Journey To The Canadian Disc Jockey Show

I had the great honor of being asked to speak in Toronto Canada last month at the Canadian Disc Jockey Show. First, thanks to everyone who attended my seminar, purchased my DVD and a really big thanks to those responsible for bringing me in.

A big thanks to my traveling partner John Moore of John Moore Weddings. He is such an impressive guy. He started his DJ company just a few short years ago and has been a sponge soaking up information and ideas in the industry. He is the top entertainer in his area of Zanesville Ohio and after having some time to chat with him on our 9 hour trek, I am positive any bride would be lucky to have him as her entertainment on her wedding day.

John and I met up in Columbus about 6:30am and pulled into Niagara Falls at around noon. We would have arrived sooner if not for a flirty border patrol agent with a million questions. Arriving at noon was the plan since I had to get in front of a TV before the NCAA tournament tipped off that Thursday. Here we were just a mile from Niagra Falls and amazingly instead of first taking in the beauty of the falls for the first time in his life, I had John belleyed up in a sports bar. What a trooper!

It was a cool sports bar though. They had over 150 TV’s. They even had TV’s in the restrooms.

I made it up to him though by upgrading our room for the night to a falls view. Here is a picture out our hotel room window.

The next day we drove on toward Toronto checking my speed in kilometers I was going 100!

arriving at the Four Points Sheraton John and I spotted a guy with a tail. I don’t mean a haircut with a tail or like a dark tinted windowed car following him, I mean he had what seemed to be a giant squirrels tail hanging out the back of his pants. We thought it was odd but it was a foreign country so whatever. That was until we opened the doors to the hotel. The entire lobby was full of people wearing animal costumes. Apparently the hotel was also hosting a convention for these folks called Fernal Equinox. As strange as it was to me, it was actually very entertaining. John and I made sure to catch the animal parade through the hallways at 3 o’clock that day.

This picture was taken just before the parade as they all gathered in costume.

So onto the CDJshow and the reason I was there.

The show was very well put together and the content in the seminars was fresh and useful. I really enjoyed Robbie Britton’s Interactive On a Mission seminar. He demonstrated 50 something games in 60 minutes. It was high energy and really focused on using the ideas to create your own similar games for your own unique situations. You can pick up his interactive games DVD on his website!

I received some excellent reviews of my presentation and my DVDs were well received. If you didn’t get one at the show you can buy them online here. The first to buy one was Bill James who later took us out to dinner and really had some great things to say to me about my presentation. Bill is a guy who I really respect in the industry and his words meant the world to me. After our return Robbie posted on Facebook that he thought I was “The next big thing”. That’s pretty cool!

John even manned the table for me and helped me sell a few DVDs.

I was the only Cincinnati Area DJ in attendance which wasn’t a surprise because it was in Canada but there were several friends there who I’ve met through networking over the years. John Tuck better known as JT Vegas was on hand.  Alan Dotson was great to talk to in the hallways and his seminar was very good. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Haibeck for the first official time. We have been at several conferences together before but he is a popular guy and it’s difficult to get a chance to say hello. His books are excellent and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who ever has to use a microphone at a wedding reception. Ben Stowe from NLFX pro who is a regular at these things, dropping knowledge on all of us simple minded DJs  was there. He actually traveled south from the US to get to Toronto.  We talked it up and shared a meal with a group of DJs.

Mike Buonaccorso, who is a legend in the DJ industry and the producer of  The Mobile Beat DJ show in Las Vegas was there promoting his new book. John Moore was nice enough to buy a copy for me in trade for my DVD. If you want a real history of how the mobile DJ came to be then this book, A Different Spin is for you.

After the show, just after we crossed the border into Buffalo, we met up with Mike and Robbie at The Anchor bar home of the original Buffalo chicken wing. Make sure if you are ever traveling through the area you check this place out. It was really good.

I’d highly recommend the CDJ show to any DJ who is serious about their craft. They have already been kind enough to ask me back. I look forward to speaking again there in the future.

D.J.P at ARMDJS

It was recently announced that D.J.P would be presenting at ARMDJS. ARMDJS is a regional DJ Conference held in Tennessee and produced by my friend Robbie Britton. Incredibly D.J.P joins Social networking guru, Author and amazing business person Gary Vaynerchuk in an All Star conference line-up.

