Practice Makes "Perfect"

By Mike Walter, “Multi-Op Corner”

Most people who know me know I am motivated by great sayings. I find inspiration in words that are so powerful they become a mantra. One of my favorite quotes appeared in Runners World magazine a few years ago:

“You don’t train to be good in training; you train to be good in the race.”

Those words are applicable not just for running but for any athletic pursuit. And they can also be expanded to include any type of performance. Just a few tweaks of that saying becomes:

“You don’t rehearse to be good in rehearsal; you rehearse to be good at the event.”

Do You Practice?

Do you rehearse? Do you train yourself to be the best possible Mobile DJ you can be?

When you hear a new dance song and you know you are going to start working it into your repertoire, do you practice mixing it? If you have editing software, do you recreate the song if need be, so it has a smooth intro and a perfect break to use as an outro?

Before your Bridal Party Introductions, do you recite your names out loud? Do you say the tougher names over and over so that your mouth gets used to pronouncing sounds it’s not used to? If you work with an assistant who will be mixing music while you speak, do you rehearse with that person to work out the timing?

If a client gives you an extensive music list, do you analyze it before the event, maybe even re-writing it so it has some sense of order during the gig?

When you learn a new game, do you play it with your family members or friends before you bust it out live at an event? Do you work out the kinks involved in setting up the game?

If you want to incorporate a new line dance into your show, do you practice, not only doing the dance but also teaching the steps to people who don’t know it?

When you buy a new piece of equipment, do you set it up and break it down a few times to make sure you know the in’s and out’s of putting it together, operating it and packing it up correctly?

In my opinion, if you call yourself a “Professional Mobile DJ” your answer should be “YES” to all of the above. These are all forms of practice. Or Rehearsal. Or you can even call them training. It’s all the same thing really.

When Mistakes Are Okay

And remember, you don’t train to be good at training. You train to be good at the event. If you mispronounce a tough name while you are rehearsing you should be thrilled! Mispronounce it again and again! Just get it right eventually before you go live with it. Then feel good about the fact that you nailed it live because if you hadn’t rehearsed then the first time you pronounced that name would have been in front of everyone on the microphone and you would have butchered it right then and there just like you did the first time in rehearsal.

The same thing goes for a horrible mix in rehearsal, or showing a new game to your staff and forgetting one of the key rules to making the game work. Screw these things up in rehearsal all you want. And be happy you did. Cause you aren’t practicing to be good at practicing. You are practicing to good at the event.

Pictured Above: Scott Faver, The Game Master

Michael Walter
Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-System DJ Company in New Jersey that has been selected by TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com as a top Entertainment company in the country. For over 30 years, he has MCed events from weddings to fashion shows and beauty pageants and his public speaking experience and acumen have served him well as a presenter. He began to offer seminars in 1998, at first specifically to the DJ Industry, then he expanded to speaking to event groups and finally to any and all audiences. His seminars are known for their fast pace, mix of information and entertainment and deft use of Keynote. Having sat through enough tedious seminars in his life, Mike vows to never bore an audience. Whether he is offering life changing advice, motivational challenges or hard-core information on how to grow and expand your business, Mike promises he will deliver a quick, concise, and nugget-filled presentation every time he speaks. Mike has published three books, Running Your Multi-Op which is widely consider the most comprehensive book for anyone interested in expanding their DJ business, the self-help primer, Ten Things You Can Do to Have a Better Day and the music history compendium: On This Date in Music. He’s also released a number of education videos to help his fellow DJs and business owners. In 2014 he partnered with Joe Bunn to start the PhDJ Workshop and in 2017 the two began a weekly podcast called the PhDJ Podcast. For more information head to DJMikeWalter.com and OnThisDateInMusic.com

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