I was about to begin my beach set under moonlight when a glitter-covered dancer offered me a cup of the local drink mamajuana. It was Wednesday night, beach party night. And the entire resort had come out to dance on the sand as the waves crashed against the shore. And I was the international resident DJ.
Just 18 months prior I was sitting at my desk, staring out at the endless stream of cars funneling down the highway, aimlessly. Kind of like my career.
I was mindlessly cruising through my career, but hardly wanted to get where I was going. I worked in finance making a great living, especially for a mid-twenty something, but man was I miserable. We called it soul crushing work, for sixty plus hours a week.
And now I was about to DJ on a beach in front of fire dancers to get my work in for the day in the Dominican Republic, in well under three hours. I had been commissioned to be this four star resort’s DJ for two weeks, all-inclusive. For twenty-one hours a day I was a guest just like everyone else.
Well, I wasn’t EXACTLY like everyone else. Being in a resort of this size you quickly become a micro-celebrity. It was AWESOME.
For the rest, I ran those fire-dancing parties.
Now you might be thinking I landed this gig because I have over ten thousand Instagram followers. Or dozens of produced tracks. Or I’m booked at the hottest clubs three days a week.
Nope, nope, nope!
7 things you wouldn’t expect
- I picked up the gig with a single email
- I didn’t have to interview or even submit a mix
- I had ZERO international experience
- I had ZERO resort experience
- Airfare cost me nothing
- I could go whenever I wanted, no blackout weeks
- I could stay however long I wanted
It all started with a friend of mine who’s a fitness instructor in NYC. She came across a work-vacation exchange program NRG2GO where Yoga instructors teach a class a day at all-inclusive Wyndham resorts in the Caribbean, and in return stay for a significantly reduced rate.
I’m not a fitness instructor of course but the program was also offered for DJs, DJ2GO. They act as your agent and for just 30% the resort rate, stay all week with food, drinks, lodging, everything. Figure out the airfare on your own, but that’s it.
I picked two weeks in April, with snow still falling back home.
Many DJs could land this gig!
Could a bedroom DJ land it? Probably not.
Could a bedroom DJ land this in 6 months? You bet.
Is it paying? No. Is it an amazing time and a stepping stone so that your next international/travel gig is paying? Heck yeah!
All their application required was a photo, a link to your bio/website (made with WordPress) and a one-page media kit (made with Canva). Request the weeks you want to stay at which resort and that was it! Within a week I had confirmation and booked my flights using airline miles, aka free.
Here are just a few highlights from my stay:
- The pool was turned into a massive foam party each week, that I got to DJ!
- Wednesday night Beach parties with fire dancers under moonlit palm trees
- Knowing everyone by day three; as the resort DJ you’re a microcelebrity
- Taking over local clubs with the resort’s dance crew and friends
- Getting mentioned on Travelocity reviews
In the next few articles I’ll go over-
- How I Prepared For Paradise
- How I Nailed International Dancefloors
- How Crazy The Foam Parties Were
- My Top Six International Networking Tips