PDA

View Full Version : LA Dj here wondering what US cities DJs make most $



LADJ
07-23-2012, 02:21 PM
Hello. I'm a DJ in Los Angeles, with 15 years experience, struggling to make money. It's expensive to live here, the business is very slow and dancers don't tip right.

I needed some suggestions on what cities DJs make good money, where the tipping and business is good. Been thinking about Phoenix, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

LADJ
07-23-2012, 02:35 PM
Ya the current club I work at offers cheap dances and high payouts. But the whole business in this town is just plain bad.

LADJ
07-23-2012, 05:11 PM
"It's not my job to support the staff, they are well aware that they work at a minimum wage job". It sounds like you're a pretty shitty tipper. You probably work at Deja Vu. This is a tip oriented business. Nobody does more for a dancer than the DJ. In this business the going rate is 10%. Most California clubs are getting away from that and telling the girls they don't have to tip now out of fear of lawsuits. I'm sure you get angry when your on stage and customers aren't tipping. Yet I'm sure you tell the DJ "Hey tell them to tip". Yet at the end of the night you tip the DJ $5 after you made $500. That's what's happening right now. Dancers don't appreciate what people do for them and forget this biz is and has always been about tips not "minimum wage". You're the type of dancer that all DJs wish worked in Siberia.

cherryblossomsinspring
07-23-2012, 05:27 PM
Aren't DJ's salaried? Or paid a base hourly wage?? If you've been doing this for 15 years it may be time to look into getting connected with DJs that spin at venues, night clubs, parties. Also top 40 will not necessary be where the money is but perhaps the house,trance,dubstep, psy clubs.

It just may be time to branch out and even change up your music, start podcasts etc. Get your beats out there so you create a following. Many of the top djs you see now started in a hole in the wall joint and people came just to see them.

Top 40 can pretty much be found on any radio or any popular club but if you hit that other scene you may get a different following.

LADJ
07-23-2012, 05:33 PM
There's a big difference in being a strip club DJ and someone that's spins at a club or party. They're strip clubs out there where DJs and employees still are tipped well by the dancers. That's what I'm looking for.

cherryblossomsinspring
07-23-2012, 05:35 PM
"It's not my job to support the staff, they are well aware that they work at a minimum wage job". It sounds like you're a pretty shitty tipper. You probably work at Deja Vu. This is a tip oriented business. Nobody does more for a dancer than the DJ. In this business the going rate is 10%. Most California clubs are getting away from that and telling the girls they don't have to tip now out of fear of lawsuits. I'm sure you get angry when your on stage and customers aren't tipping. Yet I'm sure you tell the DJ "Hey tell them to tip". Yet at the end of the night you tip the DJ $5 after you made $500. That's what's happening right now. Dancers don't appreciate what people do for them and forget this biz is and has always been about tips not "minimum wage". You're the type of dancer that all DJs wish worked in Siberia.

If you've been a DJ for 15 years you already know that dancers were paid minimum wage at many clubs. They didn't have to pay to work either. Some clubs yes but not all clubs. Also their level of contact with the customers was minimal at best and now most clubs are full contact and extra galore. When dancers go back to being paid a base salary like you are and not having to pay to work like you don't have to then maybe you'll see higher tips. Seriously to make dancers feel bad is wrong. They can't give you what they aren't making and remember they pay to work you are paid to work. It's quit a big difference and really you can blame them. If you have issues with this then you really need to figure out a way to either enjoy your salary from the club, substitute your income with djing gigs outside the club environment or forgo and be grateful the dancers tip when they can. If they aren't making money then they can't give you any.

After she made $500 she may have to give the club $200 of that not to mention all the greedy hands out that want a piece eg house mom, all the managers on staff, bouncers, bar attendants.. Seriously you should already know this.

cherryblossomsinspring
07-23-2012, 05:39 PM
Maybe I should state this in a different way... If no one is spending in a club..
DJ walks out with his base pay
Dancer walks out -40 to -200.
^That's the point I'm trying to make.

Still perhaps some other posters can offer you the help you seek. I was just trying to explain why you've seen less over your 15 year club career.

