Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes | GigMasters: the wedding blog

Today I am a featured contributor on GigMasters Wedding Blog, titled Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes.  I have included the entire article below, my contribution is bold-faced for you to find easily.

Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes - Fun Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes

MARCH 31, 2014 | BY MARTA 6

Practical jokes at a wedding are risky business. Tension is high, nerves are strained and you never know what hornet’s nest you might be stepping in to. On the other hand, a really great joke can help calm tensions and make for a memorable day. In honor of April Fool’s Day we asked some wedding professionals to share their stories of wedding day practical jokes.

Wedding planner Stephanie Eckweiler of The Finishing Touch tells of a couple who won a wedding from a contest, the catch being that it had to be planned in eight weeks. The groom took advantage of this rushed time frame to pull a prank on the officiant. He told the officiant that he had been too rushed and he wasn’t sure if they should go through with the wedding.

Pranking your officiant about cold feet is one thing, but planner Tracie Domino tells of a bride who had herself “checked in” at an airport on Facebook with the message, “I’m out of here” right before the wedding. Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques had a client who went one step farther. The bride did not show up at the altar, only to arrive via helicopter a few minutes later. The prank was especially effective because the groom was well known as being the more adventurous of the two.

Domino tells of another couple who decided to shock guests by having “She’s Having My Baby” as their first dance song (the bride was not pregnant).

Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes - Fun Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Mystical Michael (DJ Michael Swerdloff) helped a couple prank one of their groomsmen. The man apparently had a fear of public speaking and Swerdloff was instructed to hand him the mic after the Best Man and Maid of Honor toasts. Once he realized that it was a joke, he took it well.

Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer of Pure Luxe Bride remembers during the height of the “icing” craze a bride hiding a Smirnoff Ice in her garter. When the groom went to remove the garter he was “iced” forcing him to down the drink at the moment.

Several pros mentioned a wedding trend gaining in popularity that is almost a prank itself, the surprise wedding. A couple invite guests to what they assume is a normal party only to have it turn out to be a wedding.

One of the keys to pulling of a successful wedding day prank is to have the help of a wedding planner or other professional. Not only will the professional be able to make sure things go smoothly, he or she can give you a gentle heads up if what you’re suggesting is a really bad idea.

What do you think? Would you take well to a prank at a wedding? What if you were the bride or groom?

via Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes | GigMasters: the wedding blog.

Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes - Fun Rhode Island Wedding DJ

What did you think about Wedding Day Pranks and Practical Jokes?

 

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about my Rhode Island Wedding DJ and Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

DJ Music Chart – Week of March 10

This weeks DJ Music Chart has Katy Perry on top again with “Dark Horse”. Lorde “Team” is right behind with number two, the rest of the top five Bastille “Pompeii”, Pharrell Williams “Happy” and Jason Derulo “Talk Dirty”.  Lorde is close to having back to back number one hits as the first New Zealander to top the DJ Music Charts.

DJ Music Chart - Week of March 10 - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Music Chart – Week of March 10

Download (PDF, 70KB)

 

DJ Music Chart – Week of March 10 Featuring Pharrel Williams “Happy”

Happy” is a song performed by American singer and producer Pharrell Williams, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album. It also serves as the lead single from Williams’ second studio album, G I R L (2014). The song was written and produced by Williams. It was released on November 21, 2013 alongside a long-form music video presented via the website 24hoursofhappy.com. The song was reissued on December 16, 2013 by Back Lot Music, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

“Happy” has been highly successful, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and DJ music charts in 19 other countries. It has sold one million copies in the United Kingdom, and has reached the summit on three separate occasions, both records in their own right.

DJ Music Chart - Week of March 10 - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Music Chart – Featuring Pharrel Williams “Happy” Music Video

