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How To Choose A Bar Mitzvah DJ

 • There Are No Do-Overs, So Rent One Who's Worth More Than You're Paying
 • How To Do Better Than Eenie Meenie Minie Mo
 • Your Timeline After Bellies Are Full
 • Why The Guest Of Honor Lost His Lunch While His Parents Lost Their Minds
 • You Guys Wouldn't Be Fibbing, Would You?
 • How To Separate The Showman From The Salesman
 • Taking The Shine Off Of Those Glossy Brochures
 • You're Being Warned, So Stay Calm
 • Questions to Ask and Opinions To Offer
 • The Early Bird's Worm vs. The Mouse's Cheese

There Are No Do-Overs, So Rent One Who's Worth More Than You're Paying  top

Have you been assigned your Bar or Bat Mitzvah date yet? Due to vacations and camps, there are seldom Bar or Bat Mitzvahs scheduled in the summer. My son's birthday is July 22. His Bar Mitzvah was pushed up to May 1! (And remember, springtime is Wedding season, too.) September and October Saturdays will get those August Bar or Bat Mitzvah birthdays, too. December Saturdays are devoured by office Christmas parties.
Never feel pressured to hire a Bar Mitzvah DJ. But a word to the wise: Bar Mitzvah DJs raise their rates regularly and book their dates from several months to even a year in advance. And Bar or Bat Mitzvahs are really the only type of affair that can book over two years in advance. All Bar Mitzvah DJs will accept the first job that comes along for any date. So, as soon as you determine your Bar Mitzvah DJ comfort level, GO FOR IT! Lock in your date, lock in your rate, book him and look forward to your party!
Think about the white-mustachioed, GOT MILK? advertising campaign. Your question must go well beyond GOT MUSIC? Of course, he'll have music. It's a given. After all, you've got plenty of CD's. You could have your cousins take turns on a boom box.
So the next level is GOT ENTERTAINMENT?
Your Bar Mitzvah DJ's service must go well beyond pushing the "play" button. His entertainment value includes the HOURS spent with you well prior to your affair, consulting the caterer, photographer and others immediately prior to your affair and taking the burden off of your shoulders during the affair. Your party may be four hours, but counting the multiple consultations he'll have with you months, weeks and days before your Mitzvah and his set-up and dismantling time, any Bar Mitzvah DJ may put in twice the time of your actual function. Counting the time spent hiring subcontractors, obtaining party favors then removing the cellophane wrapper from each one, preparing contests, producing and timing your Candlelighting Ceremony and maybe even finding that obscure song that brings back a special memory for you, perhaps it's triple the time of your actual party.
Your Bar Mitzvah DJ simply cannot "wing it." He's got to prepare.
My wife and I were guests at a Bat Mitzvah and I couldn't help but notice the Bar Mitzvah DJ's faux pas. Aside from consistently mispronouncing any Hebrew reference, he only referred to "The Bat Mitzvah Girl" and "Your Host and Hostess" throughout that party. It occurred to me that he never called Stephanie or her parents, Marty and Cindy, by their names. Not once. I'd bet a buck that he was subcontracted and never met with the parents prior to the party, forgot the agency's fax, couldn't recall their names and was embarrassed to ask who he was working for that day!
So your ultimate question should be GOT TALENT?
If one of the questions to a prospective Bar Mitzvah DJ is "What type of mixer do you use?" I know you have no real concern regarding ohms or watts or what gauge cable wire your Bar Mitzvah DJ provides. You just want things to function properly and sound clean.
Your Bar Mitzvah DJ is not selling a product. He's selling a service. His proficiency. Hire a name, not just the occupation.
I've been flattered to once have a client change from an evening affair to a luncheon due to my lack of nighttime availability on their date. If a Bar Mitzvah DJ is a real "catch" and you have enough leeway, consider changing your actual date in order to book this guy. Farfetched? All Bar Mitzvah DJ's play tunes. It's the interaction prior to and during the affair that sets us apart.
All Bar Mitzvah DJs will provide the tangibles. We all have equipment and music and party favors. You want the intangibles. The pleasantly unexpected.
Your Bar Mitzvah DJ should ask you about your child, your wishes and your expectations for this affair and listen. He should take notes, not talk. During your initial consultation, you'll size him up immediately. Again, his focus should be on you and your family, not "me, myself and I." He won't have a second chance to make a good first impression so what you see (or hear) is what you'll get. If he makes you feel stress-free and carefree regarding this fantastic! If you feel he's well organized and can provide a beautiful flow to your lucky you found him. If your town offers "slim pickin's," import a Bar Mitzvah DJ! He has a vehicle. Pay him for the extra drive time. It's money well spent.
If your Bar or Bat Mitzvah is eighteen months away and you feel "he's the guy," book him now. (You're getting a discount! Even if he were available, I can assure you that his fee in eighteen months will be higher than it is today.) He's a professional, not a hobbyist, and he brings a lot to the table for you. He's more than gear and music. He's a fraction of your total day's expense, but he's worth more than you're paying. He's your trump card. Don't skimp. If you were a fly on the wall, as your guests left you'd certainly rather hear "Wow, that was so much fun!" than "At least there was nothing good on TV tonight!" Let's face it, if your Bar Mitzvah DJ can even manage to get Aunt Edna up to dance, you may call him The Miracle Worker. Remember, there are no do-overs!

