Professional DJs make things appear smooth even when they may not have been!

As a San Diego DJ specializing in weddings, I like to believe myself quick to pick up the vibe of any room to ensure a stress-free evening for the bride and groom. I like to believe that I am able to quickly sum up any logistical problems with any situation involving the venue in which I am entertaining. I try to make this appear effortless. The whole idea can be summed up in a word: "smooth." As a professional, you always want smooth. The following is a story by a DJ who really found out how difficult 'smooth' can be.

Wedding DJ

Arriving downtown at the city's aquarium, I felt very prepared and was looking forward to a great night. My earlier consultation with the bride and groom found them to be very cool. Even the music they chose (a mix of smooth jazz and "bada-bing" standards) indicated an elegant, enjoyable evening was in store. The weather was perfect and I envisioned the sweet melodies that would soon be set adrift across the beautiful location they had scoped out on the harbor. As the sun set, guests would begin to enjoy the pleasures of the evening, surrounded by an atmosphere enhanced by hundreds of swimming sharks and exotic fish swimming in their large tanks. A grand celebration would soon begin and as an experienced DJ I expected everything would run smoothly.

As I approached the gate leading to the service entrance of the aquarium building, the appearance of a large red fire truck, lights flashing, produced the first tremor in my vibe. All the sightseers who belonged inside were scattered outside. "There has been a fire in the kitchen!" the aquarium manager told me, as she and the wedding coordinator paced outside the entrance, the latter muttering, "What a day, already." The manager said to come back in an hour and a half to set up. Under the circumstances, I completely understood, and asked if there were any special instructions for me to set up. "Oh no, she said, just come back at six, the set up is simple." Always suspicious of the idea, "It will be easy," I felt another twinge of fear.

After a nice lunch a block away at a local deli, I approached the gate again. This time there was no fire truck €”a good sign. Once inside on the aquarium's main floor with my equipment, I was directed to set up adjacent to a massive cylindrical fish tank. The manager and I moved my table several times before she was satisfied that it was exactly centered. Adding another piece of equipment to the table's weight seemed to trigger her need to move the table yet another time. I was extremely careful with each move not to scratch the expensive inlaid tile floor depicting the harbor estuary in fine detail.

Within thirty minutes until the first guest would arrive, I turned on my equipment to test. "Mic check, 1, 2, 3DRIP!" A very large drop of water landed squarely on my mixing board. Looking up, I could see no air vents or piping, I could only see the ceiling smiling back and as I watched, another drop released itself €”this time right smack on my forehead. In any other building, a leak from the ceiling is of little consequence, but this is the city's aquarium. One floor above my head was a tank containing tons of water and an impressive array of sea creatures, all shapes and sizes (as stated in the official brochure). Once again the manager and I moved my table €”this time away from the dripping ceiling. When I bore her the news that her aquarium was leaking, I swear I saw something rustle loose under her professional persona. But, outwardly she remained fairly unruffled €”very smooth.

I can state with all confidence that the reception event itself (excuse the expression) went off swimmingly.

The bride and groom arrived and greeted their guests with the sounds of smooth jazz playing in the background. Now, I almost felt guilty enjoying my smooth cocoon as only a few hours earlier everything around me had threatened to either burn down or flood. Things were now going according to plan: toasts were made, cake was served, the music kicked up €”the party was on. At evening's end, the bride and groom thanked me for adding to a great night. The end.

Well, not quite. The evening ended as it began, with the arrival of the city fire engine. We were informed by a firefighter that they were here to release fourteen guests trapped in the aquarium's elevator. I packed up to go.

They failed to get the elevator door to open. All fourteen guests, including one lady well beyond her seventieth birthday, were hauled unceremoniously through the trapdoor to freedom. As I rode away from the aquarium, I recalled hoping they all made it home safely. I suppose no one should complain, considering the potential for disaster we all had escaped.

Anyway, another  reception concluded. I actually had enjoyed the party. I like it when, regardless of the potholes (fire, drips from a shark tank, elevators that don't move) that threaten to sink an event, the DJ makes it appear to run effortlessly. I like it when they go like that €”you know, smooth.