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Stu Reviews: Mobile Beat 2015 w/ Video

Update: A preview site for the 2016 Mobile Beat is under construction HERE.   Dates are March 14-17, 2016 at the Tropicana.


Another Update: Read Stu’s complete show recap at ProMobileDJ

If I had to summarize this year’s Mobile Beat show in one word, it would have to be “audacious.” This was readily apparent when walking into the main conference room the very first day.

Audacious: a : intrepidly daring : adventurous b : recklessly bold : rash 2: contemptuous of law, religion, or decorum : insolent 3: marked by originality and verve ​

With memories of my first, and so far only, presentation some years ago, in a bare hall on a naked stage with a single podium and a projection screen like the one my parents showed Super 8 movies on, the massive lighting design with state-of-the-art Chauvet fixtures and EV PA made even the bonus “early bird” seminars full-blown productions.

Even more importantly, the content was true “meat and potatoes,” getting right to business without the fluff. Usually there are a succession of various speakers all leading up to one big “headliner,” but from where I sat, nearly every one of the presenters would’ve been well worth the price of admission.

For me, as I undergo a complete transformation of my business, it seemed as if the organizers had specifically targeted my needs! And no, I’m not being facetious or playing the “loyal team player” part. I am saying in all seriousness that this was the most productive, important expo in my career.

Truly. This is not to say that there weren’t any actual headliners! In fact, there were two. Once again, Mark Ferrell astounded, as well as generating both controversy and the “feel good moment” of the conference with his “Matrix” themed call for industry excellence. If that wasn’t enough, the next day MBLV attendees were treated to an appearance by Penn Jillette, of “Penn & Teller” fame.

He delivered fascinating insights into the nature of what constitutes entertainment and how to achieve success from very humble beginnings. The presentation was delivered in an interview format by his long-time colleague, Carr Haggerman, who had delivered an impressive show of his own the previous day. The cross-pollination between different areas of entertainment gave DJs a perspective they would never have gotten anywhere else.

Lastly there were the people! I got to meet attendees from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, and some 42 of our 50 states! I may have taken home as much valuable information from them as I did the presenters! And to me, this is the true strength of MBLV; that combination of experts, experience and networking that presents a virtual buffet of life-sustaining nutrition for any DJ and their business.

Many thanks to my MB colleagues, Ryan Burger and Dan Walsh for having me there, and my intrepid expo partner, Sue Melone, for getting me into the most fascinating conversations in any room. I can’t wait to see what happens next year! – Stu

About the author

Stu Chisholm

Stu Chisholm had been collecting music since he was about eight years old and began his DJ career in 1979, when laid off from GM. A collision of events - a recession, jobs being scarce, and a friend’s wedding band breaking up the night before his reception - led Stu to the realization that being a DJ could be a real career option. Stu also had the benefit of being well known as a part of a community housing co-op, whose residents could be counted on to keep him supplied with a steady stream of weddings and other events, as well as coming out to various bar and club nights that Stu and then partner, Gary Merkel, would host. Without benefit of the internet or trade publications, Stu built his business by talking with technically inclined friends, scoping out events at area banquet halls (dominated by bands at the time) and a big dose of trial-and-error. Stu also attended the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts and, when a funding snafu derailed those classes, moved over to the local Macomb Community College to study the DJ arts with famous Michigan broadcaster, Bill Henning. Stu also interned at Detroit album rock powerhouse, WRIF. Not content with having a full weekend calendar, Stu looked to the local nightclub scene to fill up his remaining nights. Capitalizing on his self-promoted bar night history, he landed his first true club gig at CJ Barrymore’s in 1984. It was there he learned and improved on the art of beat mixing, and working with video. At the same time, Stu occupied his daytime hours by working at a local roller rink and at the Macomb County, Michigan AM daytimer, WBRB. Originally hired as air staff, when the station re-launch was delayed by technical problems, Stu worked with the engineering team to help bring the station back online and meet FCC specifications. He cut his first commercials there, which led to some part-time voiceover work. For the next few years, Stu’s nightclub experience included some of the Detroit area’s best known venues, including New York New York, The Ritz, Lipstick’s, The Landsdowne (later known as the Baja Beach Club), and the legendary Wooly Bully’s. In 2005, after a particularly well-received Letter to the Editor, Stu was invited to join the writing staff of Mobile Beat Magazine as a part-time contributor. He soon had amassed a sizeable body of work, enough so that his editor proposed he collect them together into a book form, as some of the other writers had done. Instead, Stu proposed a book of his own; an original volume that would mirror his own experience as a DJ, encompassing the opportunities available beyond wedding receptions. That book became “The Complete Disc Jockey: A Comprehensive Manual for the Professional DJ.” Released in late 2008, it became the basis of Stu’s first major appearance as a speaker at Mobile Beat Las Vegas and his seminar, “Supplement Your DJ Income… WITH DJ INCOME!” From there, Stu was asked to present on the DJ Cruise and at the Canadian Disc Jockey show. Today, Stu continues to operate his mobile company, Stu & His Crew, LLC, and has a regular column in Mobile Beat. Stu also offers classes to mobile entertainers on security issues in the Detroit, Michigan area.


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