Tuesday, October 7, 2008

its a wonderful life (pause) not! part 1

Preface:Over the next few days I'm going to post my work situation since I've moved up to ct. I'm not posting this for sympathy, I am posting this hopefully for therapeutic purposes and for any insight that anyone can offer. Also I am not trying to play the victim here, I am a firm believer in everyone making the best of a situation, in my case I have chosen not to.

When I moved up from Texas to live with Alissa in Connecticut, I was very excited. College had been a bust for me and all I wanted to do was be a radio dj.
What Alissa offered me was possibly djing at her uncle's restaurant/bar during the summer.

In the meantime I had to find a job, I had worked @ bk from 96 to 01, and a kfc in both PA and TX, naturally these were my first choices. Unexplicably, I did not get any calls back from any of these places (although if you could see the people they had I was way way over-qualified), so I finally ended up accepting a job with a grinder (sub for philly peeps) store called Max Bibos, right across the street from where the Whalers use to play.

I don't remember how long I stayed there, but the long and short of it is the only duty they could give me was janitor because I have what you could call a weak stomach, everytime I smell/view something my brain percieves as nasty, the auto-gag reflex kicks in. Not a good trait to have in a deli.

So on to job hunting again, eventually I found via a newspaper article that a company was moving into the area and they were looking for people who wanted to be party djs (weddings, bdays, etc etc) and I jumped at the chance.

After going through a month of training and shadowing 3 times, I was ready to get my dj on.
The company supplied the dj equipment, and gave us 13 cds with the most popular music. Unfortuantely, if our people wanted other songs it was pretty much left up to the dj to get that music. With me being a music nut, I already had over 2k songs downloaded (napster, kazaa) so I was ahead of the curve.
The first gig I did was an asian wedding out in Danbury. I got lost of course but since I'm over-obsessive on arriving early I got there with plenty of time to spare.
This being my first gig by myself, I was nervous. The couple gave me a cd of asian songs to play and a list of songs that they wished to not have played. Easy enough.

The thing about weddings is they are the easiest kind of party to dj. You get hired for a 5 hour gig, the first hour is cocktail hour, the second hour is introductions, first dances, and dinner. The last 3 hours is dancing. In the first year alone I did 25 gigs and I developed a system. The first song I played was always a party song "get the party started" by Pink. Its one of those songs everyone knows and after sittin for 2 hours people want to just get out of their seat. After that I started going up through the decades of music 50/60s, then 70s/80s then today's music. I did this because I noticed older people who wanted to dance sat for popular music and also are always the first people to leave a wedding. I received many compliments for this as everyone got to dance to a song they liked.

The first gig was a disaster. Like I said the first 2 hours went fine. When it came time for the dancing, they had ordered extra lights and the whole shabang. Unfortunately I don't have a degree in electronics, couple that with the ragtag reception hall apparently not being very accomodating with sockets, the first few songs went off without a hitch, then the overload started. If you have any idea how a dj box is made you know they stick a strip inside the box so you can plug the dual cd players, the board, the mic, and on this occasion the lights into. Well only bad things can happen when you plug a lot of electronics into 1 strip, and it happened, in the middle of one of their Asian dance songs the entire system crapped out. My heart sank and I turned ghost white, I was ruining this person's special day, and I was panicking.
It also doesn't help when while you are trying to fix the problem you have a gaggle of people around you asking a thousand questions, eventually I got it up and running again. Not long after though it went down a second time. Basically the lights were the problem, and since I had no where to plug them in they had to go. No more problems.
As you can guess, no tip that night, and after a similar problem 2 weeks later the company discovered they gave me a faulty board. Problem never happened again.

Tomorrow: part 2
The company goes in a new direction.