School Dance $$$ Dilemma
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor killerfanatics's Avatar
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    Default School Dance $$$ Dilemma

    Hello All,
    I've picked up Djing about a year and a half ago just for the mere fact that I always wanted to learn how. I work at a high school and about a year ago, I was told they were going to have a dance, but they were only going to put on an Ipod. So being that I had been practicing for a few months, I told them I'd do it. It went great. Kids had a blast. a year and 4 dances later, I'm coming to the realization that as much as I'm putting into this, I'm not getting back in return ($$$). They're paying me my hourly rate for 3/4 hours to Dj, but that only comes out to about $50 for the night. Now I wasn't tripping that much before, because I used to use equipment the school had, (PA system, etc.) but now that times are getting tougher and I'm buying the music, have my own equipment, taking the time to practice, etc. I'm thinking I need to start getting paid right.

    Now I feel bad, because these dances are to raise money for scholarships and what not, but like Tupac said, "I gotta get paid". The question is how much do I charge? I was thinking $100 cash that night, plus my hourly rate. Other people I've asked say $200 for the night. What are your suggestions? Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    That's tough cause it seems the dances are for a charity event, but if your bringing more people because you're there then you may deserve to get paid. Another thought would be that this is good practice and you would probably be buying that music anyway. Any chance this might lead to other gigs?
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  3. #3
    Tech Mentor killerfanatics's Avatar
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    I have had a few kids ask me about djing for parties they're families are throwing, but nothing official. It did lead to me landing prom in June 2011. So that's a plus.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor Rokku's Avatar
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    Wouldn't you be buying music and practicing anyway? I have a feeling that they would just tell that they'll go back to the iPod thing.
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    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    When I was in HS back in the 90s, i would play at the dances for lunch 30 to 45 min and I would charge $150. and for the evening events it would be 300 - 900 depending on the size of the event.

    Asking them to kick you down for 100.00$ is not bad, just break it down, loading, setup, playing, breaking down, is tough work and you put in more work than 3 to 4 hrs.
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  6. #6
    Tech Mentor killerfanatics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokku View Post
    Wouldn't you be buying music and practicing anyway? I have a feeling that they would just tell that they'll go back to the iPod thing.
    I would be buying the music, but isn't in the end what we work for is to play the music we love and get paid for it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JesC View Post
    When I was in HS back in the 90s, i would play at the dances for lunch 30 to 45 min and I would charge $150. and for the evening events it would be 300 - 900 depending on the size of the event.

    Asking them to kick you down for 100.00$ is not bad, just break it down, loading, setup, playing, breaking down, is tough work and you put in more work than 3 to 4 hrs.
    Wow. $300 - $900 would never happen here. Someone told me if I'm willing to take $100, to ask for $200 and maybe their counter offer will be somewhere in the middle. Not a bad idea.

  7. #7
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    Might want to be careful, some young upstart like me might undercut you if you overreach here.
    That said, I'd try to play other places and charge them the big money. This event is what gave you your start, and it's for charity. $100 for the night is what I'd ask for if I had to bring gear.
    How would you feel if a bigger local DJ company came and did the event for free? Like Scrooge, right?
    Seriously, you need to start playing out other places, parties, bars, etc. That's where you can start getting paid. Is your skill level there yet?



    And lastly, not sure if this is allowed... So sorry if it's not. Digiwaxx.com is a DJ's only free record pool. Can't believe you guys are blowing lots of money on music. I spend maybe $15 a month. If you have a bigger budget, there are lots of promo services out there and music blogs! It's legal and free, and I usually have all the hot tracks before anyone else.

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor Rokku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by killerfanatics View Post
    I would be buying the music, but isn't in the end what we work for is to play the music we love and get paid for it?
    I'm not saying that everyone should work for free, far from it because I don't very often. What I'm saying is that you volunteered to do this, so I'm just thinking like the administration might. I would ask myself, if I were the administrator in charge, are you bringing any additional value to our dance? Are you helping us make more money? What am I getting for my increased investment in you?

    Since I don't know what the schools situation is I can only speak from my experience. Both of my in-laws are educators and they've both seen strict budget cuts. My mother-in-law has to pay for school supplies out of her own pocket, so that's why I think the administration would respond the way I said they would.
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  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Rokku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesC View Post
    Asking them to kick you down for 100.00$ is not bad, just break it down, loading, setup, playing, breaking down, is tough work and you put in more work than 3 to 4 hrs.
    It is tough work, but they didn't ask him to do it, he asked them to do it. That's the thing I keep coming back to.
    A little bit of gold and a pager.

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor killerfanatics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokku View Post
    It is tough work, but they didn't ask him to do it, he asked them to do it. That's the thing I keep coming back to.
    Actually, I volunteered the first time. The last couple of times they have asked me if I would, which in return, I got paid my hourly rate. Which was fine because the kids had fun and I got to practice what I've learned so far. This isn't something I have to do. Also, not all of the dances are charity based. It is a school after all and the kids want to have dances and the Admins. do comply (when the test scores are right). I'm not trying to sound like a jerk and in no way saying I'm the ish when it comes to djing, but I do feel my skills are well along to start getting paid more than $50 for the night.

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