How I became a Corporate DJ. Part 3

The first gig I did with Tera was, quite possibly, the worlds fanciest Quinceañera. I’m not joking. This family flew a 12+ piece band out from Los Angeles to perform the girls party and that wasn’t all! They had rented a space out at a museum in San Antonio and build a huge tent for the event to take place. In fact, the tent was so large that they had to cut down an oak tree at the museum just to accommodate it! Imagine that for a second. Your party is such a big deal that a museum is willing to cut down an oak tree that’s hundreds of years old (I’m only guessing here, I didn’t ask for the trees birth certificate) just so you can dance all over the ground where it once lived. It was that kind of party and I was BLOWN AWAY to get to DJ.

It was my first time working with The Red Hot Band, or any band really and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The band played a 45 minute set and then it was my job to keep the audience dancing for 15-20 minutes until the band returned from their break. Now, if you’ve ever been a DJ who has to transition from the energy of a full band to you pressing play on a track, you already know how hard this can be but wait, theirs more!!! When the band went on their break there were cirque performers who came out to entertain people in a completely different room which of course took 100% of the people off the dance floor and left me 1 song in feeling like a total failure.

There were maybe 1,400 people at this party and zero of them were interested in dancing to the DJ, me, in the other room. I remember thinking two very specific things: 1. Carson, who was running sound, must think I’m a terrible DJ and 2. Tera is never going to hire me again. By the grace of God and Katy Perry, a cool remix of “Firework” brough a flood of people back to the dance floor once the cirque performers finished. I started feeling good again and mixed in some other fun high energy remixes until the band returned, looking slightly impressed that there were people still dancing.

We finished that gig around midnight and I’ll never forget the exhilarating feeling I had seeing a dance floor packed with people both when I was DJ’ing and when I was a part of The Red Hot Band sets throughout the night. At one point, during “Timber” we all stoped and took a band selfie with the audience. It’s a memory I hold dear and a picture that I still have to this day. At the end of the night, the band went to the bar for drinks, which is weird because they never do that, but I stayed and tore down my DJ rig. I didn’t feel like I was a part of the group yet so I just kept to myself. The truth is, I was happy. It was fine that I was by myself tearing down equipment, it didn’t matter. I knew that I was doing what I loved.

The next morning we had a 4am flight for reasons I do still don’t understand. I barely made it to the lobby in time but it turns out Brad Sharpe, one of the singers in the band, was even later than I was so it was no big deal…Brad… Love that guy…

How I became a Corporate DJ. Part 2

Before stepping into the entertainment industry I really thought I was a big fish, and to an extent I was. People in my city new who I was. I couldn’t go out anywhere without being recognized or talked to. When I decided to jump into the corporate scene I was started to find out how small of a pond I was coming from and truly how small of a fish I was.

It’s only fair to recognize some important people here. Cory (DJ CoryLive) and Tera Almeida are fundamental to my success as a DJ and a Host. There are so many other DJ’s out there, as well as MC’s, that have been doing it longer, are technically more proficient and better trained then I am, but are still stuck doing gigs for pennies a night. They say that in entertainment, “It’s all about who you know” and lucky for me, I knew Cory and Tera. Well, I didn’t really know them as much as I happened to run into the at a wedding of a friend of mine.
I’ll never forget standing there in front of Cory, impeccably dressed, and Tera, looking magnificent with her fiery red hair. Tera had heard about my DJ’ing and commented on my hip fashion, black pants and grey plaid shirt with black skinny tie before asking, “Can you mix music? Can you scratch?” I answered the questions humbly and as best as I could, never expecting that anything would come of it.

Next thing I new, just a few months later, I was on a plane headed from Los Angeles to San Antonia with Tera and the Red Hot Band for my first gig that wasn’t a wedding…

How I became a Corporate DJ. Part 1

Honestly, it was surreal the first few times it happened. I went from being a wedding DJ to a high profile corporate event DJ in a flash. My first few clients were Google, Twitter and Disney and I couldn’t help but wonder how I got here, or more importantly how do I stay here!?

There’s no doubt about it, I suffer from imposter syndrome. Put simply, I’m always worried that someone is going to tell me I don’t belong here and tell me to leave. It’s almost as if I’ve been living a fantasy for years. Never having really been good at what I do, just some how getting hired over and over again to do huge events even inspire of my own perceived merit.

Over the years I’ve realized that I’ve watched and trained under the best in the business, honing my own skills as I take pieces away from the DJ’s and MC’s that have inspired me. I was naturally good at what I did, DJ’ing and Hosting parties, but it wasn’t until I left my small pond and took a dip into the much much bigger waters that I realized I still had much to learn.