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Singers & Hosts Wisdom Post how to be a great karaoke singer or host.

View Poll Results: Are KJ's professional?
Yes 15 27.78%
No 2 3.70%
Some are and some are not 37 68.52%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old February 25th, 2007, 04:43 PM
kilith kilith is offline
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Are KJ's Professional?

Well from the topic "Pay rate around the country" we have gotten into a discussion about if KJ's are professional. Steve Walker says that KJ's are not considered profrssional. So here we can all discuss this and maybe some of us "professional" KJ's can change his mind. He is neither DJ or KJ but he is prime example on why KJ's are getting killed out in the world. I guess noone considers KJ's to be "professional"
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  #2  
Old February 25th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Here is a recap on how this started

Here is how this topic started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWalker View Post
I think the top DJ's and top KJ's can provide the same quality of entertainment but they are at the top of the pyrimid. In general the public expects DJ's to entertain at a much higher level and quality compared to KJ's. A professional DJ makes much more money and would not switch over to be a full time KJ. This is just my unbiased opinion as I'm am not a DJ. I am musician and professional singer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kilith View Post
Yes that is right. The public thinks there is more to being a DJ then a KJ. However it is the other way around. a KJ puts a lot more time into their business. Making books is a long and tiresom project and are changed almost weekly if not monthly. Most DJ's do not even have books it is go up ask and pray they have the music you want.

A DJ plays music to get people up and dance... I have had nights where I sang for the first 2 hours out of 5 hours before people were brave enough to come up and sing but once you get them up there then they do not want to stop but that is what you have to do to keep your show going... I have never seen a DJ come out from behind his computer or CD tray to get a group dancing by dancing by him/herself out on a floor.

That is the problem out in the world is everyone knows how much a DJ is paid and that it is anywhere from $600-$1500 a night and bars are happy to pay that price but they are not happy to pay a KJ $200.00. Yes I know that a lot of troll KJ's have taken down the respectability of the karaoke industry. Once of my friends who used to even be my baby-sitter lol is now starting up her own karaoke system and I am sorry she is a horrible KJ when it comes to running a system. As a MC she is great! but she does not know how to adjust her music and vocals which is what makes a quality show. For me it would be rude to go up and tell her how to run her system even if it was to help her quality. I do have 9 years experience on her but I just do not know how she would take constructive critisizm from me knowing I am a KJ.... Any comments on how I could maybe go about helping her out? She does give a good show but she could give a heck of a lot better show.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWalker View Post
The professional DJ can MC and motivate the crowd in a way only a KJ (except a very very few) could dream of doing. The professional DJ does more to learn the skill of being an MC and motivating a crowd. The KJ concentrates on motivating singers and adjusting their vocals. Actually, we are talking apples and oranges in making this comparison. I think the DJ profession would be a great leaning ground for KJ's because this is where the real people skills are learned and used.
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  #3  
Old February 25th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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Here is the rest of what was stated so far "I know I prob of gotten the ADMIN to move all of it but oh well lol it is here now

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilith View Post
I starting as a KJ think it is the other way around. There is no way I would of ever became a DJ if it was not for being a KJ first. KJ/DJ does not have much of a difference... DJ/KJ and MC is a HUGE difference. Most DJ websites do not even offer MC services and the ones that DO, charge more to MC a wedding reception.
Really the only difference I can see comparing the two is DJ has more control over the show then the KJ does.
However both a KJ or a DJ can be an MC. MC is a whole different trade all together from both KJ and DJ.

masters of ceremonies
A person who acts as host at a formal event, making the welcoming speech and introducing other speakers.
A performer who conducts a program of varied entertainment by introducing other performers to the audience.
In a way a KJ is an MC all the time, a DJ is an MC only if the wedding couple wants them to do introductions or to even have them call out the dances or other events in the night. I have had the bride and groom do it at their weddings. So that took my MC jobs over and I did not have to do it. That is how they wanted to do their reception and they are paying me so I do what they want.

disc jockey
nouna person who announces and plays popular recorded music

Karaoke jockey or KJ

The KJ is a specialized disc jockey who plays and manages the music for a venue. The role of the KJ often includes announcing song titles and whose turn it is to sing.

So by definition a KJ is a form of DJ and neither a KJ nor DJ is an MC but both could do MC duties. Both KJ and DJ MUST be good with people and be people persons. Now what you are saying (and you must have met some horrible KJ's) is that what you have seen does not compare to a professional KJ/DJ. You I would say have seen KJ's that are in it for the money and do not care how well the people sound or the apperance of their system and must not run it professionally if you do not consider them to be professional. (I have seen these type of KJ's and I call them the trolls and they give a very bad reputation to professional KJ's)

I would consider myself a very professional KJ and/or DJ but the only difference in my shows is how they are run. karaoke I do karaoke and DJ I play music. That is the only difference between the two. (oh and one I wear a tux and the other I wear jeans and a nice button down shirt) I live in both worlds and even both at the same time.

However I see that this is a bit off topic now but maybe could make for a very good topic of its own to see what people think other then us lol?
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanross View Post
I had the benefit of being a mobile DJ before mobile DJs were the accepted norm at weddings and formal affairs. Back in the late 1970s, bands still dominated the wedding circuit. I lived in Northwestern Vermont at the time and there were only three professional DJ systems in existence in the state and ours was one of them. I've seen the industry change and I've seen what it takes to be a good DJ. But let's define what kind of DJ we're discussing.