How To Do Better Than Eenie Meenie Minie Mo  top

The customer is (mostly) always right.
A client's input is fabulous. Bar Mitzvah DJ's love to feed off of creative parents and perform to their expectations. But, there are times when parents should defer to the better judgment of the Bar Mitzvah DJ, despite how they've envisioned the tenor of the party will unfold.
There's rarely a Motzi, Candlelighting or Hora at a friends-only party. It's just a basic, fun "record hop."
However, if the Bar or Bat Mitzvah is for adults as well as friends (as most are) occasionally parents feel that "It's my son's day. Work for his friends. Don't worry about our family. They'll enjoy watching."
Hey, it's your dime and, if you insisted, your disc jockey will do it. But if this were your position, he might stress that the chance of what he perceives to be a successful function is negligible. He would hate leaving a party thinking "I told you so." (But, by then, you would know it too!) Sure, the kids would have a great time. But for the adults, it would be like going to a restaurant with bad Musak. They'll have their meal, light their candle, see what direction the party is going, kiss you good-bye and scoot out of there. Why stay if the music remains unintelligible and unfamiliar?
I'm NOT inferring that a Bar Mitzvah DJ should play Sinatra for four hours. But...every kid is familiar with "I Will Survive," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "The Twist," "Shout," "Respect" and "Stayin' Alive." I recently had girls request "My Boy Lollipop," "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Do Wah Diddy Diddy!"
These tunes were all released long before this group was BORN. (Some, before their PARENTS were born!) But they know the tunes. They love the beat, dance, sing the lyrics and don't perceive them as "old folk's songs." So although your Bar Mitzvah DJ must have a comprehensive, up-to-date music library including rap, hip-hop, rock or any current music trend, don't have him spin new tunes exclusively, playing strictly to the kids. They'll usually stay until the end of the party anyway, so the final hour presents itself as a better time to have music blend or trend mostly, or totally, to current.
What if you just can't decide? Ties aren't allowed. This is better than Eenie Meenie Minie Mo:
If it comes down to it, thirteen questions to ask (and answers to expect):
1. "Is my deposit refundable?"
No--deposits reserve date and time for you and you alone. Your Bar Mitzvah DJ likely had to turn away other business to protect your date. Deposit range: 20-40%
2. "Do you charge more for climbing steps?"
Hopefully, it's a moot point. Every piece of Bar Mitzvah DJ equipment is HEAVY. Here's our routine: out of the house, into the van, out of the van, into the hall, out of the hall, into the van, out of the van, into the house. Bar Mitzvah DJs will do everything they can to keep the weight of each case to less than 50 pounds. Many would opt for doing an hour free rather than setting up and tearing down equipment. It's no picnic. And they loathe a second story banquet hall. If there's no elevator, he's not a happy camper.
Most Bar Mitzvah DJs don't charge more, but you may see a contract that adds $3 per step, since the Bar Mitzvah DJ will be unable to use his rolling cart and must make multiple trips on the staircase. Ugh!
3. "Do you have a web site?"
Every day Bar Mitzvah DJs open sites. But many don't have one for the same reasons they haven't produced a video: a competent single-unit operator is able to fill his calendar without one. Remember, a good web designer doesn't equal a good Bar Mitzvah DJ. If he has one, of course, browse. But don't judge him by it. Don't hire him because he has a great one. Don't ignore him if he doesn't!
A company that produces generic brochures for Bar Mitzvah DJs also sells a matching generic web site! So the same web site "look" belongs to many Bar Mitzvah DJs territorially, with their name plugged in. You aren't inquiring out-of-state and would never know this. There's nothing wrong with it, of course. It's just that it's the brochure company's creativity. Not your Bar Mitzvah DJ's.
4. "Do I need to provide a table?"
Yes, and be sure it's sturdy, not a glass top or a card table. Generally a 6' or 8' or two 5' rectangular tables suffice. Ask your Bar Mitzvah DJ what his arrangement requirements are (straight, L-shaped or one in front, one in back). Your hall should supply them.
5. "Will you provide an equally high caliber replacement in the event of an emergency?"
Yes. Period. (Even if you don't book through an agency, a pro knows to network.)
6. "Will you work an outdoor affair?"
Yes, with a caveat. He must be under a cover, not only to protect against inclement weather, but also to protect against sun damage to the equipment, which could be extensive during a summer luncheon. How far is the socket? Is there rain exposure there? Will the table be level on the grass? When the sun shifts, will he be exposed under the tent?
7. "Will you work overtime if requested?"
Yes, if no other job follows. Expect a prorated fee.
8. "Do you take breaks?"
No. Unless you'd like several minutes to address your guests, during the Motzi or surrounding the Candlelighting Ceremony, music at a Bar Mitzvah DJ's performance should be non-stop.
9. "Do you carry property and liability coverage?"
10. "Can my child supply his own CD's if he wants something special played?"
It depends--remember those questionable lyrics! Some Bar Mitzvah DJs say no, others don't care since they want you to be pleased. Chances are, they'll have his favorite songs in their repertoire, anyway. Some Bar Mitzvah DJs utilize new formats (such as MP3) and can't play standard CD's, cassettes or vinyl on their equipment. A great Bar Mitzvah DJ toy was introduced to the Mobile Bar Mitzvah DJ industry a few years ago: laptop software holding thousands of songs in memory! All a Bar Mitzvah DJ requires are speakers and a mic. Less for him to schlep! Find out in advance. (Be SURE he has backup in the event of a hard drive crash.)
11. "Would you allow my child to 'Bar Mitzvah DJ?'"
Extroverted kids get a kick out of it. Ask the Bar Mitzvah DJ if he'll teach your child how the POTS work and how to CUE a song using the headphones. Letting your child TALK UP THE POST of his favorite tune will be a highlight for him, so be sure the cameras are rolling. The Bar Mitzvah DJ may chuckle and feel "cheap thrills," but kids eat this up. Don't overdo it. One song. Your child only, no friends. Otherwise the Bar Mitzvah DJ will be inundated and might, rightly so, object. (NOTE: some Bar Mitzvah DJs may grumble at this one, anyway.)
12. "Do you need my input?"
You bet! Your contribution is essential and ought to be welcomed. You should always have relaxed dialogs and feel at ease speaking with your Bar Mitzvah DJ.
13. "If I put my backside in, then put my backside out, then put my backside in and then shake it all about, are you going to laugh at me?"
Not out loud.

