Jemstar Entertainment

Friday, February 19, 2010

Embarrassment To The DJ Industry

By Mike Fernino / Music In Motion Disc Jockey Entertainment New England

Oh the shame! The photo displayed was from an ad run on Yahoo which obviously shows how to crop an image and get rid of unwanted background. In the photo, a bride and groom with a tacky, totally unprofessional ” DJ ” in the background. His shirt is un-tucked, tie a mess, and using a corded mic. ( Where’s the wireless??? ) YIKES! Thank the LORD he at least had on a tie!

The underlying problem here is that this is what people think of when they think of a DJ. My industry, that I have worked so hard for to establish professional legitimacy, has a black eye and a bad perception. If this is what people think of when they think ” DJ ” then all of the DJs around our nation need to take a long look at how to fix this problem.

Would a doctor, lawyer, or professional athlete be mocked in such a manner? NO! But tacky DJ? Well, we are just a prime target for this abuse. Much of it well earned and deserved because the majority of my industry still is part time, un-insured, and unprofessional. They don’t attend professional trade shows like Mobile Beat or attempt to improve their position with education and training. If we are ever to achieve full respect and autonomy as an industry, we need to legitimise ourselves by membership in organizations like the American Disc Jockey Association, and operate under professional full time business practices. As an industry, we have so much work to do. Time to start!

P.S.: Yes...Several people have brought to my attention that this might just be a family member, and not a DJ. Either way, I am just raw from the disrespect the mobile DJ industry gets on a regular basis. So maybe I'm a bit over-sensitive.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why $395 DJs don’t belong in YOUR SCHOOL!

DJ and Author, Arnoldo Offermann of A Premier Entertainment wrote this in his blog on July 14th, 2009:

I had a friend ask me why $395 DJs shouldn’t belong in a school. Below is my reply.

Click below to read and PLEASE leave a comment.

$395 DJs are bringing out $395 worth of DJ, lol.

Here’s a cost breakdown for a small DJ package that can handle around 500 kids:

  • Two speakers = $800/each (there are cheaper, but they will sound like butt or not handle 500 kids at all)

  • One Sub = $1500

  • 1 year music subscription (multiples by the last 5 years) = $1,200

  • Trussing (to hand lights from)… At the cheapest $2,000

  • A small light show consisting of 4 LED floods and one centerpiece effects light = $1000

  • Clamps & cords = $200

  • Jessica Lunsford Act (fingerprinting & license to perform in schools) = $80

  • Cheap Mixer = $300

  • Cheap CD Players = $300

  • WIRED (not wireless) Microphone = $100

  • Tripods for speakers (non-Frankenstand) = $100

  • Console to hold everything together = $200

  • Controller for lights = $500

That’s $9080.

All rental companies charge at least 10% of cost. This means that to rent out this system at 10% it would be $900 (no one rents at 10% nowadays... It’s 20-30, lol).

$900 is $505 more than $395. This means the DJ either:

1) values his skills at NEGATIVE $505... or
2) He’s bringing out low-grade equipment that won’t serve justice to the students.

Talent alone for 4 hours is worth more than $395. Ask anyone who’s seen our guys.

Not to mention that the prices I described are bottom of the barrel for the equipment needed… Obviously we bring out a much more sophisticated system.

It’s all about paying what it’s worth. The entertainment is 100% success of the dance. Kids will NOT dance if there’s decorations, food and no DJ. They’ll go home. But they WILL dance if there’s a DJ but no food or decorations.

If someone spends $1500 on décor $500 on food… but only $500 on DJ, that means they believe that DJ is only 20% of the dance’s success. A $400-500 DJ cannot bring the same level of entertainment and awe that a higher-end DJ can. A homecoming and prom needs to be considered a business— if you want to keep the kids coming back again and again, to have to invest a little more.

That said, $3000 (which is our average price) is NOT high at all considering that we’ve booked as high as $12,000+. Even at those higher numbers, the schools turn out profit because tickets are always sold out.

In short, it’s not possible to run a business and provide effective equipment and service at $395. Even if they were booked 52 days of the year, that’s $20,000…. barely double of what it costs to purchase the equipment, not including the cost of running a business itself… and gas ain’t cheap either.

