Why hire Hurricane to staff your athletics DJ roster?
Nearly two decades of college sports event experience
Professional, stadium-level music programming and event coordination
Deep understanding of sporting event chronology and timelines
DJs are comfortable working in fast-pace, broadcast environments
Direct communication access to DJs before, during, and after events
Up-to-date music libraries from professional record pools
Full Time Support Staff
Your athletics event DJs and hosts are always on time. Should you have any questions, you'll always have a direct line day-of-event contact at Hurricane HQ. Our dedicated team is in constant contact with our staff when they are fulfilling event services.
Communication Through Technology
Let us run the show and feel confident putting years of musical programming and college sporting event management to use. Or have as much control as you'd like. We offer direct communication as well as online account access for uploading custom music, online payments, and more.
Meet Hurricane Productions' Nate Hawley, the go-to DJ for Rutgers Athletics. Whenever there's a football game, wrestling match, or gymnastics meet at RU, you're almost certain to find Nate behind the DJ booth.
Nate first connected with Hurricane Productions after attending a Rutgers event the company had produced. His lifelong passion for music and DJing propelled him to reach out and ask how he could get involved. With a strong interest in being a college sports event DJ, Hurricane gave then-sophomore Nate his first Rutgers DJ opportunity in 2014. Within a couple of years, Nate became known as the “Official DJ of Rutgers Football.”
Since then, his skills as a professional DJ and MC have only improved.
"My music library and knowledge has grown and my mixing is no longer tied to a specific genre," he says. "I’m comfortable with any crowd and I can now use the mic without stumbling through announcements
While Nate is best known for entertaining crowds on game day, he's so much more than the Rutgers Football DJ. He's also one of our most popular private event entertainers. Whether he's working solo or as part of a DJ-MC team, Nate will curate the perfect playlist for you and your guests while delivering the professionalism you expect.
Interested in having Nate entertain your next event? Get in touch with us and let us know you want DJ Nate!
Interested in learning more about our services?
Let us know about your upcoming event and we'll give you quick, accurate, obligation-free information.
If you and your fiancé have decided to invest in wedding videography, then you already know the value of having your day documented on film. Photography is still important, but pictures alone won't allow you to relive your wedding the way a beautifully edited cinematic video can.
The question, then, is whether you hire one or two wedding videographers. There are pros and cons to each, and the right choice for you depends on your budget, your timeline, and your vision for your wedding film.
How much do you want to spend on wedding videography?
When a couple is contemplating wedding videography services, the package they choose is often dictated by how much they can afford to spend. Hiring a second videographer means paying for an additional person's time and talent, so if you're on a tight budget, you may only be able to afford one. However, couples with a little more flexibility in their funds can explore their options for a two-person team.
A mid-point between having one and two wedding videographers is a package that includes one main videographer and an assistant. The assistant won't be operating the camera for the whole day, as a second videographer would, but this person can help the main videographer set up audio equipment, scout out good angles and locations, and direct the couple and their wedding party while the videographer captures that perfect shot.
How soon do you want your wedding video?
We make our couples' edited wedding videos available within 8 to 12 weeks after their event. Most videographers give this type of range because the time it takes to create the finished video product(s) depends on the package the couple selected and the amount of footage we need to review.
There's no guarantee you'll have your wedding video a month earlier if you opt for a single, half-day videographer, but there's a chance it could take longer to edit if you choose two: Editing six hours of footage from one videographer is a very different process than piecing together footage from two videographers who filmed for 12 hours each.
Regardless of how many videographers you hire, your service provider should be able to give you access to all your raw footage long before the final edits are completed.
What kind of wedding film do you envision?
The biggest advantage of a second videographer is the variety of shots and perspectives that can be included in your final wedding video.
Wedding photography and videography is often heavily focused on the bride, butwith a second videographer, both you and your fiancé will be able to have your moments in the spotlight. This is especially important for couples who plan to get ready for the ceremony in separate locations. One videographer can only film one of you at a time, but a second videographer ensures that both the bride and her ladies and the groom and his guys have their wedding prep time documented.
As with many creative endeavors, two heads are often better than one when it comes to shooting and editing a wedding video. While your videographers will be able to collaborate and work as a team, each will also bring their own individual style, flair, and vision to the finished product. A video that combines the work of two wedding videographers means you get two unique perspectives telling the same beautiful love story: yours.