LADJ
07-23-2012, 05:47 PM
At the clubs that I've worked at the only people they have to tip are the DJ and doorman. The girls are independent contractors. When I say $500 that's after paying out the club. Take home. I've worked at clubs where girls took care of people. Everyone was happy and making money. Of course I don't expect anything if the girl didn't make money when business is slow, etc.. Other than the dancer, the DJ is the most important thing in a strip club. We play the music, promote the club, encourage customers to tip the girls, get on them when they don't. Keep the songs short when girls are on the couch. Is it too much to ask to take care of your DJ? You think he can survive on minimum wage? Can you? But I don't expect you to see my side of things.

LADJ
07-23-2012, 05:55 PM
The DJs at your club must really like you. Try to love your DJ on your next shift. Put a smile on his face. Show him the money Jerry McGuire. Instead of the doorman you pay off to turn his head when your giving a dirty lap dance:)

cherryblossomsinspring
07-23-2012, 06:02 PM
At the clubs that I've worked at the only people they have to tip are the DJ and doorman. The girls are independent contractors. When I say $500 that's after paying out the club. Take home. I've worked at clubs where girls took care of people. Everyone was happy and making money. Of course I don't expect anything if the girl didn't make money when business is slow, etc.. Other than the dancer, the DJ is the most important thing in a strip club. We play the music, promote the club, encourage customers to tip the girls, get on them when they don't. Keep the songs short when girls are on the couch. Is it too much to ask to take care of your DJ? You think he can survive on minimum wage? Can you? But I don't expect you to see my side of things.^ Well maybe it's time to put down the vinyl and throw on some heels yourself. Bet you would make some nice tips in a gay male strip club... Seriously that could be a great idea.

I understand someone not being able to survive on minimum wage. That's why many in this industry do other things to supplement their income. Many dancers became cam models when clubs started paying less and expecting more. Some became escorts and others decided to do extras in the club.

You are correct they are independent contractors but how many companies require an independent contractor to pay to work? Most other business don't do that. They may take a percentage but you're usually not walking in handing money to someone before you even get started.

I suggest you start pushing the customers to tip girls on stage remember that's what customers used to do. If you can do that you may see better tips. Or call some of those guys out sitting at the tip rail not paying shit. This is how you make more money because you are helping them make more money. Remember they can't give you what they don't have.

You said someone walking out with $500 after tip out but maybe that dancer is used to walking out with $1500 after tip out so you are being tipped less accordingly. What about a shit night and she walks out with $20. Should she feel sorry for the grown man that gets salaried?

Still I wish you the best in your search for a club where the girls just drop dozens of bills on you after making $2000 after tip out a night.

Lol did you just act like you're more important than a bouncer?? Ha so give me money but fuck your safety?? And I was trying to be understanding and explain but you don't really care about anyone but yourself. Nevermind continue on with your ego.

LADJ
07-23-2012, 06:05 PM
Look, I don't know you, you don't me. You might be a good tipper, you might not. I dont know. I don't want to have control over anyone. The customers go see the girls and not to hear me blab over the mic. You are the show. If you think the doorman is more important and you tip him out more than that's fine too. But just appreciate what us DJs do.
I truly wish you luck, nothing personal.

LADJ
07-23-2012, 06:09 PM
Thanks for your opinion. I understand the business has changed and it's hard here in Cali for everyone in the business. I will keep you posted if and when I land a better gig. Cheers!

Djoser
07-23-2012, 06:53 PM
I've worked in clubs where the bouncers were fucking useless. And I've worked in clubs where they really protected the girls.

I've seen useless DJs in many clubs, including a few clubs where they obviously thought they were hot shit. And I've seen DJs who literally turned a club around and made it work so everyone made more money--with the same exact girls as they had with a previous DJ and the club was dead.

But then I've seen hundreds of useless dancers in my own and other clubs, including many who obviously thought they were hot shit--but all they were doing was chasing guys out the fucking door.

