As a DJ (video intro above)
I’ve often believed that what a bride really wanted is someone that wouldn’t be a freak on their big day. Someone that wasn’t going to mis-pronounce the names of their family and friends, embarrass them on the dance floor and certainly someone that was going to show up and do their job like a professional. I can assure you I understand these needs and actually take care to deliver that on your wedding day. When I am asked what qualities I deem important in a mobile dj, my answer is, the dj must walk a fine line between being interactive yet not abrasive. He or she must have an understanding of all different eras of music to see to it that everyone, whether they are 9 or 90 has a good time. Also, and more importantly, a dj must keep an open mind musically. No 2 events are ever exactly the same and when they are treated with a cookie cutter recipe, the absence of creativity and spontaneity diminish; the end result is same ole same ole with nothing different or sensational. Many deejays have been playing the same music for the last 2 decades – they have not evolved.
As it relates to Michigan weddings, I firmly believe a dj must do more than just “spin tunes”. A good Michigan Wedding DJ must be sure to cover all the little details including getting the necessary people together for various dances, checking to be sure the champagne glasses are filled before a toast is called, making important announcements throughout the wedding reception (or corporate event) and more. These little details add up to the professional show I aim to deliver. 90% of the effort is behind the scenes stuff. It is the difference between chaos and calm. There are plenty of companies making all sorts of claims but the truth is, I own this craft and it wasn’t until I was in it for 10 plus years that I could say that. Most guys don’t even last 4 or 5 years from start to finish. That confidence comes from experience.
Not Just As a DJ…
Here is a little about me personally, in hopes you’ll find some common ground. The first time I ever saw an opportunity to get on stage I was in 5th grade and was putting chairs and tables up for an event at Star School in Royal Oak. I was a chair boy gone performer that day. I saw no one was around and ran to the microphone to introduce myself to the empty tables and chairs (though in my mind it was a full house of people). Fast forward to 1980 where I regularly borrowed the microphone during 8th grade dances to make special announcements and then finally to 1983 where as a sophomore in high school some friends and I had a hall party (think fake id’s). I grabbed my home stereo, my Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Billy Idol, John Cougar, Prince, MJ etc., and DJ’d my first Michigan party. My buddies and I were rockers so at the time I played what I had. I liked the pressure, I thrived on making people dance one track at a time. As a pitcher on the high school baseball team I found a similar high when pitching a winning game. I liked the pressure of coming through and winning a game. I graduated in 1985 from Kimball High School and over the next 5 years worked for myself in the landscaping business while attending OCC.
In 1990 after attending a friends wedding reception and seeing a very talented dj/emcee I sold my landscaping business, purchased dj equipment and moved to Florida to be trained by arguably the best mobile dj in the world, a former New York DJ of 20 years, Johnny Giardina. Even now at 60 plus years of age he can play, mix and dance to any type of music imaginable (soca, latin, techno, indie, hip hop, oldies etc.). Well, he taught me the business and the music but just as important he taught me my role as a mobile dj, a party motivator and an emcee. I eventually moved back to Michigan to pursue my degree at the University of Michigan (I take MSU money too) a little over a year later. It took me 12 years in total from high school to get my bachelors degree (psychology, business, philosophy) but I learned much more from the people along the way than I ever did in college — Johnny included. Now, at the age of 40 something (I know you already did the math), I have continued to improve my skills as a dj and nurture the other things important to me in my life. Here are two of them, Robin & Trinity (the dog is Rocket). The first and 3rd picture are taken at our family cabin in Waters, (Gaylord) MI. The one in the center is my now 11 y.o. daughter Trinity as a movie star (at 3) in piggy pajamas. I can’t take this picture down and update — it’s too precious. Piggy PJ’s and a pacifier… The very last one is from one event of many I’ve done for the Red Wings organization. That day I handled the emceeing for an absent Kenny Daniels and of course provided my game show services. It was quite honestly a “bucket list” opportunity for me. Announcing in a stadium setting with thousands of people present, miles of audio cabling, hundreds of speakers… ok – I won’t go on.
As a Dad, as a husband…
Above is a picture from October 2014 with my wife and daughter. My wife Robin (a jeweler) threw a surprise party for me. It was a “You Beat xancer” (x on purpose) & B’day party. Yes, I am a grateful stage 3 survivor. There were 90 plus people in attendance and it was indeed a landmark moment in my life to see all those people that I do life with. Some more often than others but wow was that a great experience. I was happy to celebrate life now that xancer was no longer a part of it. Also in the picture is my daughter Trinity. It took us 6 years of struggling to get that little blessing. It was worth it. I often laugh though because her name is so fitting. She is like “three”. She is really really strong willed. I got what I wanted – a strong willed daughter. I’m so glad she is a girl. I am sure a boy would have been super too but something about having a girl is really cool for me. She is growing up quick. Here (the picture above) Trin is 9 years old.
Robin and I both went to high school together and caught up at a house party I had when I was 21 ay my new house in Downtown Royal Oak (as it was becoming cool), a few years back. We went out for a while (commuter long distance thing) and then it ended. A couple years later I was a volunteer at the Fox Theatre in Detroit and we bumped into one another and started to go out again. We’ve been together a long time –21 years. She went to Eastern on a track scholarship and was an honor society student. I did neither LOL. Robin is an jeweler / artist, basketball coach and loves to fish. Trinity loves to fish and do art projects as well but I think she likes to wrestle more than either of those. She loves to open up a can of woop a%* and I love it too.
Is deejaying my only Job?
Occasionally people ask me if this is my only job and that’s a loaded question. The mobile dj business has continued to be a great source of income and a place for me to do what I love. However a simple google search will reveal a number of other things I truly enjoy. Here is a sampling…
Armed Consumer (Producer/Entrepreneur) This production was picked up by a major media distributor in July of 2008 and has sold nationwide. However many things come to an end… now I sell some online and need to get back to working on retail distribution.
I write and speak on psychology and entrepreneurship with 2 books; Get Unstuck & Lemonade Stand Simple and I’ve videos and articles all over the web. I teach business launch classes at the Royal Oak Public Library and coach clients each month. I love the launch.
I’ve travelled with Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Lou Holtz, Bill Cosby and more for several months as a professional platform speaker selling stock trading software before the seminar company went out of business. If they get it up and running again, I would be happy to get right back involved.
I do training events and entertainment as the Game Show Guy too…
Articles – I author stuff on a variety of topics
So, there is a little bit more about me and what I do, like and love.. Now, let me hear something about you and your wedding day. Shoot me an email so we can talk or call.