Is Your Age Yet A Factor On Being Hired?

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DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
So, I'm afraid there may be a harsh truth to face. And we can file this too under the fact that what DJ's judge other DJ's on is different than what clients judge a DJ on. My company has a few younger guys, college age, working for us, usually as roadies, dancers, and as apprentice DJ's. These same guys, however, are getting requested as the DJ's for many of our grammar school gigs (by the dance committee of grammar school age little girls). They're also beginning to book many of their own Sweet 16's from their own peer groups. I'm in my early 40's, but usually people think I'm in my early to late 30's. I'm beginning to wonder if age-ism isn't beginning to become an issue with the younger clientss that have decision making power in who gets hired. I've been guilty of it myself so it makes sense.

So, how about you, has your age at all been a negative factor at all in get booked?
 

DJ Dave

New Member
I think the advisers are looking at me as their own age and going from there. The students are supposed to pick the entertainment but the advisers have the last say in the final decision.

I am in my early 40's as well and can see your where you are coming from.

Although I am a single op and don't have any young studs working for me, I do quite well on my own.

So, can't say I really had a negative factor on getting booked due to age.
 

DJ Ron Auger

Account Closed
I'm 48 and haven't had a problem booking because of age yet. I've played all kinds of functions including 16th Bparties and everything in between. Those who do hire me for the younger events do so because they know what I can do and how I handle the kids. As for the weddings I guess I haven't hit that to old age yet. But then I look at Cap and know he can party with the best so I'm not worried for awhile at least.
 

Earl From CloudNine

Canayjun, Eh!
In my case, the reverse holds true. I'M the one who's demonstrating age discrimination. I don't want to do kids' functions any more... I haven't done a grade school dance in nearly ten years, and even longer than that for high schools. And as for those 20-something bar gigs.... you can have them.
 

jbrown157

Member
Age is a common factor that comes into play quite often. Some clients (such as younger brides) would rather not have a DJ who is the same age (and sometimes older) than her dad. On the other hand, if the parents of the B&G have a say in the booking process and attend the consultation, I nearly always get the booking because they are more practical and "maturity" becomes an advantage. I now have a younger DJ available. Sometimes they choose him because of his youth and sometimes me because of my "experience". Like Earl, I'd rather not do the sweet 16's and other events for teens - I have my young guy do them. Everybody wins.
 

DJ Ron Auger

Account Closed
Yes Steve you are correct. Knowing Caps age (which is kept in a used mayonaise jar stored in a secret vault miles below the ground somewhere in the desert) compared to mine I have plenty of time to still be at the top of my game. Cap hasn't even reached the crest yet. He's still climbing.:rolleyes:
 

Chris Michaels

Active Member
I think the kids in charge of picking the DJ only are showing an age preference if they've had an older DJ that was "out of touch" at one of their dances. It's a very common complaint in my area. I believe the word they use is "crusty"

About 2 years ago, I went with a competing DJ to a middle school dance and he did a dance routine using "Blame it on the boogie" by the Jackson 5 and the kids looked at him cross eyed and were coming up to the stage begging me to make him stop. The routine was great and would have been fun for an older crowd, but the kids didn't know the song and the old, blading, grey haired guy dancing to it didn't help!

You have to be hip and as long as you can hold your own, age should not be a factor. Hair dye also helps.


Years ago, I found it very uncomfortable to DJ a wedding or any other event when I was younger than the people in the room. This is why I won't send my younger DJs on a wedding unless the client specifically asks for them because I don't want to put them in an awkward situation. Some people will look at a younger DJ and think "oh god" he won't know our music.

I once had an old lady at a country club ask me if I knew what motown was. When I responded "yes", she said,"but you're so young, how could you possibly know".
 
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BBBuffalo

Active Member
I doubt if a client would tell you you're too old. They'd probably either not tell you or make up something less controversial as their excuse.

How you look DOES make a difference.

Not to everyone to the extent that choose not to hire you, but it does make a difference. If you don't believe me show up to your next client meeting in a leopard skin thong with black socks and flip flops.