Your Timeline After Bellies Are Full  top

The following information regards "typical, but flexible timing" of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Reception. Specifically when hors d'oeuvres are history and the meal has been served. Adults will enjoy a leisurely meal, but kids eat very quickly. They won't stay seated. When they're up and start roaming, it's time to move along:
Most games are "active," with lots of movement. Some are "passive"--I don't want kids running around bumping into waiters with full trays.
Some work best with small groups. Others are suited for larger ones. I've played at Bar or Bat Mitzvah functions with the entire 70-member class on the dance floor. The definition of "boring:" The Limbo with 70 kids going under the stick the first time, 61 the second, 48 the third...Very tedious. (Of course, I can always control how quickly the stick falls or have kids go under with a partner.) But I prefer to incorporate a Limbo into a Conga line during the party. Then adults have fun with it, too. (Invite a chiropractor!)
Besides, there are more imaginative activities available and I want my client's child and his friends to enjoy an original approach. I don't want anyone to leave thinking "been there, done that." Ask your Bar Mitzvah DJ what he offers that's novel.
I mentioned a party with 70 kids. I also performed at a Bar Mitzvah once with just 9 boys in attendance! No girls. No kidding. That one was tougher for me than the large group. But a Bar Mitzvah DJ must work with what he's given. I can't ask you for another 25 children! Your Bar Mitzvah DJ should be able to ad lib his way through any contingency. I usually don't introduce them into my performance, but I did a few magic tricks for that group and aBar Mitzvah DJusted some contests for them. They enjoyed the segment.
When I notice that the adults have finished their meal and are just observing the friends, it's time to move on. Depending on the group's size, 20-30 minutes is sufficient time to explain the rules of, and conduct 3-4 contests. More than that and the adults and kids will get restless and feel "enough already with the games."
TOWARDS THE END OF HOUR 2: A Candlelighting Ceremony is anticipated, so shouldn't be treated casually.
While it's occasionally conducted prior to the meal, I think this is a more logical time for it since it allows for better flow. It's a transition. Bellies are full, games are history, a Hora and dancing are straight ahead. "Candlelighting" isn't mentioned or mandated in the Torah! It's not imperative. However, if you're wavering, it's: (1) a recognition of those closest to you, (2) over in 13 minutes. Or less. (3) a fine photo opportunity and, years from now, you'll cherish those shots. Don't regret not having that picture!
A Bar Mitzvah DJ will often use "Bobby Morganstein's Candlelighting Medley" for up-tempo background music. Even better, ask if he'll customize the music. Have your child say a few words (which you should help write) pertaining to each individual or group that's honored. It can be humorous or heartfelt. Rhyme or prose. But try for something more spirited and thoughtful than, "Bubbie and Zaide, come up and light Candle 1" down to "Mom and Dad, come up and light Candle 13."
Or, have THE CANDLELIGHTERS say something wonderful about your child! They'd LOVE to!
And don't forget the obvious: candles! You'll need 14 tapers (one is the child's "shamash"). Don't use short, thick Sabbath candles, which will look awful. But be sure the tapers are less than 12" (I've seen kids standing behind the cake and hidden by tall tapers. When the photos came out, it looked like they were in a jail cell!)
And why a "Candlelighting" anyway? Rebel! Just after our youngest's Bat Mitzvah we moved into a new home. We purchased a small magnolia tree, made paper leaves and had a "Leaf Tying Ceremony." Then, when we moved, we planted the tree outside her window! Be different. You don't have to move. You have to think.
Your guests have been seated for a while. Time to work off those calories! Playing a Hora now, every seat at every table should be empty. Even non-Jewish guests can be "taught" this easy circle dance and get into the spirit of the occasion. Be sure your child is hoisted in a chair from the center of the circle. Ideally, siblings and YOU get coerced into a ride, too. (Admit it, you can't wait! Besides, those pictures will look great in your album.) Let the Bar Mitzvah DJ get an inner/outer circle going or even have you lead a Hora Bridge (inquire at
HOURS THREE AND FOUR: Party time!! (Think about this: HALF of your affair is already over!)
At wedding receptions, guests usually wait for the newlywed's first dance before they join them on the floor. Your guests will be more reluctant to get up to dance if they see you just "shmoozing" at tables the whole time. They're watching, so get out there and break the ice. You'll feel like the Pied Piper!

Why The Guest Of Honor Lost His Lunch While His Parents Lost Their Minds  top

The following information regards the first half (first 2 hours) of a Bar or bat Mitzvah Reception:
There's no university I know of offering a Mobile Bar Mitzvah DJ major. We learn by watching, listening and doing. What works for me will be handled differently by my peers.
What's the right way? Did you hear about the woman who rushed into the train station at 9:30 and asked at the ticket counter, "Where do I catch the 9:40 train to New York?" The agent responded by pointing: "Make a left, and you'll be right!" "Don't get smart with me, young man." "OK lady, make a right, and you'll be left!"
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
By not hiring the "right" Bar Mitzvah DJ, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be stuck with a "left" Bar Mitzvah DJ or a "wrong" Bar Mitzvah DJ...but you may be booking one who plays with 51 in the deck. So what? He could be great, lots of fun and completely innovative! He's a Bar Mitzvah DJ, not a neurosurgeon. He may be inclined to view your function from an entirely innovative and fresh perspective. He wants to do things his way, so loosen the leash and allow him to do what he does best. If you're comfortable with him, to paraphrase The Beatles: Let Him Be.
Once at a Bat Mitzvah, the mother actually carried a clipboard! Do I have to detail this? The caterer and I were ready to commit hara-kiri after 4 hours.
Please...tranquility and flexibility. The following typical reception is only a guide:
HOUR ONE (Scenario A): During cocktails/hors d'oeuvres, the music is indicative of what's going on. Nothing! Guests don't all arrive at once. They filter in, blend and mingle. They won't filter in and hit the dance floor, so the music is audible, but not overt. No one's ears will bleed. Expect a pleasant meld of Gershwin, Sinatra, big band, modern jazz, soft vocals or light classics.
Don't expect the Bar Mitzvah DJ to be on the mic cajoling your guests to dance. It's just as important knowing when to speak as when to zip it. Years ago, I stopped booking myself as THE JOE SHOW, which was my "nom de plume" on-the-air. After all, it wasn't me who was the center of attention. It was the child. A Bar Mitzvah DJ should appreciate the benefit of a subdued approach when it's appropriate.
HOUR ONE (Scenario B): Give the kids to the Bar Mitzvah DJ for games and "their" music in the main room while adults enjoy hors d'oeuvres without music in the foyer.
HOUR ONE (Scenario C): Hors d'oeuvres are served in the foyer to all guests. After hors d'oeuvres, the doors all swing open and the party begins "cooking" with up-tempo, high energy music (NRG in Bar Mitzvah DJ shorthand). You lead the way onto the dance floor with your child and then, after a rousing introduction, Grand Entrance and applause, have a few spins with your guests before the meal is served and/or between courses.
(At a Saturday evening affair, be sure to advise your Bar Mitzvah DJ if you choose to have a Havdalah service. And hope he doesn't say: "A what?")
HOUR TWO: Preceding the meal, have the Motzi and a little ", p'ri hagoffen." (Your child will be looking forward to that Manischewitz!) True story: Once at an afternoon party, we couldn't find the Bar Mitzvah boy at game time. Everyone became quite concerned (some frantic) when we still couldn't locate him to lift him in the chair during the Hora. It seems his cousins were sneaking him a few sips (gulps?) of the fruit-of-the-vine. He was outside. Loosing his lunch. Once he found his way back in, he couldn't even read his Candlelighting poems! Have you ever seen parents who wanted to kill their kid at his own Bar Mitzvah?!
Prior to your arrival, the caterer and Bar Mitzvah DJ will discuss the affair and review a printed agenda (yours or theirs). Hot food should be served hot, so timing is essential.
It's the Bar Mitzvah DJ's responsibility to insure that the party flows. Let your caterers serve a delicious meal. DON'T allow them to program your function. Never, ever with a capital NEVER. Occasionally, they can be heavy handed about it, but event coordination is not their expertise. They do it occasionally because they have to deal with all caliber of Bar Mitzvah DJs. But if you trust your Bar Mitzvah DJ, then TRUST YOUR Bar Mitzvah DJ!
Regardless of whether your meal is sit-down, stations or buffet, your child and his friends will finish eating in fifteen minutes. (Twenty, if you s-t-r-e-t-c-h it.) So have the kids served first. After they've finished eating it's the ideal time, and gives the Bar Mitzvah DJ more time, for games and contests and to work with the kids.

