Mary wakes up around 4:00PM. Yes, that's PM. Last night's event went late, and she's an eight-hour-a-night sorta girl. Not the most convenient physiological requirement for an aspiring DJ, but hey, she works with what she's got.
First things first; she flicks on her phone. One missed call plus voicemail from her Uncle Larry. He sounds a little worried. "Hey, darlin', we're really in a pickle over here. You know your cousin is getting married next weekend and I know it's a huge thing to ask, but we'll pay and..."
She hears the word "pay" and hits delete—the rest of the details don't much matter. The favor is obvious. He needs a real DJ, not just someone's friend of a friend who turned out to have some scary tattoos and kept talking about "bringing down da house."
Mary calls him back and agrees enthusiastically, eager make some money, if not exactly enthusiastic about by the work itself. Larry says "thank you" about 700 times (give or take thirty), then agrees to send over the bride's song list. That should make things easier.
The email hits one minute later. It's a tropical theme—eh, okay—but things could be worse. She doesn't waste any time picking up the tracks she doesn't have from the list: some rock, R&B, reggae, hip hop (not too hip or too hop), soul, blues, funk, and disco.
She tags different tracks for different parts of the wedding and reception: cocktail hour, dinner music, best man's toast, bouquet toss, then two or three hours of dancing. The whole thing takes her about two hours.
An alarm rings on her phone. It's time for her shift at the local college station, WBPM. Lately, she's been running a series of shows dedicated to the evolution of music. This week's plan is to illustrate how waltz music is related to dubstep. She's going to make up about 80% of it. It's not as good as, say, 0%, but it's a whole lot better than 100%.
She heads to the station, does her thing, and gets out of there just in time to do a soundcheck at Sudz 'n' Budz, the hipster brewhouse downtown. Usually, the best part about being an opener is getting home before midnight, but tonight her act is followed by DJ SheBert, one of the best in the biz. She'd be an idiot not to stay and learn, and she knows it.
The first thing Mary notices is SheBert's ability to read a crowd. When the people begin to wander, she plays a recognizable track and then moves on with some creative fades, vocal samples, and a few amazingly dramatic drops for good measure. It's pure, unadulterated art.
As she leaves, she considers that learning from SheBert's performance was probably more valuable then the $40 she was paid to headline.
She gets home around 4:00AM and washes down a couple of Hot Pockets with a bottle of Gatorade. The crash hits about eight minutes later.
Mary dreams of mixing in Brazil, raised high above a raving crowd in a ten-foot cockpit. Lights blink, and her glowing computer monitor twinkles at the first sounds of her music. She slowly brings up the volume and increases the beats.
The crowd unconsciously starts moving to the rhythm. Conversations die. Heads begin to bob, and as people close their eyes...an alarm goes off. It's noon. Uncle Larry's gig is in three hours. She packs her gear, and heads out the door for another day's work.