5 Question Interview Series with Eric Wenning
Hi Everyone! Well it's that time to continue on with my 5 Question Interview Series and this month I had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Wenning, owner of Wenning Entertainment. Eric is an amazing guy that will make your head spin with his success. He is full of energy, very talented and just an all around swell guy. :) We've had the pleasure of working with him at 2 weddings and VERY highly recommend him for any of your DJing needs. He will certainly get your event ROCKING. :)
(1) How did you get into DJ work? My first experience of the music world came from my dad. He was a drummer and ever since I could pick up sticks I was banging on something. Then I started listening to every type of music I could get my hands on.
My friend’s dad was a DJ/Karaoke Jock and I followed him around from gig to gig being his roadie. I was always listening and learning. Then I realized I wanted to do it myself, and DJ for a living.
I then started Djing at the age of 11 years old.
I DJed my first wedding at the age of 13, which was a Jamaican Wedding, and it has since gotten a lot easier from there!
From there I rented equipment from gig to gig until I saved up enough to purchase my own gear.
(2) What keeps you motivated/where do you get your inspiration? Motivation is a funny word. You can find motivation in a lot of different places; friends, family, & even rock stars. Most of my motivation came from the smiles of the people I was performing for. A laugh, smile, or someone dancing along to what you are playing or teaching them is the greatest high you can have.
I had the great honor to Host a New Years Eve Party with Special Guest Brett Michaels. My job was to countdown the New Year with Brett along with 20,000 plus screaming fans while on a Live TV Broadcast in front of god knows how many more! I can’t explain the rush or feeling I got doing that, but I can put it in my top 3 favorite moments of my life.
Getting people pumped up and screaming while having fun is what I had to do, and just think I got paid to do that! You can’t beat that!
(3) Does your business offer any other services, other than DJ services? Yes. We offer a wide list of services to our clients from Concert Production, Corporate Rentals, Event Photography, Game Show Mania, Fundraising Services, Stage Rentals, Roof/Tent Rentals, Pipe & Drape Rentals, Graphic Design Services, and believe or not more… (4) What advice would you give to a budding DJ? Go out and follow as many DJ’s as you can. Get a feel for many different styles. As my father taught me, “You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, listen twice as much, more than you talk!”
Network, Network, Network, with as many DJ’s, photographers, videographers, halls, and other wedding professionals as you can.
Don’t always worry about the gear, worry about EDUCATION! There are a lot of great educational systems for Newbie’s. Take them ALL, and learn from them ALL! The FAME DJ School is a great place to start. Join DJ associations that pride themselves in Education not what pieces of gear you have! (5) What advice would you give to a couple looking to hire a wedding DJ? DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT make the first question you ask, “How Much?!?”
Why you ask? Don’t get me wrong that should be a concern, but not your most important on your list. Here are some very important ones to clarify when interviewing DJ’s.
- First, are you even available? - Are you a Full-Time Professional Company or a Hobbyist? (A Hobbyist company will more than likely be a one man show, someone that does this on the side, and has a Full-Time Job in another industry) - If you are a Full-Time company are you incorporated? (This is another question to see if the Full-Time company is Lying) - Do you have Liability Insurance? (If NO, beware you could be picking up the cost if someone trips over the DJ’s wires, or you could be held liable for whatever they might say over the microphone if it’s not appropriate) - Do you consume alcohol at the wedding? (Do I even need to mention the LIABILITY INSURANCE question again) - Do you wear a Tux, or if it is a less formal event, dress to our needs? - Do you have Professional Standard Equipment? (100% of the time if you are hiring a FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL that answer will be YES. If you are talking to a Hobbyist, roll the dice!) - Do you have Back-Up Equipment? (Except nothing less than YES, YES, YES! Kinda like the Herbal Essence Commercial.) - Do you have Back-Up Personnel? (….Herbal Essence….) - How are your DJ’s Trained? (There are a lot of ways a DJ can be trained, but there is a school called the FAME DJ School, which has a very intense program for training DJ’s. Think of it as a Master’s Degree for a Teacher.) - Do you use professional contracts? - How do you take deposits? (Normal case of action is 50% down and the remaining balance is due that night) - Do you have an Online Event Planning Software so I can pick my songs and enter Bridal Party names etc.?
These questions should get you started in search for your perfect DJ. Also beware of companies that want to show you a video of their DJ. How can a DJ show you your wedding in the future? He CAN’T! Any average video editor can make anyone’s Grandmother look good on tape.
It’s the personality of the Entertainer that is going to drive your guests to the dance floor, not the Chicken Dance. Any good Entertainer should tell you how he/she is going to ‘Break the Ice’ with your guests, enable control of the room, and interact with them per your request.
Beware when you hire the cheapest DJ you have found too. You might have been able to knock a couple hundred dollars off the flowers, cake, or centerpieces and hired a true professional. Just think, what are your guests going to remember more; how many roses are in your bouquet? How many layers are in your cake, or would they remember Grandma Patty “Cuttin’ the Rug” on the middle of the dance floor in front of all of your guests to see. What do you think your guests will be talking about when they leave?
If you think your Prospect DJ can offer you that experience, then don’t ask How Much, ask How soon can you book my wedding!