What are the Top Responsibilities of the DJ

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I’ve been a DJ and Master of Ceremonies here in Houston for over 10 Years now.  I started young and learned pretty much everything I needed to know about the DJ Profession on my own.

I remember the first Social Event that I did clearly.

It was a Sweet Fifteen, or a Quinceanera, and I imagine it was also the first time the parents of the Quinceanera had ever celebrated a Quinceanera of their own (as is often the case).

I was new to the business and they were new to the experience. I remember there being times that I was thinking to myself, wow I wonder who’s responsibility was it to make sure that didn’t come out the way it did; you know, to make it flow better or come out better. It certainly wasn’t my responsibility, I’m the DJ… Right? I mean I had all the music they asked for and they provided me with a CD for all their dances. Why is it taking soo long to do the toast? What time will the cake needs to be cut? What do you mean I have to do announcements, I’m Just the DJ I’m not supposed to do that!! Oh, you wanted the radio edited version? Oops…

A few of these things you learn by trial and error, which is scary, especially since most people spend a whole lot of money on an event.

The things that you don’t learn by trial and error, you have to learn by taking the role of leadership and being the person RESPONSIBLE for making sure that everything comes out flawless.

See, MOST DJ’s assume that their sole responsibility is to make sure that they have the correct music and make the correct announcements at the right times…

Are they right in assuming that?

I know a lot of my competition, or who try to classify themselves as my direct competition, are reading this and thinking, yes… that’s all our responsibility… the rest is left up to the bride and groom, parents of the bride and groom, or quinceanera, or the coordinator, if they had it in their budget to hire one.

Well, let’s just assume that they did not hire a coordinator, as most events that I do DO NOT have one, or the parents of the bride and groom, or quinceanera, do not know the ins and outs of planning and running their event, as is OFTEN the case…

Then what?

As the DJ, do you just allow those awkward moments to happen? Like when you announce that the bride and groom are ready to do their first dance, and they are no where to be found? you announce the Father daughter dance and Dad is in the Restroom? SOMEBODY SHOULD HAVE LET HIM KNOW… right?

Well, as I stated before, some things you learn by trial and error, and others you have to take the RESPONSIBILITY ahead of time to make sure that those awkward moments do not happen.

What if just before you announced the bride and groom’s first dance, you went up and told them, in these exact words, or similar words…

We are just about to do your first dance, I need you to stand next to the dance floor, and as soon as this song is over, I am going to get everyone’s attention and announce your first dance…

As soon as, you get the bride and groom next to the dance floor, what if you went one step further and let the father of the bride and mother of the groom know that as soon as the bride and groom are done with their dance, that you, as the DJ, would like for them to be standing next to the dance floor because their special dance with their daughter or son is coming up…

Would you not avoid that void, that awkwardness, that moment where everyone is saying, oh… he’s in the rest room…

Even if there is a coordinator present, who’s job is it to make sure you don’t make an announcement at the wrong time?

The way I see it, it’s falls under the entertainer’s responsibility that HE does not look bad.

So Here are my top 10 Responsibilities that I think the DJ should make his:

  1. Make Sure that he has the correct version of the songs for the Traditional Dances, Cake Cutting, Bouquet & Garter Toss, Grand Introductions, and any other highlighted events.  And that he has them in order on his computer or burned off in order on a CD.
  2. Learn all the names of the people that he has to introduce. There nothing worse than having your name mispronounced or said unclear.
  3. Get EVERYTHING prepared in advance! Learn the Itinerary so that you can make sure that you stay on time.
  4. Look ahead of what the worse case scenario is, and do everything possible to avoid it. The example of getting the bride and groom near the dance floor, or back at their seats is a perfect example. What about the cake cutting, toasting, bouquet and garter toss, etc. What can you as the DJ do to make sure the worse case scenario does not happen.
  5. Have an Introductory Speech to welcome guests and a Farewell Speech to wish the guests and guest of honor farewell.
  6. Have Radio Edited Versions of all the popular and top hits.
  7. Have a clean, presentable area. Hide all cables, get rid of cluttered mess, etc.
  8. Love your Clients, Do everything possible to ensure that the bride and groom or the quinceanera has the most amazing time of their life. This may seem like it should not belong on this list, but how can you care about your client, and then go off to other DJ’s and call them Bridezillas and ungrateful… I will never understand that. If a person is ungrateful or pissed off, it’s because they are not getting the service they paid for.
  9. Have a Positive attitude, 100% of the time, even when nobody is looking. (Or you think nobody is looking)
  10. Have fun, enjoy yourself, how can your client’s guests have fun if you are sitting down the whole night, and not dancing or cracking a smile at all?

So these are the ten Responsibilities I would say, that you as a DJ, or Entertainer should assume, always.

As you can tell, most of them have nothing to do with music. Music is the easiest part of the Job, In my opinion. Mixing Music does take some practice and knowledge, but nothing will kill the party more than guests, feeling awkward, uncomfortable, or even that they don’t know what’s going on. Not Bad Mixing, Not bad music selection (in the sense of going from one genre to the next, inappropriately),  Not playing the music too low, Etc.

And BY GOD if you are going to make announcements over the microphone, make sure that everyone can hear you and understand you. Some DJ’s have this muffled voice that nobody can understand. It sounds as if their equipment has static or their microphone is malfunctioning. Or buy a name brand microphone that works good.

