Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DJ RULE #1: Timing is Everything

Being booked a lot and very busy, means I often have to turn work away. I hate it, but it happens sometimes. Some people have asked me what to look for in a DJ. I always tell them that they need someone who knows about timing. Timing is everything. There is a time and place for everything.

DJ RULE #1: Stealing The Spotlight is something your DJ should never do. If they refuse to work with you on your requests, this is a clear red flag that they may think they are a superstar. However, on your wedding day, YOU are the superstar, and they should be willing to work with you at all costs to make the spotlight shine on you.

Many of you know that I have a backgorund as a ring announcer in professional wrestling. I also have had my hand in the pro wrestler/personality mix. I did both. Wrestling is all about timing and so is song selection and mic work when you DJ.

In pro wrestling, you have to work well with your opponent in order to look good, and also make them look good. There is a whole philosophy in old school professional wrestling, back in the earlier days up to the 80’s or so, where you did not want to “steal heat.” Stealing the heat would mean to take the spotlight off of the person that really should be shining at a particular moment, for your own personal gain. I guess I have applied this to my disc jockey philosophy and it seems to work.

Acting as a DJ, it is easy to “steal the heat,” or steal the spotlight at any given time. We have all probably been to a wedding where the DJ talks way too much, to the point of nausea. A good DJ should be informative and funny, but also professional and only offer humor or wit in moderation. Unfortunately, sometimes this is something you either have or you don’t, much like most of the successful wrestlers out there. It is hard to teach charisma and likeability.

I believe that on the bride & groom’s special day, the DJ has to think about timing. The disc jockey and the other wedding professionals need to let the new husband and wife shine and do everything in their power to make this happen. This means on the microphone, in mid-activity, and also behind the scenes.

A good professional wrestler or pro wrestling personality, has to know how to make others look good at, often at their own expense, for the good of the show. John Cena, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin would be nothing today, if they didn’t at some point try and make their opponents look good. The performance is better when both sides have decent input. If a superstar wrestler were to run in and destroy each opponent taking no offence in return, people would get bored very soon.

I think what has made me popular as a wedding DJ in Troy, NY is that I am a personality, but I don’t hog the microphone or scream for the guests to look at me every moment for some ridiculous unwanted commentary or shtick. I try my hardest to make everyone have fun and push no agenda. Many DJ’s think that since they are a paid entertainer, it is their show and think the spotlight should always be on them. However, this is incorrect, especially so at a wedding.

I have been told by many people in my life that I can be a very funny guy, at times. Therefore, I chime in the microphone when I can and add some good spice to the event. However, I never ever overkill and I know my role. While it is true, I am paid to entertain, I focus on entertaining by providing the appropriate music at the appropriate time and read the crowd to provide the music that they like, which ninety percent of the time, I am playing songs that I would never listen to on my own.

It is all about reading the crowd and playing stuff at the right time.

You can reach kenny at TheDJservice.com


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