My policy is, if they don't make any money and come talk to me about it, they don't have to tip. But if they bank the next night, they need to make up for that--and will always do so if they have any fucking class. Of course we know class is often sorely lacking in this business, from female and male employees both. If I find out a dancer lied to me to get out of tipping, or gave me a shit tip when she banked, after I was nice to her a bunch of times when she made jackshit--she has to pay every time whether she made money or not.

If a dancer is a pain in my ass, demanding music that is pushing the rules, always demanding slow songs, lying to get out of stage or nowhere to be found when she is called and the shitty song she insisted on hearing is playing, or screams at me from stage because I am playing the same song she asked me to put in her folder last week, or she scares all the customers away from the tiprail every time--she pays every time.

None of us here know from a couple of posts how much a DJ or a dancer ought to be paid for the work they are doing. Pretending you know all about someone (DJ or dancer) when you really don't have a fucking clue is not only dead wrong, it's rude as hell.

LAChloe
07-23-2012, 06:56 PM
Considering BOTM's man is a DJ (at least I think he is)---I am assuming she tips really well. No DJ is going to date a bad tipper. I would assume that is a huge turnoff.

Djoser
07-23-2012, 07:12 PM
I have found that the cool dancers never seem to have a problem tipping--or if they have a bad night, they will at least come talk to me about it. Thank all the gods there have been a lot of them, in addition to all the worthless ones who were good only for another house fee for the owners, and no use to anyone else at all, customers or male staff alike.

Djoser
07-23-2012, 07:15 PM
The DJs at your club must really like you. Try to love your DJ on your next shift. Put a smile on his face. Show him the money Jerry McGuire. Instead of the doorman you pay off to turn his head when your giving a dirty lap dance:)

You don't know what kind of dances she is giving, and it's rude to assume you do if you have never worked with her.

Djoser
07-23-2012, 07:24 PM
It's not the city...it's the club and shifts you get. You can get dayshifts at a barely functioning club and make minimum wage, or you can get great shifts at good clubs with a high tipping culture from both the dancers and management (as in, the manager will also tip you out at the end of the night and you'll get a cut of CRs).

Good luck getting the latter though. Those jobs are obtained through seniority and connections.

Your attitude sounds pretty shitty though. There's no right way to tip...if dancers aren't tipping, then don't go out of your way for them. That's up to you. But just merely being in their presence gives them no reason to tip you more.

At the end of the day, when I make a decent amount of money, I tip according to how much people help me and how well they treat me. When I don't make much I don't tip at all unless someone went totally out of their way for me. It's not my job to support the staff, they are well aware that they work at a minimum wage job.

If you are really a talented dj, you should not be struggling to make money. 15 years of experience should have landed you a job at a much better SC/better shifts/better management + dancer relationships OR you would have realized that there is more money djing elsewhere. I know plenty of djs who make much more doing weddings/parties or regular night clubs (where they will often get a % of cover or drink sales on top of a base pay). If after 15 years you haven't done any of those things, I think the problem is with you, not the city.

He said nothing whatsoever to indicate his attitude was shitty. This is where the trouble started, and the entire thread went to hell very quickly after this post in particular.

There most certainly are right ways and wrong ways to tip. Case in point, the dipshit customers who hold out the fucking dollar as long as possible to try and get a look at some tits and ass, because they either never seen it, or they are just being pricks. Definitely the wrong way to tip.

And god knows I've seen plenty of nasty fat ugly dancers screaming at the guys from stage for not tipping them, who obviously needed to realize that "...merely being in their presence gives them no reason to tip."

Djoser
07-23-2012, 07:27 PM
Thanks for your opinion. I understand the business has changed and it's hard here in Cali for everyone in the business. I will keep you posted if and when I land a better gig. Cheers!

There is a Facebook group for DJs and other industry members, you might get some good advice there. Though there aren't too many DJs from LA there--but if you are looking to move it might be helpful.