No matter what kind of wedding videography you want, we have a package to fit your needs. Visit ourpricing page to learn more, or reach out to request a quote.
Traditionally, wedding photos and videos are all about the bride. "Prep" photos almost always focus on the bride and her bridesmaids – her dress, her shoes, her hair, her makeup, her jewelry, etc. And of course, during the ceremony, everyone stands up, turns around, and pulls out their phones and cameras when they hear the bridal march start to play – all eyes are on her.
But what about the groom? It takes two people to get married, and you and your spouse-to-be deserve an equal number of photos and videos of both of you. If your budget allows for a second photographer and videographer, you'll have lasting mementos from each of your perspectives on your wedding day, from both parties' preparations to your first look. The groom and his guys won't simply be an afterthought; they'll be just as important as the bride and her girls. This is a key consideration for same-sex couples as well: With two photographers and videographers, neither newlywed will get more attention than the other, and both of your pre-wedding memories will be equally captured.
Hurricane Productions offers full-day coverage of your wedding by two photographers and two videographers in our most robust all-inclusive package. On top of a full suite entertainment services, you'll receive up to 12 hours of photography and videography, access to our extensive online planning tools, a video/phone consultation with your photographers and videographers, and full rights to your photos and videos – all of which are securely stored on our cloud server for easy access.
On the fence about videography? The above package includes a highlight trailer, plus a 60 to 90-minute, high-definition, formal "cinematic" edit of your wedding, complete with sequences set to music and professionally-recorded audio from your ceremony and reception. With two videographers capturing both you and your fiancé, your wedding film will truly reflect the two of you as individuals and as a couple beginning the journey of marriage together.
Learn more this package, or view pricing information for our other all-inclusive wedding packages here.
When you celebrate your Sweet 16 or Quinceañera, your event should be as unique and special as you are. You already know your friends will be sending Snaps from the dance floor all night, and with a personalized Snapchat geofilter by Hurricane Productions, everyone will know that your party is the place to be.
When you book an entertainment package with us for your Sweet 16 or Quinceañera, Hurricane will design and deploy a custom-made filter during your celebration. Whether you want to incorporate your name, your colors, an elegant border or a themed icon, we'll work with you to create the perfect frame for Snapchat photos and videos taken at your party. The result? A filter that instantly enhances and brands your guests' Snaps, and highlights your event on social media in a fun and unique way.
Here are just a few ideas of what we can do for your Snap filter:
A custom Snapchat geofilter is included in your price when you book our Social Package or higher. Visit our pricing pages to view our full list of Sweet 16 and Quince packages.
You and your fiance have likely given a lot of thought to the audio needs for your wedding reception – music, toasts, announcements, etc. But one often overlooked detail of the big day is sound for your ceremony.
Traditional church weddings may take care of music and audio, but if you're getting married at your reception venue or somewhere off-site like a beach, you'll likely be on your own in terms of setting up a sound system.
That's where Hurricane Productions can help: We offer complete ceremony sound packages as part of our services to make your wedding day as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Whether you and your spouse-to-be are exchanging vows indoors or outdoors, we'll be able to accommodate you with an auxiliary sound system for the duration of the ceremony. When you book Hurricane Productions for your wedding entertainment, we'll work with you to plan out the timing for ceremony – everything from the processional and recessional music to any special songs you want to play during the event.
You, your officiant and anyone speaking at your ceremony will be heard by all your guests over our crystal-clear system, which includes speakers, a microphone and a mic stand. Because our setup is completely wireless, no one has to worry about tripping over cords as they walk down the aisle. It's also ideal for remote locations like lakefront or garden weddings, since we can run everything on battery power.
From brand activations, tradeshows, and corporate functions of all sizes - Hurricane Productions is comprised of solution-oriented team leaders.
One of our most recent clients asked us to develop a 'show-opener' for an award show. A basketball arena hosted the show - so the effect not only had to 'wow' an audience of over 1,000 people, but it needed to be safe.
After meeting with the client and communicating with fire safety professionals, Nick Nittoli (Director of Operations) presented a special effect that checked all the boxes.
Sparkular - a safe, environmentally-friendly indoor fireworks system - was used under the control of Hurricane to light up the stage as the show's emcee welcomed the guests to the event. Hurricane programmed, synchronized, and safely controlled through Sparkular's fireworks simulator machines.
