screwed myself over, how much do resident djs get paid for 4 hour sets in NYC
Hi guys. Im fairly new, been djing as a Bedroom dj for 1-2 months. I was able to find an ad on craiglist for a resident dj position in a semi small lounge/restuarant in brooklyn. With no experience live, i came in and they said that they were still looking for a friday dj and it seems that not many has applied. So i was given a spot to perform live this friday for a 4 hour gig from 8 to 12 pm. Speakers are provided, all i needed to do is bring my laptop and controller and play. It will be a 1.5 hour train ride on the MTA. I understand after researching online tonight that I should have asked for payment for this set despite my lack of experience because not getting paid is being worthless. however they offer to give me food and compensate my train ride ( 4.50). However they are doing this to assess how well i interact with the crowd and see If i am able to do well in a outside of bedroom setting. If they like me, they will hire me and i will be expected to come in every friday or biweekly friday. Again I have no experience, but I told myself that I WILL ASK FOR PAYMENT, assuming i get this job.
Do you guys think i screwed myself by not getting paid even though it is a "tryout"? Should I even go? OR should I just do it because it is a step of coming out of my bedroom, gaining experience and finally sharing my love of music to the world. The thing is, I dont want to undercut DJs as I understand how hard it can be to get paid nowadays with the dj explosion.
If i do get the job, how much should i charge? While i thought about it, i will be traveling, interacting with the crowd and preparing music and buying music in my spare time and looking into music. This will take up alot of my time. Even though I am new , I should be getting paid decently right? 4 hours is a long time. I hear expectations of 200 to even 600 for a mobile dj with a controller? Should I ask for atleast 200? Mind that this is a small lounge that is usually empty in the day.
What kind of music are you playing? Are you a top 40 guy, or an actual dedicated genre DJ (trance, house, techno, etc)?
In the Trance scene, sometimes I just have to take a low-paying gig because it's better for my career than not taking it. Underground clubs and the like often don't have a lot of money to throw around to the DJs on their line up, so I could end up playing a 2 hour set for 50 bucks. However, the shows are so intimate and fun compared to the big clubs (Pacha, etc) that it's worthwhile. The die-hard fans love those underground shows, and getting your name in with the core of your scene is important for your career.
However, if you're just a Top 40 DJ looking for a residency at a bar... and your first gig with the bar is 4 hours... I would say you should be getting at least something. Top 40 DJing is more like a job than club DJing, in my opinion.
some people actually like top40 though haha
I mean, I'm not gonna start belting out call me maybe anytime soon, but I do like seeing how far into certain electronic genres top 40 can be taken and be accepted by crowds. Drum and bass is what I'm all about now that I've discovered it, but I do get a kick out of the reactions certain electro house remixes of top 40 songs will give to people
Laud,needless to say,in Nyc,.Dj's are a dime a dozen.they are giving you a shot.you do,the try-out for free.get the steady gig.charge them the minimum($200).in time,if you're a hit.you charge them more,if not,gain the experience.simple.now go,"break a leg"
Last edited by DennisBdrmDJ 2.0; 07-30-2012 at 04:02 AM.
Being new to the DJ world myself and If I was looking at this for a job/career and not a hobby, I would jump all over this for a number of reasons, to name a few, to try it out and see how I like it(out in the real playing field vs bedroom) and get the exp. under my belt. It sounds like it's not going to cost you anything! I say hell with it go for it, and like Dennis said in a city the size of NYC DJ's are a dime a dozen.
If this is a "tryout" expect to not get paid for it unless you blow away the promoter/owners. I think after I started playing out, I didn't expect to get paid till I had a rack of people staying to hear me play.
with 1 or 2 months of bedroom experience, I wouldn't think about gigs let alone charging people tbh.
This not to mention long ass train ride for peanuts
Originally Posted by Manu
You shouldn't be getting paid anything apart from what you mentioned maybe. It's just a try out right?
Did you tell them you've only been practicing 1-2 months? If you did and they still gave you an opportunity then you can expect to be getting paid next to nothing if they do hire you.
Depends what the time and hassle you are going to invest with them is worth to you.
Thanks for all the great responses guys.
I play primarily progressive house, house, minimal and funk , but since its a lounge Im probably gonna employ alot of top 40 remixes.
I guess I shall go for the experience, I mean not many djs get a chance like this to go out and itll definitely help me increase my dj skills in terms of reading the crowd and mood setting.
I don't mind doing these 4 hours for free.
For those who say If i get the job and I should expect to be paid peanuts, why should i get paid peanuts when I will be spending four hours of my time playing music and interacting with the crowd. Even with 1-2 months of djing skills, I will be spending my time researching music, buying music and reading charts. My time isn't worthless, and I don't expect to be paid peanuts. I understand I wont make much, but if Im improving and learning and getting better, why should I undercut myself and others? How much should i expect to earn for four hours? Someone in another post said minimum 200.