35 Things Learned in 35 Years # 18
As kids we hated doing homework. So often it seemed like a waste of time, designed to simply keep us busy, and not to instruct. Since the beginning of time students have procrastinated, copied the work of others, and developed enormous type fonts to stretch 50 words into a three-page paper.
But if knowledge is power, then study is the fuel. There is no substitute for doing your homework – especially since the Internet has made research so easy. Unless your dog can swallow a laptop, there is no excuse.
My friends are often surprised when I tell them how much time I invest in study, research, reading, and continuing education in order to operate PM Celebrations.
“But you’re a DJ,” they say, “Don’t you just push ‘play’?”
It reminds me of my friend Rev. Frank Briggs of Lighthouse Fellowship. One of his church members once told him “You only work one day a week, and that’s just for one hour!” As a PK (preacher’s kid) I understood the absurdity of that right away.
But a DJ must obviously keep up with current music. This means reading Billboard charts and DJ publications like Mobile Beat and Disc Jockey News, as well as numerous other sources.
And a sound and lighting technician (another job a DJ does) must keep up with a vast and rapidly-expanding world of emerging technology. Everything from sound mixing and editing to lighting control is programmable. PM Celebrations has 4 software packages for sound control, 3 to run lighting, and 5 for audio and video editing. How many professions require you to learn 12 kinds of software?
There are several dozen of the “jobs” a professional DJ entertainer performs, that would make a stand-alone career. And I often perform the tasks of a wedding coordinator, photographer, waiter, videographer, tailor, baker, bartender, and family counselor.
A career professional DJ is a businessman, which means keeping up with sales and marketing, bookkeeping, advertising, taxes, liability insurance, property inventories, warranties, two vehicles, and seven computers. Oh yes…there’s also the website…and the Blog…and WasteBook…
And keeping it all in good repair. It’s a full-time job.