I was on DJ duty at the Ishikawa Dragon Bar-b- que today. It's a little PTO fundraiser at the elementary school down the street from here. It was kind of an end-of-the-school-year-end-of-State-mandated-testing-party that would have been even better had it been held closer to the end of the school year but the weather is much nicer now to have such a celebration. 6 or 8 classrooms at a time had lunch served out in the courtyard in shifts. I had a few announcements and giveaways from local merchants to make it fun in addition to some good music. Parents were invited to come down and have lunch with their kidlets.
We had a screaming contest. The 2nd graders won by a landslide! I reminded them that I was a grown up now and that Principal Heath couldn't make me sit in her office for having a screaming contest but that she may still take me out in the parking lot and beat me up. The amount of dust kicked up by 100 dancing 6th graders at the last lunch shift was alarming. I'm glad the food was kinda put away by then. We did the YMCA, we did the cha-cha slide, we did Hannah Montana. It was-- lovely. I hated to get those kids so worked up to send them back to class for 2 more hours, let alone 25 more school days.
It is good to have several thousand watts of sound reinforcing power at my disposal, but the mistake many DJs make is that they think they need to be loud to be heard. There are a hundred other ways to command attention without making loud announcements. The dying art of story telling is one of them. When the kindergartners and 1st graders came out, (there were about 80 of them) I said hello to them over the sound system and then lowered my voice and drew them in to a story about how I had arisen from my bed early in the morning while everyone was still asleep and the stars were still shining and I drove my van out into the desert north of town here by the Salt River and I quietly hid behind a giant Saguaro cactus until the sun started to come up and I and waited for a dragon to make its way down to the river for a morning drink... then I got out my sword and I quietly snuck up behind the dragon and I SLEW the dragon and his guts were spilling out everywhere and I was slipping around in his guts and I put it in my van and brought it back to the school cafeteria and they cut it into little pieces and they threw it on the grill and now we'll be having some Dragon burgers and some Dragon dogs and they will be Deeeee-lish! I added that it was a lot of work and that I hoped they would each enjoy their Dragon burgers and Dragon dogs... and then I smiled at them silently for a moment.
There was sort of a collective question mark over their heads.
What was so fun and great about it was that they quieted down and listened! No shouting required. You could see the imagination in their eyes and the wheels turning in their heads to processing the thought of a dragon living in the desert north of Mesa Arizona and that their favorite DJ could kill it and then there was the added wonder of what a dragon burger might taste like and whether there might be anything else to eat.
I am the El Presidente of the American DJ Association and our educational content this month was about developing the next generation of DJ customers. It was a really fun event today and I feel like I helped to tie it all together and turn it from a good event to a great event and that those kids will grow up thinking that if you want a great event, you hire a professional DJ.
I guess if you just want some story time, you could call me for that too.