To coincide with the single release, the website 24hoursofhappy.com was launched featuring a visual presentation of “Happy” advertised as being “the world’s first 24 hour music video”. The video consists of the four-minute song repeated with various people dancing around Los Angeles and miming along. Williams himself appears 24 times on the hour, and there are a number of celebrity cameos including Whit Hertford (1:04am), Kelly Osbourne (1:28am), Magic Johnson (5:36am), Urijah Faber (8:36am), Sérgio Mendes(10:32am) and Jimmy Kimmel (11:48am), Odd Future (1:48pm), Steve Carell (5:08pm), Jamie Foxx (5:28pm), Ana Ortiz (5:32pm), Miranda Cosgrove (5:40pm),JoJo (6:16pm). The minions from Despicable Me 2 make several appearances throughout the film, including one scene at 3:00am, in which Pharrell and the minions dance in a movie theatre that is playing the scene from Despicable Me 2 in which “Happy” appears. A lone, one eyed minion also appears dancing to song in its entirety at 4:40pm. The site allows users to navigate to various points in the 24-hour timeframe, including all 360 four-minute segments and each hourly segment with Pharrell. An official four-minute edit of the video was also released on YouTube. The video’s creative director was Yoann Lemoine.

The original video spawned many cover videos on YouTube in which people from different cities throughout the world dance along the song. Those videos are usually called “Pharrell Williams – Happy – We Are from [name of the city].

What a great video to feature for this week’s DJ Music Cart song! So full of energy and fun!

DJ Music Chart - Week of March 10 - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

What is your favorite song on this DJ Music Chart?

 

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about my Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – 2/25

This week’s DJ music chart again has Katy Perry “Dark Horse” as Number 1 song. The rest of the top five in order, Lorde “Team”, Ellie Goulding ” Burn”, One Direction “Story of My Life” and OneRepublic “Counting Stars”.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart  - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Music Cart – 2/25

Download (PDF, 70KB)

 

DJ Music Chart Featuring A Great Big World

A Great Big World is an American two-member musical group from New York made up of singers and songwriters Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino and signed to Epic Records. The group is best known for their singles “This Is The New Year” which was performed by the cast in an episode of Glee and reaching the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 Chart in May 2013 and by their international hit “Say Something” particularly after recording it as a duet collaboration with Christina Aguilera.

The group went on national tour and performed as the openers for Ingrid MichaelsonMatthew Morrison (Glee), and Five For Fighting. The group re-branded themselves in 2012 which is when they took the official name A Great Big World. They released a six-song EP after obtaining funding from the crowdsource funding website Kickstarter. In 2013, the group’s song This Is The New Year was performed by the cast in an episode of Glee. The song was also licensed to various television networks and was used as the theme song for MTV’s I Used to Be Fat as well as being featured on The Amazing RaceESPNOne Tree Hill, and Good Morning America.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart  - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Say Something” is a song by American pop duo A Great Big World, released as the lead-single from their debut album, Is There Anybody Out There? (2013). Originally being released as a solo single from band member Ian Axel‘s solo album This Is the New Year in 2011, the song was released as a single by the band on September 3, 2013, via Epic Records. Following its usage on American reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance, the track gained attention from singer Christina Aguilera, who wanted to be featured on the song. Quickly afterwards, Aguilera appeared on the re-recorded version of “Say Something”, released on November 4, 2013.

Composed by Ian Axel, Chad Vaccarino and Mike Campbell, “Say Something” is a downtempo indie pop piano ballad which talks about a breakup, where the lover is implored to make a statement that could potentially reverse plans, with the singers expressing humility, sadness and regret. In the single version with Aguilera, she plays a ghost of the lover to whom the song is addressed as she traces the steps of the lead vocal. The song was critically praised for its powerful lyrics, the emotional composition and Aguilera’s vocal delivery.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart  - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

“Say Something” did not sell significantly until the re-recorded version was available; it debuted at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after A Great Big World and Aguilera performed the song on The Voice, while eventually peaking at number 4. It also topped the Australian charts, becoming their first number-one single (and Aguilera’s third) and reached the top-ten in most countries. A music video was released on November 19, 2013. It features the trio singing as people “act out the heartbreaking lyrics.” To further promote “Say Something”, A Great Big World performed the track on The Voice and at the American Music Awards of 2013 with Aguilera.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart  - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

What is your favorite song on The DJ Music Cart this week?  Did you know members of A Great Big World met as New York University (NYU) students?

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about my Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

Rhode Island DJ 600th Blog Post!

Aside

I am so excited that today is my 600th blog post! As a Rhode Island DJ who recently moved to Providence, now serving the Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut region, after starting my DJ business in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area, this is fun for me. It took about three years to achieve this many blog posts but they exist. I was thinking about how many posts there are about music, DJ Music, music charts, DJ skills, DJ knowledge and of course, all the fun photos and experiences of weddings, parties and events I have been DJ. I have shared it all, good, bad or indifferent on these pages.  Tomorrow will be another post with new information, images and music!