Unlike typical indoor fireworks, this non-pyrotechnic system is neither hazardous nor explosive. When the Sparkular machine is activated - a specialized powder safely combusts - providing a dazzling firework display.
As an added precaution, Sparkular machines come with an emergency stop tilt function. It automatically stops the fireworks program if the machine is tipped over or tilted more than 45 degrees.
Learn more about how we can develop creative solutions for your event by contacting us here.
Corporations seeking a motivational and hi-tech space for an upcoming event should look no further than High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. The home of the Scarlet Knights features a number of event spaces - including the Brown Recruiting Pavilion - that can accommodate a variety of corporate functions of all shapes and sizes.
The pavilion is accentuated by tall glass windows and an outdoor deck that overlooks the football field.
Hurricane Productions provides audio and visual solutions for the unique space as well as other locations around Rutgers University.
At a recent event hosted by Allstate, Hurricane helped the insurance leader integrate its own technology with existing technology operated by the University.
When Julia came to Hurricane Productions for her Sweet 16, she already knew what to expect as far as quality and attention to detail. That's because her sister used Hurricane several years ago for her own Sweet 16. But Julia wanted to do one better than her sister and her friends.
Here's 5 ways Julia's Sweet 16 one-upped her friends' (and maybe even her sister's!) Sweet 16s.
1. A classic but unique theme.
Julia chose a pink rose theme, something she can identify with and that's easy to plan a party around.
2. The perfect venue; convenient and classic.
Courtyard Banquet in Freehold, NJ served as the perfect setting for Julia's Sweet 16.
To keep your dance floor packed, you need a skilled DJ and talented MC. For such a lively Sweet 16, Julia needed to have Hurricane's most energetic and in-tune staff. MC Robbie Padovano did just that, and kept Julia's friends and family entertained.
5.Memories that'll last a lifetime
Julia wanted to remember her Sweet 16 for years to come. She provided Hurricane with a photo montage that was shown throughout her party. Hurricane provided veteran photographer Nick Nittoli to capture all the best moments at Julia's awesome party.
Planning an awesomely unforgettable Sweet 16 doesn't need to be hard. In fact, it can be easy and exciting with the right tools, a little creativity and the help of Hurricane Productions. Maura started planning her summery beach-themed Sweet 16 in January, giving her plenty of time to get every detail right. Check out these four tips that'll make planning your Sweet 16 a breeze.
1. First, start with the perfect venue to comfortably fit all your friends and family.
Maura, pictured below, chose Bridgewater Elks Lodge for their ease of planning and versatility. It's the perfect size to accommodate a wide range of guests; friends and family alike.
2. Choose the entertainment package that's right for the job.
Whether you're looking for traditional Sweet 16 music, culturally specific music, or something a little more club oriented, Hurricane Productions has you covered. If your party needs proper motivation and a dynamic playlist like Maura had, look no further than DJ Strato and MC Dan Toth. Hurricane also provides custom designed name-in-lights effects and dynamic uplighting to give your Sweet 16 the unique feel it deserves.
3. Decide what kind of media you want for your party.
From professional photography to the social media streaming and videography, you choose the style of memories you want to take away. Take your time in deciding, you'll want to remember your Sweet 16 for years to come. You especially don't want to forget the sweet moves your friends bust out!
4. Utilize the tools at your disposal.
Use Pinterest and Instagram to inspire your themes and details. When you're ready to take the next step in planning your Sweet 16, use Hurricane's Online Planner to choose every little element like timing, candle songs, introductions, special music requests and anything else you can think of! Give yourself plenty of time with this one. If you want your Sweet 16 to be just how you imagine it, you'll want plenty of time to work out the little details.
Hurricane Productions provides all-inclusive media and entertainment packages for Sweet 16s in New Jersey and the tri-state area. To learn more, please submit this short form or visit our pricing page.
In an industry where aesthetics are everything, new, high-tech wireless speakers stand out.
Introducing the new Sennheiser LSP 500 Pro series; totally wireless speakers for the cleanest set up ever. With a name like Sennheiser, you can expect the highest quality sound reproduction coupled with extreme ease-of-use. Hurricane Productions is proud to offer the use of this amazing technology to our clients.
With the wireless capabilities of the system, it's possible to seamlessly link up to 20 speakers together with one embedded master transmitter.
For us, it's an easy and lightning-fast setup; for you, it's a beautiful and truly aesthetic feel for your event.
