Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fountains of Youth for Aging Bands

This is my latest blog post for Chauvet DJ with a few product tips that help give any band a face lift.

Everything Old is New Again
by Geoff Short, Assistant Marketing Manager/Customer Engagement & Education, Chauvet Lighting


The Chubby Muscles are a band out of Long Island, New York; in the 90's they were hot, with gigs throughout New York and most of New England playing a cool mix of 80's and 90's pop covers. Fun, bar music for the Friday night drankin' crowd. But over the last couple of years, something changed. The band is relegated to playing a couple times a month in a local joint called Bloodshot's Tavern, where a delectable bouquet of cigarettes, stale beer and desperation permeates the air and souls of its patronage. Charming place.

 I've known the guys in the band for a while, a friend of a cousin of a friend type of thing, through the music agency I used to work for. I was talking with the Lead Guitarist recently, and he was bemoaning the fate of the band and whether they wanted to keep performing. I wondered what they looked like these days? With bands, image is everything and while I know they sounded good, hey always had, an aging band can do a lot of things to make themselves look. Like it or not we still live in a society where image is attached to looks. I asked him to send me a photo of the band in action. The marketing flyer was depressing and hilarious all at the same time.

Click here for the full article on the Chauvet DJ Blog


The Making of the Gig Lab

I've been loving working at Chauvet DJ.  It's such a creative place that encourages all of us there to think out of the box to create programs and projects to engage our customers.  This is one example of that.  My Youtube playlist on the Chauvet Channel is called The Gig Lab.  I'll be producing videos aimed at bands and DJs and anyone else who does gigs make those gigs better and more more lucrative! Of course I couldn't produce a series called The Gig Lab and not have a "monster" opening.  This video is a behind the scenes look at how we produced our very own Chauvet Laboratory.  Stay tuned to the end of the video to see the full-length opening of the Gig Lab series!

To check out the full-length Gig Lab video series opening click here: http://youtu.be/1EgCXs4Ulv4

Friday, March 29, 2013

My Journey to Chauvet

by Geoff Short for Chauvet Lighting
Where am I? How did I get here? 

These have been very common questions over the last week or so as I left behind life as I knew it in Cleveland, Ohio to begin my journey to join the marketing team at Chauvet Lighting in Sunrise, Florida.

Most DJs and other entertainment pros are very familiar with Chauvet. But in case you live in a cave just know that Chauvet is a leader in the entertainment lighting industry. A big part of my job at Chauvet will be to do what I have always done - connect with you, fellow DJs musicians, event planners, everyone - to share our experiences and explore ways lighting can enhance your gigs and venues and help make you more money. 

So for those of you who don't know me, I thought I would share a little bit about my journey to Chauvet and my first impressions of being the new guy here. So please allow this little travelogue to serve as an introduction. But let's back up a bit to the beginning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All the Time in the World


Playing in my living room! Running some DMX
test programming at home. Chauvet Colorstrip
mounted on Chauvet 4Bar/4 Play combo with 2 ADJ
X-Move LED 25R lights on the floor -
controlled with Chauvet Obey 10.
 My family is very patient.
by Geoff Short for MobileBeat.com

I just spent the last hour sitting in my living room programming lighting scenes into my DMX controller (see photo at left). Not for any specific upcoming event, but mostly as a way to further study DMX and explore the cool things my lights can do and how that might benefit clients. The one thing that wasn't on my mind was how quickly and easily it takes me to set up and tear down those lights.
 
I've been thinking about this since a recent conversation I had with another DJ. I had my DJ rig set up for a party that he was a guest at and, of course we were talking about what DJs talk about - gear. He admired my set up but it was his next comment that kind of surprised me. I'm paraphrasing but he said something like "If I can't tear down and be packed up in 20 minutes, I don't bring it." For this DJ, the time and ease of set up and tear-down seemed to be the main factor in what gear he has on gig. Not necessarily client feedback or venue demands.
 
 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Great DJ Customer Review!







I'm so excited for this fantastic review!  This is what it's all about!

"Looking out and seeing the completely packed dance floor ALL night was absolutely magical!"

So happy to have worked with this wonderful couple on their wedding reception and couldn't be more excited they were so happy! This really makes the hard work worth it all!


My Latest Mobile Beat Article: Welcome to Rehab!

