We’ve all been there. It’s Friday night, and you’ve just opened the mic. The first joke hits and laughter fills the air. You start with your first song and immediately it’s the right one. And then another. And then another. The crowd is singing within minutes. So you drop a classic sing-a-long, and when you hit the chorus, you’re confident enough that you turn the volume off. The crowd knows what to do, and they sing at the top of their lungs. When you first walked in, the crowd was so quiet that you could nearly hear the flitting of a million bored fingers texting on their phones. But now, there’s such a full blown buzz in the room you’ve had to pump up the volume…four times. The flow that can sometimes take hours of work has just come naturally tonight. Every joke gets a laugh; every girl is smiling. There’s such a consistent stream of girls to the V.I.P. it looks like you’ve got a perpetual conga line set up. You, my friend, are in the zone. It’s a high that no drug can give you and something so addictive it keeps people in the game for years, even decades. And no matter how great that night is, there’s ALWAYS a way it could have been better.
The greatest asset and the greatest downfall in this job is the fact there’s always “another song.” There’s music we’ve never heard, music we’ve forgotten, songs that we never realized sounded great together. Because of this, it never gets boring. No matter where you are, there’s not a dead end job in this business. Any club can be made successful. Any shift can become a money maker if you work hard enough for it. And it’s that chase for perfection that gets us there. But we sprint along the edge of chaos on a very fine line. So many times, we question ourselves again and again. “Did I do this right? What could I have done better?’ We are regularly our own worst enemy. I can’t count the times I was 100% certain that I’d fumbled the ball or had “mastered mediocrity” only to get a compliment on how great the music was from guests and a hand shake and a “job well done” from the MOD. It comes with the territory of being pursuing this career. In the end, we’re truly only ever competing with ourselves.
It’s a slippery slope, being in the D.J. racket. Ego comes with the game, but it’s not built on it’s own. It’s the years of being told we’re great at what we do that nurtures it. Transitioning that ego into something productive is how we improve and excel. It’s hard not taking ourselves so seriously sometimes. But it’s usually those days that we just let go without overthinking it that we end up being our best. Don’t get too caught up in it all. One of the most well respected D.J.s I know, Tim Rhodes, always says. “Don’t take it so seriously. We’re just titty bar D.J.s” To me, he’s not saying he’s not proud of the job he does, but that we can’t let the stress of perfection get to be too much. Simply, it’s easy to let this job consume your life. Remember why we do this job in the first place. It’s the love of the music. The naked women. The laughs from the audience. And to hear those classic words from a drunken fool that looks at you with jealous eyes as if you’re his hero, “You’ve got the best job in the world, man!” Damn right I do. Thanks for reading.
Ron “D.J. Ron James” Sparkman
Thee New Dollhouse, SC