Rhode Island DJ Music Library 45,000 Songs!

Tonight I passed 45,000 songs in my DJ Music Library! I remember when I crossed 25,000 songs in my DJ Music Library, I was amazed and thought it was the best thing ever. Today, I can’t imagine how I would be able to be survive as a Rhode Island DJ with anything less than what I have.

The downloads tonight were my weekly DJ Music Library that comes every Wednesday Night from PrimeCuts Music for professional DJs.

Rhode Island DJ Music Library 45,000 Songs! - Rhode Island Wedding DJ - PrimeCuts

PrimeCuts Music for Your DJ Music Library

For over 30 years, TM Studios has serviced thousands of radio stations with the music they needed to stay current. Over 10 years ago, PrimeCuts was developed to bring that same service to other qualified businesses, such as mobile DJs and entertainment venues. The premise is simple–service our thousands of subscribers with all the top new releases as fast as possible. That is why thousands of radio stations rely on TM Studios for their music needs and we hope you will too!

TM Studios’ HitDiscs® are the music service of choice among radio professionals…including American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest, every major radio network, thousands of radio stations worldwide, the Armed Forces Radio Network, and countless other businesses. You can enjoy the same superior quality and service that broadcasters have come to depend on from TM Studios.

Rhode Island DJ Music Library 45,000 Songs! - Rhode Island Wedding DJ - PrimeCuts

PrimeCuts was designed for busy DJs just like you who have better things to do than spending hours researching & acquiring all the latest music to keep current. PrimeCuts will save you time & money and deliver radio-edited versions of all the latest hits.

Rhode Island DJ Music Library 45,000 Songs! - Rhode Island Wedding DJ - PrimeCuts

PrimeCuts subscriptions include over 50 new songs a week, covering 25 genres of music, such as Top 40, Country, Adult Contemporary, Alternative, Dance, Latin and much more. PrimeCuts includes every song & every genre of music we release to radio & DJs in the US–it truly is the most comprehensive music service for DJs!

All subscribers automatically have access to download their releases from the PrimeCuts website. Subscribers can also choose to receive discs (either audio CDs or MP3 CDs) in addition to their downloads. The PrimeCuts downloads system couldn’t be easier to use. Most subscribers use our popular 1-click option to download the entire week of releases. Once it is downloaded, they can either choose to keep all tracks and put them on their DJ computer, or they can pick & choose which songs they keep. Depending on your internet speeds, you can be fully updated with your weekly music update in as little as 5 minutes! Imagine that--just 5 minutes a week to stay current with all the new releases!

All PrimeCuts subscribers also automatically receive FREE PrimeCuts+ access, which is an invaluable resource. PrimeCuts+ has over 7000 downloadable elements, the most popular of which are instrumentals & a capellas.

Rhode Island DJ Music Library 45,000 Songs! - Rhode Island Wedding DJ - PrimeCuts

45,000 DJ Music Library Songs!

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

Providence Ecstatic Dance DJ

Last Friday Night I was Providence Ecstatic Dance DJ for the first time and had a great time! I have been there once before and was looking forward to the opportunity to share my rhythm and beats with the Providence Ecstatic Dance Community.

Providence Ecstatic Dance DJ and Ecstatic Dance Guidelines

Ecstatic Dance Guidelines are taken from the Ecstatic Dance Community Page.  They are drawn up by the Ecstatic Dance Community as a whole and its origins in Hawaii and the Bay Area. I was first introduced to Ecstatic Dance in Oakland in 2009 and was blown away by the energy and excitement in the community.

1.  Move however you wish

2.  No talking on the dance floor

3.  Respect yourself and one another

Ecstatic Dance is a Drug & Alcohol Free Space

Please also refrain from photos, video, and shoes & scents.

 

Many people dance in their own space, and others share their space with another.
To engage in a dance with someone, use sensitivity:  Are they open to sharing their space with me?  Mirror movements, offer a hand, brush by, make eye contact, and see & feel how they respond…

Providence Ecstatic Dance DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

If you’d rather not dance with someone, or are ending a dance with someone,

simply thank them by placing your hands in prayer at your heart.