Club jocks are different than Rap DJs, but they're closer cousins than other types of DJs. In a club, the focus is on mixing, scratching and maintaining a beat that keeps the crowd moving. Rap jocks are proficient in mixing, overdubbing and scratching to enhance the song. Both are different from radio DJs whose whole focus is to project their personality over the airwaves. Radio DJs are different than mobile DJs because they don't have that immediate, live feedback from an audience for whom they must adjust their playlist. But radio jocks make a better fit into the mobile world because they're used to filling in dead air with banter.

I mention this because it goes to the reason why bar owners consider DJs more valuable than KJs. First you have to understand the fact that perception is reality to the vast majority of people. It rarely matters what the facts are, if people perceive things to be a certain way, it is very hard to convince them otherwise.

There is a perception that DJs are more highly skilled and have a semi-celebrity status, partially because of the radio DJs and partially because of the wedding circuit. Radio DJs have an on-air presence that gives them that sort-of celebrity status. Who hasn't tugged on the sleeve of a friend and said, "Hey that's so-and-so from WXYZ radio!" when they've seen a radio DJ in person. This increases their value to a bar owner. The other perception is that of the wedding DJ. Wedding DJs pull in good money for each gig. The perception is then that they are worth that much, even in a smaller, weekly venue. So when a bar owner hires a DJ for $400 for the night, he feels like he's getting a deal.

We all know that the general perception of Karaoke is that it is third rate entertainment. Any time you make people who are not professionals the center of the show, you will foster a perception that your show isn't professional. It takes a great deal of work to change that image, but it can be done. We've done it here at our shows. But it takes a lot of work and most KJs simply don't care. They're making their money and they're done. So Karaoke across the globe is not considered to be a professional form of entertainment.

Again, this is the perception. We as professional KJs, struggling to make our shows real entertainment venues, know that reality is a far cry from the perception.

kilith is spot-on when he talks about DJs not necessarily being MCs and that KJs do way more work than DJs. I've been doing DJ/KJ/MC work since the late 70s and I can personally attest to the fact that KJ work is the most difficult and requires the most dedication, commitment and perseverance. If you're running your shows right, you don't stop moving, listening, adjusting, monitoring, loading, announcing, bantering, schmoozing or watching from the time you start 'til the time you end. There are no breaks. It's four straight hours of constant action and being in what I like to call "Go-Mode".

When I do a wedding now, it feels like I'm cheating. I do 1/8 of the work and get paid 3 times as much - at a minimum. So, just to make myself feel better, I sing half the songs to which people are dancing. It makes me feel like I'm earning my money and 1/2 the people don't even notice, so they keep right on dancing. The half that does notice, usually ask for my business card and visit my tip jar. The point is, DJ work is so boring compared to KJ work, I charge astonomical rates to dissuade people from hiring me. Last year I increased my DJ rates to $300/hr for me personally and $200/hr for any of my guys. That wasn't good enough to stop 'em, so I began charging $400/hr for me personally and I already have 6 gigs lined up this year. It's ridiculous!

The bottom line is, if KJs could change the public perception of Karaoke, then we could earn the same rates that DJs make across the board. Unfortunately, because of the cut-rate Karaoke that's probably always going to be available, and the easy access to it in bars and nightclubs, I don't see the situation changing.

If fact, what I've seen is a shift from people having their wedding receptions in a reception hall, to wedding couples scheduling their wedding receptions at the nightclubs in which we play so they get free entertainment. Granted, they're bringing their private function into a public forum, but the bar owners love it because it's that much more revenue and the wedding party doesn't care, because, as you know, when any large group comes into the shows, they pretty much take over the room anyway.

I get very cross when this happens and I usually make sure the wedding people understand that they will get no special treatment. They are at the mercy of the rotation regardless of how many of them there are. I make it clear that if they want special treatment, they should have paid me to do a private party for them. As such, I make them understand that their wedding is now over and they are at my show, not their reception. The bar customers are every bit as important and will be given as much respect as the bride and groom.

Invariably, someone from the wedding party try to make it all about the wedding couple, but I just don't play that game. They might get upset a the moment, but upon reflection, most people realize that they are really trying to get something for nothing and that dog don't hunt with me.

The biproduct of this is that the "regulars" appreciate us that much more.

Anyway, I'm getting long winded again. Sorry.

- Alan Ross
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWalker View Post
I agree that a KJ is a specialized DJ. To me specialized means the KJ is not a fully trained professional DJ. I'm very sure you are exceptional in your role as both a KJ and DJ but unfortunately these types are few and far between.