Kellydancer
07-23-2012, 10:19 PM
Wow many of these posts are extremely rude. First off, a dancer should be making more than a DJ, end of story. A dancer has to put up with more crap than a DJ ever will, such as rude customers, guys wanting more, stripping and showing her body to strangers, etc. Not to mention she has to often tip worthless employees who may even be making more money than her. Is that fair? hell no. Sure, I've worked with great DJs but also worthless ones who didn't know music, or how to run the systems or were just there to pick up dancers. These guys don't deserve tips at all. I was a generous tipper if the DJ was fantastic (and as a perfectionist I expect him to be that way too). However I did not tip if he was poor and very minimal if he was mediocre at best. I think it's a disgrace when a DJ makes more than most of the dancers yet expects tips and yes I have seen this.

mediocrity
07-23-2012, 10:39 PM
Are you guys kidding me? WOW. A good DJ IS one of the best assets you can have in a club. I was "brought up" on the 10% rule and never had a problem with it. IT'S TEN PERCENT. If the DJ is a jerk to you, or doesn't do his job right, then fine. But for a guy who is helpful and good at his job, he deserves it.

Moreover- the talk of "knowing you're a minimum wage employee": When I worked as a VIP hostess, I made minimum wage. I once sold a girl $2500 in rooms in one night. Brought her the customers, set the room up, everything. You know what she tipped me? FIVE FUCKING BUCKS. Let's also take into account that I was also only given 20-25 hours a week... only brought in to work during the busy times to assist sales. Tipping is part of the position- just like waitressing. If you're too dense to take that into account then I truly feel sorry for you and hope someone doesn't treat you that way in the future.

In regards to DJ pay: SOME clubs pay them minimum wage. SOME clubs give them a shift pay. Guess what shift pay was at a very popular club in NOLA on Bourbon Street? $40 a night. Often, those clubs are open until 5am. So, the night DJ position worked from 7pm to 5am, or a 10 hour shift, or $4 an hour, which is BELOW the state minimum wage. However, this works in the same way, again that waitstaff does. Waitstaff in Louisiana make $2.25 per hour- because they are tipped employees. The same goes for DJ positions.

Truthfully, in the end, if your night is really and truly ruined by a $20-$50 tip to the DJ then maybe you should reconsider your current occupation.

The last thing I'll mention is this little gem: "It's not the city...it's the club and shifts you get. You can get dayshifts at a barely functioning club and make minimum wage, or you can get great shifts at good clubs with a high tipping culture from both the dancers and management (as in, the manager will also tip you out at the end of the night and you'll get a cut of CRs). "

How do you know? Do you work in Los Angeles? No. Have you ever worked in Los Angeles? No. Did you read what Desu, who has worked in Los Angeles for YEARS, had to say on the subject? No. Time to stop acting like you're the complete authority on all things strip club.

tuesdaymarie
07-23-2012, 11:15 PM
In regards to the original question, the DJs in Houston I've met all seemed to be doing well enough. Night shifts are from 7PM-2AM, not the crazy up-all-night 5AM stuff, as far as I've seen. There are a lot of clubs and I saw two open ads for DJs for new clubs this month, though I imagine most of the jobs aren't posted. The catch is that I've only ever met night shift DJs at pretty popular clubs, so I couldn't tell you what you might see in a worst case scenario. I think most of the DJs at the clubs I was at were doing well because the girls all had to tip $20 to stay off stage rotation. Some clubs required $20 for the whole night, others $20 for each time you would be up. One of my managers even made me tip my DJ when I was leaving early, though he had to half that tip with the top manager on the floor that night. There are generally too many girls in most clubs, which is shit for us but theoretically good for you. Like I said though... I've no clue how many days or what kind of shifts you'd get. Extras are pretty rampant and some of the girls/customers/club workers here are ghetto as shit... But from what I gather about LA clubs, I guess you're used to not so great environments.

You can also live for cheap in Houston, which is good. Rent has a wide range. You could live somewhere really nice for $1600+, or somewhere decent for ~$1000. If you live on the outskirts or in the older areas of Montrose, you could get somewhere for less than $1000. Weather and traffic suck though.

