Do you get nervous sometimes before doing an event?

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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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I do get nervous sometimes before or at the beginning of an event. That's about what to start off playing at the beginning of an event. Once the event gets under way I normally calm down and get comfortable at doing the event.
 

dunlopj

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 14, 2008
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I used to...always....until I was fully set up, sound check done, clothes changed and music playing. Then it's game (and smile) on.

If you're not, you may becoming too complacent.
 
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Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
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I tend to be fairly anxious until I'm on site and fully set up. My nerves stay elevated through the ceremony. Once we're at cocktails and beyond I tend to be pretty comfortable.

However, I've noticed my instincts don't feel as well tuned right now as they used to. It started feeling better last Saturday... I was flowing more. But in the early weddings back I've felt like I'm not coming up with ideas very smoothly and I'm overthinking my sets a lot. I've also had a couple of funky weddings that are not really in my sweet spot which has affected that... but I'm looking forward to feeling like myself again on the decks.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,812
1,527
63
I tend to be fairly anxious until I'm on site and fully set up. My nerves stay elevated through the ceremony. Once we're at cocktails and beyond I tend to be pretty comfortable.

However, I've noticed my instincts don't feel as well tuned right now as they used to. It started feeling better last Saturday... I was flowing more. But in the early weddings back I've felt like I'm not coming up with ideas very smoothly and I'm overthinking my sets a lot. I've also had a couple of funky weddings that are not really in my sweet spot which has affected that... but I'm looking forward to feeling like myself again on the decks.
What do you mean when you say they were funky?
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
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Sep 7, 2016
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What do you mean when you say they were funky?

First Example:
I had a few things that made it a challenge. The bride and groom weren't particularly excited about dancing themselves. It was a mostly dry wedding (which doesn't always stop dancing, but sometimes it does). And it was an incredibly beautiful night on the DC waterfront... so the patio was a strong draw for guests that pulled them away from the dance floor. The result was modest dancing most of the night, but the crowd was very finicky. They'd leave in a heartbeat without any real pattern to it. Even a song like Walk the Moon - Shut Up and Dance absolutely cleared the dance floor which is normally a can't-miss banger.

So I spent most of that set feeling a bit confused and off my game. It turns out the planner barely expected any dancing and was shocked I kept them on the floor as much as I did. Couple was happy, planner was happy, but it was a difficult night for me.

Second Example:
I always ask how someone found me since I'm based entirely on referrals really. The bride that hired me told me her parents had been guests at another wedding I did and thought it was great. She had very few questions for me and booked quickly. But in my head I thought they had a sense of the types of weddings I normally do and my style.

In planning, I asked about her music taste... and all she told me was "play typical wedding stuff, and the line dances." That's very far from what I normally hear, probably 85% of my clients don't want line dances at all. And even my "easy going" clients typically give me a little bit more in terms of their taste and vision for the night. No biggie, moving on.

It turns out this wedding is basically in a bingo hall. The ceremony is at 2:30 (off site) but cocktail hour isn't supposed to start until 5. I arrived at 3:00 to set up... the building is locked. By contract I require 90 minutes - but I don't ask because this has literally never come up in more than 15 years of doing this. The building attendant finally shows up around 3:45 to begrudgingly unlock the doors. I get started setting up.

I had warned them that with a ceremony so early that guests can be inclined to arrive on site early. Sure enough... 4:14 people start pouring through the doors. I'm still in shorts, dripping sweat, working as fast as I can to make up for the abbreviated set up time. The father of the bride couldn't have been nicer, he knew they were early. But I was super frustrated. I also asked him which event they saw me at... and they had never seen me perform. They were referred by someone else at work, so it turns out nobody at this thing had any idea of what my weddings normally look and sound like.

Sure enough, they basically only danced to line dances. Including I got asked for the chicken dance, which I almost thought was a joke. I hadn't played it in probably 15 years and it ended up being the most full the dance floor got the whole time.

I did my best for them and they seemed very appreciative. But I was not the right DJ for that wedding. I skipped over some things in the booking process because I thought the family knew what they were getting in hiring me that I should not have.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,812
1,527
63
First Example:
I had a few things that made it a challenge. The bride and groom weren't particularly excited about dancing themselves. It was a mostly dry wedding (which doesn't always stop dancing, but sometimes it does). And it was an incredibly beautiful night on the DC waterfront... so the patio was a strong draw for guests that pulled them away from the dance floor. The result was modest dancing most of the night, but the crowd was very finicky. They'd leave in a heartbeat without any real pattern to it. Even a song like Walk the Moon - Shut Up and Dance absolutely cleared the dance floor which is normally a can't-miss banger.

So I spent most of that set feeling a bit confused and off my game. It turns out the planner barely expected any dancing and was shocked I kept them on the floor as much as I did. Couple was happy, planner was happy, but it was a difficult night for me.

