Setting the Stage. Making fun happen as a DJ Entertainer!

REAL ENTERTAINMENT sometimes just happens, but most often, a skilled party-motivator needs to help it along—even make it happen. This requires considering what needs to take place behind the scenes. This is staging’s initial step.
"Staging" entertaining events requires planning, requires preparation, and requires a keen sense of pacing, and all this is coupled with a flair for good old-fashioned "show business!"

Every engagement gives rise to numerous opportunities to "set the stage" for an entertaining or memorable moment. The following scenarios illustrate how through creative staging we enhance not only the quantity of entertainment, but its quality as well.
The Stage is set! Everybody's in a circle and soon will quite literally be tricked into an asonshingly long conga line!

STAGING SCENARIOS: These links will take you to entertaining examples of well-staged memorable moments.

Wedding Ceremony Scenarios - Descriptions at the bottom along with a video depicting an unforgettable wedding ring scene.

Cake Cutting Scenario - "The most enjoyable weddings are made up of a series of entertaining events presented in sequence."

Spellbinding Wedding Dedication - Talent and expertise went into this amazing wedding reception sequence (video).

Look Who's Doing the YMCA - Check out the last section and the video at the bottom.

Unique Garter Removal Ceremony - Described in the second paragraph from the bottom.

Sample Staging Scenario - A - (Wedding)

During a Wedding Ceremony, as the music is playing prior to the Processional, a happy-looking guy named Billy takes the DJ to the side and asks, “Do you have “Macho Man” by the Village People?"

“Sure,” replies the DJ, smiling at his intensity.

“Later, play it for us! I have a dance number I do that Steve (the Groom) really loves!”

The DJ can agree to play the song, and then simply put it on later, during the dancing . . .
- OR -
He can set the stage for a special moment and help create a joy-filled, wedding reception memory

“Say no more. Do you want some “Popeye Arms?” asks the DJ. “They’re these props I have. You slide them over your arms and up to your shoulders. Makes you look like you’ve got gigantic muscles.”

“Yeah! That would be great!”

“All right,” says the DJ. “I’ll get them for you, and you can go and hide them somewhere out in the hall. I’ll let you know when I’m going to play “Macho Man” so you can put them on and be ready for a big entrance.”

About 45 minutes into the dancing, the DJ is working the crowd, the tempo is up at a fast pace, and the floor is nicely packed. The DJ gives Billy his get ready cue and our “Macho Man” sneaks out into the hallway. When he peeks through the door to signal he is good to go, the DJ uses the microphone to position the dancers into a circle. The music continues to play.

“Circle up, circle up! Everybody on the dance floor form a circle!”

As soon as the dance floor is ready, the DJ announces, “Ladies and gentleman, we have something very special in store for you all. You know him, you love him. Give a warm welcome to Billeee!”

Simultaneously, the DJ segues to the introductory music for “Macho Man” and Billy makes his way into the circle to rousing applause and loud laughter. The Groom gleefully doubles over, and to everyone’s delight, Billy proceeds to dance around the inside of the circle, and soon goes into a hilarious routine resembling a male stripper, eventually even removing the “Popeye Arms.” The ladies around the circle start stuffing dollar bills into his belt and T-Shirt!

Towards the end of the song, the DJ beat mixes into “Love Shack,” the whole dance segment carries on, and the dancers are feeling great! Scheduled or unscheduled, planned or unplanned, a great moment has transpired—a well-staged addition to the party.   Back To Top
Sample Staging Scenario - A2 - (Wedding)

On the Reception Planner, the bride and groom have selected “Village People Routine.”

The DJ can play “YMCA” and even go as far as preselecting some folks to act out the characters and then choose a time to play the song,
- OR -
he can set into motion a well-timed presentation that will “bring down the house,” and additionally serve to segue everyone from the cake cutting back into having fun on the dance floor.

Well before the cake cutting is to occur, (sometime after the meal) the DJ has approached a formidable looking male member of the wedding party and recruited him. This person’s task is to select three other influential attendees whom he knows can get involved and don’t mind putting on a show. Before starting the cutting of the cake, he has checked to make sure these special participants are ready to take their places facing out in a line, at the head of the dance floor. He has also coached them on demeanor and given them instructions to simply follow his lead. Right as the cake cutting festivities finish up, the DJ announces,

“Ladies and gentleman, at this time would everyone please direct your attention to the dance floor.” (YMCA intro starts.) “You might know them by different names, but right now, on this very special occasion, here they are, the Village People!”
The four participants start their in-place-macho-marching and the routine commences. The DJ is off to one side out of the focal point, but leading the hysterical dance moves. Like moths drawn to a flame, the folks in attendance crowd around, clapping, hooting, and cheering as the participants play it up. On the spelling sections, most everyone on the room gets into it showing their support for these lovable “macho men.”

As the song nears it’s conclusion, the DJ beat mixes into an appropriate party anthem and the reception’s back in high gear on the dance floor.

