Old Fart

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Ausumm

Active Member
Here's an article I wrote for the multi-op I work with.
It's one part information, two parts entertainment.

“I’m not OLD, I’m EXPERIENCED”

As I hit my 50[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday last year, I came to a realization. I was getting old. Now, I have no problem dealing with it, personally…but what about the brides I work for? Today’s brides are still 20 to 30 years old. So, how do they feel about hiring an older DJ? Think about it. Why would they want to hire “the old, fat, ugly guy”…when I’m sure there are plenty of younger, better looking DJ’s out there? (at least in MY case)
But it can’t be THAT bad. I still get a lot of work with crowds of all ages. I still manage to have successful nights, and get great reviews. If age was truly a factor, why would I have a better closing rate when I meet with a couple before they sign a contract?
Perhaps there are still plenty of people who prefer talent over a pretty face.
Perhaps there are still plenty of people who prefer experience over youth.
So, if you’ve ever experienced a little resistance over your age, I offer these reasons why it’s better to hire “the old guy” than the “young pup”.

1- An older DJ is more familiar with music from ALL decades, so he will play music that the entire crowd will enjoy, rather than only playing songs that HE likes.
2- An older DJ is better prepared. He doesn’t panic if something bad happens, whether it’s a slow dance floor or a broken piece of gear. Been there. Done that.
3- An older DJ knows how to make Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa happy. Ask any married person how important THAT is!
4- An older DJ won’t be afraid to tell you the truth. If something doesn’t seem right, he is experienced enough to tell you why it’s not right, AND he can offer a solution.
5- Have your heart set on doing something unique, but not sure how to pull it off? Who better to ask than someone who has seen and done it all. (well, for the most part)
6- Who do you want to be in charge of the most important day of your life? Someone who reminds you of your father, or someone who acts like your younger brother?
7- An older DJ won’t hit on the bridesmaids. (Mom and Grandma, maybe)
8- An older DJ isn’t worried about how “cool” he looks in front of a crowd. Which means he’s more likely to let loose and have fun, because he’s less worried about looking stupid.
9- An older DJ knows the importance of being responsible, running a proper business, and satisfying customers. He knows it’s not just about making money.
10- A younger DJ can only “say” that he’s really good. An older DJ has plenty of former clients who can offer referrals, reviews, and opinions to prove that he is.
 

jodi

Active Member
Ha Ha - you're so right - nice article! Although back when I was the "younger DJ" I thought I was all that - now I KNOW I am ;-)

7- An older DJ won’t hit on the bridesmaids.
So re: #7 - an older DJ also won't be swayed to play a DO NOT PLAY just to impress a bridesmaid. That just came up in a meeting last week ... bride-to-be was telling me horror story of DJ at her friends wedding kept playing songs the bride had specifically said NO to, just to please a couple of tipsy & "flirty" cousins .... I said, yeah - that won't work on me, ha ha!


-
 

Ausumm

Active Member
Yeah, I wrote that from a PERSONAL point of view.
And I have long since stopped trying to impress the young ladies by playing their requests.
I just don't have the patience at my age!

It's nice that you (obviously) won't fall for that...
but I'd bet you have a problem with the groomsmen being "flirty"...
(only they're not looking for a SONG)
 

KennyZail

Caffiend
Ha Ha - you're so right - nice article! Although back when I was the "younger DJ" I thought I was all that - now I KNOW I am ;-)


You're right Jodi - Those ideas might work against a 18-25 DJ. Once a DJ reaches 30+ and been in the business for years most of those statements won't do much good.
Whether it is correct or not - the image of "your dad/mom" behind the turntables/CDs is a tough concept to overcome.
It's the Circle of Life - there are more DJ under 50, than over 50 and it will only get worse. :(
It may NOT be time to sell your equipment, but you got to be realistic on your further potential...
 

Mark Bloom

Member
Was I supposed to be hitting on bridesmaids when I was a young DJ? Now I'm feeling that I've missed something...
 

Ausumm

Active Member
It's the Circle of Life - there are more DJ under 50, than over 50 and it will only get worse. :(
It may NOT be time to sell your equipment, but you got to be realistic on your further potential...
There will always be a need for the old fart DJ's...
SOMEBODY has to play the oldies for the rest of the old farts.

Was I supposed to be hitting on bridesmaids when I was a young DJ? Now I'm feeling that I've missed something...
I missed it too. I was married when I started my mobile career at age 22!
It wasn't until I got older that I realized I really WASN'T missing anything!
 