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I can not tell you how excited I am for this conference. However, I am very familiar with both of these presenters and I know some DJs are not. Recently in a DJ Networking Forum another friend of mine Neal Howard said “Something that some may find beneficial is if you promoted how you think the attendees will benefit from listening to them.”

Back in 2008 at The Mobile Beat DJ Conference in Las Vegas. I was with a group of DJs who decided to head out to the clubs after the close of the show. We stepped just a few feet inside the door of Studio 54 at the MGM Grand when one DJ said, “Who is this DJ he is tearing it up?” From our vantage point we couldn’t see anything except a TV screen that said D.J.P.

We had a table that night overlooking the dance floor and the DJ booth. For DJPs entire set we were on the railing looking down at a guy who was using nothing but vinyl records to rock the crowd. He was playing so many records that he was literally sweating like he was getting in a good workout. He was using vinyl to play the vocals of one song over the instrumental of another. The DJs I was with were very respected club DJs. In fact three of them had just closed the DJ hall of fame show with some amazing sets. Yet, here we all stood mesmerized and in agreement that this was the best we had ever seen.

After D.J.P finished his set we relaxed and the talk was still about how great it was. So I decided to go downstairs and see if I could find this guy. I saw him in the hallway talking with a hostess. I asked if he could come say hi to our group and he was excited to do so. He was a very humble down to earth guy, who had an obvious passion for the art of DJing. He hung out we exchanged phone numbers and some of us made a new friend that night.

It wasn’t until later when I returned home to Cincinnati that I did a little research on the guy. I read about how he and world famous DJ Z-Trip had done an album of blends (what we call mash-ups today) called Uneasy Listening that was named one of the most important musical moments of 2002 by Rolling Stone Magazine. I bought a few albums from his site and was a fan.

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I still had his number and over our next few trips to Las Vegas I would call him and get on his guest list for the club he was playing at. Now he had moved over to The Palms and was playing the two story Playboy Club/Moon. This is where we got to talking about music and the use of computers and when I first got the idea that he might be a valuable speaker for a DJ conference. Just after ARMDJS 4.0 I was speaking with Robbie and mentioned D.J.P as a speaker. I then sent over a couple of videos. A few months later D.J.P turned up on a reality TV show on BET called Master Of The Mix and Robbie saw his name again. At that point he asked me how to get in contact with him and made it a reality.

So now that you know the back story let’s get back to Neal Howard’s statement. What do I see as the value?

First of all I believe Danny (D.J.P) has a unique appreciation for where our industry started and is completely devoted to it as an art form. I know for a fact that many of us in the industry got into it without that understanding. We bought gear, we got a computer, we hopefully loaded it up with legal music and we pressed play. We later developed our skills and many of us appreciate it as an art form but we lack that historical importance and understanding of the craft itself. I really think D.J.P will bring a new perspective to mobile DJs and a renewed passion for the art of purely playing music.

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I also believe his creativity will inspire. Look I’ve already heard a few guys say “he’s a club guy what he is doing my clients at wedding wouldn’t understand or appreciate.” As a wedding guy I can’t completely disagree with that. However, some of the best results I have ever had on a dance floor are from taking risks and being creative with my mixes. I’ve played mash-ups. I’ve dropped old school songs I wasn’t sure would work and they have produced some amazing results. In fact one night I played a few mashups that impressed the staff so much at a wedding that I ended up being referred for years and to this day by one of my city’s best venues.  Mixing skills are a part of what we do. They should be a major part of what we do. They are not limited to the club. The club hires great mixing DJs because transitions and the way they build energy with music creates amazing results on the dance floor. I know my clients want amazing results on their dance floors.

Danny also has an extraordinary knowledge of music. The guy has thousands of records. He knows who produced them, where different samples of popular top 40 songs originated and a BIG opinion on how people tend to dance to what they know and not appreciate good music simply because they are not familiar with it. I’ve heard him discuss this and the art of playing to a crowd that is there to dance as opposed to playing to a crowd who is there to watch the DJ. I really think his perspective on this is valuable to mobile DJs. How do you balance playing what people are familiar with, when sometimes your clients, have eclectic musical tastes that they are asking you to get it into the mix? How do you balance this and keep it entertaining for all? I think Danny’s experience with balancing his own eclectic tastes with what works in the club is what makes him so unique. I look forward to hearing his thoughts on it.

