Disc Jockeys & Entertainers “There’s a difference?”
I had recently had a consultation with a mother and daughter who were looking for disc jockeys for a sweet 16. As you might know, sweet 16′s have evolved due to the tremendous popularity of the MTV show, “My Super Sweet 16″ And it’s all about keeping up with the Jones’s.
So when my client had asked me, “So, what do you do? Do you play music or what?” I replied, “I am an entertainer.” There are many types of entertainment to choose from when it comes time to plan your event. There are disc jockeys, bands, comedians, magicians, and the list goes on. But what is the difference between disc jockeys and an entertainer? The difference is simple. Let’s take a look at what the function of a disc jockey is. This is what WikiPedia had to say.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“DJ” redirects here. For other uses, see DJ (disambiguation). A disc jockey, also known as DJ (or deejay), is a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Originally, disk referred to phonograph records, while disc referred to the Compact Disc, and has become the more common spelling. Today, the term includes all forms of music playback, no matter the medium. There are several types of disc jockeys. Radio DJs introduce and play music that is broadcast on AM, FM, shortwave, digital, or internet radio stations. Club DJs select and play music in bars, nightclubs,discothèques, at raves, or even in a stadium. Hip hop disc jockeys select and play music using multiple turntables, often to back up one or more MCs, and they may also do turntable scratching to create percussive sounds. In reggae, the disc jockey (deejay) is a vocalist who raps, “toasts“, or chats over pre-recorded rhythm tracks while the individual choosing and playing them is referred to as a selector. Mobile DJs travel with portable sound systems and play recorded music at a variety of events.
Ok, now that we know what a DJ is, what is an entertainer?
An entertainer has many functions other than just playing music. An entertainer puts on a performance and captivates an audience. By choosing the right music, wearing the right outfit, and creating the right energy for the event, an entertainer can provide hours of amusement for people of all ages, and all walks of life.
I recently went to an event on a night off to go dancing and have some fun. Of course I made it a point to meet the DJ and chat with him a bit. He was a very nice man and seemed to enjoy what he was doing. But, for some reason, the crowd seemed to look a little stale. Their faces had no expression, they were just meandering about the floor in their own worlds not really caring what was being played. For the cover charge that I paid that night, I really expected more… There was little to no interaction with the audience and kind of like a jukebox, the music played song after song from somewhere in the room…That was the perfect example of what a DJ is. Someone who plays music in a sequence at an event, club, or on the radio.
The first concern of my clients was the cost of their entertainment. They had thought that $300 was a fair price for a disc jockey for the evening. Based on the story from above, I would have to agree. But they wanted more than that. They wanted their audience to dance, to laugh, to smile, and to remember her sweet 16 as the best party they ever attended…
I told my sweet 16 clients this story to find out what they were looking for in regards to the evening’s entertainment. They understood at that point that they were working with an entertainer, not just a DJ. She chose her favorite colors to uplight the architecture in the room, the starry sky on the ceiling, and the New York City nightclub dancefloor she was looking for that she saw on TV.
Fast forward to the party, I started off the evening playing some music that went through the ages. Grandparents could be seen tapping their feet and singing to their favorite swing tunes, parents smiled as they walked in the room and felt the warmth of the ambiance created by the lighting.
Dinner was served and the words of “Sweet Caroline” (The RED SOX Theme Song) could be heard and grandparents, parents, and kids alike were swaying to the music. We haven’t even started dancing yet and they were enjoying themselves.
Once we opened the dancefloor, it filled up 3 couples at a time until they were shoulder to shoulder. The energy built over the next 3 hours until the last song “or so they thought”. By this time the crowd has lost a few shirts, their high heels, and everyone was exhausted, sore, and sweaty from dancing for so long… And just when they thought it was all over, I started to play the song, “The Time (Dirty Bit)” from the Black Eyed Peas to end the evening. The crowd erupted into a frenzy. Hands were back in the air, people were shouting the lyrics, “I…had…the time of my life……”
When the song was over, the lights went on, and people, still smiling and laughing, started to file out. The daughter and mother both came up to me and said, “You were amazing. Everything was perfect. We couldn’t have asked for more. People will remember this night for the rest of their lives. I am so glad we chose you. You were right, you are an entertainer.” And that’s the difference between a disc jockey, and an entertainer. I hope you enjoyed this story. Until next time…