That’s just ONE reason…. There’s plenty of them, but this is the one that affects the school’s wallet— so it’s the most important one. Thanks!

Responses to “Why $395 DJs don’t belong in YOUR SCHOOL!”

  1. Jeffrey Evan Mufson Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 10:50 am
    Now, talk about this in relation to our discussion at the Kapok Special Events Center last month…You hit on the nerve that I wanted to hit on, but was apparently too delicate to touch upon at the time.

  2. Steve Croce Says:
    July 30th, 2009 at 8:25 am
    I should send you some photos I shot with my spy camera… I once saw the most pathetic DJ equipment setup ever and HAD to capture it for posterity.

  3. Arnoldo Offermann Says:
    July 30th, 2009 at 9:03 am
    I’d love to see it!!

  4. Robbie Green Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 9:42 am
    The logic is inescapable. I’d be curious to know if you’ve actually presented it to any schools and what their response was.

    There are plenty of desperate DJs (particularly now) who would go lower than $395 around here. For low end DJs, the going rate seems to be about $200.

    I suppose if you’re totally desperate, some money is better than no money, but how are the schools to know who’s desperate but properly equipped or who’s just a hack with practically no gear looking to make a buck.

    They don’t…

Friday, August 21, 2009

Your Disc Jockey / Entertainer & The Wedding Day Process

Brian C Idocks PhotographicsWe only get married once (one would hope)...Therefore, I cannot convey to you enough how much I appreciate the importance of good wedding reception service (See My Promise To You). The process of a wedding day, to me, has always been kind of like a medical procedure, likening your Disc Jockey / Entertainer to a surgeon; All it would take is one mishap to mar the entire operation, possibly leaving a scar that might never be forgotten. I don't ever want to be that "doc" who leaves the forceps inside the wound or "removes the wrong kidney". Believe me...With over 25 years of wedding entertainment experience and continuous training, you know I've had my share of learning situations just like any seasoned professional. I could probably write an entire book.

Brian C Idocks PhotographicsNever underestimate the value of a good wedding reception field general; Your Disc Jockey / Entertainer is the one who would be coordinating all the affair details with your entire wedding vendor team to ensure your party flows effortlessly. He/She'd be the one who will pack your dance floor, making announcements exactly when they should be made, creating the excitement without being loud and overbearing, making sure that your reception will be a great and memorable affair infused with refinement and professionalism.

It won't be the photographer, nor the caterer, not even the event coordinator who's responsibility it will be. It's all on me.

Consider this: If people end up not liking the veggie dip, or if there's a misspelling in your invitation, nobody will remember that. But if your entertainment is lacking and nobody wants to dance, or even knows what to do or where to go, and people just want to go home because of some jerk messing around with "Mr. Microphone" while playing nothing but Pink Floyd (just like "leaving those forceps in the wound"), then that's what will leave a negative mark; a memory lingering in everyone's mental hard drive. Now you've just wasted your money during one of the most important events of your life. That's the difference between an amateur and a professional...That's how important my job is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Your Event Is "MORE Than Just About The Music"

Here's Why I Always Say Your Event Is...

"MORE Than Just About The Music"
Any full-time professional entertainer/DJ/MC who is worth his/her salt
will accept the following responsibilities:
  • EmCee / Entertainer
  • DJ / Creative Music Player
  • Event / Party Planner
  • Experienced Educator
  • Problem Solver / Avoider
  • Information Booth
  • Flow Conductor
  • Group Leader
  • Mediator
  • Source Of Stability
  • Appreciative Provider
  • Newest Best Friend
EmCee / Entertainer - Personally and individually works each event, interacting with the guests and encouraging participation through humor, leadership and a positive attitude. You get a proven Olympic Class performer, who knows how to produce in even the most high pressure, high stress working environments. A proven professional who doesn't panic.

"DJ": A human JUKEBOX, without thought or feeling...
"ENTERTAINER": A Therapist using Fun as a cure...

DJ / Creative Music Player - When it's time to dance, he mixes a wide variety of great dance music of over 20,000 digital tunes to invigorate and energize the audience.