You Guys Wouldn't Be Fibbing, Would You?  top

If you don't ask, you'll never know. Quiz your prospective Bar Mitzvah DJs with these:
1. "How do you keep the friends occupied?"
Specifically, ask about contests and games. Hope for more than "Coke & Pepsi" and "The Limbo." Kids must be kept happy or, at the very least, busy. But a Bar Mitzvah DJ isn't a baby-sitter. He can't be in the hallway preventing them from playing "Keep Away" with a bagel!
Most kids wear their halos. Occasionally they're rambunctious. They're 13. The maturity level of some is, well...let's say...yet to reach it's peak. (Not your child's, naturally.) Devilish plans can be concocted in the rest rooms, so don't even invite any rascals. Your child knows who they are. GOOD: Your cup runneth over with love. BAD: The toilets runneth over with paper towels.
At this age, no children are accomplished dancers. But for me, Bat Mitzvahs are easier than Bar Mitzvahs.
Daughters will invite more girls. Sons will invite more boys. Girls won't hesitate to jump onto the dance floor to do a line dance or cheerleader routine.
But unless it's an interactive song that doesn't require a partner (such as "The Electric Slide" or "Cha-Ca Slide"), boys will never dance with each other. They'll punch each other. They'll commiserate with each other. They'll chase each other. They'll pound each other over the head with inflatable guitars. (This is all fun for them, by the way.) But they'll never dance with each other, so I run more games.
I'm not there to scold. If you can, try for a nice boy/girl mix.
The Baltimore Jewish community is provincial, with its population concentrated in four aBar Mitzvah DJacent zip codes. I see many of the same children at different parties. There's always a fresh, awkward group in January. By Spring, they've been to several parties and are more gregarious. By Autumn, I'd better come up with new approaches and fresh jokes because many of these kids have caught my act already. They request slow dances and are becoming socially adept. Hey, that's progress! (And I look forward to January again.)
2. "Can you play all eras of music?"
End of conversation if the answer isn't "YES!"
I go to jobs ridiculously overloaded with 7,000+ tunes. I'll play 70. This has been my occupation for a long time. I know what people are going to request and I have their favorite tunes with me.
When I MC, dancing is not a spectator sport. Just give a competent Bar Mitzvah DJ your guests...he'll give you a party!
A Mobile Bar Mitzvah DJ will arrive with Greatest Hits compilations and anthologies including Jitterbugs, British, Motown, Disco, etc. He may have sound effects known as "drops" to use sporadically.
I keep up-to-date musically with a CD subscription to "Promo Only." It's one of several available Bar Mitzvah DJ services issued monthly that anticipate the hits. Each CD issue contains 18-20 tracks by various artists. This allows Mobile Bar Mitzvah DJs to obtain the individual tunes which national Radio Program Directors feel will be "hot" each month, without having to purchase 18-20 individual CDs.
At seminars, we've actually laughed out loud at certain Bar Mitzvah DJ promotions brought to our attention, such as: "Select From Our Music Library Of Over 100,000 Songs!" WOW! Break out the confetti! (...Hold on a second. Let's think this through. You guys wouldn't be fibbing would you? Are you sure it's not 99,827?) Besides, 100,000 songs would require schlepping 5,000 CDs. That load would weigh a half a ton. Literally! Who are they kidding? And if it were true, what kind of CD titles are they bringing? "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Hums Mozart?"
3. "What brand of mixer do you use?"
I'd bet this question would surprise the Bar Mitzvah DJ. I know I've never heard it! Many clients don't know what a mixer is! (Nor care.) It doesn't matter. Ask the question. Unless you're familiar with audio gear, you won't recognize the difference between pro and consumer brand specifications.
A Mobile Bar Mitzvah DJ should have mobile grade equipment. If he mentions brands you could purchase at Sears, it's cause for concern! Even a fine home component stereo system is not designed to stand up to hours of high volume use. It could fail in the middle of your party! Bar Mitzvah DJ amps may deliver 500 watts or more, where as a robust living room unit may top out at 70. It's cleaner to have powerful Mobile Bar Mitzvah DJ equipment played at softer volumes than to have an inadequate system strain.
Listen for brands such as American Audio, American Bar Mitzvah DJ, Denon, Gem, Gemini, MTX, Next, Numark, PioneerBar Mitzvah DJM, Rane, Roland, Stanton, Tascam or Vestax. All good. It follows that his other gear will be professional, too.
4. "Do you have a hand-held microphone?"
It's necessary for your child to be heard during the Candlelighting Ceremony or for the Bar Mitzvah DJ's use on the dance floor during games. A headset or a Lavaliere (like your local TV Anchorman wears pinned to his tie) is also fine.
5. "Should I feed you?"
Unless stipulated in the contract, no. (Well...maybe just a little!) Aside from a quick munch, a Bar Mitzvah DJ should be gabbing not gobbling and, with candlelighting and contests, there's way too much activity going on when the kids finish eating.
Your caterer may bill you automatically (usually at a reduced rate) for a meal for the Bar Mitzvah DJ, videographer, photographer, etc. That's between you and the caterer. I certainly don't require a full meal. But it's an appreciated gesture to allow the Bar Mitzvah DJ to help himself to a plate of hors d'oeuvres or a bite from the kid's buffet.
If it's not stipulated on his contract, when you arrive remember to greet your Bar Mitzvah DJ and, if you wish, offer this courtesy. He's a performer. Why not put the one who will "make or break" your party in a positive frame of mind? Generally, parents are solely attentive to their own guests and never think to do it. (Please, do NOT wait until the Bar Mitzvah DJ is packing up his gear to ask: "You did get something to eat, didn't you?" We grit our teeth at that one.)
What's very important is keeping your Bar Mitzvah DJ lubricated, but only with coffee, soda or juice. If you open the bar to him, he might be tempted. So don't.