Arnoldo Offermann

Active Member
Here's an article I wrote for the multi-op I work with.
It's one part information, two parts entertainment.

“I’m not OLD, I’m EXPERIENCED”

As I hit my 50[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday last year, I came to a realization. I was getting old. Now, I have no problem dealing with it, personally…but what about the brides I work for? Today’s brides are still 20 to 30 years old. So, how do they feel about hiring an older DJ? Think about it. Why would they want to hire “the old, fat, ugly guy”…when I’m sure there are plenty of younger, better looking DJ’s out there? (at least in MY case)
But it can’t be THAT bad. I still get a lot of work with crowds of all ages. I still manage to have successful nights, and get great reviews. If age was truly a factor, why would I have a better closing rate when I meet with a couple before they sign a contract?
Perhaps there are still plenty of people who prefer talent over a pretty face.
Perhaps there are still plenty of people who prefer experience over youth.
So, if you’ve ever experienced a little resistance over your age, I offer these reasons why it’s better to hire “the old guy” than the “young pup”.

1- An older DJ is more familiar with music from ALL decades, so he will play music that the entire crowd will enjoy, rather than only playing songs that HE likes.
2- An older DJ is better prepared. He doesn’t panic if something bad happens, whether it’s a slow dance floor or a broken piece of gear. Been there. Done that.
3- An older DJ knows how to make Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa happy. Ask any married person how important THAT is!
4- An older DJ won’t be afraid to tell you the truth. If something doesn’t seem right, he is experienced enough to tell you why it’s not right, AND he can offer a solution.
5- Have your heart set on doing something unique, but not sure how to pull it off? Who better to ask than someone who has seen and done it all. (well, for the most part)
6- Who do you want to be in charge of the most important day of your life? Someone who reminds you of your father, or someone who acts like your younger brother?
7- An older DJ won’t hit on the bridesmaids. (Mom and Grandma, maybe)
8- An older DJ isn’t worried about how “cool” he looks in front of a crowd. Which means he’s more likely to let loose and have fun, because he’s less worried about looking stupid.
9- An older DJ knows the importance of being responsible, running a proper business, and satisfying customers. He knows it’s not just about making money.
10- A younger DJ can only “say” that he’s really good. An older DJ has plenty of former clients who can offer referrals, reviews, and opinions to prove that he is.

Never let age be a factor... one should never feel too old or too young to achieve anything. However, I do hate the "age vs experience" threads.. and I must offer a counterpoint:


=1- An older DJ is more familiar with music from ALL decades, so he will play music that the entire crowd will enjoy, rather than only playing songs that HE likes.
Really? Because at the age of 15 I was DJing private parties and knew everything from Doo-Wop, to disco, jazz, Top40... likewise, I know plenty of "old" DJs who play only what they like.

2- An older DJ is better prepared. He doesn’t panic if something bad happens, whether it’s a slow dance floor or a broken piece of gear. Been there. Done that.
That's BS and you know it..

3- An older DJ knows how to make Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa happy. Ask any married person how important THAT is!
How so? Last time I checked many "experienced" DJs in my area are also the ones with most negative reviews.

4- An older DJ won’t be afraid to tell you the truth. If something doesn’t seem right, he is experienced enough to tell you why it’s not right, AND he can offer a solution.
That's BS, too. Most "older DJs" are nothing but yes men. My success came from the fact that *I* told the clients what they needed, not wanted, to hear.

5- Have your heart set on doing something unique, but not sure how to pull it off? Who better to ask than someone who has seen and done it all. (well, for the most part)
Really? Explain Master School Dances and what 4SchoolsOnly has done.

In our market, we're the ONLY company that offers MANY unique items, such as projector mapping.

6- Who do you want to be in charge of the most important day of your life? Someone who reminds you of your father, or someone who acts like your younger brother?
Ask that to the average bride who's under 30.

7- An older DJ won’t hit on the bridesmaids. (Mom and Grandma, maybe)
[video=youtube;bZP4Ugev82I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZP4Ugev82I[/video]



8- An older DJ isn’t worried about how “cool” he looks in front of a crowd. Which means he’s more likely to let loose and have fun, because he’s less worried about looking stupid.
That couldn't be further from the truth. However, if you're asking about acting cheesy-- then yeah, that generalization is correct.


9- An older DJ knows the importance of being responsible, running a proper business, and satisfying customers. He knows it’s not just about making money.
What? I'm sorry, but NOW I'm losing respect for you here.