However, we can agree to disagree at this point!
Quote:
Originally Posted by muzicman144 View Post
With all due respects to any and all dj or kj. At what point does one become a "fully trained professionial dj/kj", and who decides it. One could do dj/kj work full time for ten years and not be considered one of the "best" or "professional". Another can start and immediately have abilty to be considered one of the best or most professional. I beleive it is the intangible that can't really be described that draws the largest crowds and makes the kj or dj draw top money. Its the ability to say/do the right things at the right time that separates the "best or professional" from the rest. This can't be taught or "trained". It also sets the rate of pay.
Again, just my opinion

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  #4  
Old February 25th, 2007, 05:23 PM
kilith kilith is offline
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Steve I now must find out what do you consider to be "professional"? By definition professional means:
Quote:
pro·fes·sion·al
Quote:
/prəˈfɛʃənl/Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[pruh-fesh-uh-nl]Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1.following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder. 2.of, pertaining to, or connected with a profession: professional studies. 3.appropriate to a profession: professional objectivity. 4.engaged in one of the learned professions: A lawyer is a professional person. 5.following as a business an occupation ordinarily engaged in as a pastime: a professional golfer. 6.making a business or constant practice of something not properly to be regarded as a business: “A salesman,” he said, “is a professional optimist.” 7.undertaken or engaged in as a means of livelihood or for gain: professional baseball. 8.of or for a professional person or his or her place of business or work: a professional apartment; professional equipment. 9.done by a professional; expert: professional car repairs. –noun 10.a person who belongs to one of the professions, esp. one of the learned professions. 11.a person who earns a living in a sport or other occupation frequently engaged in by amateurs: a golf professional. 12.an expert player, as of golf or tennis, serving as a teacher, consultant, performer, or contestant; pro. 13.a person who is expert at his or her work: You can tell by her comments that this editor is a real professional.
Now I can say there are a lot of amateurs in both the KJ/DJ field but being a singer does not make you a professional. Playing in a band does not make you professional. Being a DJ does not make you professional and being a KJ does not make you professional.

Just because before your name you have lets say "DJ Jeff" this does not make you "professional". When I start my shows whether I am a KJ for that night or DJ is "My name is Jake and I will be your host for the night for the next 5 hours." I do not add DJ or KJ I am their host.

Now whether I am a KJ or a DJ I am professional on both sides of the board. I am not more professional when I DJ over when I KJ. Steve where does this make sense? Am I only professional when I DJ at weddings but when I KJ at a wedding I am not? If my show is always the same rather it be in the bar or at a wedding how am I not a "professional" KJ? I was never trained as a KJ and I was never trained as a DJ. They came as natural to me to do as golf did for Tigar Woods.

Here is what I consider to be a "professional" KJ or DJ:

You must have the love for the music inside and out. If you are in the business just for the money then you might as well get out now. You must look professional as in a nice appearance. Like Alan Ross said: In a bar wear some nice jeans and a nice button down shirt over wearing shorts and t-shirt. Do not under dress a gig but also do not over dress a gig either like as in do not wear a tux to host karaoke at a bar... but do not wear jeans and button down shirt at a wedding. Appearance does not stop with you!!!! Your equipment must also have a good appearance. If that looks bad even if you ARE in a tux... makes you look non-professional. You must ACT professional, this means no swearing over the mic, no ripping down your singers or dancers, keep the show flowing get the crowd into it.

To me if your KJ or DJ does all of the above and more they are professionals.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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Ahh, as we try to redifine "Professional"!

It typically means in the American Society an occupation that requires some form of licensure, education, and some qualifying exams to prove to the public that you have demonstrated, at least by way of the above, a certain level of proficeincy in that particular field. However, the word professional, like many other American words, are extremely overused and often times go beyond their originally intended meaning.
Also, because you have all the certifications stated above does not mean that you are better than someone that doesn't, but at it least says that you made the effort
to honor the profession, and are aware of the laws that govern that profession, and are usually the only ones legalized to practice that profession. Karaoke DJ's or any form of music hosting does not require licenses, registration, proof of ability, which simply means that anyone can try it any where. Therefore, not a profession.
Nor a professional.
I am a registered professional engineer by profession and am legally allowed to practice that, charge for it, and guarantee thru liability, my services. Others who are not registered do the same thing, however, illegally, and perhaps even better. If they get caught, regardless of how good their design was, they go to jail, pay fines, or both. I also have a teacher's certification, of which required more schooling, more testing, etc. for me to practice that profession and get paid for it. DJ's do not fall under these strict laws of true professions.

DJ's sort of go under the general category of hobbyist, paid hobbyist, unlicensed trade or occupation, blue-collar worker, semi-skilled laborer, skilled laborer, etc.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryant View Post
Ahh, as we try to redifine "Professional"!

It typically means in the American Society an occupation that requires some form of licensure, education, and some qualifying exams to prove to the public that you have demonstrated, at least by way of the above, a certain level of proficeincy in that particular field. However, the word professional, like many other American words, are extremely overused and often times go beyond their originally intended meaning.
Also, because you have all the certifications stated above does not mean that you are better than someone that doesn't, but at it least says that you made the effort
to honor the profession, and are aware of the laws that govern that profession, and are usually the only ones legalized to practice that profession. Karaoke DJ's or any form of music hosting does not require licenses, registration, proof of ability, which simply means that anyone can try it any where. Therefore, not a profession.
Nor a professional.
I am a registered professional engineer by profession and am legally allowed to practice that, charge for it, and guarantee thru liability, my services. Others who are not registered do the same thing, however, illegally, and perhaps even better. If they get caught, regardless of how good their design was, they go to jail, pay fines, or both. I also have a teacher's certification, of which required more schooling, more testing, etc. for me to practice that profession and get paid for it. DJ's do not fall under these strict laws of true professions.