Hi. I'm Geoff and I'm a Gear-a-holic. I love gear. I've always been obsessed with anything that has lots of blinking lights and buttons to push. We DJs talk about gear, we drool over gear in music stores and online catalogs. And of course, we buy gear. Lots of it. There's nothing like the rush of getting that package from the UPS guy. It's here! It's here! That expensive thing that I can't afford and really don't need but that is filling up an emotional void somewhere deep inside me! We're addicted brothers and sisters. Not to offend our gear vendor brethren, but just like the fast food, tobacco or alcohol industries, that's just where they want us.


Click here for the full article on MobileBeat.com

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Latest MobileBeat article...Don't Panic!!!


Panic Button
By Geoff Short
for MobileBeat.com

Any good DJ worth his weight in MP3s has a back-up plan in case Murphy's Law kicks in at a gig. There's a ton of advice available about back-up plans. Not so much about the psychological impact of DJ panic when things go wrong. Panic kills. I was a lifeguard throughout high school and college. We learned the first option to save someone drowning is to reach something long to them and pull them to safety. If you approach a drowning person who is panicked they will most likely drag you down with them. On a gig, panic can drown the event as quickly as a floundering swimmer. You lose control to think and act quickly. Survival is the only instinct that kicks in. Being able to calmly come up with a solution goes right out the window. We've all had flashes of panic on gigs. Forget the sync button. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a panic button for those panic-inducing situations on gigs? Just press the button and poof! Problem solved. Panic recedes. Here's a few of my mental "panic buttons".  I've had to use them before to save myself from drowning.

Click here to read the full article on MobileBeat.com 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cool Shots from Last Night's Gig!

The Avenue and The Orchestra formed a Justice League of Bands last night!


view full image
"Some shots of last night's amazing gig. The 3 of us singers from The Avenue performing with The Orchestra plus a string quartet for the Recreation League Assembly Debutante Ball!"

My Latest Mobile Beat Article: Finding DJ Inspiration Away from Other DJs


Finding Inspiration
by Geoff Short for MobileBeat.com

Everyone can use a little inspiration. Especially those of us in the entertainment business who need to continually find creative ways to stimulate audiences. But it's easy to fall into the rut of time-worn habits.  We could all use a creative makeover to do things differently sometimes. DJs spend a lot of time learning from other DJs but true evolution of your DJ skills and outlook may require you to look outside of the DJ community to discover unique ways of approaching your craft. If your eyes and mind are open enough you can discover new things about stuff you do everyday that can get your creative juices flowing enough to lead to real creative growth and increased income as an entertainer. If you find your creative energy sagging along with bookings and income, it may be time for an inspirational fill-up.  I've talked about some of my personal sources of inspiration before, most notably live theatre.  Here are a few other non-DJ sources of DJ inspiration:

For the full article on MobileBeat.com click here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Episode of STAGES: Stories from the BW Music Theatre Program - Senior Year, Episode #3

My latest episode of STAGES!  Senior Year Episode #3.  In this episode Showgirls, Sheldon and Follies...Oh My!  In this episode, STAGES goes behind the scenes of the dress rehearsal for the Fall musical "Follies", including a special Showgirl Dance Masterclass by Guest Choreographer/Dancer Wendy Pasquale.  Then a Broadway Legend visits campus - Tony Award Winning Fiddler on the Roof Lyricist Sheldon Harnick gives students an amazing workshop as they perform his songs!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

M Latest Article for MobileBeat.com: The 30-Year Old Black Woman

by Geoff Short

"I'm a 30 year-old black woman. What do YOU think I want to hear?"

That was the question one party-goer posed to me at the event I DJ'd for last weekend. And I thought it was a great question. But let me start at the beginning.

The event was a corporate holiday party in a large ballroom at a local hotel here in Cleveland. I haven't been that challenged by a crowd recently and although I had a couple uncomfortable moments as the DJ, I don't think I've felt more invigorated by a gig in a long time. I learned some really good lessons that night.

The crowd was well over 300 people, a large number of which were African-American. Naturally, as a black DJ, I always feel comfortable with black guests. We love to dance. Black people, in fact, are very active dancers and have very specific tastes (and opinions) about what is or isn't being played. We want to be on the dance floor and we will challenge a DJ to keep us there - on our terms. The challenge this night was that I was the DJ and there was also a large number of guests who were older and not black. I knew this was a professional event with a mixed crowd and my goal was to try to appeal to everyone. We all know you can't just pay attention to who's on the dance floor, but also to who isn't. Unfortunately some guests didn't see it that way and saw fit to challenge me throughout the night. And, as frustrating as it can become, I love a good challenge!

