Some people ask me, “Where did you get your wings?” My answer? “I got them when I was ‘stuck’ in Purgatory!”
Last April, I DJ’d a “Heaven, Hell & Purgatory” themed event for Metro Event Specialists. Since the venue hosting the event, The Loft at 600 F Street, is four floors it was the perfect spot for this theme. Each floor represented a different state of spirit! Guests entered on the first floor then took an old fashioned lift elevator with cage style doors to “hell” located on the second floor. As they arrived in hell, they were greeted by Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark, and his gritty, funky blues band. Next stop? Guests were “Getting Stuck” with me, DeeJay Shelly, in Purgatory on the third floor. Wearing my black wings and red headphones, I played a mix of trance and lounge music to “cleanse their souls!” What was waiting for them in heaven? A sweet-sounding singer and harpist, Tulani Jolley.
What did I love most about this event? Of course, the playlist! Preparing for the event, I spoke with my EastCoast Entertainment agent, Jennifer Langer, also known as “Black Betty”, about the music she would like me to play for this theme. I was so excited when she said trance & lounge. The music selection would be key to set the tone for my floor. Yet, when I’m asked to DJ a themed event, I always dress to the them! I could wear regular dress clothes. Yet, why would I ever do that when I can wear wings!?! It’s so much more fun for me and the guests. In addition to putting together a great playlist, I dressed in a long black dress, white corset, and large black wings. The guests love it!
Next, there’s the time put into the presentation of the DJ booth. Where would I be without Nathan!?! Thanks to Nathan Barta, he designed and set up a SUPER COOL light show to play behind me, while I was on the ones and twos. Of course, I always want to keep up on my social media! As part of the light show, I asked Nathan to display the hashtags #GetStuck with #DeeJayShelly. After all, it’s about having FUN.
Lastly, there’s the playlists! While I always mix live at every event, I do create tentative playlists before hand. For me, it’s kind of like writing a book. Step one, involves the brainstorming. “What would I like to play at this party?” Brainstorming usually brings me to about ten hours of music. Obviously, way too much music needed for most parties. I keep all of this music on hand, yet I cut it down draft by draft, until I have my final playlists. I create my playlists, pretending as if I’m a guest at the event. What would I want to hear as I arrived? What would I want to hear while I was mingling with other guests? What would I want to hear towards the end of the night? Lastly, there’s reading the crowd throughout the event. I certainly don’t always stick to my playlists. If I read the crowd is not feeling a certain song, or type of music, I change it. This is why I feel it’s so important to mix live!
As Dr. Beth and I would say, “So there you have it!!!” The final result? SHELL Shock! It was so much fun to have guests loving my wings and wanting to take photos with me. I received numerous comments about the great music. Ken Rochon, photographer with The Umbrella Syndicate even made me the cover girl for one of the social media posts!! Thanks Ken!!
What’s more? Not only was able to hang out with two of my favorite people and my EastCoast agents, Jenny Langer (aka Black Betty) and Rob Cross, but I also had the chance to meet Max Major, Magician, Mind Reader and Hypnotist and Troy, owner of Troyal Events. While I was sad to leave Purgatory, I hope next time I’m in Heaven! – Michelle Lee (aka DeeJay Shelly)