10- A younger DJ can only “say” that he’s really good. An older DJ has plenty of former clients who can offer referrals, reviews, and opinions to prove that he is.
I have videos of every event I've done in the past three years, numerous reviews (I get more in a month than most DJs get IN A YEAR), and enough referrals that I don't pay to advertise (except WW).




Sorry, but all this post did was push more hate towards younger DJs... the jealousy that reeks from the older, SHOULD ACT MORE MATURE AND THEY DON'T, DJs is sickening.

You're above that, my friend, that's why I like you; but this post had more BS in it than a presidential campaign.
 

Ausumm

Active Member
AO
You know I love your work, and I respect your opinion.
But you ARE younger than I am...and you are certainly better at this than anyone your age.
You also book WAY more gigs than most young guys do.
So, in your case....yeah, this is probably BS. But you're the exception.
Remember, I wrote this article not to push MY OPINION on anyone, or to make a point.
(and I certainly was NOT thinking of YOU when I wrote it)
It was mostly just for the fun of writing it...and a little bit to make me feel like I wasn't in denial about my age!
Wait till you hit 50, then tell me if you feel that way. :)
 
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Arnoldo Offermann

Active Member
Mike, I understand your viewpoint, but please see mine: bringing age into ANY debate is something an inexperienced person would do.

You're not inexperienced, so don't perpetuate a wheel that can't spin. :/
 

Ausumm

Active Member
Mike, I understand your viewpoint, but please see mine: bringing age into ANY debate is something an inexperienced person would do. You're not inexperienced, so don't perpetuate a wheel that can't spin. :/
Must disagree with you, respectfully or course!
Only an older person can bring AGE into it.
And it's NOT a debate by any means. Not even a discussion. It was only an observation from someone with experience.
And experience comes with age. (proportionally, of course)

I'm sure you see plenty of people trying to match your success....
that is why you have so many DJ's stealing your ideas, your logos, your pictures, and your website.
Wait 20 or 30 years, and see how many of those young guys are creeping up behind you when you're 40 or 50.
THAT is when the panic of old age will hit you.
I completely understand your viewpoint...but your viewpoint is NOT that of a man who is feeling OLD!
Again, when you hit 50, see if you don't start to see things differently than you do now.
 

redhotdj

Member
Arnoldo i disagree on most of your comments. Some are just naturals at what they do but most learn there talent with years of experience and years of experience also means age

Originally Posted by Ausumm
=1- An older DJ is more familiar with music from ALL decades, so he will play music that the entire crowd will enjoy, rather than only playing songs that HE likes.
Really? Because at the age of 15 I was DJing private parties and knew everything from Doo-Wop, to disco, jazz, Top40... likewise, I know plenty of "old" DJs who play only what they like.

so by your statement above do you want some medals or a chest to pin them on cause to me it sounds like look at me I'm the greatest

Originally Posted by Ausumm
2- An older DJ is better prepared. He doesn’t panic if something bad happens, whether it’s a slow dance floor or a broken piece of gear. Been there. Done that.
That's BS and you know it..

and why is this BS

Originally Posted by Ausumm
3- An older DJ knows how to make Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa happy. Ask any married person how important THAT is!
How so? Last time I checked many "experienced" DJs in my area are also the ones with most negative reviews

must be only in your area that happens

Originally Posted by Ausumm
4- An older DJ won’t be afraid to tell you the truth. If something doesn’t seem right, he is experienced enough to tell you why it’s not right, AND he can offer a solution.
That's BS, too. Most "older DJs" are nothing but yes men. My success came from the fact that *I* told the clients what they needed, not wanted, to hear

on this statement put your money where your mouth is .for one I have never been a yes man. a older experienced DJ knows how to make things go right

Originally Posted by Ausumm
6- Who do you want to be in charge of the most important day of your life? Someone who reminds you of your father, or someone who acts like your younger brother?
Ask that to the average bride who's under 30

heres a question to you, you go to the doctors you have a choice of a doctor just out of school or one thats been doing it for 15 years, ask the brides that question

Originally Posted by Ausumm
9- An older DJ knows the importance of being responsible, running a proper business, and satisfying customers. He knows it’s not just about making money.
What? I'm sorry, but NOW I'm losing respect for you here

ya know what grasshopper maybe someday you will grow up and learn some respect, as far as im concerned your nothing but a snot nosed ,wet behind the ears punk kid. Now of course thats my opinion of you and if you or others dont like it i have been thrown out of better places than this, they dont call me red hot n wild for nothing
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
As I rapidly approach my 69th birthday, I find threads like this to be somewhat humorous and at the same time slightly offensive. I've never had a desire to get into a "cat pi$$ing" contest over this topic. What I've found through my own experiences both as a musician (1965-1987) and as a DJ (1987-present) is that age doesn't make a whole lot of difference. Yes we all have to face getting older but to remain in this business, you must adapt to the current trends. Personality, knowledge and experience, especially when things don't go exactly as planned, are the key elements to carry on your journey.

