Recently, a few people mentioned to me that a local DJ was playing at a venue I used to DJ at, the owner said something to the DJ that the DJ found offensive, then said DJ stopped in the middle of his set and packed up and left. When asked what I thought about the incident I responded, "Why should I care? You're either professional or you're not." I'm a professional…someone hires me to do a job…I do it. Anything that happens or that is said during the gig is just another story to share with other DJs after the gig. It's a bar. What are you doing working in a bar if you are easily offended? I can't imagine anything the owner said to be more offensive than the lyrics I hear in modern Hip-Hop music. Furthermore, the venue in question already has a horrible reputation with DJs, so the DJ should've been prepared for some level of ill repute going into it.
Have I ever packed up in the middle of my set and left? Not really. There was one time when a guy was drunk and waving a gun around at a gig, but it was near the end of the night, just causing me to shut down an hour early and I still got paid for the whole night. Even then…I may have ducked behind the decks a few times, but I wasn't leaving there without my money. The idea of someone saying a snide comment to me causing me to turn up my nose and turn down my faders and walk out without my money is laughable. I've had some venue owners say and do some pretty offensive things at some of my gigs, but I'm a DJ…not the head of some civil rights movement…and as I said before…it's a bar! "Gee, someone said something less than becoming while in a bar full of drunken people. The horror." You're playing music for a bunch of drunken, coked up, trust fund kids…yeah…you're going to hear some things you don't want to hear throughout the night.
I don't play at the venue in question anymore and I can tell you that it is not because I was offended at some point. The only thing that gets a venue on my bad side is a discrepancy with money. I don't care what they say or do or who they do it with as long as there is no disruption in cash flow. Anything outside of money problems is just amateur night. The bottom line is that if someone can whisper something in your ear and unravel you to the point that it causes you to mess up your money then you're not professional. OK, so you found his words offensive. Did you really find his words to be a night's worth of pay offensive? Maybe I have thicker skin because I'm a musician that happens to be a DJ and musicians have always been more resilient than DJs since…forever. If I ever feel the need to start getting all Little Lord Fauntleroy at a gig…I'll just quit being a DJ.