Staged in this manner, this well-paced routine serves to keep the reception percolating with folks participating and involved.   Back To Top
Sample Staging Scenario - B - (Wedding)

The groom has purchased a bunch of party props he wants handed out at his reception, and when the DJ arrives at the banquet facility, he is greeted by dozens of hats, maracas, and inflatable instruments waiting for him in the area where he is to set up. As per the Wedding Planner Sheets, the First Dance, Parent’s Dances, and even the Cake Cutting are to be completed immediately following the Bridal Party Introduction. The Bride and Groom want these parts of the wedding format done early, so they can get to partying with a minimum of interruptions. Hence, after the meal, it will definitely be time to start the dancing and party fun. There will be 150 guests and the room is enormous. Now, how will the DJ hand out this vast array of props and get things going?

The DJ can start playing dance music and simply pass out props to those on the dance floor and in the reception hall . . .
- OR -
He can stage a grand, party event, setting the tone for a great wedding reception that is also a great celebration

Near the end of the meal, the DJ tells three of the Groomsmen to meet him over by his equipment where he relates how we have all these props and to be ready to each take an equal amount and hand them out to the guests as they file past, right in front of the dance floor. Next, when everyone is through eating their main course, the DJ stands in the middle of the dance floor, and introduces himself.

“Greetings everybody. It’s my pleasure to be your DJ for Jason and Christine’s wedding reception. Folks, this evening, Jason wants everybody to have a super time. So, at this moment, everybody in the room, please stand up. That’s right, everybody. Now, we’re going to do something special on this very special occasion. I want everybody standing to make ONE circle! Boy, girl, boy girl! That’s right! ONE circle! No, not by table. Everybody in the room in the same circle! Beautiful!

“Now, since we’re two families coming together into one big family, and friends, you’re very much a part of the family too, I want you to all put your arms out like a ‘T’ and place them on the shoulders of the people next to you. Beautiful!

“Now, when you hear the music, you’re gonna massage the shoulders of the person next to you—on the right, on the left, and at the same time.”

Immediately, the DJ plays the beginning of “Oh Yeah” by Yello (cued up prior) to the delighted laughs and squeals of those in attendance. After about 10 seconds he stops the music.

“Drop your arms, turn to the right, now place your arms on the hips of the person in front of you! You’re about to experience the world’s longest conga line!

Immediately, the DJ kicks in “Shake Sonora” by the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (also cued up prior), breaks into the moving circle and commences to lead the immensely long conga line, out and around tables and directly, right past the three Groomsmen who are waiting, props in hand, to give each attendee a hat, maraca, or inflated instrument. Soon, The DJ is weaving the frolicking line onto the dance floor, where he slams on “Let’s Groove Tonight” by Earth, Wind, and Fire (“80’s” Music is high on the Bride and Groom’s check list of Dance Music Genres.)
On the first dance number, the DJ has the dance floor packed and the party is started in high gear!   Back To Top
Sample Staging Scenario - D - (Bar Mitzvah)

At a Bar Mitzvah, after the Candle-Lighting Ceremony, the Hora is to be played, which is to be followed by an abundance of dancing and partying.

The DJ can simply start playing a Hora selection followed by dance music . . .
- OR -
He can stage a spectacular, full-blown, smooth-running party opener, that will result in the Guest of Honor’s friends, the friends of the family, and older relations partying and celebrating on the dance floor together.

Prior to the party, the DJ has the parents of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah boy/girl select who will be lifted in the chair(s), and who will be holding the chair(s). The chair(s) are positioned near the dance floor in readiness. The DJ also finds out if any gifted guest or relative would like to enhance the Hora production, because he possesses a strong and melodic singing voice. (This will determine whether the Hora selection will be an instrumental version or a vocal version.) If a willing and gifted attendee is on hand, the DJ will provide him with a cordless microphone that he can use from anywhere in the room. As the Candle Lighting Ceremony is completed, the DJ makes an excited and enthusiastic announcement.

“Ladies and gentleman. . . it’s time for the Horrraah!”

Simultaneously, a seven and a half minute Hora Medley kicks in at the appropriate volume. The DJ joyfully encourages "EVERYBODY" to join in. This, in itself, is a wonderful moment filled with jubilance and excitement. As the Hora Medley reaches its climax and concludes, the DJ happily chimes in, “It's a Bar Mitzvah Celebration! We all have a lot to CELEBRATE!”

While this announcement is delivered, the introduction to “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang is playing. Immediately following the introduction, a confetti canon (previously loaded and in readiness) shoots confetti streamers high over the heads of the crowd still on the dance floor. At this point, a brilliant addition of lighting effects is added to the washes of color that accompanied the Hora. Those who were dancing the Hora (all ages) are inevitably drawn into the continued festivity. Soon, “Celebration” flows into an overlaid, beat-mixed introduction to the “Cha Cha Slide” by Casper as the DJ joins those on the dance floor and leads the crowd in this easy line dance, fun for all ages.