Namaste… Thank You.

“My Spirit Recognizes Yours”

Providence Ecstatic Dance DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Ecstatic Dance is

what you make of it…

a freeform movement space where:
dance expands
spirit activates
boundaries melt
boredom ceases
creativity breaks out
hope happens
beauty flows
communities collaborate
ritual is reinvented
harmony resonates
The beat deepens
as an electronic tapestry
of world rhythms
weave us together
as individuals
within a greater family.

For me, Ecstatic Dance reminds me of Barefoot Boogie in NYC where I was DJ and Coordinator of DJs and Teachers for several years till I moved here to Providence. The freestyle dance community is aligned with many incredible dancers and individuals.

Hope to see you there next month!

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about my Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

 

 

 

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – Week of 1/6

This week being the first week of the new year feels like an important DJ Music Chart, although in reality, it is just another week. Eminem Featuring Rihanna “Monster” is number one again this week. OneRepublic is number two again with “Counting Stars” with Piitbull, Avicii and Imagine Dragons filling out the top five.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – Week of 1/6

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Rhode Island DJ Music Chart Review – Eminem “Monster”

The Monster” is a song by American hip hop recording artist Eminem, featuring guest vocals from Barbadian singer Rihanna, taken from Eminem’s eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The song was written by Marshall Mathers, Jon Bellion and Bebe Rexha, with production handled by Frequency. “The Monster” marks the fourth collaboration between Eminem and Rihanna, following “Love the Way You Lie” and its sequel (2010), and “Numb” (2012). “The Monster” was released on October 29, 2013, as the fourth single from the album. The song’s lyrics present Rihanna coming to grips with her inner demons, while Eminem ponders the negative effects of his fame.

“The Monster” has successfully charted worldwide, topping the charts in twelve countries including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States’ Billboard Hot 100. It also marks Eminem’s first number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and has reached the top ten in Austria, Belgium, Italy and Spain. The song’s accompanying music video depicts Rihanna as Eminem’s therapist in a session, as previous videos from his career are referenced.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

The song was generally received well by critics. Writing for the IBTimes, Tarun Mazumdar reacted positively to it, praising its “memorable lines” and Rihanna’s “soulful” vocals and rating it 3.5 out of 5. Amy Sciaretto of PopCrush gave it the same rating and noted that “it’s not nearly as powerful or affective as the previous partnership, but it’s not supposed to be.” Allan Raible of ABC News also enjoyed the song, calling it a “a career highlight” and a “personal rhyme about his history.” About.com‘s Bill Lamb had similar thoughts, opining that Eminem’s introspection “lends the song engaging power” while also praising Rihanna’s vocals. Idolator‘s Mike Wass noted that while it did not meet the standard of the duo’s previous collaboration, the song was still “undeniably catchy and hook-filled enough for top 40 radio success.” Keith Murphy of Vibe praised the lyrical content of the song but otherwise found the single lacklustre. Jim Farber of The New York Daily News found it inferior to Eminem’s previous single, “Rap God” and too similar to “Love the Way You Lie“, but appreciated that “at least Em gets off some good lines in the new song.” XXL positioned it at number 19 on their list of the best songs of 2013. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Which DJ Music Chart for this week is your current favorite?

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – 2013 Year End Alternative

This years ending DJ Music Chart for the genre Alternative has Imagine Dragons on top with “Radioactive” in addition to “Demons” at number ten! The top five are rounded out with Capital Cities, Neighborhood, Muse and Of Monsters and Men. If you are looking for the DJ Music Chart for Top 40/ACH 2013 Year End Chart, I have that posted as well.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - 2013 Year End Alternative - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – 2013 Year End Alternative

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - 2013 Year End Alternative - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart Year End Review – Muse Madness

Madness” is a song by English alternative rock band Muse. It is the second track on the band’s sixth studio album, The 2nd Lawand is the second and lead single to be released from the album. It has spent 19 weeks on the summit of Billboard‘s Alternative chart, making it the longest running #1 on the chart, and beating out the previous record by Foo Fighters‘ “The Pretender“.