Click Here fof the full article on MobileBeat.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SUPERSTAR IS COMING!!!

I'm so excited to be directing Jesus Christ Superstar at Brecksville Theatre on the Square!  I've directed 2 other shows there and have appeared in one other and I'm so happy to be working there again.  The show opens March 8th, 2013 and we just finished up auditions.  It's been years since I've seen so much talent show up for auditions and I couldn't be more thrilled about this cast.  Of course, it made for some really tough decisions, but the level of talent is remarkable and I'm so excited to get started with them all!  Click here for a cast list!


Monday, October 29, 2012

DJ Lessons from the Campaign Trail by Geoff Short

 I really do try never to discuss religion or politics in mixed company. But like just about everybody I talk to, I'm really fed up with this Presidential campaign. But  buried deep in the muck of this race there are valuable lessons for our DJ community.

Both Presidential candidates promise things they know damn well they can't deliver. Even with the best intentions neither candidate could get anything done with a Congress more concerned with grabbing power than anything else. What's worse for me is how the campaign has put into sharp focus just how divided we are as a country. I view my own Facebook friends list as a microcosm of our larger population and believe me, my feed has been filled with vitriol, inaccuracies and angry rants and un-friending (some of which, admittedly have come from me) since this campaign started. It's disheartening and annoying at best. Scary and dangerous at worst. Especially since it seems that most of us actually agree on what this country needs right? Jobs, good health care, reduced debt, healthy economy, etc. We just disagree on how to get there.

Our dysfunctional U.S. political system has gotten me thinking about the politics of our DJ community. I think if we take a good hard look in the mirror, we might see some of the things that get so ugly in a presidential race in our own reflection.

Click here for the full article on MobileBeat.com

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Latest Episode of STAGES: Senior Year Episode 2


The Senior Year Season of "STAGES" is here!

Premiering 3 years ago (when the Class of 2013 were just Freshmen), STAGES has documented the stories of the acclaimed Music Theatre program at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio (Just outside Cleveland) headed by Program Director Victoria Bussert.  BWU music theatre students are some of the most talented and elite performers in the country, many of whom go on to perform in Broadway productions.


In this episode, auditions and call-backs for the Fall musical "Follies" are heating up with more vocal auditions and an intense dance call.  Finally the casting results are posted at midnight  - a BW tradition that can be nerve-wracking and exciting all at the same time.

One is the Loneliest Number

Lonely DJ in search of gig companionship. Must enjoy sharing stale deli tray vendor meals and long walks along loading docks and freight elevators. 

Just kidding.

But for me sometimes, DJing is a lonely business. It takes a village to raise a great event, but as a solo DJ, my "village" can feel pretty pitiful with a population of 1.

 Most weekends I sing in The Avenue, one of the very busy special event dance bands at Jerry Bruno Productions, the multi-op I work for here in Cleveland. I've been in a band since I was a kid and bands are like little gangs. Us against the world.  There's a feeling of camaraderie, of common purpose in a band that I find myself missing when I'm DJing an event. The Avenue is a group of 10 musicians and 1 Sound Tech working together in harmony (literally) for a common goal. We ultimately sink or swim together and there is a creative comfort in that. We can discuss musical ideas and support each other.

Click here for the full article at MobileBeat.com

Friday, August 31, 2012

Acting Up by Geoff Short

I do so much acting at special events, I should win an Academy Award.

I'm a shy person. Whenever I say this, people who know my history of performing look at me like I'm crazy. How can someone who performs in front of hundreds of people every week be shy? But it's true. I'm not the kind of person who will readily walk up to strangers and start a conversation. I think many performers are shy to some extent. It's easier for me to sing a song in front of 200 people than it is to have a real conversation with just one. When I'm singing, the words I'm singing have already been prepared for me by someone else. When I'm acting on stage, the person I'm supposed to be and the situation I'm supposed to be in have already been created for me. I can live comfortably in that alternate reality moment. I don't feel any of the awkwardness that creeps in in unfamiliar social situations as the "real" me.

Click here for the full article on MobileBeat.com