Archive for award-winning Dallas DJ

Weird Ethnic Traditions, Part 1

Posted in Weddings!, Weird Things at Parties with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by djscottshirley

One response to “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?” This was the big question at the Southwest Entertainer’s Conference a few years ago.

I did a Peruvian wedding, and saw for the first time an Afro-Peruvian dance they call “the Alcatraz.” The bride had a napkin tucked into the sash of her gown, such that it resembled a tail. As she danced, a man followed behind her with a lighted candle, trying to light the napkin on fire. The bride’s goal was to shake her booty so fast that he couldn’t light her fire.

Here is a comical attempt at the Alcatraz I found on YouTube, using a Bic lighter.

I wonder if the classic Doors song “Light My Fire” was inspired by a Peruvian wedding?

Thirty-five years of the Party Machine has taught me to never assume I have seen everything! Somewhere, there is always something else that’s just plain weird.

35 Things Learned in 35 Years: #1

Posted in 35 Things Learned in 35 Years with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by djscottshirley

1) Always have a “Plan B”

And Plan C and Plan D. Murphy’s Law can be a real threat. Cars will break down, people will get sick, equipment will malfunction. It is foolish to operate with the attitude that nothing will ever go wrong. By having a contingency plan in place, when things go wrong, Plan B can be implemented quickly, before anyone even notices.

We owe our perfect service record to the Backup Plan!

By having contingency plans for hardware, software, transportation, staffing and music, Party Machine Celebrations has maintained a perfect record: ALL events start on time, and NO event has ever been delayed by equipment malfunction.

Equal Time for Okies

Posted in College Traditions, Let them eat cake!, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by djscottshirley

Everyone’s getting into the act!

It’s safe to say there has been a Groom’s Cake for every major university.

Here is an entry for all you Oklahoma fans:

Sooners want in on the college cake trend too!

The DJ’s Daughter

Posted in Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by djscottshirley

A recent FaceBook post from our friends at the Adolphus Hotel brought back a great memory.

As Thanksgiving approached 21 years ago, I was the DJ for a wedding at the Adolphus, the day after my first daughter Lauren was born. I hated leaving her and Mom behind, but Party Machine duty called.

The couple’s first dance song was “The Bluest Eyes in Texas.” I could not hold back tears, since I had just seen the bluest eyes in Texas when I met my firstborn child! Only a father could understand that feeling.

This summer The Party Machine did a large wedding with a full crew at the Adolphus, and my daughter, by then a 20-year-old Film student at TCU, worked with me as a camera operator and video editor.

The Party Machine crew at the Adolphus. Lauren is the girl with the bluest eyes in Texas.

Tomorrow Lauren turns 21 – “all growed up,” and the bluest eyes in Texas are haunting me tonight! We have much to be thankful for.

Froggy Went A-Courtin’

Posted in College Traditions, Let them eat cake!, Party Machine Sports, Weddings!, Weird Things at Parties with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2010 by djscottshirley

When I was asked to MC for the wedding reception of Robyn Hughes to Anthony Butorac, past President of the “HyperFrogs” fan club at Texas Christian University, I knew to expect a fun event. After setting the date and contracting with the Party Machine and their other vendors, Robyn and Anthony were disappointed to learn that their beloved Horned Frogs would be playing football on their wedding day! In fact, kickoff was scheduled for the same time their ceremony was to begin.

The current HyperFrogs leader was among the guests, and was not pleased about missing the game for a wedding. But it was too late to make changes, and this group was not about to punt! To provide some perspective for those unfamiliar with Horned Frog football, TCU had just won a conference championship after the best season since the 1930s last year, so to say that enthusiasm was running high would be an understatement.

Anthony's Groom's Cake featured the most unique mascot in college sports, the TCU Horned Frog.

Their wedding party was comprised of current TCU students and alumni, and so was the guest list. So I tracked the game online and announced real-time scores throughout the evening, starting as photos were being taken of the wedding party, when we learned that TCU was winning, 7-7. During photos the guests enjoyed cocktails on the new terrace of the beautifully remodeled Belltower Chapel in Fort Worth. Using our exclusive Party Machine wireless speaker systems, we were able to “beam” Robyn’s selection of elegant classical music outside during cocktail hour.

