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Interview With Jason Clark (vokf)


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#1 UKHero

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:53 AM

OK guys here is the next interview... Can I please ask if you take the time to read it just leave a little comment for the person who has taken the time to fill out the DJU Interview.

Hope you all had a great easter BTW and you got loads of eggs.

Nik

1. What is your DJU Forum Alias?
Vokf


2. What is your Real Name, Age, Location & Marital Status?
Jason Clark, 37, Living in Waltham Cross, Partnered to Carmen


3. What is the Name of your Disco?
Dance Sounds Disco


4. How long have you been a DJ?

About 1yr, but had some brief experience in a Club in the early 90's.


5. What inspired you to become a DJ?
Something I wanted to do. Big lover of music and enjoy having a good time.
Carmen needed some PA gear for a Salsa Event, and I used that as an excuse...


6. Are you a Full/Part Time DJ? If part time what else do you do?
Part-Time.
Day job as a Senior Software/Hardware developer. Reasonably well paid, but I've been doing this stuff for 15 years so getting bored!
My other sideline is to develop online stores for clients, and the odd interesting project.
Currently I've got quite a few projects on the go - which is good as the DJ side is very quiet!
Yes... Before the Financial work came crashing down, I was looking to go Self Employed!


7. What is your favourite type of function now? (eg: Wedding, 18th Birthday party, etc)?
40th/50th birthdays. I generally have much more fun there- normally my type of music, and normally up for a good time.
I also enjoy some kids parties - being a Dad of 12 and 9yr olds, I'm happy to chat with kids and sometimes let the birthday boy/girl "be DJ".


8. What’s the worst/most embarrassing thing you've done in front of an audience?
Nothing too bad, main offence has been to drop the wrong fader.


9. If you could go back to the beginning of your DJ career is there anything that you'd do differently? (eg: The gear that you bought, the way you promoted/advertised yourself)
I don't think I made any really big mistakes along the way, and I don't have much kit gathering cobwebs!
One mistake was designing my buisiness cards myself. Black background with small white text is very hard to read. I also wasn't impressed by the quality from Vistaprint.
I've just taken delivery of some cards designed and locally, more expensive, but much better quality.


10. What do you feel you offer the public that convinces them to book you rather than "the next guy/girl"?
This is a toughie! Feedback is that other DJs in my immediate local area are not that good are getting back to clients. I offer a good level of service and put them at ease.
If I can't do a gig, I try to pass it around, or give the client some tips on picking a good DJ.


11. Have you ever bought something for your show that you wish you hadn't? and why?
No.


12. What's your next DJ purchase likely to be?
I don't know! I've recently spent out on new mixer+subs+tops. I need to get some work in before I get much else in.
I'd love a really good laser (with kit to program via the PC)- out of my price range.
I guess I should really get a truss. My stand is currently a 4' giraffe (or 2' giraffe for small venues). I put lighting on 2 t-bars, but would like a good truss for the lighting. However, I doubt I'd get it in the car!


13. If you could get someone to invent a new piece of disco equipment for your show, what would it be?
Folding Flat Pack speakers!


14. What was the worst equipment failure suffered during a gig?
PC overheat. Mid-summer outside BBQ gig. vent holes where being covered by clipboard.
Luckily, I was providing Karaoke, so kicked off the next singer and re-booted PC.
No-one knew of the problem, and the PC was fine for the rest of the day.


15. What do you think is the best thing about DJing?
A full dancefloor!


16. What do you think is the worst thing about DJing?

Set-up/Packup, obnoxious guests.


17. What would make you stop DJing (if anything)?
Health Problems (back/joint problems)


18. How do you think DJing will change, in the next 5 years?
More red-tape and the demise of Pubs will mean challenging times ahead.
Those that offer Dry Hire may do well from iPod DJ's needing better PA/Lights, and this could also allow an upsell to providing a DJ for the night for little extra cost.
I think those that remain will need to project a clear difference between their service from budget DJ's


19. Most stupid thing anyone's ever said to you at a gig?
Can you play that Brand NEW "low" song.. (end of last year...)


20. Best advice you were ever given by a fellow DJ?
End the night on a big song.


21. And worst advice you were ever given?
Nothing specific. I'll listen on advice, but check most things out before acting.