DJ's sort of go under the general category of hobbyist, paid hobbyist, unlicensed trade or occupation, blue-collar worker, semi-skilled laborer, skilled laborer, etc.
Hey now I would be careful with what you says here. Yes SOME DJ/KJ's are hobbyist.

1.following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder.
13.a person who is expert at his or her work

Now under that definition it does not say you must have a college degree or some sort of certificate. However a DJ can very much go to some college courses and get a certificate. But by definition you do not need any formal schooling to become a "professional" in any trade or job. Someone who never went to school in your trade might have 10 to 20 + years of experience on you and I doubt they would get into any sort of trouble. When you get a so call by your terms "professional" job you can have 2 years of school and have a certificate and have 15 years experience on top of that and get a better job then someone with a higher degree then you when they have less experience. You do not always need to have any sort of paper to be a "professional" in your trade.

We are not redefining anything here byrant. 10 even 20 years ago you didint need a degree for hardly anything. Michael Dell didn't have a degree when he started to build his computers out of the basement of his home. People that built houses from before time and even now still do not have degrees... they start out as kids doing the crap jobs and work their ways up and then join guilds or unions. You do not need a degree to drive a million pound diesal train for the railroad. In fact it is one of the first jobs you get in the railroad. I consider all these people professionals in their respected professions.

Just because a DJ or KJ do not have a degree in their respected professions there are professional DJ's and KJ's there are also amature DJ's and KJ's. If anything you are trying to redefine what a professional is. If someone is in a profession they could be a professional in their profession. I gave the definition above in one of the posts... read it and it will show that you are wrong that you do not need a degree to be a professional (otherwise I would LOVE to see a professional baseball players or football players degree in playing baseball or football lol)
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Last edited by kilith; February 25th, 2007 at 09:19 PM.
  #7  
Old February 26th, 2007, 02:03 AM
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Ouch. I didn't say you definitely need a certificate or education, I was trying to say that is one typical (but not always), definition in some terms; and also qualified that by saying the word itself is very, very, broad and can actually mean what you want it to.

I wasn't trying to redefine anything, just giving one of the typical definitions (prolly those used by those who do carry licenses and/or certificates). That's all.

I hope I didn't construe any wrong meanings here, if so, my apologies.

It's all good.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 11:27 PM
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a Professional ?????

I Guess I aman amature because i do karaoke part time but my show is as good as any in my area, better than most.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:12 AM
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"professional" rate of pay

I would like to make one last comment on this "professional" thing. I don't think the kj talking about the "obnoxious professional singers" that he is so tired of coming to his shows, really understands. This is not a "professional
singer" you are talking about, but just another second rate karaoke singer with a big head and big mouth, and they don't just appear on karaoke night.These are the same types that give the good singers a bad name just as do the bad kj/dj. I don't run a karaoke show, but do one man shows at clubs on the east coast. When i have the chance to catch a friend's karaoke show, or have time on the road, i like to drop by and see what other people are doing. If i have the free time to do a song on someone's karaoke show, i put my slip in, wait my turn, sing my song, thank the audience and the host. i do not say anything else. Most other "professional" (since that is the term chosen to use here) singers i know do the same. Seems to me that most people in this business have forgotten that "It Is About The Music And Song, not us". We are simply messengers that deliver the song, and, fortunately, some deliver the song much better than others. If not, not one single dj/kj would have a job, "professional" or not.

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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:22 AM
muzicman144 muzicman144 is offline
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"professional"

I forgot to mention, We can call ourselves whatever we choose, regardless of the "profession", have numerous pieces of paper that tell us we are or are not "professional", trained or untrained, but the moment we start doing our "profession", you can no longer hide behind the descriptive words, the truth emerges for all watching to see. This is all one needs to remember.


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Old March 1st, 2007, 09:18 AM
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That's correct in the DJ/KJ world. But in some other "regulated" professions where safety for the public is concerned, they better, at the very least have ALL the credentials before you practice, in additon to being highly competent. Sometimes, even with all the necessary credentials, because of lack of competence, a license can be taken away and the "allowance to practice" becomes disallowed by law.
Here's the big difference, in the DJ/KJ world, regardless of competence, those less competent can sill
be considered qualified and continue to practice. We've all seen it, the "Sh-t" DJ comes in at half-price, already been kicked out of two bars in town, gets the gig and packs the house.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryant View Post
That's correct in the DJ/KJ world. But in some other "regulated" professions where safety for the public is concerned, they better, at the very least have ALL the credentials before you practice, in additon to being highly competent. Sometimes, even with all the necessary credentials, because of lack of competence, a license can be taken away and the "allowance to practice" becomes disallowed by law.
Here's the big difference, in the DJ/KJ world, regardless of competence, those less competent can sill
be considered qualified and continue to practice. We've all seen it, the "Sh-t" DJ comes in at half-price, already been kicked out of two bars in town, gets the gig and packs the house.
Well I hate to say this but I have seen that with police officers as well. They have degrees (depending on state) and they are to serve and protect. Yet one from around the Twin Cities Metro area was caught hiding drugs, got fired, got hired in another town where he was caught doing the same thing, got fired, and got hired in a nother town, where he got fired for something that I am not sure of, and is now a sheriff for one of the counties in the Metro area.

