First, my story! As regular readers will know, I am a Brit who lives in the Czech Republic. However, I regularly travel to the UK for gigs and when this tale begins I am in the UK having just finished playing at another amazing Absolute Radio ‘80s weekend. My phone suddenly starts buzzing. On my Czech number. The government has declared a state of emergency, everything is closed! In two messages I have lost my entire income for the foreseeable future; all of my DJing, gone; all of my teaching, gone. I work on a self-employed basis with both, so I’m in the boat with no paddle! It’s a rush to get back to the Czech Republic as the borders are closing, but I make it though (despite being turned away at the border on my first attempt!).
On my return, by law, I have to self-isolate for 14 days as the UK is categorised as a ‘risk’ country, which means my entire life routine has also gone. I need to adjust to the new normality. Which means a lot of down time, when I say a lot, I mean ‘crazy alotness’ (it’s a great made up phrase that serves its purpose in the context of this article, I hope Ed leaves it in!). This gave me lots of thinking time. How can I put my knowledge, skills and passion to work?
I’M MISSING THE GIGS!
Nothing will replace live gigs, let’s get that clear. You cannot replicate that buzz. But instead of wallowing in the disappointment of not being able to do what we love, it’s far better to use this time wisely to prepare for when we can get back out there and perform.
Why not look at different setup configurations for your light show and photograph the different options so that you can see them side by side and have a reference to help you decide what to take out for each gig. If the photographs are taken well, you can even include them as part of your advertising material to show future clients.
Assuming you are digital in your approach to music, why not use this opportunity to have a thorough sort through your collection? Go through every crate and folder, play the tracks, remind yourself of what hidden gems are lurking in there! Perhaps you might be inspired to add sub-crates so that everything is categorised in more detail. Also this will allow you to get rid of duplicates, free up valuable room on your hard drive, and possibly replace any poor copies of tracks. You could also add new cue points to your tracks to speed up your performance, either as a mixing DJ or as a host. It may seem mundane, but it’s a worthwhile exercise and at least you’ll still be working with the thing you love, music.
HELP! I NEED INCOME!!
So, what can a DJ (AKA Mr Button Pusher) do to elevate him or herself in these times? What makes us different from the man or woman in the street? What are our strengths?
The cold hard truth is that some of us may need to diversify, take on a day job to make ends meet. “But I’ve not had a real job in 20 years,” I hear many of you cry! “That will look rubbish on a CV!”
Well, let’s reset to a positive mindset on this one. If you need to take on a day job to make ends meet, sell yourself. That statement should instead be: “I have successfully run my own business for 20 years.” Same fact, far more positive angle. This then gives you a whole range of useful experience and abilities to offer:
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 101, Pages 38-40.