Event / Party Planner - Ever heard the expression, "You can never be too thin or too rich"? Yeah, me too. But rich and thin have nothing to do with party planning, trust me. When it comes to entertaining, "you can never be TOO organized!" And you can quote me.

Experienced Educator - Responsible for implementing program curriculum using event appropriate activities. Provide help to the client and their guests in providing appropriate education in areas of the event. This includes but is not limited to, implementing activities, dining, dancing, communicating professionally with guests, and providing an entertaining environment for everyone. Responsible for planning and implementing specific activities under client's guidance and wishes. Interacts with guests to facilitate fun during all events. Attends guest’s physical and emotional needs. Interacts with guests in a positive, sensitive, professional and informative manner; Maintain and keep confidential all information on client.

Problem Solver / Avoider - After lots of meetings, training, and conversations, I've discovered that most people don’t have any idea how to solve a problem. Problems can seem pretty awful at times, but if we didn’t have problems, I would not be needed, have a job, or have an opportunity to serve you to my fullest capacity. Then, again, perhaps an experienced DJ knows how to avoid problems all together.

Information Booth - The DJ is typically the conduit for everyone's questions.

Flow Conductor - A professional DJ / MC worth his salt will be the conductor, because he could feel the audience and thus make the music and activities flow as they were flowing and move as they were moving.

Group Leader - Your 'group' is depending on me to make wise decisions and stay organized. Whatever I can do to make your event go smoothly, I will be happy to assist you. It is the responsibility of the group leader to disseminate information to all members of a multitude.

Mediator - Mediation is the process in which a neutral third party (mediator) assists the conflicting parties to come to an agreement between them. The mediator's role is to assist the negotiations by helping to establish the ground rules for the discussions and by promoting clear communication. The mediator will remain neutral and cannot make a decision for the parties. Any DJ / MC / Event Planner must be able to remain calm in the face of adversity. Of course, he or she must be personable and, as mentioned earlier, a good negotiator. I, at times, become the mouthpiece for the Bride and Groom when it comes to placement of flowers, coordinating with a band and photographer, caterer, etc. My reputation depends on it. Since most brides & grooms-to-be have neither the time or the resources to pull off such a social chore, many are turning to us "pro's" to handle it for them. A good mediator should be able to do just that, "handle" the situation.

Source Of Stability - Weddings are actually very complex emotional mazes. Even the most well-planned, beautifully orchestrated event has some sort of emotional twist or turn that a professional must be able to skillfully negotiate. The DJ is, at times, the one person who knows the most about the event. It is imperative that he/she literally be "on top" of everything, sometimes every finite detail. One never knows when pandemonium may break out or when the bride (or her mother) may call for an update on a certain portion of the wedding. Knowing all of the little intricacies on the event allows for a fair amount of control. Control is an important issue when it comes to dealing with a group of people (no matter what the occasion !). This is not to say that your DJ will rule the event with an iron fist (although this has been know to occur...), rather it means that he or she will have the capability and the confidence in knowing all of the issues and their meanings as they pertain to any particular wedding or event.

Appreciative Provider - "Thank You". No, I really mean it. "Thank You". Now, isn't that refreshing? Many experts have suggested how better to serve and satisfy customers. I see the relationship between customer and service provider is give and take, its not only a one sided relationship. When you give better service, customers appreciate you more. When you give lousy service, customers can be a pain in the neck. The flipside is also true. When you are an appreciative and considerate customer, people tend to serve you better. When you rant and fume and pound the table, people serve you grudgingly, if at all.

Your Newest Best Friend - Service so personalized and up front that not only do I become part of your planning committee, your MC, DJ, Entertainer, Educator, Problem Solver, Group Leader, Mediator and Provider, I will naturally become your "Newest Best Friend" because our relationship will hopefully continue way beyond the day I am hired for. This, in a nut-shell, is the secret to my success.