Now days a DJ/KJ must carry liability insurance. Almost everyone in this area are starting to require it. So thoes who can not afford it are starting not to recieve jobs and I am happy for that. Another thing I have found in this area of the mid-west is that your reputation gets around very fast.

For Doctors, Lawyers, computer techs, and other jobs that require schooling there is a reason for that but it does not make you a professional. You could have a degree in anything but still be a horrible employee. The only difference here is that in that certin profession you are required schooling to make you creditable in that field. Some kid sitting in high school right now could be better then half of the professional web designers out there. He could maybe end up getting a job with no degree if his work is better then most with a degree. It happens all the time.

So really no matter if you have a degree in a field of work that still does not make you a professional. Just because you have a karaoke getup or a DJ get up that does not make you a professional. In the end it is going to be your work ethics, your job proformance, and your reputation. To me in any job whether it be flipping burgers or brain surgery it is going to take them 3 factors at a high standard to make you a professional.

I have a degree in network support but I am not a professional Network Support Technician. I however am a professional KJ/DJ. It is my job, and my profession. Just because I have never gone to school to make me a DJ/KJ I do have 12 years of experience which in most of your so called "professional jobs" more then 5 years experience makes you a professional there.

Yes in this world like you said
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryant View Post
But in some other "regulated" professions where safety for the public is concerned, they better, at the very least have ALL the credentials before you practice, in additon to being highly competent.
Even in the world of entertainment you are going to need proof of insurance, a great reputation, and much more before you are ever considered a professional DJ or KJ. On the Knot a forum for Brides to be... There are MANY DJ companies on there that are ripped apart and if you go to their websites you see they have very little work. The ones that are highly recomended can be filled up for the next 2 years already.

So really no when people come and say they are professional DJ/KJ's they do have the credentials to back it up. It is just not int he form of a piece of paper. It to me is at a higher standard then a small piece of paper can give you. If you have 10 weddings a year that is like 10,000 plus people rating you every single year. If you are good one of them 10,000 plus people are going to tell their friends and so on. If you are sitting in an office behind a desk and you have a degree in computer repair... yeah one personyou might help a day but they are not going to go home and tell their friends how great of a computer repair person you are.

So I am in no way using the word professional in a loose mannor. If a DJ does not pay their dues, does not buy all their music (gets music the illegal way), does not have liability insurance to cover them in case of accident, so on and so on could also go to jail like your unregistered engineer could.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 06:02 PM
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You're right, but you've been missing the entire point all along.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 08:27 PM
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My 2 cents...


First, we are talking about ENTERTAINERS... not Doctors, Lawyers, Professors. To be good at anything, you must have been born with that Talent. You can polish a skill you learn, but you can't gain a new Talent if your spirit didn't have it already when you were born.

Professional for KJ/DJ I believe means "Making an income at it", versus being a hobby. It requires one thing to be respected as a "Pro" (versus just called pro)... a God given Talent. If you have an entertainment Talent, people wll come and pay to watch you. It can be a VOICE Talent, or an EAR Talent to make others sound good, or a people Motivation Talent to encourage others to do their best. It also takes the right mix of ego and respect to be a "Pro". Personally, I find DJ's to be ego laden and rude-fully loud, while Karaoke Hosts are respectful of their singers and audience.

I have seen many home users discover they have a Talent to entertain and help others by Hosting karaoke "sings" at home. Then, they get asked to do a Birthday party, or the Elks Lodge banquet. Then, someone with a Bar or Restaurant asks them what they would charge to do a show at their venue... their Talent has been discovered... and the hobbist turns "pro", earning an income.

In 1999, after talking to thousands of "KJs" and singers, it became obvious to me there are two classes of persons running karaoke shows:

1. Most KJs are basically disc shufflers. They don't have a console, they skimp on equipment, they don't have the "ear" to mix good sound so they crank up the volume to overwhelm you, they are more likely to have bootleg songs, and some work for close to nothing just to be the "big cheese". Their ego is inflated, but their shows are deflating.

2. HOSTs... have heart... and use a mix console to make their singers sound good, AND entertain the audience. Many are recording studio engineers, or singers turned Host because they have a TALENT to mix the audio live, AND... entertain and motivate the audience to get up and "risk it all". It takes real heart to be a Host... a true desire to help someone find the type of music that best fits their voice, and a song they can sing. Sometimes it takes joining them to keep them on stage versus bolting and never attempting karaoke again. It takes sincere encouragement to turn a meek spirit into an Entertainer on stage. To me, that defines a Professional Host.

Singing karaoke on stage is TOTALLY different from listening or dancing to music... be it a Juke, a Band, or a DJ. You are up there alone. You must overcome the fear of going on stage. You WILL experience an Adrenalin rush - the "fight or flight" hormone - to either bask in the applause or head for the door. You will do the best you can... if the Host has built you and others up over the evening. Humans know respect and love, and our spirit responds to it.

Karaoke, in my humble opinion, has the power to change the human spirit. It can lift a common person... who may be too fat or too thin, too tall or too short, pure ugly or just plain... and give them a chance in the spotlight to show their Talent. As we all know, there are those with Talent, and those with NONE, and their physical appearance has nothing to do with their Talent. If they are rich they may dress well. If they are poor, they don't. But a Talented voice... even in a drab garb... can bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.