The advantages don't stop there. These wireless speakers are battery-powered for up to six hours - making them the perfect choice for corporate and hotel conferences, Sweet 16s and weddings.
With a built-in wireless receiver the user can adjust equalizer settings and volume, play music from a USB drive, and integrate multiple wireless microphones into the mix; all with a single app on iPad or iPhone.
To match an elegant space like the Audi Club in the Hale Center at Rutgers University, it's essential to use equally aesthetically pleasing equipment. No wires means an extraordinarily clean look in the venue with virtually no footprint!
If you're interested in using this new state of the art system for your next event, contact us or call 888.393.7066.
Imagine being able to share and rewatch your wedding video as easily as you watch Netflix.
Think about your favorite streaming video service. Now imagine watching the best moments from your wedding with that level of ease. Enter our shareable wedding video service, Shareable Clips.
We're proud to introduce this new streaming video service to our wedding clients. Shareable Clips allows you to relive your wedding on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. With the use of a Smart TV, Chromecast, or Apple TV you can watch those clips right on the big screen.
Starting at just $1295, you can have your wedding day captured, edited in a timely manner and then streamed to any device.
No more large studio fees and waiting months to receive your wedding DVD.
You can download all of your videos straight from the web or stream them on your favorite device. It's really that simple. Prefer to keep your videos private? We've got you covered.
All video content is captured in high definition digital format. The beauty of our service is that your shareable wedding video remains at its highest possible quality; we don't sacrifice quality for value.
Newlyweds, Tara and Aaron discuss the things that mattered to them most on their wedding day. These seven essential wedding tips can help brides-to-be and grooms-to-be prioritize important aspects of their special day.
When it comes to your wedding, few things are more important than design. From your dress, colors, themes and lighting - design ties it all together. Use resources like The Knot and Wedding Wire to help you stylize your wedding.
Spend more time on having fun than worrying about every little detail. Your demeanor comes through in your photos and video. Carry yourself with style. Save the worrying for the professionals you hired to help celebrate your day. You'll be glad you did.
From moving into a new office right in the heart of downtown Red Bank to helping celebrate the wedding of one of the company's first Sweet 16 clients, 2011 can be defined as a year when the Hurricane Productions brand started to 'grow up' with its clients.
Did the turntable replace the DJ? Then why should the iPod pose any more of a threat? Both are tools in which DJs use to orchestrate the perfect party. Whether you are throwing a Sweet 16 party or celebrating your wedding day, a good DJ will know what to play and when to play it. The DJs at Hurricane Productions entertainment in New Jersey specialize in finding the perfect balance between music genres and tempos for all events including Weddings, Sweet 16s, and more.
There are countless situations where a good DJ needs to make important decisions throughout any event. Decisions about song choice, volume level, guest requests, equipment failure, timing issues, and so on. If apple releases and iPod that can do all that, we're all in trouble.
The simple truth is that iPods CAN NOT fulfill all the abilities that a seasoned DJ possesses. However, some still argue that the iPod poses a true threat to the mobile Disc Jockey. For the most part, these people do not know what they're talking about and won't understand until they really try running an entire party off of an iPod.
The major negatives in attempting to replace your DJ with an iPod are as follows:
iPod will not mix your music for you! That's right! You'll have to listen to every second of every song on your playlist. That is, unless you run behind your makeshift booth and abruptly end the song by pressing the next song button.
iPod will not make good choices! A simple click of the shuffle button has very little chance of running a successful music set. And what happens if you accidentally added "Loving You is Easy Cuz You're Beautiful" to your dance playlist? How embarrassing . . .
iPod has no concept of flow or party rhythm. DJs are born with a 6th sense for music flow and rhythm. I don't think iPods ship with that feature.
Volume, volume, volume. Did you know that all songs are not recorded at the same volume level? Your iPod may try to compensate for this variability with its Volume Check function but this function is less than reliable, ESPECIALLY if you have pirated / stolen music on your iPod. The dirty people that rip original CDs don't care about your Sweet 16 and that Flo Rida is now bumping at half the volume the previous song was.
Feedback anyone? Without someone manning audio levels you can run into some real challenges if you plan on hosting a speech or toast at your engagement. The only thing worse than feedback is a bad DJ and with using an iPod you risk the chance of having both occur.
