Professionalism refers to one’s professional status, methods, character, or standards (dictionary.com). This is also reflected in attitude. A DJ’s professionalism can have a huge impact on bookings and even fans. Let’s look at some examples of how this can impact a DJ’s career.
Attitude is everything
I’ve booked many DJs for events over the years and simply put, DJs with a positive attitude are easy to work with and fun to be around. I’m more likely to bring them back too. Attitude can refer to a number of things; from working with me on a reasonable fee (based on venue size, door cover, day of the week, etc), promoting the event (via social networking is fine), to interacting with those involved and fans, dealing with equipment, and simply not being a diva about everything.
Most importantly, having a great attitude is about acknowledging people when they come up to you and introduce themselves….being humble. When someone tells me that they are happy I’m there, or I’m a big fan, or anything like that, I thank them whole heartedly, shake their hand, or even give them a hug. If I have a mix CD on me I give it to them as well. Sometimes I even suggest we take a picture for my website.
My biggest professionalism pet peeve I have is when DJs double book themselves. Sometimes this is intentional when a DJ has two gigs at different times on different sides of town. In a big city with different markets this can be done. However, it should be clear to both promoters before accepting both gigs. But this isn’t what I’m referring to. I’m talking about accepting two gigs on the same night in two different parts of the world and not showing up for one of them. I don’t care how hot of a DJ you are, and how much the other promoter offered you, doing this is completely unprofessional….and to just not showing up is the worst thing a DJ can do. A make up show is a loss as well. No one who came to the first one is going to have any faith that the DJ will show up for the next one.
I’ve seen, on more than one occasion, DJs actually threaten bodily harm to promoters and club owners. I will say in most cases the DJ was wronged and had every right to be irate. But let’s not get illegal here. I mean I’ve seen them threaten to call they’re “boys” to tear the place up. This kind of behavior is completely unprofessional and will definitely bar you from future gigs. There has got to be a better way to handle bad situations. That’s why DJs should use contracts.
Man if I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen a DJ get smashed at a gig and make an ass of himself. Have a few drinks but don’t loose your composure. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all had our moments and should be given some level of forgiveness. Some drunks are funny and can still perform. Some are not so humorous and it ruins their set. This is a tough one because drinking is part of the scene. Unfortunately, so are drugs and this is another area that can lead to a memorable unprofessional situation. Know your limits.
Again….all of this within reason. DJs are entitled to a fair fee and equipment expectations but sometimes things don’t go as planned. I also know that many DJs have been burned in the past and as a result are not always ready to place a lot of trust in others. So there are two sides to this. But still…try to stay positive and professional. It will pay off in the long run.