Note: The following blog entry was originally posted on 14 January 2015.
It’s nearly the middle of January and we’re FIRMLY situated in what’s known in the wedding industry as off-season.
Off-season? What does that mean?
Well, it’s pretty simple, really. Off-season is that time of year where everyone in the wedding industry isn’t being inundated with wedding events. Generally speaking, wedding season ends around the first week of November and lasts through until about the first weekend after Easter. Essentially, while people are still getting married during that time of the year, it’s not as crazy-busy as it is during the warmer months.
Okay, Steve. But what does that have to do with the actual title of this blog entry?
Oh, yeah. That. I’m actually getting to that in just a few moments. Bear with me.
You see, off-season means that there aren’t quite as many wedding receptions to go around. In its place (not as numerous) are the holiday parties. This being January, I’ve often found that I can be as busy doing holiday parties as I’d be doing wedding receptions during the off-season. At the end of a recent event, one of the guests made the following comment (paraphrased):
You are not a DJ, you are an entertainer.
Earlier in the evening, this same guest made it a point to tell me that I was the best MC that he’d ever seen (he also emphasized that he’d been doing videography of some sort for the past 30 years or so).
My knee-jerk reaction to the proclamation that I’m not a DJ was to wonder just what the hell this man was talking about. I’ve always referred to myself as a DJ, despite pointing out that I’m not JUST a DJ. I identify more with being a DJ because that’s where my passion lies in what I’m doing. So, with that conversation firmly in mind, I put it to the Facebook page of my fledgling DJ service (and my own Facebook newsfeed) to get the reactions of some of my friends and colleagues. Here are a few responses.
To me a DJ stands behind his equipment and puts music on for others to listen to. You put music on and you get out on the floor. And get everyone involved! You teach those who don’t know a dance how to do it, you make people enjoy themselves and have a great time-whether they’re watching you dance and interact or whether they’re out there dancing with you.
This one’s from a fellow DJ that I’ve worked alongside.
DJs “spin” music to satisfy their own desires and preferences, entertainers use music as a tool to create a party atmosphere and to satisfy the desires of others to have fun.
This next one is from another fellow DJ (in semi-retirement) who I worked alongside during the first few years of being a wedding DJ.
A dj…….spins tunes. An entertainer, spins tunes and is fun to watch at his work, gets people wound up and makes them more than glad that they had such a great person working at their event.
One of the reasons that I created this blog (then re-created it as a stand-alone) was because I wanted potential clients to get a bit of an understanding of what it is they’re potentially getting as they search for the entertainment for their wedding reception. The idea is for this blog to be informative. If the information found here makes someone comfortable enough to take a chance on allowing me to be their entertainer, so be it. Clearly, since this is my blog, it speaks a LOT about my own personal preferences and experiences; touches on what I bring to the plate when I’m working an event.
As alluded to before, I’ve mentioned in other blog entries that I am more than JUST a DJ. I’ve all but married couples during their ceremonies (I have lost count of how many ceremonies I’ve been a part of from a musical standpoint). I’ve essentially been the equivalent of a day-of wedding coordinator for many of the events I’ve worked. I’ve held doors open for the guests (often being mistaken for being security in the process). I’ve been called upon to bless the meal on more than one occasion. I’ve even served a drink or two and I may have had a hand in helping serve meals along with bussing and breaking down tables. I’ve always believed that I’m good at what I do and the feedback placed on The Knot and Wedding Wire and sent in via email, via postcard/letter and through emails only goes to show me that I’m doing something good.
I’ll always refer to myself as a DJ. While it wasn’t necessarily my love of music that turned me on to this profession, being a DJ is a key element to what I do. It’s the other elements that I personally don’t consider unless I’m engaging in a similar discourse to this one that I underestimate. How much I engage the guests, often before I actively play one note of music besides cocktail or dinner music. How much fun I have dancing behind my table or actually getting out onto the dance floor with everyone else. It’s the conversations with the fathers as they wait to dance with their daughters; the moms waiting to dance with their sons, the conversations with other vendors in an effort to make sure that EVERYTHING goes as smoothly as possible for that particular client and their guests on that special night.
DJ? MC? Dance Instructor? Entertainer?
That answer is simpler than I initially thought. All of the above, as needed. How’s THAT for multitasking?