Personally, I've done gigs for great-grandparents (65th anniversary parties) all the way through those "new millennial" brides and still manage to pull-off middle school gigs as well as retirement homes. Just about any DJ should have the music to meet the needs of a client but it's the presentation that makes a gig really happen. Knowing when and what to say or when to stay off your mic comes from experience in reading your crowd.

I recently relocated from MD to FL (as a 'snowbird') into a gated 55+ community and found it difficult to get my foot in the door. It took from mid-Oct 2013 to late-Apr 2014 to finally get to DJ for our local Baby Boomers Club. My wife and I had been to several dances here to scope the competition first hand and frankly I was champing-at-the-bit to get my chance. Well, the day after the gig, the phone was ringing off the hook and still hasn't stopped. Word of mouth must travel very fast in an area like this as I am now inundated with gigs for several other clubs just within this community not to mention there are numerous similar gated communities within a few miles. What was different was the presentation and giving them what they wanted. Now I can't wait to hit 'em with lighting and video the likes of which they've never seen down here. I'm currently booked well into 2015 and I just pray this body holds up at age 69 because I really really enjoy this business.
 
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DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
As 007 & Q observed in Skyfall:



Q: 007. I'm your new Quartermaster.
007: You must be joking...
Q: Why? Because I'm not wearing a lab coat?
007: Because you still have spots.
Q: My complexion is hardly relevant.
007: Your incompetence is.
Q: Age is no guarantee of efficiency.
007: And youth is no guarantee of innovation.
My personal experience has been this:


  • The vast majority of the hiring public (Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs & Sweet 16s) see age as an issue and prefer a younger DJ over an older one.
  • Age is one of many factors (or nonfactors as the case may be) that is dependent on the DJ him/her self.
  • For me, age is a factor as I'm not up on the cutting edge music as quickly as I once was. It easy to compensate for, but I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit I had lost a step here. The impact on my performance is minimal if anything...because I make sure of it.

Here's one of the gifts of experience. POP QUIZ

You're DJing a super expensive wedding for circa 200 guests.
During the 1st course the Bride's favorite aunt & Godmother (who is morbidly obese) keels over passed out and 911 is called.
The EMTs & Paramedics arrive, and have to take her to the ED.
The prognosis is very unclear
The Bride is crying, family is distraught.
You've got 3.5 hours of reception left to go.
The Bride is overheard sobbing her wedding is ruined (among other things).
You were hired to entertain these people and no where in the contract does it say it would be easy.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

This happened to me. And my partner and I came up with a plan within minutes...and turned the energy, the mood and the day, right back around.
 
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Ausumm

Active Member
I said from the beginning, this article was written for entertainment value.
Mostly MY OWN entertainment.
It's not a guide, a manual, a plan, or even a statement of fact.
I am not posting it on my website, showing it to potential clients, or using it as a sales tool.
It was written BY me, FOR me, and most importantly...ABOUT me!
I was hoping it would encourage others to share their stories of becoming an old fart!
If you don't agree with it, or are offended by it...I won't apologize because you missed the humor.
(or the sad attempt at humor, depending on your point of view)
It's a personal account of how I have been dealing with old age.

Your mileage may vary.
 

jodi

Active Member
As 007 & Q observed in Skyfall:

Amen brother ^ !

So - I think I know what I'd do in your pop quiz situation (Armchair-DJ-Quarterbacking is SO different from being in the moment) but, please tell us what YOU and your partner did.
 

Ausumm

Active Member
My personal experience has been this:


  • The vast majority of the hiring public (Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs & Sweet 16s) see age as an issue and prefer a younger DJ over an older one.
  • Age is one of many factors (or nonfactors as the case may be) that is dependent on the DJ him/her self.
  • For me, age is a factor as I'm not up on the cutting edge music as quickly as I once was. It easy to compensate for, but I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit I had lost a step here. The impact on my performance is minimal if anything...because I make sure of it.

Thanks for "getting it" Steve...
 
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