Well its certainly been a long time since I've had a minute to type out a new blog entry. As our industry is always changing and evolving I have come to a few realizations lately. The first one is, this job can be very lonely as corny as that may sound. What I mean by that is, especially in the "mobile" circuit when you go to play an event i.e.; a wedding, sweet 16, corporate event, birthday party, etc. you are usually the only person there that no one knows. That may make most people uncomfortable. As for me, I have gotten used to it, but it can be lonely if not awkward at times.
One thing I've always enjoyed when going to work is interacting with co-workers. That's really the best part of any job - is being able to relate and joke with your colleagues. From the aspect of the Mobile DJ industry you just don't have that very often. Of course, there are the times when it's a two man team, like for a fashion event for instance, but for the most part, you are riding solo and that includes the ride there and back as well.
The point I'm getting at is that I have been in the mobile environment for the past 10 years with Dj's Available, whom I consider family. They also hold first priority when it comes to bookings, but I am all about following opportunities and taking on more challenges. With that being said, I'm glad to report to you all that I am now also a part of the team at Philly Off Shore Entertainment which primally provides entertainment services for the Spirit Of Philadelphia Cruises.
The gentleman that runs the company is named Kurt Gibson and he's a super talented Dj & MC and is a very smart guy. For a person that it is almost 10 years younger than me, he's got his stuff together and has earned what he has built through plain old hard work and dedication, both through the craft and through the people around him.
I have to admit that when I was first talking with Kurt, as well as one of my good friends, Dj Bishop (Dj Bishop blog I wrote here), I was thinking this will be easy. Here I am a decent Dj and have done probably thousands events at this point, all different, this will be a walk in the park. Well, I can tell you it's not. There are always different aspects to this job and I learn new stuff all the time. I have a ton of respect for these guys. It's a lot more than just playing music and making a few announcements. If I had to compare it to something, it's almost like being a public relations person and a ring master at a circus. You really have to do whatever is necessary to make everyone who is aboard the ship, happy, all while being aware of what needs to be done in the time allotted. I also have to give kudos to the staff aboard the ship itself. They really do go above and beyond to make everyone have the best experience possible. I don't just mean the guests either.
My first cruise that I was a part of was on April 18th 2015. The cruise was an evening sail and the section that I was playing for was approx. 300-350 people, all celebrating different events. That's one thing I have never experienced. Even after all my events over the years I don't remember playing an event that wasn't celebrating one thing, one key focus. That's a challenge in itself. The awesome thing was Kurt made sure I was comfortable and went over what needed to get done and when. Usually when you do something over and over again it becomes second nature to you and when you try to show someone new what needs to get done it can be trying on your patience because to you, it's easy. I can say that Kurt didn't show any signs of frustration what-so-ever even though I'm sure I asked the same questions multiple times. I can also say that these types of events are very humbling to a person such as myself. Let's face it, we as Djs we have egos, some more then others. We need to be told sometimes that we are good at what we do and we need to feel confident at what we do. A crowd can spot a non-confident MC/DJ a mile away or maybe I should say a "knot" away. I can say firsthand it was a challenging evening. A day where I found the challenges I was looking for and also appreciate because I learned so much.
I have gone on long enough. I do have to get just a few more thoughts across though. Kurt was extremely helpful, as I explained, and he is smart because ultimately whatever I say or do reflects on him and his company. Not taking anything away from his help and guidance, but I was overwhelmed with the support from the staff aboard the ship itself such as the servers and the management team. Especially the servers, they really don't have much incentive to make sure I am ok other than on the ship we are a team. I'm sure to them it's probably not quite as important to them as it is to say, Kurt or the management if I am in need of any assistance. That didn't deter them at all from checking anyway. I can say I visit a fair amount of venues and that doesn't happen often.
Final thoughts. We are always so quick to complain about a service or a person when we are not satisfied. I think we need to put that same effort into giving credit when it's due. Next time you receive a service or someone helps you in some way, why not shout them out and just say a few words of thanks?
So thanks, Kurt Gibson, Dj Bishop, and the entire staff of The Spirit Of Philadelphia.