Props for the game that is to follow are already in position, and game assistants are already selected—all part of the party-staging approach to hosting a high impact, and fun-filled event.   Back To Top                       Back To Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

Sample Staging Scenario - E - (Wedding)

It will soon be time for the Grand Entrance.

The DJ can simply make an announcement that it's time to introduce the Bridal Party, and then read off their names as they enter . . .
- OR  -
He can implement a well-staged introduction that will not only be enjoyed by those in attendance but create a the impression from the outset that this is going to be an outstanding wedding reception.

As volume-controlled background music is playing in the reception hall, the DJ meets with the Bridal Party, lines them up in accordance with the Bridal Party Introduction Sheet, coaches them on when and how to enter, where to go, and what will happen next. Back in the party room, as an accomplished Master of Ceremonies, he will then capture everyone's attention, inform them as to what is about to take place, and then guide them as to how they can participate. We've seen them done a hundred different ways. Here are some that stand out in their creativity, originality, production, or just because they were lots of fun:

1) Everything was carried out in the accustomed manner, well-staged, whole room erupting on cue with cheers and applause, no one in sight before their names were called, but also unique in that the Bride and Groom selected the music from "Rocky" as the wedding party's intro music, AND, when the two of them entered the room, they were wearing these ENORMOUS gag sun glasses. No one knew about it except for the DJ and them. Their idea! The result was, on top of the normal excitement and standing ovation on their entrance, looking the way they did, the wedding guests also laughed a lot.

2) Here's one that would probably take the cake—anywhere: Both bride and groom were professional entertainers. They needed to have a small stage (just a couple of risers, big enough for the two of them) set up on the far side of the dance floor, opposite the DJ and also opposite the doors from which they entered. On the stage they needed two cordless microphones on stands. The bride and groom were the only ones to be introduced. As the DJ announced their names, they burst through the doors during the introduction of the Karaoke version of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Keke Dee. When they reached the stage, on the run mind you, they grabbed the mikes, faced each other, and began singing and acting out an expressively funny rendition of the song! (Groom: "Don't go breaking my heart!" Bride: "I won't go breaking your heart!" etc.) It brought down the house!

3) This one was elaborate AND comical: Both Bride and Groom taught in the same school, she Math, he Phys. Ed. She stood about 5'2" and he about 6'5". His groomsmen were all from his college basketball team, plus his brother, ALL over 6'4" tall! The bridesmaids, were ALL real short. Their plans were to be introduced like a basketball team. A special script was composed containing comical information about each member of the "Wedding Team." This was read sports-announcer-style right before each team member was introduced. As they entered the reception hall, they formed two columns facing each other on the dance floor—the short bridesmaids on one side facing their tall groomsmen counterpart. The bridesmaids each carried and waved around yellow and red cheerleader pom-poms. The music played was "Get Ready 4 This" by 2 Unlimited. During and after each member's introduction, the wedding guests laughed, applauded, and cheered. The Bride and Groom were introduced as Co-captains of the Wedding Team and ran in between the columns formed by their "team mates" ending up at the front of the dance floor where the DJ segued into their first dance. The whole spectacle was illumined with red and yellow par cans (the wedding colors). Lots of fun and very cool!

4) As everyone made a lot of noise to greet them, to the accompaniment of some "Old School Funk", the wedding party, including both sets of parents, faced off in two columns. (The first to be introduced were the last ones to enter.) When the two columns were in position, the DJ introduced the first pair (Bride's parents) who proceeded to soul train down the line. Each pair were introduced in turn, dancing their way between the columns with what was actually a pretty impressive combination of dance moves. Of course, as the Bride and Groom were announced and as they appeared on the scene, their rhythmic stroll between the two still dancing rows of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents was acknowledged with the loudest cheers of encouragement and applause. This was a very well-rehearsed and creative introduction to the festivities ahead.

The DJ flows the reception into its next phase as per the Reception Planning Sheets, be it the Bride and Groom's first dance, an introductory welcome by the Groom or the Bride's father, a blessing by the minister, etc. If there is a blessing or welcome, a cordless microphone is placed with the appropriate individual prior to the time they will be addressing those in attendance.
This is STAGING!    Back To Top
Sample Staging Scenario - F - (Wedding)

It's time for the "Last Dance."

The DJ can announce that the bride and groom will now have their last dance and then play the music . . .
- OR -
He can set the stage for one of the most romantic and fun-filled moments of the entire reception.

All friends and family members are invited up to the dance floor to gather around the newlyweds forming a “circle of love.” Everyone is reminded that the bride and groom are exceedingly lucky, because in addition to the love they share with one another, they can also count on the lifelong friendship of everyone in the circle. While the newlyweds enjoy this last dance of the evening, everyone is encouraged to let them feel the glow of this friendship. The DJ then plays “That’s What Friends are For.” Each time there’s a repeat of the chorus, “Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always count on me...” the DJ announces that everyone is to take one more step closer to the bride and groom. The result is a very close circle surrounding the bride and groom overflowing with affection and a great feeling.  It's a major "Kodak Moment," well-conceived, and Well-Staged!  Back To Top
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