22. How do you keep up to date with music? (eg Promo monthly CDs, Downloads, Purchase from retailer)
I have a Pro Disk subscription, but also track the charts. Legal downloads from 7Digital and Amazon, and the odd CD from Tesco.


23. Name 3 songs that 95% of the time will fill the dance floor for you!
Cha-Cha slide, 500 miles,


24. One piece of advice you'd give to someone just starting out.
Smile and enjoy yourself! :-)


25. What medium format do you mainly use eg vinyl, CD, hard-drive?
Hard-Drive


26. Have you embraced/adapted any ideas that you've read about on DJU - if so what?
I think seeing that the members here are mainly a professional bunch, and some do earn a living as a full-time DJ is pretty cool.
I think of most interest is listening to stories about gigs gone wrong (or right).

27. What is your best gig ever and your worst?
Worst was a 40th (contradicting #7), guys sitting on bar stools, women outside smoking and kids all over the dancefloor.

Best was probably a wedding last year, a nice couple who appreciated the work we did, and most guests were dancing.


28. Apart from 'Word of Mouth' what is your main (most successful) form of advertising your disco?
Website. I get good results, but it now needs a refurb. (never liked the black background!)


29. Are you a member of a DJ Association / Union and how does being a member benefit you?
I'm a full Member of DJ@, and so receive their £10M PLI cover. In addition, if/when I decide to go into VDJ, I'll also get a decent discount on the MixMash DVD's.
I may also consider joining SEDA, but need to look into benefits (other than the meet-up)


30. Have you ever had someone try to claim off you? (eg: Public Liability Insurance or other such legal action)

No.


31. How many gigs do you do a year, how many would you like to do?
Last year was 21 (starting 1st April).
This year has been quiet, only 4 to date, I've lost 3 and had to turn away 3.

I would like to do about 30-35, I have other commitments on alternate weekends - so can't do every weekend.


32. What is your average charge for a booking?
£250 for an adult party, and £150 for a childrens party (this is now a fairly fixed price).

33. How many tracks do you have in your music collection?
8900.

34. What is your favourite venue to perform in?
My local pub. 300yds away, load/unload through a side window, and free lemonade!
Money isn't great, but its a good, fun easy night with 8pm start!


35. What is your favourite music genre?
All sorts! Currently listening the the Erasure Remix CD in the Car, but also into New Wave, Rock, House, and some oldies.
If I listen to Radio, its normally Kiss100 or Virgin.


36. Do you use a roadie?
Yes, Carmen :-)
She's gotten used to coiling cables, knowing not to turn things on etc etc.
Great Gal! x


37. How long does it take you to rig your equipment and then pack it away?
About 90mins. Set-up is about 30-60mins.
It has to look tidy, so cables neatly tied away..

38. How far do you travel from your base to perform as a DJ?
About 1hr, never been asked to go further. I would be willing to go 2-3hours if the money was right.


39. What other services do you provide (if any) on top of being a DJ?
We offer a photography service which is normally for no additional charge. Carmen has a good DSLR with various lenses/flash guns/filters etc. We post them on a CD a few days after the party. Feedback had been excellent.


40. Add any additional comments which you would like to include here...

Edited by UKHero, 14 April 2009 - 11:55 AM.


#2 aaadisco

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:02 PM

Nice interview Jason.

You are doing really well if you've done 21 events in your first year part time :-)
Jose Saavedra
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#3 4zzz

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:09 PM

Jason,

Good read.

Thanks for that.

Good start for first year

#4 Dream Catchers

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:43 PM

Good interesting read.
thumbup.gif

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#5 disco4hire

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 01:10 PM

Interesting read, and quite insightful from someone who has only been doing the business for 21 months. I thought you pretty much hit the nail on the head with Q18.
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#6 Dukesy

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:16 PM

thumbup.gif
Interesting read Jas!


Why Buy New - New, Ex-Demo and Graded Disco Equipment at below retail prices

 

CPC - Great Prices on Leads, Connectors, Consumables, Disco Equipment and Much More

 

Glow Brothers - Wholesale Distributors of Glow Sticks & Products

 

The Wedding Mobile Disco Company


#7 vokf

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:34 PM

QUOTE(aaadisco @ Apr 14 2009, 01:02 PM) View Post

Nice interview Jason.

