When everything seems to FAIL
This Saturday revelead to me many a things about plans. They FAIL. Ultimately when they do how does one react? Stay as positive as possible and continue the best way you can.
Jesse Diaz had heard me DJ at the Reedley Community Center last year in the summer for a wedding. At this wedding that he saw me in 2014. I was very limited with how I usually like to run my events.
1.) The Groom had booked me just 2 weeks prior and I didn't have all the info I like to get to properly prep for an event.
2.) The Groom kind of ran the mic show.
3.) They hired a live Band and I played between their breaks for a total of maybe 2 hours. During my playing time I definitely tried to give them their money's worth with my open format-club-style mixing which got the attention of Jesse.
Jesse and I worked out details for event: schedule, sound, slideshow, and uplighting. He was very excited to hire my premiere sound and lighting package "Mr. Boombastic" and he kept insisting I go crazy with my mixing and just have fun with it ( A DJ's dream) as he was looking forward to hearing me play the whole event.
The big day came and since we had quite a bit of items to set up we got there with about 2 hours to set up and all the doors to the venue were locked. I googled the place for a phone number and called 3 different numbers where it rang once then line seem to die. We were dead in the water. Friends and family started trickling their way to the venue and they started making calls to find out venue opened at 4pm. The reception event starts at 4. Luckily, they had hired a Mariachi to play for the first 2 hours which took some pressure off. With guests already there we couldn't put uplights the way we usually do and had to adjust a few things.
That day as I was setting up I was also informed that family members had paid for a live Band as a gift to the Newlyweds. Although a very generous and thoughtful gift this meant the schedule was going to go into "play it by ear" mode and I adjusted my set up on stage to leave them all the space in the front of the stage and myself just about a 2 feet away from the backdrop draping.
The band arrived and did their first set on the dancefloor with no amplifiers as they came in playing (a very common traddtion in Mexican weddings). During their set they played a very popular song "el toro mambo" (the mambo bull) which I made an announcement that I usually do when I play that song to hype the crowd up "ay viene el toro!" (the bull is coming!). The band finished their set and it was my turn to do my set. The band director came up to me as they usually do if I don't go up to them to usually touch base and introduce ourselves but this was FAR from the case and I'll translate here: "Don't you dare talk over our set again or I'll turn off all your equipment. Second, they told me you weren't going to set up on stage, there isn't enough room for us!" He walked away before I could say anything.
Now.... I was very pissed off and honestly wanted to physically hurt the guy. I just informed the groom that the guy was very rude (sparing the details) and just told him it wasn't appreciated. I have many a times shared the stage and have adjusted to last minute changes but in my 15+ years in this industry I had not dealt with such unprofessionalism. The band played great and were very well tuned but they will never get a recommendation from me nor will I work with them again.
I could tell the groom had been stressed with all these changes and adjustments. He was all over the place and couldn't catch a break. I was sad I couldn't do much to help him other than do the best I could do when it came time for me to do my part.
I set up the screen for the slideshow during the band's first break and pulled out 2 chairs front and center for the bride and the groom to take a seat and enjoy it. I recently added slideshow to my packages just out of the demand of which my packages were created to begin with out of client's needs. When I do a slideshow I don't use the standard one picture at a time routine but use a more animated approach to display up to 3 pictures at a time so guests stay involved and don't doze off (sorry to tell you clients but guests get bored with long boring slideshows). I also play music in the slide show that has meaning to the clients or their musical taste. To me it was just another slideshow. When it was done the groom's reaction was PRICELESS! He told me this exactly: "Man, that slideshow was great! All today I've been stressing and worrying. Nothing was going well but this slideshow made my day, this slideshow made it all worth it!"
I was taken back by such a response never had I got that type of feedback from"just a slideshow" but it made me realize one simple truth. You never know what part of your service will make your clients day so therefore you always give every aspect of it 100%. Like Jesse I felt overwhelmed since realizing change after change to the plans but his reaction and response was well worth it. Thank you Jesse and Joanna for allowing me to be a part of your special day.