We all make mistakes. Human error, unfortunately, is unavoidable in all walks of life. But in this article I’d like to focus on the inevitable occurrence of mistakes in the world of entertainment, as well as explore why they aren’t always the be-all and end-all. I’m sure that me mentioning this has already brought a cringe-inducing memory to the front of your mind, but just keep on reading and you’ll soon realise that you are far, far from alone…
Everyone Makes Mistakes
In entertainment it’s a given that not everything will go smoothly all of the time. Particularly when it comes to DJing, I can’t be the only one who’s had those moments where you feel like you’re being featured in a special ‘When Gigs Go Bad’ edition of You’ve Been Framed. Most of us will have our fair share of horror stories to tell (I certainly heard a few up in the bar at last month’s Pro Mobile Conference) and, in retrospect, these make for fun, often hilarious anecdotes. But while we can laugh about them later, these moments or mistakes (whatever you want to call them) can be scarily serious. Not only that, but they can make or break an event.
For me, one such time that springs to mind is when I snapped the CD draw on my Kam KCD850 MKII. I’d only just moved over from vinyl, so was still getting used to a different way of working. The current disc ejected while I was crouched down finding another CD and as I stood back up my head caught the drawer and snapped it clean off! (Luckily my act of complete idiocy was hidden by the booth, although there may have been one or two eagle-eyed guests who caught my quick audition for a Charlie Chaplin flick.)
This meant that I had to finish the event with only a single CD deck. Of course, as some of you will remember, players like the KCD850 took quite a long time to load a newly inserted disc or even change between tracks if you already had one loaded. This meant filling the silence between every song with small talk and audience interaction – while at the same time changing the CD and cueing the next track. Now for a full four-hour gig, that’s a lot of improvisation!
As I’ve said, memories like this and those tales of past mistakes are great to share and look back on. But in this article I don’t want to focus on the stories about the ‘little’ things or the mistakes that can be easily rectified, like forgetting your shoes and only having white trainers to wear (wrapping them with black gaffer tape was my solution); or leaving your belt at home (cable ties did the trick); or not realising it’s a black tie event and having to craft yourself a bow tie (gaffer tape to the rescue again). No, I’m talking about major problems! And when it comes to these big-time issues, I think I’m lucky to be able to say I’ve only ever had two.
The full article can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 76, Pages 28 - 30.