Djoser
07-24-2012, 01:40 AM
Wow many of these posts are extremely rude. First off, a dancer should be making more than a DJ, end of story. A dancer has to put up with more crap than a DJ ever will, such as rude customers, guys wanting more, stripping and showing her body to strangers, etc. Not to mention she has to often tip worthless employees who may even be making more money than her. Is that fair? hell no. Sure, I've worked with great DJs but also worthless ones who didn't know music, or how to run the systems or were just there to pick up dancers. These guys don't deserve tips at all. I was a generous tipper if the DJ was fantastic (and as a perfectionist I expect him to be that way too). However I did not tip if he was poor and very minimal if he was mediocre at best. I think it's a disgrace when a DJ makes more than most of the dancers yet expects tips and yes I have seen this.

Nope, not the end of the story.

With all due respect (and I do respect you a lot), the notion that no DJ should ever make more than any dancers is unadulterated hogwash. Sure some DJs suck, but a whole hell of a lot of dancers do as well.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been forced to deal with fat, ugly, nasty, drunken, drug-addled bitches, screaming at me from stage for playing music they told me they loved like Life Itself a few days earlier. Lying to get out of stage. Simply not showing up for stage. Dancing like spastic apes onstage because they are so fucked up. Demanding music I can get fired instantly for playing if the owner walks in, then running to the fucking owner crying and screaming because I 'won't play her music', and trying to get me fired. Driving customers away from the tiprail every single time they go up, the moment they set foot on the stage. Screaming at the rest of the customers minding their own business, sitting at the bar for not tipping them. Spilling their drinks on the equipment. On and on, every single night.

We all know there are DJs who are just as bad, and sure they don't deserve to be tipped--though none I know of can get away with just not playing music because they are so drunk they can't physically manage it, or felt like taking a break and didn't tell anyone they would be gone for half an hour. :D

It's really fucking hard to try and run a show when you have to deal with 30-70% of the dancers pulling this shit on your rotation. And I'm supposed to agree that the kind of women who run customers out the door and ruin the reputation of the club when the customers tell their friends there's a bunch of dogs there, are always supposed to make more than I am, no matter how hard I work?

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

So don't tell me it's always way worse for any dancer, in any club, in any city, than it is for the DJ. Because that is a crock. I have worked every kind of job imaginable, and none of them exhausted me like working in some of these clubs.

Djoser
07-24-2012, 01:53 AM
Anyway, all this discussion of who has it worse and whether a DJ should never make more than a dancer is beside the point. The DJ wants to know where else to go to try to make a decent living.

Maybe I will delete my own post above tomorrow, but for now I am letting it stand.

Many thanks to Mediocrity for clarifying things, DesuvsDeath for her observations about LA clubs, and Tuesdaymarie for giving the OP a good suggestion as to where else to go.

Kellydancer
07-24-2012, 11:38 AM
I don't disagree that those dancers are a lot of problems, but I don't feel they should be there at all. I'm from the old school where the clubs (even the dives)hired dancers who were attractive and great figures. I also have worked with DJs who were excellent and those should be making a lot because they are professionals. However, speaking from my personal experience I always had a problem when terrible DJs made more than me, even though I was hustling. Speaking from that point I always had to deal with a lot as all dancers do, and sometimes the payoff wasn't worth it. Maybe that sounds biased, because I was almost always one of the top moneymakers and I managed to make money when the club was dead.

I suspect that if clubs tightened requirements a lot of this would not be an issue. Make sure the DJs are professional and there because it's a job, and keep the drug addicted fat ugly extra ridden dancers out and I think things would be different.

I know I sound at times like I dislike DJs and that isn't true. Rather I respect great DJs (and many have been friends through the years)but don't feel inferior ones should be at the clubs. Same thing with dancers and I'm firmly of the belief that only attractive women should be dancing.

Djoser
07-24-2012, 04:57 PM
I knew we were basically in agreement, it's all good Kellydancer. :)

I wish there wasn't this problem with professionalism amongst so many male and female staff alike these days. Just something we have to deal with I guess...

Kellydancer
07-24-2012, 08:01 PM
Agreed. I will admit I often forget that things are different now than before and that DJs have more of the inferior dancers that never would have danced when I did. I was always one of those dancers who admired and respected great DJs and I tipped well, but then again they were helping me make money too.