarm at your wedding?!

DJ Kenny Casanova is “Burning Down The House!”

True story… Last weekend, I had three weddings; a Mexican Salsa Reception in Saratoga at Tiznow, a Pakistani Wedding at Best Western in Albany, and a Six Flags Lodge Reception in Lake George, NY. There is a first time for everything.

At the Six Flags wedding reception, the guests settled into their seats for dinner right after the cocktail hour and the intro. They were just about to enjoy their salads, when all of the sudden a loud siren sounded with a blinking white strobe light from wall.

Whhhhoooop! Whhhhoooop! Whhhhoooop! A recorded voice followed the shrill alarm. “The fire alarm device has been activated. All guests, please evacuate the building.”

At this point, the wedding coordinator for the hotel ran up to me to inform me that all was okay. “A five-year-old boy pulled an alarm.” He said loudly over the siren. “It’s a false alarm. However, the alarm is going to have to run its course.”

“Ugh,” I replied. “How long is that going to take?”

“I am not sure,” he replied. “Maybe fifteen minutes? Can you make an announcement and ask the guests to stay seated?”

“Okay. I will try.” I said. For one, one of the piercing alarms was right behind me over my head, and for two, there were others around the room annoying the attendees.

I grabbed the mic and people who were gathering objects looked over at me. “Ladies and gentlemen, do not worry it is a false alarm,” I said. “The cake is not going to melt and my equipment is not going to burn, so let’s try and make the most of it.”

I quickly browsed through my computer and found “Burning Down The House” by The Talking Heads and pulled it up. A few faces started to laugh.

Now, mind you, you usually do not want to play loud dance music while people are eating, but I needed a way to entertain and cover up the annoying backdrop and the salads weren’t cutting it. The talking heads was a good start. The next step was to get the people on the dance floor to make them forget that a peaceful first course probably wasn’t going to happen for the moment.

Shift gears to a hot set… “Disco Inferno” by The Tramps, “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Burning Love” from Elvis, and Buster Poindexter’s “Hot, Hot, Hot.”

The guests had a blast. Somewhere in the middle of the last song, the alarm ended and everyone went back to their meals.

Later on, the manager said, “Kenny Casanova saves the day!”

Also, the Lodge was really cool about everything. They gave the guests a free hour of open bar, that they wouldn’t have had otherwise, as well as an extra half hour of hall time at the end of the night.

In my opinion, it made the night better and a fun memory.

Good times.

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