The song was released on 20 August 2012 after its premiere on BBC Radio 1 and NRJ. The music video premiered on 5 September 2012. The song earned a nomination in the Best Rock Song category at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

The band performed the song on Turner Broadcasting‘s promotions for the 2013 March Madness games on TBS and TNT.

“Madness” has been featured in several television programs including CSI: NY and Criminal Minds.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - 2013 Year End Alternative - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – Muse “Madness” Music Video

This video saw the second collaboration between the band and director Anthony Mandler, who previously directed the music video for “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)“. It was edited by Jacquelyn London. The director of photography was David Devlin. Devlin’s work on “Madness” was nominated for a 2012 Best Cinematography Award at Plus Camerimage. The video was filmed on the Red Line platform at Los Angeles Union Station. The two main characters are played by models Erin Wasson and Max Silberman.

The video begins with Wasson and Silberman sitting behind each other smoking cigarettes while authorities and dogs swarming outside their train attempt to stop a riot in full swing. Throughout the video, the camera flashes to the band playing outdoors at night, among many strobelights and psychedelic effects. Though the chronological order is unclear, Wasson and Silberman are then seen walking through and then wandering among the subway station, at first alone and then amid a violent riot (though it seems they are untouched by the violence occurring around them). The physicality of the models (Wasson occasionally standing above or walking away from Silberman; other times following him and reaching for him) could suggest a parallel to the subject matter of the song: the emotional phases of conflict in a relationship. Eventually, as the song builds to a climax with the lines I have finally realized (realized) / I need your love / I need your love, Wasson grabs Silberman forcefully by his collar and shakes him, screaming soundlessly. This again parallels the simultaneous emotional release and musical catharsis in the song, as well as the long-awaited progression and revelation in the lyrics as Bellamy at last sings of what he has realized. The characters then kiss and end up seated on the train, seemingly back to their original positions. This could also signify that this emotional exchange is repetitive.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - 2013 Year End Alternative - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

What song or songs did you think would be represented in the Rhode Island DJ Music Chart  2013 Year End Alternative Chart and which did you think were left out?

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - 2013 Year End Alternative - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about my Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – 2013 Year End

Every year all professional Music DJs wait for the year end DJ Music Chart to see which song was played on more radio stations than any other song. This year somewhat surprisingly is Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”! I know, you thought it was gong to be Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines”. The thing about this DJ Music Chart is the fact that it is what song is played the most during the whole year, not at any given time. Since “Locked Out of Heaven” was a hit during the beginning of 2013 and “Blurred Lines” was big during the summer, Bruno are had many more months for his song to be played on the radio than Robin Thicke.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart – 2013 Year End

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

I am so surprised that Swedish House Mafia “Don’t You Worry Child” is number 2. I do not think I had one request for it the whole year.

      Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia - Swedish House Mafia Feat. John Martin

 

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Don’t You Worry Child” is a song by Swedish electronic dance group Swedish House Mafia. It is the sixth and final single released before the group broke up, featuring vocals from Swedish singer John Martin. In the United States, it is the act’s second number-one single on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart, following “Save the World“. It received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording in the 2013 Grammy Awards, as did its predecessor, “Save the World”, the previous year. The song is written in the key of D major.

In addition to its success on both critical and commercial levels, “Don’t You Worry Child” is the first song by a Swedish act to break into the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100 since 1997 when Robyn‘s “Show Me Love” peaked at number 7. It remains the highest-peaking hit by a Swedish act since “The Sign” by Ace of Base topped the Hot 100 in 1994.

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

What song do you think you heard the most this year? Is there any song(s) on the list that you didn’t expect and some you though would be included?

Rhode Island DJ Music Chart - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Ask about my Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ

I found this really interesting and thoughtful article on DJ Tech Tools. I think you will appreciate it as well. It does not apply solely to full-time DJs, it is applicable to anyone wanting to follow their passion and natural gifts made to share with others. Mine happen to be fun Full-time DJ and Life Coach & Counselor.
Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ
The part that appeals to me most is the aspect of getting your mind right first, before making the leap. His take on having a true business plan and not thinking talent is enough to be a successful Full-time DJ. I think we are generally poor at assessing our own talent level; fear, ego and ambition can cloud reality easily. Also, many folks can be wanting an easy out from the 9-5 grind and think artistic and creative work like being a full-time DJ will be easier. My experience in promoting and marketing my full-time DJ business, often takes up more hours than working at a job over a year. I enjoy the work and it allows me to do what I do best and share my gifts with others, one of them is being a full-time DJ.
Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Stories: Quitting A Day Job To DJ Full Time

POSTED BY  ON AUGUST 1, 2013


Almost every DJ who has had a taste of success has considered it – the idea of dropping everything and trying to make a full-time go of it. Today we’ve got a great story by one of our contributing writers on how he made the decision to quit his job to DJ more. Learn some of the biggest obstacles involved in such a decision and how modeling a DJ career like a company helped him achieve success in today’s article.

