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As my 40th birthday quickly approaches, I sometimes find my-self questioning if I am getting too old to be running around playing “rock star DJ” every weekend?
I know, you’re only as old as you feel; but I am sure some of you can probably relate to the fact that some days you feel younger than others. With that said, I don’t really want to stop doing this… I mean, as a mobile entertainer and DJ, I get to go to the coolest parties and make sure people have fun. Yet I still have this weird fear that one day a room full of people are going to look up and think… “I don’t wanna’ party with grandpa here.” OK, so I am nowhere near “grandpa” yet, I’m starting to notice little things I do differently now than say 5 or 10 years ago.
One of the biggest adjustments I have made is that I don’t do high schools or kids shows anymore. I am not sure entirely if it’s the music or the kids or the headache I always seem to have on the ride home, but I don’t do ‘em. Now don’t get me wrong I can bounce to Usher and Taio Cruz on my car stereo with the best of the suburban middle aged white guys, but have you noticed the way a Justin Bieber song gets lodged into your brain and stays there for hours. You find yourself walking around Cub Foods looking for whole grain bran muffins humming “baby, baby, baby” now you just look weird and kinda creepy. I am fairly certain that the 3-4 hours of thump, thump, thump, interrupted by the ever present question of “what are you gonna play next?” or “play something good!” is where the headache comes from. I know there are people and companies out there that make a very nice living play high schools, Mitzvas, and Sweet 16’s, and my hat is off to everyone of you.
Another thing I do differently now is my load in and load out. I used to subscribe to the school of thought that this should be done as quickly as possible. I have always been a firm believer in the theory of “it’s not the size of the load, it’s the number of loads!” Meaning don’t make five trips when you can make 2 really big trips, especially if there are stairs. For the record, I want to state that once you are 35 or older, this is a ridiculous idea. I am now willing to take as many trips as comfortably possible to get in and out of a facility. I have also noticed other little things, like all of my cable and light tubs have wheels now, this is new for me. If it is really hot, I give myself an extra hour to load in and set-up so I don’t get too sweaty. When people at the hall ask me if I want a hand, I grab something heavy.
Last week I was explaining to a non-dj friend of mine that a dance floor is a living, breathing, growing thing. That a dance floor is alive, much like firefighters talk about a fire or my wife talks about her garden. It needs a few common element to live and grow, and as the DJ / Entertainer I am really just the care-taker if you will. I coordinate the elements and the dosages of those elements in the right order to keep the dance floor healthy, happy, and constantly growing, I nurture the dance floor until it’s strong enough to leave the nest, then I go to another party. I am like the DJ Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee, see kids movie references…
I am getting’ old.