When you attend a Karaoke show where your spirit is lifted, you know you are in the presence of a Talented Host. It is an evening to remember, and you want to come again. To me, this is a "Professional" entertainer.

I have never been in any situation where a DJ did anything but strut their ego as they try to "bring the house down". In fact, I used to go away emotionally drained, versus my spirit lifted up. My ears hurt after a DJ'd show.

Sometimes my heart hurts after a Karaoke show, but I respect those who got up the nerve to try, even if their talent was still a bit raw. Over time with more practice, you have the joy to see their spirit shine... the glint in their eyes comes alive, even after a draining day at work.

My wife and I visited Alanross' show in Nags Head, NC. There was a rather gangly fellow who got up several times and sang British songs. Every song he entertained us. Alan explained that this fellow, who clearly was shy to go on stage, months ago didn't know what to sing. Alan encourage him, listened to him, and guided him into British songs. What I saw was a PERFORMER on stage, who earned his applause. Then, I watched him return to his meek self afterwards... but his spirit was glowing. The evening was a success, and one we will never forget. I observed the best of Karaoke... a HOST who cared for and worked his audience, and a common man who truly ENTERTAINED us with "his" songs.

Professionally hosted karaoke shows feed the spirit...
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:03 AM
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First, let me apologize for not finding this thread earlier. Admin alerted me to it with an e-mail for which I am grateful. I also appreciate his posting, he is an amazing person that I am thrilled I had the pleasure to meet.

I'm going to take a personal moment here to give props to the man. I've had the priviledge and honor to work with MTU as one of their beta testers for several years now. In all my dealings with admin, he has personified professionalism. I'll detail that later for purposes of this forum, but for now I want to share with you what it was like for me to meet admin and his lovely wife and to have them visit our show.

We play at a local restaurant 7 nights a week and I personally do three of the nights myself. On one of my nights off, I got a call from this restaurant telling me that there was a couple in town that wanted to meet me. When I found out who it was, I threw on some clothes, grabbed my wife and headed over.

I was nervous the whole time because I knew, it was not going to be a good night in the bar. It was off-season, not a Friday or Saturday night, I had a rookie, fill-in host working the show and the crowd was bound to be small at best. I was thinking that this was not going to be the best way to show off our shows.

When we arrived, I was disappointed that my fears had not been groundless. The room was more empty than not, my host looked like she had jumped out of bed, forgotten to get dressed, threw a baseball cap on and ran out the door. My heart sank as I quickly debated whether I should take over and do the show. I decided that I wasn't going to embarass my host like that, so I just let her continue.

We met admin and his wife and they were perfectly delightful. We sat up at one of the tables near the stage and while admin and I talked about MTU products, our wives were happily engaging each other.

As I listened to admin, I quickly realized I was in way over my head. I had no idea how brilliant this man was before. I knew he was smart and a good business man and a man of deep religious and moral convictions, but Holy crap is he smart!! As I sat there, wallowing in my ocean of ignorance, this man was eloquent not only about the highly technical side of the MTU programs and Karaoke as a business, but the personal side of it, too. He got it.

I've met a lot of techno-nerds who seem to have 4-digit IQs, but most of them haven't got the first clue how to talk to another human being. Admin, has a true understanding of people. He understands their feelings and their motivations. I think what makes MTU stand out for me is the combination of technological brilliance coupled with an understanding of what people want that is evident in their products.

I found myself fumbling to try to say something that sounded even remotely intelligent, but when I am not on stage, I communicate much better through the written word. I felt like a caveman trying to discuss quantum mechanics with Albert Eistein (no offense to the cavemen). What could I bring to the discussion?

Don't get me wrong, admin and his wife were perfectly charming and gracious, but when they left, I thought I must have looked like a total idiot and to top it all off, the show was mediocre at best. Until reading his post today, I thought they were horribly disappointed with me and the show and that's why they never came back. (A large part of humility is a generous helping of self-doubt).

Anyway, here's why I feel admin personifies professionalism. First, he has a firm grasp of the technical side of his craft. He thoroughly understands exactly what it takes to make A work with B to produce C. He also has an understanding of why one would want A to work with B to produce C and how producing C would be beneficial. This knowledge base is essential to be "professional".
Professionals know their stuff.

Second, he's willing to hear ideas that may help improve what he's doing. These forums are a perfect example of what I mean. Admin is willing to listen to suggestions and incorporate ideas into his products that others suggest. He respects the input of people who use his product.
Professionals respect the people they serve.

Third, his products are user friendly and easy to learn. He doesn't try to overdo a product or make it too technologically advanced for the average user. He keeps it as simple as possible while hiding all the really cool programming hidden in the background.
Professionals make it look easy.

Fourth, everything related to the MTU products has a crisp, sharp look and everything works from an operational and aesthetic viewpoint. When you go to the MTU website, things are laid out well, the links all work and it's easy to navigate. Open any final release of an MTU program and it will not only look good but function brilliantly.
Professionals make everything look good. AND
Professionals deliver the goods.

Finally, admin cares about the quality of his products. He could put out programs which serve the purpose, but there is a commitment to quality inherent in all his work that surpasses the competition. I don't know if you can quantify without serious examination of each program, but the attention to detail shows just how much he puts into everything he makes.
Professionals care enough to never give less than 100%.