VALUE! If you STILL feel like an iPod is a viable solution to your party's entertainment needs then it must be a money issue. Please take a step back and think about what you will need to rent in order to supply your iPod with the necessary sound reinforcement. High quality audio equipment can cost as much as $500-$700 per day.Most DJ companies will supply experienced individuals to run your party, as well as all the equipment, for under a thousand dollars. Take a look at Hurricane Productions Super Sweet 16 Package for an idea of what true DJ entertainment value is all about. This package includes 3 staff members, web photo package, lighting show, high quality sound system and tons more. Your iPod certainly can't do all that.
For now the iPod will remain nothing more than a music storage tool and private music player. Not a DJ replacement device.
Check out Hurricane Productions LLC, an affordable DJ entertainment company based out of New Jersey that focuses on continuely adding value to their already fantastic product.
Related Content from other excellent entertainment companies:
<a href="http://www.discjockey.org/iPod.html" title="iPod Wedding Guide"><B>iPod Wedding Guide</B></a> - Fourth Estate Audio shows you the pro's and con's of putting on an iPod wedding reception.<BR>
iPod Wedding Guide - Fourth Estate Audio (Chicago) shows you the pro's and con's of putting on an iPod wedding reception.
Planning a large scale party is not an easy process, especially if you've never planned one before. There are many different aspects of the engagement that must be taken care of such as which caterer to use, which venue to use, and of course choosing an entertainment company. Don't let all of this scare you though! Planning and executing successful party is a rewarding endeavor and the planning process can be made much easier with the help of qualified entertainment professionals. The professionals at Hurricane Productions DJ Entertainment, in New Jersey, hosts over one hundred events and parties per year and part of what makes them stand out for other DJ companies is dedication they have to their clients. Planning and entertaining such a large variety of events makes the DJ one of the most knowledgeable party-planning resources you have at your disposal.
So ask your DJ for help! It is their job to make your party run smoothly and they can offer great advice on ALL aspects of your engagement. Just remember one thing, not all DJs are created equally. The term "qualified entertainment professional" is an important one when picking a great DJ for your event. So how do you go about picking your qualified entertainment professionals? Well if you're in New Jersey, check out Hurricane Productions LLC for starters otherwise the following Q & A might be good to take a look at. Asking your DJ the right questions shows the dj company that you are serious and knowledgeable about the event you are planning while also weeding out the less-qualified entertainment options.
What to ask when hiring a DJ:
Is your DJ insured? This is one of the most important questions to ask your potential DJ. Most upscale venues require the entertainment company to provide them with an insurance certificate or proof of insurance. This a is a particularly volatile situation because many venues will wait to ask the DJ for proof of insurance until there is only one week left (or less) before the event. That's right, after you've signed all your contracts and sent out all your deposits your venue could easily deny your DJ access to your hall at the last minute so make sure you ask this question. Hurricane Productions is fully insured.
Does your entertainment company use clean music / music edited for
radio? Make sure you know where your DJ is getting his/her music from. There are many companies that offer legal, professional grade music (such as PromoOnly) that supply DJs with songs suitable for public radio and songs that are totally censored for unacceptable language. The last thing you want to do is offend your guests with dirty lyrics. Hurricane Productions LLC is 100% clean.
Who are the DJ's that show up to our event? If possible, request to meet with (or at least speak to) the ACTUAL DJs that will be at your specific event. Details will often get lost if there is a middle-man between you and your DJ such as a sales associate. Hurricane Productions will always put you in direct contact with the DJ(s) supplied for your event. For the majority of Hurricane parties, the person you deal with throughout the entire planning process IS your actual DJ.
How many entertainers are included in the service? It is highly recommended that you have at least two people at your event responsible for entertainment. This usually implies one person on the microphone motivating guests and organizing the flow of the party (master of ceremonies) and a person in charge of the music / sound system (disc jockey). Hurricane Productions sends a 2-man crew minimum to all events and will be as interactive as you want them to be.
Does your DJ use professional equipment, with multiple amplifiers and sub-woofer(s)?
There is a difference between the audio equipment you have at home and the equipment a professional DJ uses. Professional audio equipment is built to handle the abuse of taking the equipment on the road each weekend. Make sure your prospective choices use only professional equipment to ensure the music sounds as good as possible for your guests' enjoyment. There are a multitude of professional audio brands out there but a few of the popular high-quality companies include: QSC, JBL, Cerwin Vega!, Mackie. A strong sound system should include at least two satellite speakers (tripod speakers) and one sub woofer each having their own separate amplifier. The audio professionals at Hurricane Productions adjust their sound system differently for each hall and venue to ensure peak acoustic performance.