Inspiration for this article based upon published thoughts by DJ / MC / Entertainer / Seminar Guru and friend
David van Enger; Music In Motion, Sacramento, California

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mattie's Mother Has A Book In The Works

Jeni and Mattie StepanekJeni Stepanek, mother of late MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Mattie J.T. Stepanek, signed with Dutton publishers to write a book entitled Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs. Due to be released in November, the book will tell the story of the highs and lows, poverty and celebrity in Mattie's remarkable life. Included will be previously unpublished photos, essays, poetry and Mattie's correspondence with such influential friends as former president Jimmy Carter and Oprah Winfrey. Maya Angelou has written the book's foreword.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Mobile Disc Jockeys Require Continued Education.

I'm not afraid to invest the time/$ to re-educate myself...or admit that I need to. I'm not going to allow myself to fall into the trap of self complacence. Plus, I want to advance my industry any way I can, so I'll contribute til I'm blue and dead.Heck, If some of Tampa's best and most prominent Mobile DJ/Entertainers are consistently taking advantage (Rob, Howard, Doug, Grant (Rob Vollmar) Hemond, Kelly...(can't write em all) would make sense to join them.

One has to decide if you are a "Giver" or a "Taker"...

One has to take the time to gather enough information to formulate whether their chosen vocation requires continued education, or are they doing it only out of ill-conceived convenience (no education required); Is it only about purchasing equipment and music? Is it only for weekend warriors? Can a "monkey" really do this job? Can talent be learned? IS there really more to learn in this vocation? Are there really more priorities than using others to advance yourself?

Yes...We offer ourselves for our competitors to use, thus it makes sense for them to be suspicious of our motives, but without being with us, melding with us, hanging with us on a consistent basis, these "competitors" will never EVER see the fruitful visions we see...They will only continue to perceive their fears.

The vice-versa has just as true an effect: We will never have the opportunity to truly learn what holds them back from such a wonderful benefit (if it's other than fear itself).

If one believes my supposition has no merit, then it truly demonstrates my point.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PT Barnum is credited for saying, "There's one born every minute!"

Check this out! I just received this in an email...Any of you ever get this SHLOCK?

Also...scroll down to the bottom and get ready to laugh at their FAQ info.

Award Image I am pleased to announce that Jemstar Entertainment has been selected for the 2009 Best of Tampa Award in the Disc Jockey Service category by the US Commerce Association.

In recognition of your achievement, a 2009 Best of Tampa Award has been designed for display at your place of business. You may arrange to have your award sent directly to Jemstar Entertainment by following the simple steps on the 2009 Best of Tampa Award order form. Simply copy and paste this link into your browser to receive your award:

Each year, the US Commerce Association (USCA) identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Also, a copy of the press release publicizing the selection of Jemstar Entertainment has been posted on our website. The USCA hereby grants Jemstar Entertainment a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, distribute, and display this press release in any media formats and through any media channels.

An Award Code has been assigned to your company that can be used on our website for quick access to your award information and press release.

Your Award Code is: HV-WUB-V7


Ashley Carter
Selection Committee Chair
US Commerce Association

The intended recipient of this notification is the Marketing Director for Jemstar Entertainment. If you have received this email in error please forward it to the intended recipient. If you do not wish to receive further advertisements from Best of Tampa Award Program, please mail a written request to:, 2020 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20006 or simply click to opt-out.

NOW...Check out this FAQ page!

Award Winner FAQ:

Do you have a phone number I can call and discuss my award?

We are happy to respond to any questions you have in writing. In order to remain neutral and maintain the integrity of our selection process, we are required by association by-laws to document any conversations with businesses that are under consideration for recognition or have been selected as winners.

How was I selected as a winner?

Selection as a 2009 Award Winner is determined by the marketing success of your company in your local community and business category. The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program uses information gathered internally in conjunction with third-party data as a part of its selection process.

Do I have to become a member to receive my award?

As an Award recipient, there is no requirement to join the USCA. We simply ask each award recipient to pay for the cost of their plaque. The revenue generated by the USCA through the Award Program helps to pay for operational support, marketing and partnership programs for local businesses across America.

How much does the plaque cost?

There are various plaques sizes and shipping options. Simply click on the link in the email you received and follow the instructions for pricing and to receive your award.

Folks...PT Barnum is credited for saying, "There's one born every minute"

Well, I ain't one of them (THIS time!).