“The Show Must Go On. Inside my heart is breaking. My make-up may be flaking. But my smile, still stays on”– Queen
On Thursday, Oct 8th I got a call from my mother with news that rocked my world to the core. My 19 year-old nephew Daniel died unexpectedly during the night. I spent the next several days in a sobbing, stunned stupor. I quite possibly would have remained that way, except I had a wedding on Saturday the 10th that I was hired for a year in advance.
Saturday morning I booked a flight to go to my nephews’ funeral (WHAT???????) and that same night I performed at that wedding. It was honestly one of the hardest things I ever had to do. My mind kept wandering to the phone call that delivered this horrendous news . . . or thinking about where I would be flying to in the morning, and why . . . Each time I’d ” push it aside” and think it’s not about me – I can lose it at 10:15pm after the bride & groom leave . . .
Have you ever dealt with this? Now, my commitment was that the wedding party and guests would have NO CLUE what I’m dealing with — and — I’m a professional so I knew I would still rock this wedding, but, until Saturday, I never had to operate on top of soul crushing grief.
I enlisted the support of my DJ family for advice on how to not just get through it, but have it be a stellar event for my newlyweds. They gave me several suggestions that I hope you never have to use, and are good to keep in your proverbial back pocket, in case of emergency.
* Have a great support system. I had a DJ friend assist me and I felt totally supported and cared for having him there. It also helped that I communicated before hand, where I might need support above the usual assistant duties. The coordinator too is a friend, and referred me to the Bride, and I also shared with her what happened, along with expressing my commitment that it be the best day of their lives, and a total celebration of the newlyweds.
* Use tools to keep you to in the NOW. What works best for me is breath, being aware of my breath has me be present and in the room.
*The Show Must Go On. We are in the entertainment business. There are times we must push aside personal and private matters and let the “show” take center stage. Smile as much as you can. Just focus on your goal.
I dedicated the music to Daniel (in my mind) that night, and gave all of the energy back to the party and the lovely couple who are starting their new life together. An absolute celebration of Life!
The dance floor was full all night, all ages, and my bride left maybe twice to use the bathroom!
As I was writing this, I got an email from my bride:” I just wanted to THANK YOU for all of your hard work (on a HOT day) during our wedding. You played such great music and it was a blast dancing.
I would love to write you an excellent online review to share how great you were. Is there a specific website that gets a lot of attention for you?
Also the CD with our dinner music and the playlist was SUCH a nice touch. You are amazing. Thanks again.”
Keep Calm and DJ On.