How To Separate The Showman From The Salesman  top

If you don't book through an agency, weren't referred, haven't previously seen his act or met at a Simcha Showcase, your initial interaction with a prospective Bar Mitzvah DJ is the telephone.
That's good for you! You're on your home turf. He's not physically in your living room giving you a face-to-face pitch, which either openly will, or subtly could, be intimidating. You're under no obligation or pressure to then and there "sign on the dotted line." Have pre-written questions by the phone and jot down his answers, since you may be interviewing several Bar Mitzvah DJs.
A Bar Mitzvah DJ is a showman and a salesman. He must convince you that (1) his service is better than the competition's and (2) you've made a wise choice by calling him.
(1) I never discuss my competition directly unless I know my response will be a positive one. If anyone in sales disparages another by either personal or business name, that says a lot about him, too. (And, it's slander.)
(2) If a prospective client mentions something like "You've got a great reputation. Give us more info," "We heard wonderful things about you from a friend," or "I grew up listening to you on the radio" then they've already softened me up. My response will be "Do you have a few minutes?" since I'm about to settle in and devote about a half-hour of initial phone time to this parent. Naturally, I enjoy a compliment. Flattery will get you everywhere! I'm here you. Pick my brain. (If you've seen the Bar Mitzvah DJ you're calling work previously and enjoyed his act, certainly let him know.)
However, if the first question I hear is "How much do you charge for four hours?" I immediately recognize: (1) They're clueless regarding the interview process and have no idea what to ask. (2) They care about cost. They don't care about quality of work, available music selection, equipment or Bar Mitzvah DJ experience. And/or (3), I'm not going to get the job since my rates are somewhat higher than my competitors'.
I won't cut my fee, but there are plenty of Bar Mitzvah DJs who will. Others charge less to begin with and thrive on low-end functions where the client's expectations are minimal. And there's nothing wrong with that. I wish all Bar Mitzvah DJs would just make up their minds which segment of the public they'd like to reach, and stick with it. Every market needs cost-cutters so the rest of us have a point of reference.
This doesn't apply to agencies, but independent Bar Mitzvah DJs set their own fee schedules. So, if he's a fraction the price of another, that's what HE feels he's worth! So it IS what he's worth. A movie star may make $10,000,000 for a role. A novice actor might be delighted to receive $10,000 to play that same part! But who's the producer going to hire? Cheap is cheap. Unless you're very lucky (or the Bar Mitzvah DJ has no business sense) cheap does not equal proficient.
Some Bar Mitzvah DJs readily admit (to other Bar Mitzvah DJs, only) that, when asked what they charge, they'll put off answering until they've delivered their pitch and had a chance to ascertain your budget.
They may reduce their fee to fill an open date or to sell a package, so be prepared for ol' reliable: "It depends on..." or for a question such as: "What were you planning on spending?" or "What is your entertainment budget?" before you get a direct answer. Knowing your price tolerance, they'll start high and cut if necessary. Bought a new car lately? It's a game. I'm the opposite. Why waste each other's time? If your only concern and first question regards the fee, I'll answer it and that'll be that.

Taking The Shine Off Of Those Glossy Brochures  top

Regarding a Disc Jockey's full color mail-out brochure, does High Gloss = High Cost? Not necessarily. And very often, the opposite is true.
It's not a certainty about the one you may receive, but national printers sell professionally designed, glossy brochures to Bar Mitzvah DJs by exclusive territory and classification (Wedding, Corporate, etc.) and simply plug in each local Bar Mitzvah DJ's logo and phone number. The descriptions and photographs are usually generic! Those same partygoers sure get around.
You can tell by noting if specific Bar Mitzvah DJ information is found on the front and back covers ONLY. Is it sneaky? Is it credible? Does it matter? Should you care? You decide. It's not the end of the world, it's just another Bar Mitzvah DJ sales technique, or it may indicate an agency.
If you choose to speak with an agency and bypass discussion with the Bar Mitzvah DJ who will perform at your party, you're walking on eggshells. So watch your step!
Agencies subcontract a crew of Bar Mitzvah DJs (keeping a liberal amount of the fee for booking them). A benefit agencies promote is that they're able to provide a replacement in the event of an emergency. OK, so? Although they stress the fear factor to favor themselves over an individual, an emergency isn't probable. You're not booking an insurance policy. Besides, all decent single operators network too, and can offer the same assurance.
So is it money well spent? Remember the old Wendy's commercials: "Where's The Beef?"
What else do they offer? If you're hiring a "name" who works exclusively for the agent, that's fine. But if you're getting a guy from their stable, find out who's been assigned to your party. Does he favor a tuxedo or a backwards baseball cap? Even if the agency has been around for years, he may be newly trained or hired last week. You're spending big $$$ experience!
If the agency won't allow you and your assigned Disc Jockey to speak together without the agency as an intermediary, assume the worst and walk away. Quickly. The Bar Mitzvah DJ will be more frank and/or you'll be able to judge his experience (or lack of experience) without Big Brother watching (or listening).
At a large catering hall which divides into four separate banquet rooms, I recently ran into a local booking agency's Bar Mitzvah DJ as we were both unloading our equipment for different affairs. He came in to check out my set-up and did everything but drool. I walked into the aBar Mitzvah DJoining room and saw his "gear." It looked like a Bar Mitzvah DJ starter kit from Circuit City. Actually that's unfair to Circuit City. Make that Toys-R-Us. (You know something? It's almost unfair to Toys-R-Us, too!)
He volunteered to me that the agency was paying him a $35 per hour fee. Here's a fellow who was content to go home with $140 in his wallet that night (before taxes). Is it any wonder that he couldn't afford a professional system?
Anyone who's been around for a while wouldn't pack up his vehicle for $140. The key is that the agency booked the job for $400 ("Return Your Contract Within Ten Days And Receive A Special Discount From Our Regular $500 Fee"). Of course, what the customer ultimately received was an $140 Disc Jockey, not a $400 (or $500) Bar Mitzvah DJ. Please note: This one example may not be typical and it's certainly not meant to impugn respectable and reputable agencies, of which there are plenty. But, it is not extreme.
What do you think would have happened if this Bar Mitzvah DJ received a last minute phone call from Agency "B" for a job that would pay him $250 cash that evening? It's obvious. He's a mercenary and a likely no-show nightmare for you. Re-read that last sentence.
And if Agency "A" subsequently fired him, so what? What's Agency "A" going to do? Take him to court for $140? He's a subcontractor out for himself with no vested interest in the agency. Nor is he indebted to you. He's never even spoken to you! He doesn't have a conscience. What he would have is an extra $110 in his pocket for the same amount of work. But where would that leave YOU?
Be aware, not wary hiring through a booker. Do they have office space or handle everything over the phone? Can they offer advice regarding invitations, photographers, light shows, dancers, sign-in boards, prizes and party favors? They're a bargain and worth the extra expenditure if they assume the full burden. I want to be clear: many agencies are conscientious and exemplary. If you've gotten personal referrals--perfect! Dump it all in their lap. If not, PLEASE request professional references. Not glossy brochures.