So if you are a DJ and would like to improve his events, these are some guidelines to follow that will take your performance to a whole other level. If you are a bride looking to book a DJ, then now you have slight idea of what to expect from a GOOD DJ that will make sure everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, not just the things the DJ thinks are important.. flows smoothly.

Happy Planning!

|o| Simply Frank |o|

DJ Crowd Interaction at Houston Weddings

When it comes to the Entertainment at your wedding, the first thing you, as the bride or groom, have to ask yourself is what do I want for my family, my friends, and myself?

Do you want an Elegant, low Key wedding reception?

Do you want a Party, all out dancing and having fun event?

Or would you prefer a mixture of the two?

I’m sure most brides want their wedding to be Elegant and Fun, but do you know how your DJ will accomplish that objective?

Is he just going to play music and hope the guests get up to dance with a good mixture of music?

Will he get out and motivate the crowd to have a great time?

Or, will he do both?

Just a few more question for you to add to your Houston Wedding DJ Questionnaire.

DJ Psychology about your Guests

If these are things you have not considered asking your DJ, you should. Below I will give my opinion on what I think would be the best combination and how to incorporate crowd interaction in a non-intrusive, fun, and memorable manner.

To begin, let me give you some insight, some psychology so to speak, about your guests. They are there because they love you. They want you to have the time of your life. The ones that are married, know that this WILL INDEED be the most memorable day of your life. Also, and very important, they want to have a great time that day. They’ve dressed up with very nice and expensive clothing that some will only use ONCE in their life time. So needless to say this will be a day that EVERYONE there will remember.

Elegant Entertainment DJ

So you want your reception to be both Elegant and Fun. This is where hiring the right Specialized Houston DJ will be crucial to your wedding outcome.

Some DJs believe that a wedding is a formal event and should be elegant and the music should set a romantic mood for the entire evening. Other DJ’s believe that a wedding is a party and a cause for a celebration, but that elegance is outdated. I believe you can have both.

Most Venues do their best to make your event as beautiful as you like, and as beautiful as your pocket book allows. Nevertheless, they try their best to make the place Elegant and Beautiful. So as the DJ, the Co-Captain of the Ship (The Bride and Groom are the Captain(s) ), I already have the help of the venue making your event elegant the next step would be for me to enhance (not detract from) that elegance.

The equipment setup is a start, the DJ attire is important and the music during Guest Arrival and During Dinner can also help accomplish that elegant, romantic mood.

The initiation of the wedding reception, the guest arrival, should be the part that is the most elegant. As soon as the guest arrive, all their senses should be filled with an elegant, romantic mood. They should feel that they arrived at a royal palace, an elegant occasion, a grand ballroom, YOUR wedding reception. As a DJ, That can be accomplished by the MC or DJ’s attire being appropriate, the Equipment setup being clean and neat and the music being just right for the mood you, the bride and groom, are trying to create. This could be Smooth Jazz, classic oldies, smooth love songs, Frank Sinatra style music, etc…

Not doing your research and selecting the best DJ for you, could result in your DJ showing up in Jeans, playing inappropriate music, or their equipment set up being messy. No matter how elegant the venue is, that will be what your guest remember most (negatively), the DJ you chose to represent you.

Fun Entertainment DJ

Just because you decide to make your event elegant does not mean that it can’t be fun. Remember, everyone is there to have a great time.

Crowd Interaction

Crowd interaction may come in many forms as long as the DJ’s objective is to create a great time for everyone, without stepping over anyone’s toes, or without embarrassing your guests, everything will be alright.

Here’s what I like to do for fun activities.

The Famous Conga Line

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This one activity is fantastic and really lifts up everyone’s enthusiasm. When performed (great) this can be the small ignition to a huge fireball of fun. It gets EVERYONE involved, it puts the Bride and Groom at the center of the spotlight, and if you add party favors (Hats, Maracas, Leis, Whistles, Confetti, etc..) you create an extra added UMPH of ambient noise, and it will truly be one thing that EVERYONE remembers for a long time to come.

The Y.M.C.A. Dance

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This one can be performed many ways. The DJ can just come over the mic and direct the crowd on what to do and motivate them to shout as loud as they can the words YMCA. Or again, pass out party props which consist of YMCA themed hats: The Sailor Cap, Construction Worker, Police Man, Fireman, Apache Indian, etc… What I like to do is pass out hats to a select few and have them lead the YMCA dance as the Village People and have the crowd cheer them on. Also great fun, and again it motivates everyone to dance and have a great time.

Ballon Dance

This can be done with many dances, and what we do is pass them out right before the song that we are going to play and have the guest of honor lead the dance. Everyone else is behind them. Great for line dances and soul train lines. This also adds to the level of enthusiasm and overall fun of the event.

Line Dance Participation

As the DJ, you’ve seen all the different line dances and should have a good idea of how they go. Add to that the fact that people always want to be told what to do because they don’t want to do it wrong, when you get out in the dance floor and help lead a particular line dance, you become the hero. Besides, you also get everyone going in the same direction and that always looks a lot better for pictures and for video.

Conclusion

Our objective is ALWAYS to try to get everyone involved in having a great time. After all that’s what they are there for!

Happy Dancing!

DJ Francisco
Professional Wedding DJ in Houston