Can your DJ provide backup equipment and personal in case of emergency? Even professional equipment can fail on occasion, so it is important to know whether your DJ has spare equipment available to them, ON SITE. Any number of circumstances may arise between the time you book your DJ and the date of your event. It is important to know if your DJ company has a backup plan in case of a problem, no matter how unlikely it is to occur. Hurricane Productions brings backup equipment to each and every event and has NEVER experienced a problem they could not fix on site, EVER.
What happens if it rains for our outdoor party? Always coordinate a rain-date with your DJs so you don't find yourself without entertainment once the sun comes back out. Also, read your DJ contract thoroughly for any hidden fees. Some DJ companies will charge you extra for rain cancellations even after deciding on a suitable rain-date.
Can your DJ provide a written contract? It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. All terms of the agreement should be in writing to avoid any complications at a later date. Typical retainer (deposit) should be at least 10-20% and no more than 50% of the total contract rate.
What do I as the client need to physically provide the DJ with? It is important to make sure that you know what to provide. Most DJs request the following:
* One Sturdy Table for Equipment (6 Ft Preferred).
* Tablecloth / Table Skirt.
* Access to Two Electrical Outlets.
How long does it take you to set up? This time will vary greatly on the size of the package you choose but generally most packages should take between 1 and 3 hours to set up. Hurricane Productions offers four main packages to choose from. Hurricane's smallest package (simple package) can be set up in 45 minutes where as their largest package (Hurricane Productions package) can take closer to 3 hours to set up.
Is your DJ willing to discuss musical selections ahead of time, and is he or she willing to play requests, particularly if they are suitable for dancing? Professional DJs cannot possibly know everything there is to know about your specific musical preferences and entertainment needs without discussion. Your DJ should be willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions. They should make themselves available prior to your engagement (either by telephone or in person) to discuss music selections and other aspects of entertainment planning. Special requests should never be a problem and your DJ should be willing to play them for you. Hurricane Productions meets with all clients in-person and most of the time it will be with the actual DJ whom will be performing at that party. Click here to see Hurricane Productions' entire entertainment staff.
Do I really need a lighting package?
The need for a lighting package will depend on what your event is, and especially what time of day your event is taking place. If you event is during the day with a lot of windows a lighting package will make no difference. If this is not the case we suggest purchasing at least a simple lighting package. Many guests often do not like to be seen in full lighting while dancing. The DJ lighting will allow you to bring down the house lights while also motivating people to dance simply because the lighting enhances the entire party experience. Hurricane Productions uses professional intelligent DJ lighting which responds to the beat of the music.
Take your time when picking a DJ entertainment company to work with. Chances are you are planning a very special day so do it right. Remember, all DJs are not created equally; the more questions you ask the more confident you can be that you are making the right choice. It's up to you to make sure you get the entertainment quality you deserve.
Check out HurricaneProductions.com for more information about a great DJ entertainment company in Monmouth County New Jersey.
It has given me the ability to enjoy college life and work a second job that I love just as much as DJ entertainment. But most of all, its given the the opportunity to reach out to so many different people in so many different places.
We've been all over New Jersey. We've entertained in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New York, and Brooklyn. Our videos and music have been seen and heard all over this great country and even in the Netherlands. I've gotten phone calls from companies in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Phoenix and emails from people overseas. And all of this is from a company that worked its first party in a backyard in Morganville, NJ five years ago today.
I'll never forget that party - an eighth grade graduation for a friend's sister. Strato and I worked three days straight beforehand building a small music library and making sure my dad's speakers and amplifier set from the 1980s still had some juice in them. My dad drove us to the party (we were 16 years old) and we played music for four hours. Strato liked changing the CDs in our two five-disc changers and I fell in love with talking on the microphone. Strato became a DJ, I became an MC.
We didn't charge that family any money, but afterwards the mom came to us and handed me an envelope with a tip. I took half and Strato took half. Boom. A 50-50 partnership was born.
Last night Strato and I looked back on our entire collections of emails and reminisced about all the gigs and jobs we worked and all the different people in our lives.
