Editor’s note: James Randall is the head DJ at Men’s Club in Dallas, as well as an accomplished videographer. Check out his first piece for Panda! – Ron S.
by James Randall Shred
Head DJ, Men’s Club, Dallas
Many moons ago, before music came to be dominated by rappers flowing over dubstep beats I worked in an industry that closely mirrors our own: the food service industry. More particularly I was a bartender and a server.
Few industries have the turnover of the food service industry. Young people are hired and fired daily, or just quit and move to a different restaurant or bar, or even city. These are young people trying to find their way in life, and explore the world around them. It is difficult to decide where you belong when you have not seen every horizon.
Young entertainers are the same way. Many of them jump in for the quick cash, or just to travel. We as DJs are essentially their first line of defense and also the only people in the building capable of seeing these ladies as people. We are the ones they will, in general, listen to. We command their respect, we fight for them every night with every song selection and stage rotation.
But what do we do to help train them?
Customers are increasingly picky and demanding. It’s not always enough for a girl to shake it for the room….especially if you are working a slower night with her. At some point, she needs to have more to offer than the standard twerk-ology routine. This is ESPECIALLY accurate in “bottle service” clubs where a good conversation can help keep that customer in the private rooms even longer.
So how do you help a fresh entertainer in that regard? Here is MY methodology there…
Start by introducing your entertainer’s phone to some new apps. I start them off with Yahoo. Show them that while they are texting customers to come in that night, they can be clicking on some news stories or at least skimming headlines. This can keep them current on events in the world enough to catch a customer’s interest. Explain to them that they need not be educated, but knowing a few points or buzzwords can help them “fake it until they make it.”
Stress eye contact. New dancer can be nervous and shy. I start them off with the darkest club lights possible and tell them “customers can’t see you. So look at them. Get used to being able to catch someone’s gaze. Nothing is sexier than eye contact. Practicing it in dark lighting when they think a customer isn’t looking will help them break that fear and be more engaging.
The obvious stuff is recommending a gym membership and pole dancing classes. But if you want an entertainer that can truly knock it out of the park in all situations, you have to teach them to use their mind as well. It doesn’t take a college level education to make eye contact and be up on current events.
Remember this DOES matter to you as a DJ. If they don’t get paid….neither do you. Whether you think they will listen or follow through on your advice is irrelevant. Offer it anyways.