You guys probably already know where I'm gonna go with this, but for my own sake, I'm gonna run with it here for a minute.
I just got back from an absolutely terrible gig tonight. After I was told there was an outdoor party for one of my friends, I lugged my entire PA system, subwoofers and all, out to this house along with CDJs, mixer, Audio 6, and laptop. My brother, also a DJ, decided to come and help me out and brought his S2 and laptop so we could switch back and forth throughout the night. We get there and realize that the DJ table is a couple of 2x4s placed on a swingset. Right there should've been my cue to turn tail, but no no; people will love it...it will be good for exposure...
We get set up and have music going by 9:30. There's a few people hanging around a bonfire drinking beer, and me and my brother are playing some light electro. More people show up around 10. The crowd appears to be your average college frat clientele, mostly douches who want to see what all the noise and lights are about, so of course we're being bothered throughout the night with people slurring trying to talk to us. At 11, we turn up the volume and begin banging it out with some dirty electro. Nothing. Not a soul dancing.
Alright, alright, maybe everyone's not drunk enough, or doesn't like electro. No problem. It was around 11:15 that the chick in charge of the house came up to us and began some slurred jargon about how we have to have it shut down by midnight. Best news I heard all night, because that means I can leave this shit-show early. So at 11:15 I begin switching to Top-40, the go-to for a trashy clientele. Again, nothing. We lost power at least 3 times during the night (we were connected to a non-grounded outlet in the house that someone ran an extension cord to from outside), and someone dumped a bunch of Bacardi 151 into the fire and made a fireball, so I slowly began seeing that I was, at this point, a $2000 iPod. This was also at the point where some dude came up and asked if we had an extra outlet so he could charge his phone. It took all my strength not to jump over the table and slap the shit out of him.
The one semi-good point of the night was at the end. Some old high-school friends big into the psy-trance and hardstyle scene showed up to say hey, so at this point I said fuck it and switched to dubstep and from there moved to drumstep, because let's face it, if nobody is gonna give a shit, I'm playing for the people who do. I played my goodnight song (Juicy by Notorious B.I.G.), and then powered it down. As soon as the volume died, people were like "wtf where'd the music go bro!?" I made up some BS about noise ordinances and packed my shit up and me and my brother dipped.
So this was my lesson that it is high-time I started charging for my services. I am not trying to get on my high horse about my skills, but they are skills nonetheless and I have invested both a lot of time and a lot of money into sounding the best that I can. If you are serious about your party and want a DJ, invest in a DJ. If you can scrape together $100 for a keg, you can scrape together some money to pay the dude whose job it is to provide the music. If you can't, save both of us some time and just plug your iPod in to your home stereo. But don't ask me to drag out my entire rig to some lame-ass party and expect me to do this because I'm just that nice of a guy.
As the old saying goes: I am a DJ. Not a fucking iPod.