On the entertainment side, we just keep growing. Everyday we make improvements to our product. Strato and I brainstorm and make things happen. Our talents are so diverse but at the same time, it is the secret ingredient that many have tried to copy and/or discover on their own.
We work long hours, but it is expected because we own and operate the company. But on top of that, we have to make it to your event energetic and fun. I've never complained about any event we've worked. Even one I showed up to with pink eye and a dent on my front bumper after a car accident!
In 2004 and 2005, we worked at a day camp in Manalapan and taught kids how to DJ on our amateur system. Every Friday the entire camp would gather in a large pavilion and listen to Strato play the Cha Cha Slide and watch me teach them new instructional dances. It was taxing work. Especially since another DJ company, a more experienced one, worked larger events for the camp. We were constantly criticized and put under a microscope.
Peers of ours would talk behind our backs and laugh every time we mentioned DJing. Even our own families doubted the company would survive once we entered college.
But here we are, five years later. And still working hard, still making a difference in people's lives. I don't know if many people are able to fathom how much of a responsibility it is on us to be accountable for family memories. Ten years from now, a Sweet 16 girls is going to look back on her video and remember how much fun she had. A bride and groom will always remember their first dance. All of that is captured in photos and video and Hurricane Productions is a huge part of making all of those memories happen in time.
Every party is unique to me and my passion for entertainment keeps each party fresh and new. I could work 52 weeks straight and entertain the same type of event, but it will always be different. Each week I'm greeted into a new family and make new personal connections.
It has not always been easy. We've gone through some hard times in our personal lives and in our family lives. Still, DJing and entertainment is always a release for me. I'll never forget having to wake up on a Friday morning to bury my grandmother in Brooklyn and then rush back to New Jersey to work a wedding. I was just 17-years old. I'll never forget going through a rough breakup with an ex-girlfriend and the next day having to work an engagement party for a young, happy couple. Sometimes we forget, myself included, that we are people too and we need the entertainment just as much as our clients.
One thing that really stuck out to me was the amount of charity and volunteer work we've done over the past five years. In year one and two, 2003 and 2004, we volunteered our small PA system to the Keansburg Library so that they could cut the red tape in front of their new building in style. And how did they celebrate? We played music and danced into the night.
We also entertained our high school's fundraisers for little or no money. We introduced varsity sports teams into the gymnasium for pep rallies, and provided music for two Walk-a-Thons.
Working for the Knights of Columbus in Sayreville in 2004-2006 always sticks out in my mind. We helped a man named Tom, a guy in his mid-forties in the National Guard, put together dances for his "Squires," or in layman's terms -- teenagers interested in the KOC. In early 2006 we found out Tom was deployed to Arizona and then to Iraq. We haven't heard from him since, but we hope the work we did for him touched the individuals he aimed to please.
This past year we donated our entire staff's weekend in the first week of April (and DJ companies know how valuable a Spring weekend can be) to Rutgers Dance Marathon. DM is a 32-hour event that raises money for the Embrace Kids Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ. Embrace Kids serves families with children that have blood and cancer disorders. This year, DM raised over $320,000. And thanks to contributions from our clients, we were able to make a $630.00 donation. Better yet, we're already signed on for next year.
Helping Dance Marathon and the Embrace Kids Foundation is a true sign of our company's maturity. We've gone from using a PA system for opening a public library to touching the lives of so many families in need in a critical time in their lives. Both are so important in their respective ways, but I get emotional thinking that we've grown so quickly to be able to staff a 32-hour, non-stop event.
Like my recently deceased grandfather said "Show me who your friends are, and I'll show you who you are."
The reason I mention that is because Hurricane Productions is not just Strato and myself. It is Ashley Best, Jon Brooks, Samantha Cella, DJ LaLima, Kyle Gries, Ed Romani, and Alex Rosenkranz. These are the people, no matter how big or small their roles are, that make this company work and work very well.
And even some of the people who came before them, like the Doctor of Style, Mike Mendez, have contributed to this company.
But most importantly, we have been able to grow these last five years because of the dedication our clients show us. We have so many repeat customers and return business. So many of our clients have become friends that constantly keep in contact with us. Their continued business is much appreciated. They trust us, and in return, we trust them tenfold.
We've labeled our company as "The business of building great entertainment." But I would argue, we're in the business of building great and everlasting relationships.
Thank you for the past five years and cheers to many more, Vincent Velasquez Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Master of Ceremonies