LEAVING A JOB TO Full-Time DJ?

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

It all began with a simple question that no one could answer.

“DJing?” my then-girlfriend exclaimed, “Is that all you want to do?” I surprised her with a statement that any ambitious DJ might say: “I’ve decided to take this thing full time.” (This conversation came after gigging 4 times a week for a full year straight!)

Three years later I was dealing with a tech startup, pilates instructors, and a recovering cocaine addict with a severe anxiety attack. I met the woman of my dreams who thought I was a crazy Afro-Arab lost in the world of DC misfits, and a Goldman Sachs executive who I mentored, only later to know I was his mentee. In the end, I got my answer, but only after I found myself hesitating in front of a send button of an resignation email that took three hours to write.

And all because in October 2007 I asked myself this:

“How can I earn a living full time doing what I love? Can I really sustain a living by just DJing and producing records?”

Clearly I was love-drunk with music and the industry. Quite honestly, I didn’t want to sober up.

Here’s the cold truth: deciding you want to quit is usually just the first move in a long and cerebral chess match you’ll play with yourself. I’ve found that people’s inability to quit their current day jobs had little to do with the perceived riskiness of their new professions, their financial situation, or general economic conditions. The real barrier for most of us is not external. It’s our own psychology – we:

So how are the brave, smart, and savvy DJs able to break free? How those individuals were able to overcome the psychological barriers and finally quit with conviction? It’s all in the preparations and it starts with your psychology.

GET YOUR MIND RIGHT: QUIT FOR A BETTER LONG-TERM, NOT A QUICK FIX

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

The first step in making the leap is to recount your career goals and visualize a life-changing leap forward, not an incremental hop. Stop being a serial quitter, become focused on the long-term goodness of fit.

Why the emphasis on a long arc? If you’re looking to quit your job just so you can avoid that micromanaging boss or break free of a tedious daily task, you may be shooting too low. Quitting your job for the life of the party and for minor improvements could leave you equally dissatisfied a year in. To avoid this potential cognitive dissonance, take a longer term (5 years+) view of the mountain you actually want to climb. Map out what the journey might look like, and make sure you’ll value its rewards. You get an average of 10 chances to quit in your lifetime, and each career step should bring you significantly closer to your true passions.

For me, a producer at SiriusXM Radio working with music technology and plenty of DJs coming in and out of the building, I was miserable. I had a sexy, ego-stroking career that made for great bragging material. But I was being eaten alive by all the work, and drained by the politics of working in a large company.

I had an insight at the launch of a huge project that our team successfully completed despite impossible expectations and long hours. Everyone was gathered together and the division President said ‘Thanks to the team, we made this happen!’ All I could think was, ‘Here’s an empty recognition for a product I didn’t care about.

At the time I was gigging three times a week, producing 4 tracks/remixes per month and building a music production school in Washington DC. I had a challenging schedule.

FINDING INSPIRATION

I had an “a-ha!” moment after reading the quote: “Life is too short to be in a boring company”. I started researching local DJs and entrepreneurs who took a leap of faith towards their dreams. I thought, ‘These people are really enjoying themselves!’ In my job, I was having fun, but not experiencing real meaning. The people I researched had great fulfillment and continuously hungry to move forward in their lives, the opposite of what I saw in the stagnant corporate environment. I thought ‘If they can do it, maybe I can too!’.

I consumed hundreds of articles a week on entrepreneurship, financial planning and marketing. At home, I was building a project studio with high-end analog gear and producing like an automated assembly line. I found myriad resources on the science of innovation, success and business. I think I earned an MBA in two months by just reading. My mind was finally in the right place.

