Giving Thanks

by Ray Martinez

Over the course of the last few years, I have become dismayed by how politics has played a role in dividing our industry based on whether you are a member of NAME or ADJA, East Coast DJs vs. West Coast DJs, Mobile Beat vs. DJ Times, Full Time vs. Part Time DJs.

I have read on chat boards, and come across a number of people who tend to stir up controversy because they don’t share the same opinions. But let me tell you truthfully, it is OK to disagree, agreeably without fighting and making enemies.

I’m Thankful for Good Friends

I just got back from traveling with my close DJ friend David Hanscom on a helicopter tour of one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. As we were flying above God’s majestic beauty, I couldn’t help but think about how thankful I am to have a good friend like David to share this moment to enjoy together as friends, and colleagues, but more importantly as brothers.

We have shared moments like this with other DJ friends, Shawn Dean Moksnes, Luke Renchan, Eric Wenning, Paul Dominguez, Marc Burgess, Carlton McGee, and Steve Gomez.

I reflect back to how thankful I am to have these guys as some of my closet friends in the industry, who I can count on them anytime and know they also have my back too.

Friends, as we do every year in November, it is time to give thanks for the gifts we receive daily, and the ones we have not seen. One of the greatest gifts we can have is love. The love we all have for our families and friends, and for this business.

I encourage you to reflect back to how good this business is to you without complaining that brides and corporations have scaled back on their budgets. With the dismal economy, our entire nation is suffering and feeling the effects of the recession, and although we have to tighten our belts, we must be diligent and work harder during this time and have some faith that we will pull out of this soon.

I’m Thankful to be a Mobile DJ

This business has been good to me, with other friends, Sean “Big Daddy” McKee, John Rozz and Jake Jacobsen giving me encouragement, when I was contemplating retirement earlier this year. Paul Shupe, Bob Lindquist, Mike Mireles and Michael Handy, have all been instrumental helping me, in keeping the faith. Carol Keslar, NAME President and Stacy Zemon, for giving me a forum to try to help encourage people to become better entertainers, better people and making a difference in our industry.

There are countless others who I thank for being colleagues and friends to me and helping me become the person and entertainer I am today. The list is very long and I don’t have to mention your names but you know who you are.

The reason I am sharing this with you, is with hopes that you would all be thankful for the friends you have in this business and I encourage you to go out and make new friends, but it starts in your own back yard. Invite a colleague in your market for a cup of coffee and see how you can work together to make a difference in your community.

You Don’t Have to Choose One Over Another

If you are a member of ADJA it is OK to join NAME, and visa versa. If you subscribe to Mobile Beat, then subscribe to DJ Times and other industry related information sources. If you have never been to the Mobile Beat Show in Vegas or if you have never been to the DJ Times Expo, make it a point to do so.

Make an effort to meet new colleagues across this country, and start pulling together as an industry. Once you do that and realize we all bleed the same color blood, it will open your eyes to what you have been missing all these years, and then you will be as thankful as I am to know how great this industry really is with good friends and maybe someday soon there will no longer be any barriers as to what affiliation you have with any associations.

In closing, remember these words, “You can tell a successful person by the company he keeps.”

What are you thankful for?

Photo: Ray Martinez & Stacy Zemon at the Mid-America DJ Convention, 2004.

Ray Martinez – “Unbridled Inspiration”

Ray Martinez of Ray Mar Productions in Goodyear, AZ is the most highly accredited individual in the mobile DJ industry. A 30+ year veteran, Ray’s many accomplishments include: 2006 American Disc Jockey Hall of Fame Inductee; 2003 National Male Entertainer of the Year, American Disc Jockey Awards; 2001 & 2002 ADJA Southern California Entertainer of the Year; Author, “Performance Beyond Expectation” and “Music From My Heart, Orchestrating Your Business and Your Life;” Vice President-Board of Directors of N.A.M.E. (National Association of Mobile Entertainers); Executive Director, CrossMix-Christian DJ Association; Lifetime Member-American Disc Jockey Association; Former National Director of the ADJA, Former Vice President of the ADJA So. California Chapter; Ambassador and Endorsed Artist for QSC Audio. To contact him, email View posts by Ray.

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