If your full summer schedule has you feeling stressed then imagine how wedding vendors feel! We consider Canada Day to the end of September to be our high season, which means all members of the Liquid Entertainment DJ team is fully committed to perform every Friday and Saturday for three months!
If you’re thinking that working Fridays and Saturdays isn’t so bad, consider that the rest of our weeks are filled with the creative and administrative work of DJ-ing. Tasks like music sourcing and selection, client consultation and event preparation take up hours every day. All this of course doesn’t take into account the personal and family lives of our team.
With so much on our plates during the high season, we asked our operations manager DJ Jonathan Blaney what it takes to stay sharp during such a busy time of the year.
1. “Sleep is unfortunately something I don’t have much time for. Though a 31-year old male should get about 8 hours, I average 5 to 7 during the week. On Fridays and Saturdays I typically get something closer to 4 or 5 hours. However, it’s important that I get what I can. I am a dedicated DJ and people pleaser, but even if I find it difficult to fit a good night’s rest into my schedule, I do it.”
2. “Eating nutritiously (when I can) is crucial. During the high season bad habits like eating late, or eating too much fast food creep up. Though I eat like a king at weddings, I never know exactly how many calories I’m consuming. When I am at home during the week however, I do my best to make wholesome meals for my family. Also, nothing beats a PB&J with milk before bed.”
3. “Exercise is really important to me – even during the high season. I am a martial arts instructor, so making time for fitness is already a good habit. I actually have a 5th Dan Blackbelt in Jiu Jitsu. It’s a technical and fluid form of martial arts but the cardio aspect of grappling is where my on-the-job stamina comes from. I also work out twice a week for 2 to 3 hours. I do it for me, and for the clients: how else could I manage to get all of that equipment in and out of my van every weekend?”
4. “Committing to work-life balance is very important to me. I do my best to be a good spouse and father, but some days that is easier said than done. When I’m not DJing or in the office, I try to take my kids to the park, go for bike rides, or enjoy countryside car rides. Two of my three children are in school, so it’s also important to help with homework and take them to extracurricular activities. There’re always doctor’s appointments and school trips as well, but it’s all about making cool memories that they can have when they grow up.
That being said, when they’re asleep, it’s not time to collapse. My wife and I like to hang out too! We watch movies, play Call of Duty, or just talk about our day. In fact, in this industry it’s really important to have a solid relationship with your spouse. Someone who can support your passion and who understands the long hours. Also, it’s important to keep up my side of the partnership, even when it’s busy. A proper kiss and hug goodbye before heading out for a weekend of work can really make a difference when it’s time to perform.”
5. “Staying organised is not only essential to keeping work on-track during busy times, but also important when you want to live well. To stay organised, I have a pretty strict weekly schedule that I adhere to. On Mondays I get my suit dry-cleaned and spend the day focussing on office administration and consultations, as well as family household tasks. Tuesday I review and organise music with DJ software and create a detailed itinerary for my upcoming weddings. Being the operations manager, I also check and prepare the equipment for the weekend. Wednesdays are for family and fitness. Thrusday is my ‘Saturday’: a day of rest and enjoyment. Friday and Saturday are gig days. They start at 8 am and run anywhere from 3 am to 6 am. Sundays are almost “normal”. I catch up on sleep and spend time with my family.”
Tired yet? Luckily for us, Jonathan and the rest of the Liquid Entertainment team are seasoned pros. So, when it comes to your event, their routines keep them fresh and ready to take on anything!