You are doing really well if you've done 21 events in your first year part time :-)


Thanks!
I didn't believe it myself, but some have been kids parties, which I personally don't mind now and again.
I keep getting asked to do 13ths from a group of kids in N London.
The rest have been a big mix of adult birthdays/Pub gigs and Weddings. Some have been 2 or even 3 gigs in a weekend.

I'm not sure if this year will be better or worse... I don't have many gigs in the pipeline other than a 60ths at end of May, a few pub bookings and NYE.

#8 Kingy

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:45 PM

Interesting read, well done!!

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#9 Gary (GDK)

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:33 PM

Interesting read...

and great radio statiion choice

although its called Absolute now :P

I also think thats a lot of money for a kids party. How long do you do them for? And what ages?
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#10 vokf

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:04 PM

QUOTE(WotUWnt2Hear @ Apr 14 2009, 04:33 PM) View Post

I also think thats a lot of money for a kids party. How long do you do them for? And what ages?


The kids parties are ages 10(ish) to 13(ish) Younger probably wouldn't work - I'm not a kids entertainer (so no magic tricks/pupets etc), and older would probably start to be a pain.


Basically 2hrs of music+games (the 13yr olds in this area just want to dance). Kids really don't want long parties. However, its about 4hrs+ work (set-up/pack-up/driving), so £36/hr before expenses/tax. For an adult party, I ask about £50/hr

I have done lower priced childrens gigs (a mid-week house party for an 11yr old, en-route from work for £110 and some birthday cake, home by 9pm), but for a weekend party £150 is good value if there at 50+ kids.
I normally try to speak on the phone to clients, and never get told that its too expensive. My conversion rate is fairly good, and I've had a bunch of bookings by recommendation. Its harder work- lots of requests, and a bit of mic work sometimes, but ultimately good fun and we're back home at a good time.

For a decent sized hall, I do bring all the gear, so Subs/smoke/bubbles and make an effort to get in their playlist for the night. (and trying to dodge playing Soulja Boy...)


What would you class as a non-expensive rate? What areas do you cover?



#11 glenn knights

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 06:25 PM

Good read - it's interesting to see other peoples thoughts and ideas.

Glenn
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#12 Gary (GDK)

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:29 AM

I cover the North East of England mainly Tyne & Wear. I understand your reply about not being a kids entertainer, which I am. Looking at per hour, I see it's a reasonable rate.

I do magic to, but only for under 8's. ALso offer facepainting as add on.

Under 11's I keep it basic sound and lights, but 13 and over i do the full works.

As for Soulja Boy, no comment!
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#13 vokf

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:36 PM

QUOTE(WotUWnt2Hear @ Apr 15 2009, 11:29 AM) View Post

I cover the North East of England mainly Tyne & Wear. I understand your reply about not being a kids entertainer, which I am. Looking at per hour, I see it's a reasonable rate.

I do magic to, but only for under 8's. ALso offer facepainting as add on.

Under 11's I keep it basic sound and lights, but 13 and over i do the full works.

As for Soulja Boy, no comment!


I've thought about the facepainting thing. Perhaps will look into this later in the year, I think there would be another load of PLI (?), and obviously some training to do - so not sure if I have the time to dedicate to it.
My 2 kids would love it thou! lol

Soulja boy... I've had a few of those requests on recent parties. I hold back until towards the end (unless its from the birthday boy/girl) but I do play it, but have recently got Carmen to put it on whilst taking a comfort break (on my ears! lol)



#14 Dukesy

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:42 PM

Suggest you contact The Face Painting Association - website

Why Buy New - New, Ex-Demo and Graded Disco Equipment at below retail prices

 

CPC - Great Prices on Leads, Connectors, Consumables, Disco Equipment and Much More

 

Glow Brothers - Wholesale Distributors of Glow Sticks & Products

 

The Wedding Mobile Disco Company


#15 vokf

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE(Dukesy @ Apr 15 2009, 02:42 PM) View Post

Suggest you contact The Face Painting Association - website


Cheers Dan,
its only something I've thought about, so not looked into it seriously yet, but it looks a worthwhile association;
-Membership includes PLI and equipment cover
-Membership is on application and applicants are checked by a local member for ability and professionalism.





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