You're Being Warned, So Stay Calm  top

One of your major party considerations is time of day. Prior to deciding on one over the other, consider the following points of view.
Luncheon Advantages/Evening Affair Disadvantages:
1. Synagogue service. "Great party. And Mazel Tov, once more!" "We're so-glad-you-enjoyed-yourselves-wonderful-seeing-you-again-drive-back-safely-bye-bye." Finis.
2. Out-of-town guests who can get home in a few hours won't have the additional expense of a hotel room for the night.
3. Depending on your (literal as well as figurative) tastes, you might opt for a less extravagant meal. Omelets and bagels vs. prime rib and garlic toast.
4. Fees may be lower for your Bar Mitzvah DJ, caterer, photographer or hall. Ask and you shall receive...occasionally. You may not be offered a price break, but there's no harm in trying.
The opposite may be true. It's not unheard of for Bar Mitzvah DJs to tack a concealed surcharge on a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. They feel a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is more work. They're right! (But, hey, that's not YOUR fault!) They'll justify the heftier fee if questioned, but you'd never think to bring it up.
Want to find out? Surreptitiously have someone call back and request a rate for a Reunion (a piece-of-cake gig). Some Bar Mitzvah DJs keep their hourly rate fees standard for any type of affair, any time of day, any day of the year. Some don't.
Luncheon Disadvantages/Evening Affair Advantages:
1. Bar Mitzvah DJ's make themselves available 24/7. (For most Conservative and Orthodox families, it's 24/6!) But, presuming you have a Saturday afternoon affair, your guests won't have had a chance to unwind after services. Evenings allow a respite.
2. The "mind set" and atmosphere at a luncheon is quite different than that at an evening affair.
From a Bar Mitzvah DJ's point-of-view behind the mic, I suspect that the exact same music played in the exact same sequence would elicit a far different response from the exact same crowd during different times of the day.
It's often tougher to motivate an afternoon crowd that seems to be more talkative than active. Is there a dentist in the house? Getting some people off their tush is like pulling teeth! That's not to say that a luncheon won't be a wonderful and complete success. My wife and I had three. But, if liquor is offered, guests will drink more and assume a "looser" posture at night.
So, if the dance floor isn't jam-packed for the duration of your luncheon, it's not your fault, your Bar Mitzvah DJ's fault or your guest's fault. It's the human body clock. Some bones just weren't designed to flail to The Chicken Dance at 3:30 in the afternoon! (But if you invite a fun-loving party crowd, the time of day won't matter. They'll wear a hole in the dance floor.)
3. If your banquet is on a boat cruise, no one's jumping overboard prior to the last dance! But if not, this isn't a Broadway show where they feel they'll miss something leaving before "THE END." Guests with baby-sitters, the elderly or out-of-towners who drove may exit early, especially if they also attended morning services.
Luncheon or Evening Affair, You're Being Warned, So Stay Calm:
Invariably, when you check the place-card table, there will be unclaimed names. They're not sick in bed either, but you almost wish they were! Seldom do 100% of expected, healthy guests show up. (And you had to pay for them, too!) It's aggravating and extraordinarily rude, but don't let it ruin your day. Anticipate it.

