Author: Stu Kearns

Recently, a DJ newbie in the U.K. named Simon Gray posted this online: “I am a mobile DJ and I am just starting out. How do I promote myself? I have made posters, business cards, mailers to hotels and youth clubs, and have a mobile-disco live-stream page for nights. I have seven gigs booked this year, but I want more. Any advice?”  The replies from other jocks, mostly veterans, were numerous and useful. They included:   Ian Watkinson: “You are doing all the right things. You are going to need to charge a little less, as you don’t have the reputation…

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DJ Taso Dakas is a successful luxury-wedding and event DJ based in New Jersey’s Raritan Valley area, about 25 miles outside New York City.  From his Monmouth County base where he runs Luxe Event DJ & Production, Dakas has been a full-time, single-op mobile entertainer since 2012. In the previous issue of DJ LIFE, you might’ve seen a feature that contrasted Dakas’ method of marketing (word-of-mouth) with that of another Jersey-based jock (online). Whatever works… and to each his own, right?  Well, Dakas has staked a formidable claim in his ultra-competitive New Jersey market, so we asked him for some…

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Among some DJs there’s a sense of resentment towards wedding photographers. They don’t always play as a team, it’s alleged, and it recently prompted DJ Mike Bacon of Ambient DJs in East Windsor, N.J., to start an online conversation.   “Wedding photographers – not all – will take every possible measure to make sure I’m not in the background of any pictures,” he wrote, “or arrange any photos with me and the married couple, but also clutter their equipment in front of my booth, set up lighting that could light Yankee Stadium on the dancefloor and plug and attach their recording…

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Ivyland, Pa. – Never one to put all his eggs in one basket, Ross Akselrad is one mobile-entertainer/entrepreneur whose ability to compartmentalize – and change on the fly – has paid big dividends.  To wit, he has divided his Philadelphia-area entertainment company into four divisions. They are: Pulse Entertainment (mitzvahs, Sweet 16s, generic parties, @pulseyourparty on socials); Pulse Wedding Entertainment (@pulseyourwedding on socials); Pulse Productions (corporate, government, A/V rental, @pulseyourproduction on socials); and Pulse Entertainment Proms and Schools (high schools, homecomings, proms, universities, campus and college events, @pulseyourprom on socials, proper website coming soon).   In a related endeavor, he also…

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Recently, two New Jersey-based DJs had an online chat about the best ways of growing revenue for their mobile businesses — one a solo operator (Taso Dakas of Luxe Event DJ & Production) and the other a multi-operator (Gregg Hollman of Ambient DJs).   The Knot and WeddingWire were at the heart of it, and the marketing-focused exchange proved illuminating for all. Here’s a sample of the best bits – enjoy.    Gregg Hollmann, Owner, Ambient DJs, East Windsor, N.J.  I have a ton of respect for business owners who have been able to grow their companies without ever having to spend…

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Chris Bartosik, owner of Raptor Productions, is one those DJs on the mobile circuit who has seen it all.   He began as a college-radio DJ at the University of Alabama in the 1980s and transitioned to mobile/event work in the early 1990s. In recent years, “DJ Raptor” has been heavily involved in industry association work and, like many mobiles, had to survive the effects of the pandemic.   We caught up with the northern Maryland-based Bartosik to hear his story and explain how he persevered through tough times.    DJ LIFE MAG: You’ve been in the business for a while – what are the biggest changes you’ve seen and how have they impacted your business?  Chris Bartosik: Where to even…

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With more and more couples opting for additional audio support for their wedding ceremonies, it has become apparent that they be given the option to include DJs in the rehearsal. This would go a long way in anticipating any glitches that may occur on the wedding day.  But a question that has surfaced is this: If clients choose to have DJs participate in the rehearsal, should there be an additional cost time and effort? And what would be a fair rate?  Mobile DJs from around the country chimed in:    Rob Freedline, Good Vibrations Special Events DJs, Medina, Ohio   “This is where salesmanship comes…

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In 2015, Chris D’Amico, owner of New Jersey’s D’Amico Entertainment, was handed the greatest blow any parent can imagine: the tragic death of his 10-year-old son, Christopher, Jr.   Six years later, he’s put the tragedy in perspective, which has influenced the way he carries out his business now. Here’s how:   Tell us a bit about your DJ/music career. When did you start entertaining professionally?  Chris D’Amico: I have been singing since I’m 5-years old, playing piano/keyboards since I’m 8. I had my first professional gig when I was 16. Through the years I’ve fronted numerous bands, put out records, written jingles from McDonald’s to Hoover Vacuum, did voice…

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