The Uranium Man - Bio
How I Got Started
As I've reflected on my life, I find this curious fact of my early childhood to be the genesis of my foray into the world of mobile DJing. My brother took lessons in jazz and ballet, starting when I was about six or seven.
I would go to my brother's recitals, which were held in a very large and fancy school auditorium. They lasted several hours, which is a long time for a small boy. In the beginning, I was too young to appreciate the fact that dozens of healthy young women were cavorting across the stage in tight-fitting outfits. There were two things I did pick up on, though.
The first and very obvious one was the memorable music. I think this early exposure shaped my ability to pick up on the beat of nearly any song I've come across. It certainly broadened my musical tastes, as I was exposed to songs I never would have come in contact with otherwise. I wish some of the dancing had rubbed off, too.
The second thing I noticed were these curious projectors on either side of the auditorium. They were simple spotlights, but they had massive pinwheels on the front, with different colored gels that would rotate in slow, stately procession in front of the beams, changing their color. These fascinated me. They led to my long-standing love affair with lighting effects.
Over the years I picked up on other things: in additional to the execellent choreography and music, some numbers had fantastic lighting effect coordination. One of the most memorable dances I can recall was a modern ballet set to Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited". It was greatly enhanced by fog and the use of a god-light (an overhead spot) on a single dancer during the piano riff near the end when the rest of the lights were blacked out. The lights subsequently restored when the strings and guitars picked back up, revealing the rest of the dancers, who had positioned themselves around the stage while it was dark.
My first real choice of career was in graphic design, as I seemed to have a knack for it. The recitals left me with a desire to acquire lighting FX. As my fascination with them grew, I began asking for strange things. For an eighth grade graduation present, my parents got me a 16" mirrored ball. Over the next few years, I ended up collecting a pinspot, an old-school mushroom-style projector, a lava lamp and a police-style beacon. With my growing collection of lights, I provided lighting for several events at my church.
I got LED par cans. I got a dual moonflower effect. I got a pinspot with a rotating color wheel (a much smaller version of the ones I remembered from the dance recitals). I got a DMX console and an intelligent DMX scanner. All this for a private collection, with which I would activate and play music for no one but myself.
Then one of my close friends got engaged, and he decided I was going to DJ his wedding reception, whether I liked it or not. I was flattered, but I tried to convince him I wasn't the ideal choice as I did not have a pro audio setup. Nor had the thought ever crossed my mind that I could be successful as a DJ.
Logic and reality were of no avail on my friend: I had fancy lights, thus I had to be a DJ. He was a man of little guile, straightforward and honest. I knew he had no ulterior motives. So I thought to myself, 'why not?'. I stopped resisting the idea and embraced it. I searched on-line to find the simpliest, stupidiest to use setup I could find. I ended up settling on a Bose L1 PA setup, since it would fit in my car and had built-in amps. The day before I was going to pick one up, a big box music store's magazine came in mail, and lo and behold, the L1 was on sale for $200 off. I came to find out this was rather unprecedented, as Bose eq is usually exempt from this particular store's sales. It was like a sign from God.
I bought a laptop. I bought some software. I bought my first L1, some cables and a microphone. And I haven't looked back.