Thoughts about DJ’ing

The past month has been a very productive month for me in several areas.  First of all, I was able to complete the workout program Hip Hop Abs which is the first workout program that I’ve been able to finish from beginning to end.  It actually started after I went to bed at 9pm with the kids and woke up at 4am.  I figured that since I was already awake, might as well get a work out in.  I youtube’d hip hop abs and did the first two weeks just by pulling the videos up on youtube.  The pro’s to doing this is that it’s free and you have the videos anywhere you have an internet connection.  The con’s to doing this is that on one of the workout routines the sound and video were out of synchronization which definitely threw me off several times. 

So I’ve been waking up early, working out, then practicing on my turntables.  I really like DJ’ing and hope that it is the path I am supposed to pursue.  I have a parent/child dance party as a potential gig coming up so I’ve been working on a set list of songs that kids love.   I’ve been replaying all the parties that I’ve been to in my head and writing down the popular songs that kids have gone crazy for.  Yes, there have been parties where the ones hyping up the dance floor are the little kids.  I remember clearly when my son Trystan at 2 years old kicked off the dance floor at a wedding he was the ring bearer at.  Nobody was on the floor for the first few songs, Trystan was just outside the entrance to the hall playing on the steps when “Moves Like Jagger” came on.  Trystan stopped what he was doing and ran into the hall and started going crazy on the dance floor.  He gathered a crowd, who then started bouncing to the music and then started dancing.  So “Moves Like Jagger” went into the kid dance party play list.

I’ve found that working a dance floor is like investing; having some money can make more money faster than having no money.  Hence having people on the dance floor no matter how many or what age they are gives me something to work with as a DJ.  People attract other people.  So getting the people who are most willing to dance on the floor is step one.  If I have a diverse wedding/event crowd who are in their 20’s and 30’s who are not warmed up to dance to the latest top 40, I may put on some ballroom music for the 60 and 70 year olds.  It may not fill the floor but it will warm it up and give me something to work with.  Another demographic that is always ready to dance are the little kids, I see them watching me as I spin tunes and so I make eye contact and let them know that I’m playing for them.  They love it and dance even more. 

Well, those are my thoughts for today, thank you so much for tuning in.  I’ll be posting a mix in the next couple of days and will hopefully be posting more audio podcasts.  Until next time, I hope you are having a great day!

Happy Sunday

After a 19 hour day yesterday and a 6 hour night of sleep I feel refreshed, inspired and ready to go.  Here’s my words of wisdom for today…

“It’s better to be on the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than halfway up a ladder you don’t.”

I finally made that switch in one of the most uncertain times of life and it feels like I am learning to fly.  In a couple of days I will be the only one in our family to have a full time job.  I went from engineering to becoming a technical writer which created a gap between our income and our cost of living.  However, gigs for playing guitar, dancing, DJing and MCing have been pouring in!  It feels like the shift I want is about to happen.  It definitely feels like I’m going in the right direction.

I was dancing at Third Saturday Swing last night.  I looked at my watch and it was 10pm.  The surprising thing was that I still wanted to stay and dance, hang out and chat with my friends, and make new friends.  This was the moment that I knew my life was changing.  Normally, after a long day, I would have felt exhausted and would have been whining about what’s coming up next.  Whining about what I had to do, about maybe not getting enough sleep, whining about not having gotten enough sleep the night before.  But as I looked at the time and looked back up at Shelly’s face, I felt happy. The underlying tone of whining was gone.

I am still not at my destination.  Very far from it, I tell you but I am definitely on the way there.  Daddy IS finally chasing his dreams.  I feel like Elfaba from Wicked…. I feel like now I’m beginning to defy gravity.

Chasing Daddy’s dreams

Booked from 11am to 9pm, it’s going to be a long day and I’m starting it at 4am. What’s on my plate? Well, I’ve been getting up between 3 and 4 in the morning to pray, write and exercise. Today is extra special because I have a ton of anxiety
about my to-do-list, so I had trouble going to bed last night as well.

Today is a living witness to “Son, don’t stop chasing your dreams.” I will never stop telling my children that, with my words and with my actions. Today I get to DJ and MC my first Bat Mitzvah, which I am so excited and grateful for. I’ve been preparing for a month on a setlist, practicing transitions and researching what kids like to listen to nowadays. My favorite music to DJ is 90’s – 2000’s hip-hop basically hitting the 20 and 30 somethings crowd, which is very convenient for weddings since, that’s about the age people are getting married in nowadays. This event has an age gap right in my sweet spot so I feel like I have to do some research to see what tweens like.

Gig number two is as an Emcee for a polynesian show, which I love to do because I have the “gift o’ gab” on the mic I strike, I make your party my lab and unleash the hype… yeah, I wish I could free flow when I’m actually on stage. I probably could if I didn’t get so self conscious and afraid about failing.

The third gig is teaching an introductory swing dance lesson at http://www.thirdsaturdayswing.com in Pasadena, CA. A once a month pleasure for me, since it’s probably my favorite monthly event.

Pretty crazy. It will be over 11 hours of being on-the-go and not seeing my kids. Well kids, daddy is chasing after his dreams and I want you to do the same. Whatever the obstacles, whatever the difficulties, whatever you’re afraid of, however long it takes, however old you are, get focused on what you love to do and go for it. And if your dream happens to be the same as mine, then I’ll teach you as much as I can; if it isn’t, then I’ll help you get started and be cheering for you the whole way through.