Thursday, March 27, 2008

DJ Blueshift @ Scarlet

Here's a video of my DJing last weekend at Scarlet:

As it turns out, it looks like I'll be staying on board with the club for an "indefinite" period of time. Last weekend was crazy fun, Lily's parents, along with a big group of friends, came out to see me. Not only did they get to see me DJ this past weekend, but I also "MC"-ed for about an hour's time too, singing songs like Depeche Mode!

I'm having a great time right now, though my schedule has been really busy these days. Monday through Thursday I teach English, and immediately following, I get ready to DJ on the weekend. My only "downtime" is Sunday, really. But, as Brian once said, it's good to be busy. I hope I'll have a chance to keep up this schedule for some time now...

I'll have more videos in the near future for sure!

P.S. I finally got my laptop back -- it broke before I left for China and it took Toshiba nearly a month to repair it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Keepin' Busy

How is everyone doing? It has been a while since I've talked with most of you, which is both good and bad. It sucks that I haven't had a chance to catch up on what everyone is doing, but at the same time it's good -- I think we have all kept busy in our lives, moving at least in some direction.

I apologize that I haven't done a better job of updating my blog. I feel it's a combination of sevearl things; laziness; internet issues; the novelty of things. I remember when I first set out on my "journey," when I was spending time in Japan, I felt that everyday was an incredible experience, something worth jotting down. Although each day still brings a new experience, it doesn't hit me full-force as it once did; I'm beginning to be able to predict the outcome of most days.

My classes are going well. I actually teach one more class than I did before, so my Thursday schedule is quite busy. From 8:30 to 11:45, I am teaching. Then, after my lunch break, I go back to teaching at 2:15 until 5:30. In between my classes, I have a 15 minute break, which is nice. Monday is a little easier, because I only have 3 classes on this day.

But, despite the predictability (i.e. I have finally adjusted fully to my new environment), I am still trying to keep things interesting, pursuing hobbies and trying to meet new people each day. In fact, yesterday was quite interesting. As most of you know, I enjoy music, and most of all, I enjoy sharing music with people. So, I thought it would be an interesting adventure to find myself a DJ job in China (either Beijing or Tianjin).

Well, Beijing wasn't so successful, because the one advantage I have -- being American -- doesn't carry much weight in China's capital. However, perhaps this will help to get my foot in the door in Tianjin, where foreigners are fewer in number. I went to a few clubs this past weekend to speak to managers and to inquire about possibly DJing for their club. Although a few clubs gave the usual shoot-down -- "we don't need anymore DJs at the moment" -- one club, Babi Club, actually showed some interest in me. So, they asked if I could come back yesterday (Tuesday) to "try out" for a DJ position.

Wow, what an exciting opportunity, right?! I was really pumped and excited that I might have a chance at DJing for a club in China. Clubs are a bit different here; they're very flashy, with many lights, ornaments and colors everywhere. Well, the excitement turned into anxiety and pressure for me when I showed back up at the club yesterday. My friend Chen Guan was also equally nervous for me. Of course, when you are nervous, everything seems to go wrong...

As one friend pointed out, I should have been more prepared. But, in my view, preparation comes with experience, right? The things which I was not prepared for were: technological issues (I should have expected this one by now). First off, my music wasn't compatible with one of the CD players the club has. Second, I was not entirely familiar with the CD players, although they are the same brand and style as the CD players I own; there's a function on my CD players which automatically cues the music for me (starts the track on a beat, which is crucial for mixing two songs). So, I quickly became flustered, because it seemed that everything was quickly stacking up as failure in front of the manager's eyes. My inability to control the equipment with mastery; my music failing on me.

Well, despite what seemed to be failure in my eyes, the manager, along with his boss, expressed interest in me. They said that I might have a chance to play for them for 1 hour this coming weekend and that they would "give me a call." As I've told my friends, I'm not expecting a call from them. I think it's better to assume the worst, so I won't be let down. And, it is still hard for me to read Chinese people; I'm not sure what they are thinking or what their next move will be. However, experience has told me not to expect too much from club managers, because business comes first. Unless you have name recognition or something considerable to bring to the table, they really have no interest in you. With that said, being American might just help me out (being American always seems to a life-saver, unless you find yourself in the Middle East!).

Other than that, I am also trying to pick up more work as an English teacher. This evening, Lily's mother will go with me to another school, where I will have an interview. If it works out, I should have another teaching job on the days when I'm not teaching (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday). Wish me the best of luck!