When you think about what makes someone a professional, they have to have all these qualities without exception:
Professionals know their stuff.
Professionals respect the people they serve.
Professionals make it look easy.
Professionals make everything look good.
Professionals deliver the goods.
Professionals care enough to never give less than 100%.

So when we're talking about what makes a KJ, DJ or MC more "professional" than another, a lot of it is more esoteric than literal. You can use Websters to find the definition of a professional or you can know it intuitively. When you see it, you know it.

It's like the difference between a local commercial and a network commercial. For example, you would never confuse a nationally run commercial for Pizza Hut with a locally run commercial for Fred's Pizza Emporium. You can instantly tell the difference in the level of quality. One is very "professional" looking and the other... not so much. It's true for almost any business.

You take your car to an auto shop. The shop is well ordered, people move about with purpose, the mechanics are all wearing matching work clothes, no one is standing idle, and the girl at the register is smiling to the customers. Your car is examined within minutes of your scheduled arrival and an estimate is given shortly thereafter. You agree to the work, and before you know it, your car is functioning perfectly again. This is a very professional auto shop.

OR you could take your car to Lousey's Auto. The shop is filthy; tools lying on the ground, old tires stacked up along the parking lot, two mechanics are standing off to the side of the building having a smoke. There are three cars up on lifts with no one around. You check in at the desk and they tell you they're backed up - it'll be about an hour before you can get an estimate. You wait two before some guy in ratty jeans and a grease and sweat stained t-shirt gives you the bad news about your car. You agree to have the work done and they tell you to come pick it up tomorrow. After three days of trying to get a real answer about your car, you're finally told it's ready. You pay twice the amount of the estimate and drive away only to discover that there's now a strange rattling noise coming from the engine which still isn't running right. This is a very unprofessional auto shop.

The point is, no one has to tell you what makes one shop more professional than the other. It's obvious to everyone. The same is true for Show Hosts. You know it when you see it.

How you help someone become "professional" is a whole different story.

And lastly, (I know I rattle on and on, sorry, but thank you for getting this far, if you did...) the following quote is proof positive of how impressive admin is to me. I'll explain after...
Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
Singing karaoke on stage is TOTALLY different from listening or dancing to music... be it a Juke, a Band, or a DJ. You are up there alone. You must overcome the fear of going on stage. You WILL experience an Adrenalin rush - the "fight or flight" hormone - to either bask in the applause or head for the door. You will do the best you can... if the Host has built you and others up over the evening. Humans know respect and love, and our spirit responds to it.

Karaoke, in my humble opinion, has the power to change the human spirit. It can lift a common person... who may be too fat or too thin, too tall or too short, pure ugly or just plain... and give them a chance in the spotlight to show their Talent. As we all know, there are those with Talent, and those with NONE, and their physical appearance has nothing to do with their Talent. If they are rich they may dress well. If they are poor, they don't. But a Talented voice... even in a drab garb... can bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
Admin doesn't frequent Karaoke joints, he doesn't sing at every opportunity and he certainly didn't sing at our show, but he understands what it takes for someone to get up there and do it. He understands what the person goes through, what it means to them and how it can change them.

We've all seen the wallflower blossom with the right encouragement and one of the things a true professional is going to do, is be the one offering that encouragement.

My hat is off to admin, because part of being a professional is knowing your stuff and to know your stuff, you have to know it from many different perspectives. His understanding from the vocalists' perspective is perhaps the most impressive, because he's not a vocalist. That's what I mean about knowing your stuff. He knows way more than I ever will.

- Alan Ross
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  #16  
Old March 2nd, 2007, 09:42 AM
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And my hat is off to both of you, as well!
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  #17  
Old March 4th, 2007, 02:01 AM
goonie227 goonie227 is offline
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Wink Dj's trying to expand

I went to a show tonight the guy that was running it is a DJ that has been in this area for 20+ years he is a very good dj but about two months ago he added KARAOKE with a "cavs" unit 14000 songs and nothing in the last 2 years Then his external drive wouldn't load discs from the singers
God am I glad I bought HOSTER. DJ's need alot of work to become "KJ's"
The Buddy system of singers doesn't work and roation is what is all about.
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  #18  
Old March 4th, 2007, 03:39 AM
kilith kilith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonie227 View Post
I went to a show tonight the guy that was running it is a DJ that has been in this area for 20+ years he is a very good dj but about two months ago he added KARAOKE with a "cavs" unit 14000 songs and nothing in the last 2 years Then his external drive wouldn't load discs from the singers
God am I glad I bought HOSTER. DJ's need alot of work to become "KJ's"
The Buddy system of singers doesn't work and roation is what is all about.
To me going from KJ and adding on DJ is pretty easy and I have been doing pretty good for the past few years doing it. You are more down to earth DJ who already knows what people likes to hear and what they do not. To me a DJ is high winded and listens to themselves talk. That is what they do and have always done. Yeah they can go out and get CAVS or Hoster and buy CDG's and import them. They have NO CLUE on how to make a person sound good. They never had to do it before... DJ's pound their music to me that is easy to do... When it comes to being a KJ it is more of an art form. You have to have a good ear... you need to adjust all the time because like every good KJ knows no one sings or sound the same!