Questions to Ask and Opinions To Offer  top

Regardless of market size, how do you know who's the cream of the Disc Jockey crop? As you speak with Bar Mitzvah DJs, pay particular attention to their professionalism on the phone. It often tends to spill over into their Bar Mitzvah DJ style. A strained conversation doesn't bode well for your piece of mind. Mobile Disc Jockey publications and trade groups exist. Does your Bar Mitzvah DJ subscribe? Is he a participating member? Ask.
And ask about a request policy. A good Bar Mitzvah DJ should work some guest requests into his routine. However, don't expect him to play them all. They may be inappropriate for the mood of the event. A Bar Mitzvah DJ isn't just a record changer. He wants to motivate the crowd. The art of Bar Mitzvah DJing is timing, and forcing him to ignore his instincts by playing every request will result in an "uneven" (and less fun) party. But Bar Mitzvah DJs aim to please and anticipate requests. (I receive, in large part, the same ones at every affair!)
It's OK to provide a list of a few songs and tell your Bar Mitzvah DJ that they're "Must Have." But don't make a list pages long. Also remember, given the opportunity to make that list, the "nature of the beast" is that 13-year olds are self-centered. They'll always list their favorite tunes, giving no thought to adult preferences or Bar Mitzvah DJ leeway. They won't notice, nor care about, the adults who are sitting there gritting their teeth to the Top 10 on MTV.
Beats Per Minute should remain constant throughout a "dance" song. Slow dances have 60-80 BPM and up-tempo numbers have twice as many. If a tune goes through several rhythm changes, it's quite difficult to dance to. And occasionally, adults won't consider "danceability," either. I recently played a party where a gentleman requested "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" by Crosby, Stills and Nash. We all grew up listening to this tune and, while I carry the song, I didn't want to play it because you simply can't dance to it. I knew that if I played it, it would clear the dance floor! Not only that, but the song is over seven minutes long. An empty floor for SEVEN the Bar Mitzvah DJ start to schvitz! He'll need a bath towel for the perspiration.
Your child will also give no thought to song lyrics. Unless you're on top of today's CDs (many have Parental Advisories), you may be shocked at some lyrics. And even if you happen to enjoy those songs yourself, Aunt Tilly might faint!
Your Bar Mitzvah DJ should be aware of the lyrics, but you can still supply him with a "Don't Play" list. Lyric issues aside, some other songs are silly, but they're fun. And that's really all you want your affair to be, right? So welcome those novelty dances and interactive songs (which don't require a dance partner) like The Hokey Pokey, Macarena, Hands Up, Bunny Hop, The Electric Slide or Cha-Cha Slide. If your Bar Mitzvah DJ plays one or two, or three or four, it'll motivate your guests and occupy the dancefloor. (Your Bar Mitzvah DJ will suck in his breath and play them all. He may be weary of these tunes, but they're his bread and butter songs.)
Variety in music is essential and your Bar Mitzvah DJ will bring a much larger assortment, but time only allows for 60-70 songs in a typical 4-hour show. Having the proper 65 is what's important. Bar Mitzvah DJs won't track through all of Engelbert Humperdinck's Greatest Hits at your Mitzvah, just as they won't play Heavy Metal or Rap music at a Class of '60 Reunion.
A Bar/Bat Mitzvah party range duration is 3 to 5 hours. How long should yours be? If your function is for adults as well as children, plan 3 or 4 hours for a luncheon and 4 or 5 for an evening affair. NOTE: If your party is for your child's friends only, 3 hours is sufficient. That fourth hour at a kids-only party seems to last much longer than 60 minutes!
Are you planning a luncheon or an evening reception? There are pros and cons to both. Either way, you have plenty of company.
It doesn't mean a thing one way or the other but, for the past several years, the percentage of my clients having luncheons has been increasing. Last year, it was just about a draw.
But the time of day is irrelevant. Your guests and your child's friends expect two things: food and fun. You take care of the food. Your Bar Mitzvah DJ will handle the rest.

The Early Bird's Worm vs. The Mouse's Cheese  top

Guidance follows, not the law. The Bar Mitzvah DJ you hire may take umbrage at being told how to conduct his performance. I would! But choosing the proper Disc Jockey is perhaps the most important decision you can make to ensure the success of your event. Everything else can be perfect, but if the music presentation isn't a bulls-eye, the party will fizzle.
Selecting a Bar Mitzvah DJ can be tough. There are dozens in most communities, all promising a great job. So, how do you pick the right one? I'll ease the chore. Relax. You can't be rushed or hasty or jump at the first offer. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap!
The best way to find a Bar Mitzvah DJ you'll like is obvious: hire one you've seen in action. If you attended a function where the Bar Mitzvah DJ was noteworthy, find out who he was. If you didn't get his business card at the party, ask the host, caterer or hall manager. Maybe your friends have been to an affair you missed. Tell them you're looking. Request that they keep their eyes (and ears) open for you. After that, your job gets tougher.
I'm not going to list "Find-A-Bar Mitzvah DJ" web sites here. Selecting by state, only a handful of Bar Mitzvah DJ companies will show up, while hundreds are actually available. Besides, most specifically list Wedding Bar Mitzvah DJs, not Bar or Bat Mitzvah Bar Mitzvah DJs. Better bets:
1. Ask your caterer. Which Bar Mitzvah DJs impress them? Which don't? They've seen 'em all!
2. Look for staged events such as a B'nai or Simcha Showcase. They're usually sponsored by Jewish publications, local Synagogues, hotels, the JCC or caterers, and held at their halls. Not only Bar Mitzvah DJs, but vendors representing every aspect of your party needs will be represented...from your invitations to the last dance!
3. Call local radio stations. Many have excellent Bar Mitzvah DJs who "moonlight."
4. Check out the display and classified ads in your newspaper or phone book. Look under the "Disc Jockey," "Music" or "Entertainment" headings. Note the ads in which the Bar Mitzvah DJ actually mentions "Bar Mitzvahs." He'll obviously be comfortable with the format. But remember, well established and proficient Bar Mitzvah DJs should be able to handle any occasion, so seek out one who has performed many times, hundreds of times, at every type of party or function. Experience breeds professionalism.
Mobile Bar Mitzvah DJing is most often a part-time vocation. If you're not calling an agency, the vast majority of single-unit operators (other than radio jocks) will have different weekday employment. It should not prejudice your choice, but your Bar Mitzvah DJ is likely a "weekend warrior." Expect an answering machine from 9 to 5. But a PROMPT response.
Do we throw this party of buy a new car? You won't be asking yourself that question if you allocate wisely. We all know that this will not be an inexpensive day. But expense is relative.
The worst way to choose a Bar Mitzvah DJ is on the bottom line, as your SOLE consideration. It's tempting to seek the cheapest alternative, but consider the law of supply and demand. A higher priced Bar Mitzvah DJ may be worth the extra expenditure since he's not going to be a rookie, he enjoys his reputation and he tends to work constantly. You'll find that Bar Mitzvah DJs at the bottom end of the price scale are likely relatively new to the business, trying to get established with tempting fees. But be cautious before opening the Yellow Pages and calling the Bar Mitzvah DJ who offers the "best" price. He may be worth a shot if your party is on the informal side, but you must acknowledge a risk regarding presentation and reliability.
So many responsibilities go along with being a crowd pleaser. Hire low end, receive low end. How can he afford equipment and music upkeep and still earn a living? While Bar Mitzvah DJ shopping, have you given any thought to an inferior music library, shoddy people skills or, hold still...a no-show? I'd bet that wouldn't have even entered your mind! It should.
-- He often steps outside for a smoke
-- "Imbibes" because you (wrongly) offered
-- Has the gall to put a "Tip Jar" on his table (be sure your Bartender doesn't show one, either!)
-- Makes occasional inappropriate remarks
-- Has friends in attendance and doesn't concentrate on the event
-- Makes your guests shout, playing too loud during dinner
-- Plays what he enjoys rather than what motivates a crowd, and then blends that music improperly
-- Or he shows up but simply does not shut up!
When you speak to a prospective Bar Mitzvah DJ, sense whether or not Bar/Bat Mitzvahs are his niche. Several Bar Mitzvah DJs I know will book a Mitzvah because it's a job. But they dread the date. Obviously they'd never admit that to you, but they experience trepidation. I network and I run into guys like this. They're fine with weddings, but dealing with the games and the Candlelighting and the Motzi and the Hora and the KIDS puts them in a cold sweat.
A "bargain" Bar Mitzvah DJ may turn out to be anything but.

