The call went well, or so I thought.
We went over my experience as well as the gear I had to my disposal. She even requested a media kit and relevant assets to kick off the process for me to get hired and put on the books.
But weeks later, nothing.
Despite following up, radio silence persisted.
I had been referred to Scratch Music Group, the events consortium branch of Scratch.com. This was a very large, reputable company. Managing events all across the Greater NY area. At the time of my DJ career I would have killed for a spot on their roster. My friend knew someone who knew someone, hence the call.
I later realize they only wanted DJs who used turntables and ‘scratch’, as the name would have it. I offered neither.
This was a little defeating, but I put it past me and carried on.
In through the side door
A few years pass, now I’m DJing full time. I am orders of magnitude busier with gigs, but my need remains high since DJing is now my only source of income.
A lead comes through on my Gigmasters app for a Saturday afternoon at a retail store. Their budget is $300 which is right in line what I would charge for such an event, it’s within the going rate around here. Below is my quote:
Hi Julia, love to know what store the gig is at.
I have all my own gear for a full setup if need be.
My current residencies include Bartaco and Barcelona wine bars across Fairfield county so I’m not a random DJ off Craigslist.
I also have liability insurance of the gig calls for it.
I knew what she’d be looking for so I kept it short, easy to read. It worked.
She reached out to confirm my availability and that it would be at a Dressbarn. I give the thumbs up and in turn I receive an email to create an account on Scratch.com’s vendor portal for DJs!
No concern over my equipment. No concern if I could scratch or had turntables. I was able to signal my experience in my quote by answering questions I knew she’d have as a corporation. Between that and my polished Gigmasters profile I was able to get my foot in the door.
The work wasn’t over though. To rise up the ranks of any organization like this I had to really kickass on my first shot. If I didn’t I likely wouldn’t receive another.
Kicking Ass, Despite stumbling
The gig required clean upbeat pop music. A decent portion of my library is tagged as such but many unofficial remixes are not. Unfortunately a mashup’s rap verse dropped a few F & N-bombs… This happened just as a mother and her 9 year old were at a display in front of my table, just while the event coordinator was standing nearby to witness it.
I thought I was toast. Every time she walked by I expected her to come up and comment… but it never happened. The rest of my set was clean as could be.
Once it’s over we shake hands, thank each other for a great event and say our Good-byes.
The Long Route To Get Hired
Two weeks later I get an email from Scratch Music Group. Dressbarn loved my event and want to bring me back for another that upcoming weekend. As fate would have it I’m already committed to a family event, but they let me know I’m on their roster for any future events in the area.
Sometimes timing just isn’t right despite being given an opportunity. I had an in the first time around, a friend knew someone there and made an introduction. Typically that’s the best way into a organization, that’s how I landed a big festival gig.
This time I was simply at the right place at the right time. If you’re thirsty enough you need to be tapping all possible sources of gigs, no matter how weak the source.