TCU students love beer almost as much as Frog football, so each guest table was named after a unique Beer label. Tables were released to pass through the buffet line by their brand of beer. And the guest favors were folding beer can Koozies with Robyn and Anthony’s special emblem, that matched their Gobo design on the floor:

Anthony and Robyn's monogram was projected in the center of the dance floor.

We were so confidant in TCU’s victory that night, we even scheduled a victory cheer on the written Party Machine event timeline for their reception! The University claims to have the oldest cheer in continuous use in all of college football, which the HyperFrogs, alumni, and current students demonstrated, followed by their Alma Mater:

The script was conveniently written on the back of the beer-label table tents, so that all the guests could read along:

Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo!
Lickety, lickety, zoo, zoo!
Who wah, Wha Who!
Give ’em hell, TCU!

They don’t write ’em like that anymore.

Party Machine Wins Bride’s Choice Award Again!

Posted in Professionalism, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by djscottshirley

Fort Worth, Texas – January 19, 2010 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, just announced Party Machine Entertainment has been selected to receive the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™ for DJ Entertainment, Ceremony Music, and Videography!

The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ recognizes and celebrates excellence in quality and service within the wedding industry, as determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 500,000 newlyweds.

“This award is a special honor, because it is based on good reviews from past clients,” says Party Machine owner and Entertainment Director Scott Shirley. “This award represents lots of happy customers!”

Party Machine Entertainment is among the top five percent of all vendors in the WeddingWire community, which includes over 100,000 wedding professionals across the US and Canada. Awards were given to winners across 19 different service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers.

“We are excited to recognize and honor the success of the top wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program has given us the unique opportunity to highlight the best wedding professionals in each region as reviewed by brides and grooms who have utilized their services in the past year.”

We are happy to announce that Party Machine Entertainment is among the very best Wedding DJ/MC Services within the WeddingWire Network, which includes WeddingWire and Martha Stewart Weddings. We would like to thank our past newlyweds for nominating us for the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™.

This makes our third consecutive year for this award.

Let Your True Colors Show!

Posted in Cool Lighting, DJ Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by djscottshirley

Some of my favorite modern technology has to be LED lighting, which makes it easy to make lights shine in any color you wish. It is simple to totally transform the look of any room, or even outdoor spaces.

We can “Light The Night” in your favorite color, your school colors, or your wedding colors.

So it was no problem at all when Tara Eckelkamp handed me a ribbon, and asked me to light her ballroom the same color as the ribbon at her wedding to Jeff Hackney.

The ribbon could best be described as a reddish maroon color, rather like a red wine, only a bit redder. (I have always believed that naming paint colors would be the ultimate lazy man’s job.)

The individual LEDs in modern stage lights are red, blue or green, and they combine, exactly the way your color TV screen does, to render any of 16 million different colors.

The intensity of RBG can be adjusted to blend colors, using either a simple fader control, or with sophisticated computer software. Tara’s mother, Sherry dashed into the ballroom to approve the color match. With a single click, it was perfect – just like the ribbon!

Tara Hackney dances with dad Hugo Eckelkamp with the room bathed in lights in her Bridal Color. NOTE: Camera flash makes the colors appear lighter.

The “old school” method was to place a colored gel on a light. But stage lights get hot, and gels can burn and colors fade, not to mention that the gel must be changed to alter the light’s color. And to have lots of colors available meant maintaining a huge inventory of gels.

Plus the old incandescent lights got hot enough to cook on, and consumed lots of power. A separate electrical circuit was required for every 3 or 4 stage lights. This meant extra power supplies (and extra charges) at many venues, while making such lighting impractical or even impossible at others.

A modern LED Par light can generate the same output on 15 watts that required 400 watts on the old school lights. This eliminates complexity, cost, and saves electricity. We even have portable Party Machine power supplies and control receivers, making them wireless!

But it also opens the door to a whole new realm of creativity in decorating with light…and at a lower cost. Because they don’t get hot, they can even be used on ice sculpture!

The possibilities are exciting.

I have seen the light!

Give me a call at 817-294-9539 to discuss decorating with light.