Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Deaf DJ & The Tophographer

That's what the flower girl at today's wedding asked me, "Are you the tophographer?"

"Yes, I am. Do you know what a photographer is?"

"No." she answered.

"I take the pictures..."

"Oh," she said, "That's why you have that thing (the camera) around your neck..."

Yeah. I guess having that thing around my neck gives me the right to do cool things like poke fun at the DJ. It's not something I often do, but as one who firmly believes that a DJ's job is to play music, make the occasional announcement, and stay in the background, I must say that I believe I've found the most obnoxious DJ on the face of the planet. His name is Brian - and he reminded the crowd of that fact every time he picked up the microphone - which was often.

The first thing that annoyed me about Brian was that he was late to the reception. When I walked in, mid-cocktail hour, after photographing the bride and groom at the church, the lobby of the venue was full of amps and a hand truck. "Excuse me!" said Brian, pushing his way through the entering bridal party. He grabbed the handtruck and promptly ran over the bride's train.

Ok. So I asked him to go over the schedule with me. He said he didn't have time because the banquet manager was being pushy... So I just kept an eye on him, and could pretty much figure out what was going on.

He did come up to talk to me, but much later, after the introductions and first dance... And when he did, I found it curious that he had a very loud, very monotone speaking voice - as if he were sitting in a subway with all the windows blown out, and needing to be clear when he asked the person sitting next to him for directions: "HEY! I'M REALLY SORRY I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO TALK TO YOU EARLIER. I'M REALLY, REALLY GOOD AT COMMUNICATING WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER, BUT THE BANQUET MANAGER WAS BEING REALLY PUSHY ABOUT STARTING INTRODUCTIONS..." (Which was true - but she was pushy because he was late in setting up and beginning the proceedings...)

He also had hearing issues. I realized this because a) he was wearing a hearing aid, and b) because he mentioned to me that he was surprised the sound was so good - usually it wasn't this good (I didn't think it was that good, but what do I know?) I understand hearing loss is probably normal in the industry, but it may be time for Brian to choose another career - like Line Dance instructor (oh, wait - he taught that too last night)

At one point during the evening, he approached me, looked over my shoulder as I was photographing a wedding guest laughing. "HEY THAT'S A REALLY GOOD SHOT RIGHT THERE - SHE WAS SMILING!!!" He then asked if he could see the digital picture. I reluctantly showed him - and he slapped me on the back and said, "GREAT WORK! NICE SHOT!" He later explained "WE'RE DOING THE Y-M-C-A SOON. I HAVE TO TELL YOU, I GO ALL OUT. SOME DJ'S JUST DO THE HATS - BUT I DO THE WHOLE OUTFIT - AND NOT IN THAT CHEAP PLASTIC STUFF EITHER! I'M ALSO GOING TO SHOOT CONFETTI STREAMERS INTO THE CROWD. BE READY! OH - AND BY THE WAY, DID YOU KNOW THAT I STARTED THE WHOLE DRESS UP Y-M-C-A THING? EIGHT YEARS AGO, I WAS THE ONLY ONE DOING IT - BUT NOW EVERY DJ IN WEDDINGS IS DOING IT... BUT I WAS THE FIRST ONE!"

I mentioned this little tidbit to the banquet manager... Just for fun. "Wait. That song is 25 years old... Hey everyone, the DJ started the YMCA costumes! How BOUT that?!!

Then he began doing the things that I hate - and even though I may be a litte grinchy on this issue, as kids DO need to be entertained - but I hate it nonetheless... He started giving out toys - neon whippy things, Cat-In-The-Hat Stovepipe hats, feather boas, plastic tamborines, neon whippy glasses, fairy princess headpieces, magic wands, inflatable microphones, inflatable hands, cowboy hats - and scarecrows for Halloween. It was a little overkill.

Throughout the course of the evening, he also donned an Elvis costume. That's about when I left... The banquet manager and one of the two bartenders that evening were sitting on the outside stoop. "Hey, Kell! We gave the DJ your card and suggested you two work together all the time..."

"Wow. He was really juiced, wasn't he?" I asked...

The other bartender ran out the door - "You have GOT to see this!" he exclaimed. Like fools, we all rushed in.

Brian was standing on the front of the stage. He was playing "That's the Way..." by KC & The Sunshine Band. In his right hand was a card that said "That's the way" - Which he raised with the lyric. He lowered his right hand - and raised his left, to show the lyric "UH-HUH, UH-HUH."

He then flipped the card in his right hand to reveal "I LIKE IT" - followed by the re-raising of his left hand sign.

(On the back of the left card, by the way, was "Doo Doo Doo Doo...." etc...

It takes a lot of planning to be this self-absorbed, doesn't it? I'd always figured that the job of the wedding support staff was to support the bride. After all, it's her day - followed by the groom's, and their family... That's why everyone cringes at bad toasts, obnoxious tophographers, and well, Brian.

I guess I've always felt that the best DJ's around are those who are seen but seldom heard - and unless you're the resurrected Wolfman Jack well, shut up and play the songs... And that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh - I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.



  • At 1:04 PM, Anonymous DF said…

    If you were the tophographer, then the featured entree must have been pasghetti. It always is at parties like this.

    Reminds me of the time two preschoolers were talking and one said "Where's Brittany?" and the other said "She went to Seattle," and the first said "Who's Attle?"

    Beautiful stuff, Kelly. Made my day.

  • At 1:09 PM, Anonymous banquet manager thatsme said…

    It's because of bad and unprepared banquet managers like that that many wonderful ladies turn into bridezillas.


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