The other thing about D.J.P is he is captivating and he rarely uses the microphone. Watching him do his thing is exciting, he brings energy, people like him (on Master of the Mix fan voting he has acquired about 53% of the fan vote every week, there are 10 DJs to vote for and he is getting an incredible 53%!) Now I doubt he can describe the energy he puts off. I doubt he can tell you how to do it. Just watching him and the way he pulls the crowd into what he is doing with the music is a master lesson all on it’s own that I think DJs will love.

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Of course he also has a great branding story for DJs. How do you develop your name to the point that your playing major clubs, TV shows and asked to become a member of the world famous “Rock Steady Crew”? I’m sure that story alone would be beneficial to mobile DJs developing their brand.

So hopefully that answers Neal’s request and hopefully it will get a few more of you as excited as I am to see my friend Danny Phillips AKA D.J.P rip it live on stage on vinyl and then talk about it at ARMDJS. I hope to see you there.

The Entertainment Experience

Good news for my existing and future clients! This month I’ll be traveling to Minnesota to train with Bill Hermann. Bill is a Wedding Entertainer with a unique background. He’s an actor, he has done movies, tv, radio and stage acting and brings this approach and storytelling to his weddings and corporate events. Twenty three DJs from all around the country and as far away as Australia will be attending this workshop and I am lucky enough to be one of them.

I’ll be so excited to share these new concepts and my new found talents with all of my clients.

The philosophy of “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” doesn’t work in this business. I’m out to be the best wedding entertainer I can be, not just the best in my area.

That Looks Easy

Imagine yourself at work doing your job. Suddenly in walks a guy off the street with no training or experiance doing what you do. He tells your boss, or your client he is better at your job than you are.  Suprisingly he pulls up a chair and begins telling everyone who will listen that he does the same thing you do only cheaper.

Welcome to the world of the mobile DJ where this happens every day. With  a little bit of gear, a few thousand downloaded songs and a flashy new website that guy might look just like me to a potential client.

Imagine how frightening that would be in other lines of work. Instead of buying a CD player on ebay that guy decides to buy a set of scrubs and stroles into the local hospital to see a few patients for some side money. Maybe he prints up some cool business cards with his picture on them and a yard sign at Kinkos and convinces your grandmother he can sell her home. After all, it looks easy right?

The difference is, in those fields what he is doing is illegal because you must be certified to perform those duties. There is no certificate that says someone is qualified to speak, entertain, direct and DJ at your wedding reception.   

While what I do may not be a matter of life and death, it’s a pretty big deal to my clients who are celebrating the biggest day of  their lives in front of the most important people in their lives.

So, to qualify myself I seek out training. In the past several years I have attended countless seminars and workshops. I’ve traveled  to Chicago, Tennessee, Florida, California, and Nevada to attend these events and to get the training and knowledge I need to provide the best experiance to YOU my clients. 

Here are a few photos to prove it.

This is me in LA with my friend Peter Merry.

This is me in LA with my friend Peter Merry.

Peter put on a two day workshop entitled The Professional Process in January of this year. This  first one was by invitation only and I was honored to be there.  Peter is the author of the book he is holding The Best Wedding Reception Ever and is one of the most respected entertainers in our field.

The Marbecca Method MC workshop

The Marbecca Method MC workshop

This is me and the other graduates of the Marbecca Method MC workshop put on by Mark and Rebecca Ferrell. Mark is by all accounts one of the biggest industry leaders in our field.  Mark traveled the country in 2008 presenting this 2 day workshop. Imagine being put on the microphone in front of your peers for evaluation. What a learning experiance!

Heck I even did a 10 week comedy class at the Funny Bone put on by Jeffery Jenna. That little experiance ended with me on stage on a sold out night trying my hand at comedy. It changed me forever. 

I’ve spent a pretty good amount of money on this training. I’m not trying to brag here. I, like you when you appiled for your job, am simply showing my potential employers (you) my resume. I strongly suggest that if you are looking for a DJ imagine yourself as the HR person. Look at the resumes of  those waiting in your lobby and ask them questions other than, “How much will you work for?”