PREPARATION

 

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

“Good luck is a residue of preparation” – Jack Youngblood

I made a firm commitment to quit my day job in four years. Anxiety about losing a steady paycheck was horrifying and gigging three times a week wasn’t enough to pay the rent and bills; I needed to find another income stream.  I needed to land more local gigs, remix projects, improve my production skills and grow my fan base.

The easiest way to organize all of these activities was to visualize myself as a mini-startup. After reading so much about entrepreneurship and startups; operating like a company made sense. Here’s how I organized my activities:

  • Business Development: Getting Gigs + Remix Work: I dedicated two days out of the week (if I’m not gigging) on just networking, contacting labels and helping other DJs with their gigs. I constantly emailed indie House music labels. Didn’t get any response 8/10 times. Early on I knew everything was a sale and email wasn’t a good medium to build relationships. So I started traveling to NY and Miami to meet label execs face to face until I landed a remix project. The rest was history.
  • Product Development: Improving My Production Skills: I spent over 20 hours a week producing music. It’s the best way to get better.
  • Marketing + Promotion: Growing A Fan Base: I learned the art of inbound marketing (Blogging, SEO, website optimization, social media, building back links, lead nurturing, email campaigns and analytics). Tuesdays and Wednesdays were my dedicated days for any marketing activity. I compiled an email list of over 2500 people in three months and continuously engaged my list with funny and informative emails. Building genuine relationships with my fans was a rewarding experience and still is.
  • Financials: Paying Off Debt/Saving: Crunching numbers, making projections and understanding my spending habits was an amusing ordeal. Using mint.com, I analyzed my spending for the past twelve months and I knew what I needed to eliminate. You’d be surprised how much stuff we don’t need in our life. I had to pay off my car, credit cards and other loose ends in two years. I then saved 50% of my income for another two years. My goal was to have 18 months of cash (rent, bills, food and party monies) until I generated more income.
  • Revenue + Income: The idea of getting a part time job to generate another source of income was ludicrous. One of my many passions is mentoring, so I started teaching music production in one of DC’s popular clubs. The owner was generous enough to have me use his dancefloor as a classroom on Sundays from 4pm to 7pm. I rented a projector & screen and plugged to the club’s sound system. The class was a success! I moved out of the club and started hosting workshops around the city until I created DC’s first music production school.

CUTTING THE CORD

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Four years later, I had 16 months of cash in the bank, paid off my debt, grew my fanbase, acquired more students and was releasing three tracks per month on reputable labels. I just needed the right moment to draft a resignation letter. I was afraid for a long time to pull the plug. Finally I did and it was the most liberating feeling.

It hasn’t always been easy. I definitely made mistakes, especially around some financial decisions for myself. But I practice being gentle with myself when I make blunders. It’s a natural part of the learning curve. Success can bring challenges as well. I found out that 60% of my students wanted to learn music production just to get more DJ gigs, and not for the love of music. I had to re-align my strategy and founded Gigturn.

No two full-time DJ stories of making the transition are the same, which is what makes entrepreneurship so interesting! But my story certainly illustrates a couple of important points about deciding when to quit workin’ for the “man”. My initial goal was to DJ and produce full time, but now I found a bigger and more meaningful goal. I’ve learned flexibility and adaptability are important to keep the passion alive.

Making sure that there truly is interest in the market for your skills as a full-time DJ and producer before you cut the strings is vital. But perhaps even more importantly, listen to that little voice in your head and make a choice that’s in line with your long-term health and well-being. Starting a full-time DJ career that you’re passionate about can only do great things for your mental and physical health. Maybe you’ll be able to take a leave from your job to have some time to plan your full-time DJ career, or maybe you’ll need to start your transition part-time while still working your job full-time. No matter which path you take, there’s no better time than now to start your dream career!

Editor’s Note: Mohamed Kamal is an ex SiriusXM DJ/Producer turned entrepreneur from Washington DC. He is the Founder and CEO of Gigturn, a platform that connects DJs with fans and gigs.

Header photo credit: Marina Gondra and a bit of Photoshop.

Quitting Your Job to Be Full-Time DJ - Rhode Island Wedding DJ

What do you think of Mohamd Kamal’s experiences and insight? Do you have a profession leap you are ending inspiration to make, whether it be full-time DJ or chef or painter?

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