Second Example:
I always ask how someone find me since I'm based entirely on referrals really. The bride that hired me told me her parents had been guests at another wedding I did and thought it was great. She had very few questions for me and booked quickly. But in my head I thought they had a sense of the types of weddings I normally do and my style.

In planning, I asked about her music taste... and all she told me was "play typical wedding stuff, and the line dances." That's very far from what I normally hear, probably 85% of my clients don't want line dances at all. And even my "easy going" clients typically give me a little bit more in terms of their taste and vision for the night. No biggie, moving on.

It turns out this wedding is basically in a bingo hall. The ceremony is at 2:30 (off site) but cocktail hour isn't supposed to start until 5. I arrived at 3:00 to set up... the building is locked. By contract I require 90 minutes - but I don't ask because this has literally never come up in more than 15 years of doing this. The building attendant finally shows up around 3:45 to begrudgingly unlock the doors. I get started setting up.

I had warned them that with a ceremony so early that guests can be inclined to arrive on site early. Sure enough... 4:14 people start pouring through the doors. I'm still in shorts, dripping sweat, working as fast as I can to make up for the abbreviated set up time. The father of the bride couldn't have been nicer, he knew they were early. But I was super frustrated. I also asked him which event they saw me at... and they had never seen me perform. They were referred by someone else at work, so it turns out nobody at this thing had any idea of what my weddings normally look and sound like.

Sure enough, they basically only danced to line dances. Including I got asked for the chicken dance, which I almost thought was a joke. I hadn't played it in probably 15 years and it ended up being the most full the dance floor got the whole time.

I did my best for them and they seemed very appreciative. But I was not the right DJ for that wedding. I skipped over some things in the booking process because I thought the family knew what they were getting in hiring me that I should not have.
This is one of the best post ever on here. These things have happened to me as well. I do my best to find out what styles of music the client wants and anything special they want. Sometimes that doesn't happen. UGH! I guess some see you as the professional and you should know what to do. I don't like guessing. Here it is someone I've never done an event for, so I don't know what they would like me to do or the crowd attending the event.

I had one tell me they wanted party music. What is party music? That could be almost anything. That depends on what the client calls party music. For some it could be today's Hip Hop & and R & B. Then they the client could want something totally different. You play that and they could tell you don't play that stuff. That's where I like to get as much details as I can before agreeing to do the event. We had one we never got anything about the music the lady wanted for her 50th birthday celebration. A guy I worked with at the time booked us because of what he saw us do in the past. When we got there we found out it was a family reunion as well. It was a big disaster due to us not given any idea about what music to play. They only danced to the line dances and that was it basically. That was many years ago. Thank God we had a surprise 50th birthday celebration the next day that was threw the ROOF! They danced all night including the minister who the party was for and his wife. That helped both of us to keep doing what we love!
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
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Nothing that happens at the event bothers me, I can solve just about anything, and over the years probably have seen about everything. Travel is what makes me apprehensive because until I arrive I'm powerless to do much of anything.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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Let me ask this question or questions. What details do you try to get from a potential client that determines if you will agree to do an event for that person or not?
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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Let me ask this question or questions. What details do you try to get from a potential client that determines if you will agree to do an event for that person or not?
To agree to do it? Date location and times. My pricing and videos kinda do the rest on qualifying
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,812
1,527
63
For me I to get ideas as to what styles of music do they want and don't want. Songs they would like the DJ to play or not play. I especially ask for such things when it's someone I've never done an event for. Especially since that a big reason to book a DJ is to play music. In some cases they just want background music. No dancing. I've seen DJs on here who say we should know what music a client wants. I totally disagree. I ask such questions to keep me from having to guess what to play at an event when I start playing music. In other words I don't like to assume anything because I'm not always right. Even after doing this for 34 years.
 

RobDawg

Well-Known DJ
Jan 21, 2019
28
48
42
Yes, I get nervous, way too much in fact. Everything here is outdoors, not just because of Covid, but because there are a lot of outdoor venues in WA state. So I start looking at the weather 2 weeks out (which is dumb since it always changes) and then get worked up about the temperature or possible rain. Then I have sleepless nights going over everything that can go wrong.

My first wedding back literally gave me an ulcer, which I've never had (I was in the ER a week later for the pain). Outdoor wedding, 85+ for the forecast and the couple decided to not have a tent. As it turns out temp was fine but the damn wind was a real problem. My laptop blew off the table just at the end of the ceremony and most of the night I was having to hold on to the table at the dancefloor as the wind got even more intense later in the evening. They had ordered pizza for late night snack and one the guests got a pizza box to the face!

The wedding this weekend I'm doing better with the nerves but there were a couple surprises with the set up but I keep telling myself "they're paying you a lot of money so just deal with it." The fact of the matter is I've done everything I can to be prepared and I need to loosen up. I'm the same with a lot of you, once the ceremony is done it's a huge relief.
 
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