I was a club manager in Austin, Tx. We had a steady stream of entertainment go through that bar from bands to DJs. My husband is from Kansas City, but with Amarillo roots. When we met we both stated the same thing regarding Amarillo and it's level of DJ entertainment... What? We were appalled. Apparently the Amarillo public has become used to the mediocre (at best) DJs and the understandable low fees they present.
So the Amarillo public not only don't expect much, doesn't pay them much, and don't think much of them! I can't seem to blame them. They don't realize that the DJ entertainer should be much more then a monkey who presses "play". It's not the public's fault. It is the DJ Entertainment Industry's responsibility. In a business riddled with amateurs, fly-by-night, alcoholic, drug-dependent, greedy pro multi-operators and wanna-be-club-djs,posing as mobile DJs, it's up to the seasoned professional DJ to educate the public on what a DJs responsibilities should be. Below is listed the 5 areas a professional DJ should encompass.
3. Master of Ceremonies
Music - This is a no-brainer and what people here expect. What we have noticed is that's where it ends. 'Playing' music is not the same as 'mixing' music. If we played the top twenty songs in reverse during a set, chances are there would be few dancers and the party would be a flop. It is an art form to read a crowd, create momentum and craft fully time the music to whip the crowd into a frenzy, without initiating a riot. Volume levels, mastering equipment, software control, all these are behind the scenes of this mixing, as well as the experience of generating the energy that controls the audience.
Entertainment - What happened to 'A Show'? DJs should include more then just spinning tunes, but appropriate humor, crowd participation, games, musical excitement, anticipation, surprise, momentum, all as a presentation of the evening! The next category is key to entertainment.
Master of Ceremonies - It's exactly what it says but when a DJ usually calls him self "The Emcee", it usually means some lame-o mumbling out "Now it's time to cut the cake" or even worse, a drunken fool ingesting the mic while screaming, "Hey everbawdy... Blad youd de allowattee", elaborately bellowing fluid drunkeneese. It takes elocution, enunciation, inflection, timing, professionalism, dignity and practice!
Planning - To successfully execute a memorbale event, a DJ must plan and practice to itinerary, the entertainment, the music and all the elements of their responsibilities. In addition, most people putting together an event have never done anything like that before. They are not professional event planners. They are everyday people, utterly overwhelmed with details and a deadline, who need a DJs experience and help! An professional DJ should care that these people are struggling and offer their assistance. Why don't they? Well, most figure they're not getting paid to to that so they don't. They are wrong! In the absence of an event planner, their fees should reflect this aspect of their service but of course, a DJ has to care first. Obviously they can't transmit what they don't have, so if a DJ doesn't have the experience necessary to help their client with planning, they haven't been a DJ long enough and need to stick to the 'Amateur' title. Buyer beware. You usually get what you pay for.
Coordination - Putting all of these things into the mix, the DJ has the responsibility to coordinate all these elements as well as the other facets of the evening. Such as the food service, the photographer and videographer, the client, the venue and any other service, professional or amateur that is part what makes up the total event. These elements must work together as a cohesive unit to ensure the evening goes smoothly and flows with momentum, ending as a crescendo of an unforgettable night! The client deserves this. In the absence of an event planner, no one else is there to do this. Only the professional DJ has the ability to pull it all together.