The following list of tips should guide you through the process of choosing a Bar Mitzvah DJ and you will be able to apply them to any situation. At the end of this list we have given you some additional questions to ask of your prospective entertainer.   top

    1. Begin your Bar Mitzvah DJ search by doing some research. First, check with friends or people you know who may have hired a Bar Mitzvah DJ within the past couple of years. Make a list of names and phone numbers. Search on the Internet through sites like Usually a Bar Mitzvah DJ is reputable if they can afford to advertise, but this is not always the case. If you're planning a Bar Mitzvah, look for Bar Mitzvah party vendor search engines like

    2. Make some initial phone calls to vendors and eliminate the ones you don't like. Listen for attitude, professionalism and cooperation. The Bar Mitzvah DJ or his/her representative should be helpful and interested in your upcoming event.

    3. Request that the Bar Mitzvah DJ or company mail you some information, view their website, etc. After reviewing your initial research begin making appointments so you can meet face to face. If you have another person that needs to assist you in the decision making process please take them with you. Don't waste the Bar Mitzvah DJs time by setting up an appointment only to request another appointment with more people a few weeks later.

    4. During the meeting make a lot of notes and watch the Bar Mitzvah DJs body language. Is he or she comfortable with you? Are they able to answer the questions without hesitation and provide you with solid suggestions as to the service that they provide? Do they offer constructive ideas that will add to the success of your event?

    5. Don't bother to ask for a demo tape of the Bar Mitzvah DJ mixing music. This doesn't even make sense because the music a Bar Mitzvah DJ plays varies dramatically from one party to another. You don't want a Bar Mitzvah DJ who has pre-packaged sets because crowds are different and what works for one party may not work at all for the next.

    6. Do ask to see a video showing the Bar Mitzvah DJ "live" at a party. His or her interaction with the guests will be a good indication of what you can expect. Please keep in mind that a good Bar Mitzvah DJ is able to adapt to many different situations and requests. A client may request that the Bar Mitzvah DJ be very interactive. Therefore, you will see group participation and a performer who is more talkative and energetic. A different client may prefer that the Bar Mitzvah DJ stay more in the background, playing good music for listening or dancing, with only the necessary announcements. Every person perceives something different and it is the Bar Mitzvah DJs responsibility to be able to fit into many situations and scenarios. Remember that the Bar Mitzvah DJ is a professional. If you request a certain ambiance they should be able to deliver.

    7. Try to meet with the Bar Mitzvah DJ that you will hire for your event. If you initially meet with the party planner or entertainment agency then make your selection through them. However, before the event it's nice to meet or speak directly with the Bar Mitzvah DJ who's working for you. This way you can go over details, format, concepts, musical styles, audience participation, special requests, etc.

    8. Request that everything be written on the contract. Get the name of the Bar Mitzvah DJ and any assistant, what equipment is being provided and the time of their performance.

    9. Print out this Bar Mitzvah DJ Checklist and take it with you to the meeting.

    Bar Mitzvah DJ Checklist   top
    1. How many years experience does the Bar Mitzvah DJ have doing the type of event you are planning?

    2. Discuss attire. What will the Bar Mitzvah DJ wear?

    3. When will he or she arrive to begin setting up? If it's a difficult set-up will the Bar Mitzvah DJ do a site inspection first? It the event is in a Hotel will the Bar Mitzvah DJ allow extra time to move equipment through the loading dock area to the room where the event is being held?

    4. Is it possible to see the Bar Mitzvah DJ performing live? If, not can you see a video tape of a live performance?

    5. What is the Bar Mitzvah DJs main objective? Ask them how they would contribute their skills to make your event successful.

    6. Discuss the Bar Mitzvah DJs knowledge of music and experience with different styles. Quiz them on styles of music, for example: "What kind of music would you play right after dinner if I have a mixed age group of professionals in the audience?" "How do you encourage dancing without being obnoxious or corny?" "What will you play during dinner?" (Make notes)

    7. If you want group participation ask them what they do and how.

    8. What kind of equipment does the Bar Mitzvah DJ use? There are many variations that work but here's a typical set-up:

      A. At least 3 built in CD or DVD players with a CD mixer (they shouldn't be the little portable Walkman types, IPods or Laptops). The mixer should also have an EQ to aBar Mitzvah DJust the highs and lows, as well as different features that allow the Bar Mitzvah DJ to mix the music smoothly.
      B. Inputs for one or two microphones (one should be a wireless mic for , introducing guests, the best man's toast, etc. and one should be a wired mic that is a back-up for the wireless)
      C. 2 amplifiers of at least 500-1000 watts, 8 ohm, or more
      D. Electronic Crossover (to seperate the Hi and Low sound frequencies)
      E. 4 speakers (common Bar Mitzvah DJ brand names are EAW, JBL, EV, Cerwin Vega, Yamaha, Carvin)
      F. The equipment should be mounted in a professional Bar Mitzvah DJ console (most of these consoles are either gray or black) and the set-up should look clean, without a lot of wires hanging or exposed. Don't hire a Bar Mitzvah DJ whose equipment consists of individual components that he puts on tables. (This is not a pro system).
      G. Short Throw LCD Projector of at least 2000 Lumens.
      H. What kind of lighting does he or she offer and what are the effects?
      What does the lighting equipment look like and how is it mounted?
      Do they set up a large lighting truss or tri-pod stands or crank stands?
      Ask to see pictures or a video.
      I. LED lighting is the newest state of the art in lighting. There are also many different kinds of Bar Mitzvah DJ lights and special effects. What lighting effects will you be getting?
      J. Do you need to provide a meal or reimbursed parking expense for the entertainer?
      K. Are they available to stay overtime if you need it and what is the rate?
      Get the rate written into your contract.
      L. Do they have emergency back-up equipment or staff?
      M. Do they bring an assistant?
      N. What is their rate, deposit requirement, balance due date and cancellation policy?


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