to dj or not to dj…?

October 2, 2014 in Words by Mark Vicente


Recently I went to Amsterdam for two weeks to help my partner get settled. Most of you who are close to me know by now that he found a teaching position at the University so talks about me moving were already in the works over the summer. I will be joining him in January.

Creatively there is a lot of excitement about the possibilities of a city like Amsterdam. Amsterdam has a fantastic DJ community (Amsterdam Dance Event is just around the corner) and the city is a major hub for club-life all over Europe. As a DJ this is a dream come true. But still I suffer from this crippling doubt that is often hard to shake.

I am a huge fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and in an episode where Tina Fey is sharing how she never did many stand-up gigs, Jerry says to her, “there is a bit of a brutality that you have to have. I would venture to say that you are missing that piece.” I feel I can relate.

Before I left for my trip to Amsterdam I did a gig where at the end of the night someone came up to me and said, “you are the worst DJ.” Sure the person was probably a little drunk and of course I should take those things with a grain of salt but every now and then, when the defences are low, the doubt takes hold. I remember packing my gear and slinking away afterward. I felt so humiliated.

There is so much to love about DJing. On a good night there is magic on that dance floor. I see it, I feel it. But I wonder sometimes if I have a thick enough skin for it. I’m trying, but it’s hard.

I stepped away from this website for a long time because I didn’t think anyone cared. I am sorry for that. I still have a few DJ Q/A’s that I’m committed to posting before I head to Europe. But come January I hope I can use this time to really think about what it is that I love about DJing and what I truly have to offer this profession. It’s unclear where this will all lead. And maybe that’s okay. I just hope that wherever I end up, and whatever I end up doing, there will be music…and dancing.