Eat, Or Not To Eat?
Nalasco of Creative Sound Recording
Mobile DJ Service
After 24 years of being in the mobile disc-jockey business, and
after providing music for thousands of private parties, there is still one
item of concern that still seems to raise its ugly head. What is the best way
to handle DJ's eating and drinking at functions?
If you're like me, it's hard enough to make sure you have everything you need
to do a perfect job let alone bringing a cache of food and drink to suck up
behind the console or while driving to and from a job. We all know that some
of the best food we will ever see is served at these functions which are
usually held at meal time anyway. So why not dig in? Should you include the
meal as part of your compensation? If you are invited to eat and drink, do you
include the time it takes you to sit down and eat as part of your paid
performance? Do you park yourself with perfect strangers and pound down a few
beers right in front of the Bride and Groom? Or, do you sneak back to the
kitchen and kiss up to the caterer?
I'm sure you all have some horror stories on this subject. We've all made
stupid mistakes in climbing the learning curve. And, I'm sure some of you may
have a firm stand on these issues including absolutely NO ALCOHOL at all at
parties. Of course this may vary depending on whether you are a DJ employee or
a sole proprietor. I cannot answer every one of these issues for every DJ for
every circumstance. What I want to do here is offer a few guidelines based on
my own personal experience.
First of all, never, under any circumstances, indulge unless you are invited
or it is arranged in advance. Part of being prepared for the job is not going
into it hungry. I knew a DJ once who was very embarrassed when, after eating a
salad without being invited, had to be excused when it was pointed out that
his name was not the one on the place setting. It is quite easy to inquire and
feel out the banquet situation during your consultation. Make a place for it
on your information sheet so you don't forget. If a plate of food is brought
to you, set it aside for awhile if necessary, but don't eat behind your
console. If you are invited to the buffet, don't be anywhere near the front of
the line. Hang out with the photographer at the end.
Second, surely you must be aware of the legal drinking age in the state you
are performing in. Don't break the law, which includes drinking and driving.
Personally, the biggest problem I've had with drinking at DJ jobs is the
hangover the next day. I guess I've been lucky. Never keep more than a glass
of water behind the console. If your client brings you a tall cold one and
you're right in the middle of a hot dance set, do not guzzle it in sight of
the dance floor. Put on a long play and step aside.
The bottom line in regards to either eating and drinking or not on the job is
that you must be professional and remain in control. For some, this may mean
serious restrictions, but for others, allowances may be in order. It helps to
know your limits, pace yourself, and don't do anything that you would not want
a DJ doing for your party.
Comments on these issues may be submitted to:
Creative Sound Recording Mobile Dj Service
El Dorado Hills, California
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