Another thing I have noticed is DJ's charge at least $400.00 to add karaoke to their DJ shows. Then they brag they have 1000 plus songs lol. KJ's are very under rated and maybe thats why karaoke is so flooded with many KJ's that give karaoke a bad name. I think a lot of people on the MTU site here are here because they want to be the best they can be and has a company that stands behind them and puts out a product with everything we want!

We need to just as a community work had and keep showing that you can not subsitute a DJ for a KJ by giving the best karaoke show we can. I know that I am willing to help and I do make a good living with karaoke from $250-$300 a weekend night. We have all heard that Alanross gives a heck of a show and I know he is willing to help out.

lets show DJ's we can keep doing one better
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Old March 4th, 2007, 01:13 PM
muzicman144 muzicman144 is offline
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Professional DJ/KJ?????

Maybe its because i'm neither a dj or kj that i may be missing the point. I don't see what one has to do with the other. Seems we are discussing apples and oranges here where the only relationship is we all play basically the same places. The idea of discussion is to gain new insight or ideas to improve what we do as "Entertainers". How the dj does his job cannot be compared to what a kj does. The only thing in common would be a sound system. The root of the problem seems to be the competition and pay scale.The bands out there that karaoke is putting out of business is saying the same thing about kj's as the dj's are saying about the kj's who are putting them out of business.
I was playing one man shows when if you looked up karaoke on google, google would send you to a japanese site about flowers or some crap. Now look at it. If i was a dj, i would be shopping at MTU and a computer store to get in the karaoke business. Now, having said that, i'm still playing more than i want to, my friends who have the good bands are still playing all they want to, and a couple of djs i know have plenty of work. Talk about each other and complain about each other all you want to, but, the bottom line is the best always play the best places, make the most money, and, will continue to do so. If you are not one of these, quit complaining and start listening to learn how to be the best, so you can survive when the next "big" entertainment thing comes out.

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Old March 4th, 2007, 04:38 PM
kilith kilith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muzicman144 View Post
Maybe its because i'm neither a dj or kj that i may be missing the point. I don't see what one has to do with the other. Seems we are discussing apples and oranges here where the only relationship is we all play basically the same places. The idea of discussion is to gain new insight or ideas to improve what we do as "Entertainers". How the dj does his job cannot be compared to what a kj does. The only thing in common would be a sound system. The root of the problem seems to be the competition and pay scale.The bands out there that karaoke is putting out of business is saying the same thing about kj's as the dj's are saying about the kj's who are putting them out of business.
I was playing one man shows when if you looked up karaoke on google, google would send you to a japanese site about flowers or some crap. Now look at it. If i was a dj, i would be shopping at MTU and a computer store to get in the karaoke business. Now, having said that, i'm still playing more than i want to, my friends who have the good bands are still playing all they want to, and a couple of djs i know have plenty of work. Talk about each other and complain about each other all you want to, but, the bottom line is the best always play the best places, make the most money, and, will continue to do so. If you are not one of these, quit complaining and start listening to learn how to be the best, so you can survive when the next "big" entertainment thing comes out.

muzicman
You are right... DJ is very much different then a KJ. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Just like it is with a DJ and a Band. Yes DJ killed wedding singers. Back then there were not very good sound systems and carying around a record player and stuff would of really been a hassle. They still did it but not like how it really blew up when CD's came out. Video killed the radio star even tho MTV has now killed themselves... Man what ever happened to the MTV of the 80 and early 90's before this TRL crap and reality shows...

Ok that got off the point.

Anyway the point here is the difference between DJ and KJ. Well most DJ's I have seen are long winded, talk alot, and try to be very flashy. Well that is their job. They play music and give a personal show of themselves. They are the center of attention the whole night. With the KJ they are only center of attention part of the night the rest of the night they are adjusting and working their PA to make their singers the center of attention.

Now what sets a KJ apart of a DJ. Way I look at it and why a KJ moving to DJ is better then a DJ trying to become a KJ is...

1. KJ is use to running the show all night long and keeping everything sounding great. A DJ blasts their music and there really is not much for adjustment.

2. A KJ is not use to being the center of the show. A DJ is always the center of the show even if it is suposed to be a bride and groom the DJ still is the center. So when a KJ starts to DJ he keeps it like he always has and does not take over the center of the show but shares it with everyone else.

3. DJ is always use to being the center of attention. I just dont think that makes a good KJ because your singers are your show... not you.

4. All the behind the scenes a KJ does to make his show sound great... just not something a DJ has to do. a DJ starts his music and if it is too loud turn it down a slight bit and if it is too soft turn it up a bit... a KJ is adjusting bass, treble, singer volume, music volume, knowing on how to stop feedback over a mic. A DJ just does not do this.

5. A good KJ has the ear for the music. To me a KJ just have the right kind of ear. It is almost like a sounds man at a big rock concert. You have to have that right ear to be able to adjust and blend everything in to one smooth operation.

If anyone objects to these (which all of these I consider to be something a professional KJ does) lets hear yout thoughts. I am just stating why I think a KJ (a good KJ that really loves this job) can be a better DJ then a DJ trying to be a KJ. These are my views on the difference and why I think a KJ is just getting the bottom end of the deal.
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