Taking It To The Streets

Disc Jockey

With weddings, birthday parties and corporate events, a high-quality mobile disc jockey can keep very busy. Today's disc jockeys do more than play music. "We're really mobile entertainers," says Johnny Reagan, owner of J.J. Rocks Mobile Disc Jockey Service in Marietta, Georgia. "Most of us interact with the audience, doing things like teaching line dancing and motivating people to have a good time."

If you're going to make it as a disc jockey, it's critical that you have an outgoing personality, says Reagan, who started his business in the fall of 1993. "You need to be approachable and have a good voice and a neat appearance," he says.

It's also important that you have the technical skills necessary to run electronic sound equipment, and that you have sufficient manual dexterity to set up and tear down equipment.

Money in this business can be good, says Reagan, who charges $595 for an event that lasts up to four hours. "You can easily make $40,000 to $50,000 a year in a large city."

To start, you'll need $15,000 to $20,000 for a sound system, which should include a CD player, a mixer, amplifiers, speakers and a collection of music. You should have at least $1,000 set aside for a promotional budget, and another $1,000 for liability insurance and an insurance policy that will cover your equipment in transit. (For information on affordable insurance, call the National Association of Mobile Entertainers at 215-676-4544, or write to P.O. Box 727, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006.)

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This article was originally published in the August 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Taking It To The Streets.

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