So you should look the best you can. DJs have probably lost events because of being too old, too young, too fat, too bald, too hairy, too ugly, too sloppy, too anal, too lazy, too quiet, too talkative, etc.
 

DJ Ron Auger

Account Closed
So you should look the best you can. DJs have probably lost events because of being too old, too young, too fat, too bald, too hairy, too ugly, too sloppy, too anal, too lazy, too quiet, too talkative, etc.
And which one of those did you loose a job because of?
 

Don Niles

New Member
It seems to me my age is most likely as issue for people wanting a "Club" atmosphere at an event..I play mostly radio music..Do Not Beatmix..and do not have the gear to provide that Boom so to speak...To those people I feel,as I am sure the young clients see as me as being Old and Out of Teach...When I stick to my Radio Cuts whether it is from Prime Cuts or Time Life 60's Compilations,I seem to have few problems regardless if it's a wedding,Teen Dance, or "Mature" event.This has been my experience..So I pass the "Club" Events onto Younger and "Hipper" DJ's.
 
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NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
Age most definitely plays a role in my bookings however, Once my clients, especially young brides see my demo videos, it makes them think twice about how important experience really comes into play. The brides who won't use my services are usually the ones who are self-centered members of the "me" generation. If they're thinking of their guest, I end up with the gig. I can't possibly do them all so I don't worry too much about it because I can party with the best ofthem. Agewise I right behind Cap .... at 63! You guys keep working real hard paying into social security because I need that check every month. I've paid in every year since 1961 and never took a cent until this year.

NickyB
 

Maui Mobile Music Chuck

Life On A Rock :)
Just when I think I might be too old to DJ a school dance I go do one and it rocks! Like last Friday night... so at 52 I'm still good. I don't think I look 52 but I don't look 18 either..

The teachers in charge REALLY like the fact that I know how to control the students with music, how to bring them up and cool them down.

As far as showing up to a client meeting in flip flops..... don't try and force your ideals on me. If I want to I will... Each of us has to run their business as we see fit and we have to understand the consequences.

Of course, in Hawaii if you don't wear slippahs, you are considered strange! LOL ;)
 

Bob Dietrich

Active Member
Good topic!

I think it can matter in a first impression...what you do and say...and how you say it becomes much more important as onoe "matures".

I recently lost a High School dance I had been doing for many years since they wanted a young hip DJ. Many of the staff warned the students they would likely be disappointed and they hired the young guy...at less than half my rate.

I received a call the following week to return to doing their events... :)

I've had a few worried "looks" from young clients when first meeting, but usually within a few minutes they're warmed up and have no worries...and have had them tell me exactly this several times... "We thought you might be too old when we first saw you, but we found you're cool and understand exactly what we want...and what we wanted that we didn't know we wanted and had no idea about until you talked with us...so who do I make the check out to?" Cha-ching! ;)
 

djklassik

New Member
Well opposite to most on this post, I am that young "hip" dj; 21 to be exact. I been doing it seriously about a year. I've done weddings/middle school dances/ college events/ and other formal events. I get that look of aprehension from the "mature" crowd, they think all i'm gonna do is blow there ear drums out the water with Lil Wayne and T-Pain or something. Any dj regardless of age, that opens themeselve up to other genres, and music will be successful; once people or jammin, it don't matter if the dj was Chucky lol
 

DJ Machismo

New Member
It's hard to say. I've yet to run into anyone that looks at me apprehensively. I'm only 25 but apparently look over 30 from what everyone I meet always guesses. Of course once most hear the music as djklassik said, any apprehension they may have immediately disappears from what I see.
 

dennisrich

Suburban Rock Star
I dyed my hair blonde and went with the spikey bang thing prior to prom season last spring. I was able to pull a much better response from the students than I have in the last 5 or 6 years. The advisors laughed at my vanity. Not my proudest moment, but one I am willing to share with a group of total strangers none the less.
 
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