I work for a website that gets millions of visitors every month. The club where the show happens holds maybe 90 people, and that's only if we're willing to work under the ever-present threat of becoming the Great White of comedy.
Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesThat's a "hundreds of people die tragically in a fire" joke, in case you're unsure.
Realistically, it's closer to 75 people. You'd think that millions of monthly visitors would translate to bloody combat in the streets among rabid Cracked fans hoping to get inside when we put on a show at a venue that small. You'd be absurdly wrong. It took us having six people in the audience on a night when we had what still stands as one of our strongest line-ups of comics ever (Ron Funches! Jerrod Carmichael! Nate Bargatze! And more!) before I realized that just slapping the name "Cracked" on something doesn't necessarily mean people are going to show up to check it out. Six people. Six. And I'm pretty sure all of them were on the guest list. It was horrifying.
It was at that point that I actually started promoting the show through every channel available to me. The next show sold out and we've come close to that every show since then, but it doesn't happen by magic. I imagine it's the same for just about any live performance. So if you're wondering why no concerts ever come to your town, it's probably because the job of making that happen is a shitty one that no one wants.
Fuck. You. This entire entry could be just those two words and I suspect most everyone reading would understand perfectly. I mean, back when being a DJ required hauling gigantic crates of records from shitty club to shitty club, I could totally understand why a person would claim such a thing as a profession. But now? No. Plugging your laptop into a PA system and sharing the playlist your personal assistant assembled with a crowd of drunken revelers does not make you an entertainer. If it doesn't involve vinyl records and a mixer and some sort of skill, you're just playing music. I suppose those contraptions that allow you to mix CD's like records are fine also.
Beyond that, if you're paying someone $15,000 to play songs at your club, the only way you're investing your money wisely is if that person brings a few thousand more hardcore drinkers along with them. So I guess my problem here isn't that "DJ" is a job everyone thinks they can do, it's more that people think they're doing anything at all. The DJ is to a party what the redneck pushing the buttons is to a carnival ride. They're both necessary components of the process, but it's mostly the manual labor component.
WikipediaLast night a carny saved my life.
The guy running the Tilt-A-Whirl doesn't breathe new life into the experience thanks to his unique style of pushing buttons, and DJ's don't do anything remotely similar for great songs. In both cases, you're just operating a machine. It's that machine that makes the fun, not you.
Yes, I get that "celebrity" DJ's do indeed sometimes draw a larger than usual crowd to a club, but it's still the same principle. People are just showing up to look at the freak in the booth. If you're one of those people, it doesn't make you a skilled performer, it makes you the modern day equivalent of the bearded lady.
Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesI think this is Paul Oakenfold.
Your face is the attraction, your talents are not. Until the apocalypse hits and you're the only person in town with an iPod, no one gives a shit about your "skills" as a DJ.
Adam would like it a whole lot if you'd download the latest episode of his podcast and/or watch him tell jokes at Rooftop Comedy. Then come see him do that in person the first and third Tuesday of every month at Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica. Once you have all of that out of your system, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.