It sucks to be ‘just’ a DJ

It sucks to be just a DJ. No seriously, if you can’t be the number one DJ, or the best DJ, known for something, then you need to be the fucking cool DJ, or the really hip DJ with a lot of fucking people who like you for some reason or another. In the least you need to be very, very good, or have a really fucking cool personality and be really bad, and famous for something else, in which case, DJing is just a performance or revenue outlet.

If not any of the above, it’s your love of the music, game and, or hope of the dream. I mean seriously, if not any of the reasons listed to this point, why the fuck would you ever want to be a DJ. Unless you are just average, ok, about to give up or are just comfortable being mediocre. But even then, why the fuck would you want to just doing something ok, that actually requires a bit of work, time, effort and vision to succeed?

Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I started DJing in 1994. And have actively participated and watched the entire industry changed and grow. But as much as tech and everything has changed, some things have not, and will never. Nothing will ever replace, experience, passion and learning. But what drives these, and particularly passion?

The truth is, that any job, passion or relationship takes time, effort and energy. These three dynamics, when aligned correlate and drive one’s passion toward “something.”

In the beginning of the relationship with that “something,” these three dynamics are out of line with each other, but through experiences that build and shape a person’s frame of reference “FOR,” the people can use vision to drive progress and again alignment between these dynamic forces.

When the three align, the “something” manifests into the person’s “thing.” This works both internally and externally, though usually at differing rates of adoption, consideration, evaluation, conversion, experience, repetition, and adaptation (all working in co-dependent, circular send/receive/feedback models – think cogs).

Anyways, in order to align these three dynamics, one must create a system, not unlike that by which a business, organization, organism or computer program operates. Like all of these entity types, Artists today must operate similarly in order to be sustainable and commercially viable.

Being creative is fun. Doing it for a living is hard. To successfully be creative for a living, you need to fall into any of the buckets above. And so therefore, I am considering being just a “DJ” is a creative job. My point is though, that just like being a mediocre dj, sucks just as bad as being a mediocre artist, painter, journalist, stockbroker, or anything living in New York City today..

Today, successful people at whatever they endeavor in New York City, not only have passion, but they have purpose and a plan. We all fall in the buckets above, where you do fall?

Earlier tonight, I was home thinking about this very topic while watching Silicon Valley on HBO. What I noticed, was during the kitchen scene, Richard continued the dialogue in the background. And that dialogue actually continued his conversation in the background as well as provided some non-verbal foresight to this scene.

Silicon Valley

The sub script acting caught my eye, since earlier in the day I had read a New York Times article, “Suspended Animation” in the Sunday paper, that told a story from an Extra’s point of view, much differently.

“Restaurant scenes, in particular, left me unmoored. I was often seated at two-tops on soundstages designed to look like eating establishments. The scenes required hours across from a stranger with whom I had to pretend to engage in an exchange so intense that nothing else existed. (In such scenes, unlike life, waiters aren’t flagged down, utensils aren’t dropped and children are nowhere to be found.)

To make matters worse, audible conversation was out of the question: Microphones picked up even the low clearing of a throat, so the back-and-forth was mouthed and mimed. There was a specific art — and agony — to feigning this sort of friendship, and I was nowhere near being an expert practitioner of the former. After every scene, I felt the need to reassure my scene partner — and myself — that I was all too aware of the ridiculousness of the situation, and to apologize for my part in it.”

A couple of scenes later, the biz dev guy, shared a new approach called scrum. Specifically what caught my eye on this scene, was not only the process, but the chart they used in the background.

I thought to myself, “If I was the writer, I would definitely use real information to make fiction, otherwise that would be too much work… besides, what if someone Googled it?”

Scrum Zoom-in

Which is exactly what I did… Boom!! Scrum is in fact a real method, and the image in the background is a real flow chart. Ha!! In storytelling, it’s much easier to tell the truth and make up things… I wonder, is Silicon Valley, perhaps viewers shot, or insider’s baseball to certain insights, or peeks under the tent of the startup world? Has television writing matured beyond its format?

At this point, the show went on hold, and I feveriously research scrum. . .

Below is a synopsis of what I found.. The point is, (bringing it back to DJing, or anything that you are passionate about,) that the fun shit is easy. And the reality is, the “not-so-fun” shit is hard, unless you find a way to make it fun.

Scrum zoom-out

In my case, fun predominantly happens in three places. Out with family or friends, performing on the stage and in the studio. These are my playgrounds, where I can be free, and myself. Unfortunately, recess only happens once per day. And in order to maximize the amount of fun that I can have in each situation, I need to have a plan of how my time, effort and energy is divided among them and all the other things that I need to do.

Rather than seeking balance, I seek harmony, since at any point, anything can change.

I am now faced with the challenge of developing a system of harmony between my core dynamics and aligning those with my three passions of people, music and business. First, I need a plan. And in order to create a plan, I need a very clear purpose, goal and objective:

To write music that will inspire people through a sustainable business model in order to empower and enable other artists to do the same.

Excellent!! Now how do I do this?

Below are notes on scrum. I do my best to reference and source. Please also note, this post may change to reflect updates. Please also feel free to reach out with any questions or inquiries. Thanks.

Ravin Dave


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