Tom and Diane Gollnick are a DJ team and own Night Dancin’ DJ, a service company based in Wisconsin specializing in weddings, proms, outdoor events and more.
1. How and when did you get started as a DJ? What types of events do you do?
I started my DJ business in 1962 originally doing school and community dances. Over the past 50 years we have grown into a popular DJ service for upscale weddings and corporate parties and events. We specialize in weddings and travel throughout the upper Midwest. My wife Diane and I are a DJ team and we work together on all of our gigs. I call Diane my “roadie,” but she is actually more involved in the public relations part of the business.
2. Is this a full-time job or something you do on the side? If it’s a side job, please let us know what you do full time.
We are fully dedicated to our business, but we also do sound system consulting, commercial installations and some rentals.
3. What fixtures are included in your setup? What are you looking to add?
We use 24 CHAUVET® PAR 56 cans and the appropriate colored gels. We prefer the warm look of these front-facing lights as opposed to the LED lighting because the incandescent fixtures are more “viewer-friendly” when looking directly into them. Our typical sound and light show requires 120 Amps of AC power. However, we use 10 SlimPAR 64 fixtures for wall washes and uplighting. These lights are by far the finest fixtures for this purpose. We enclosed all the SlimPAR 64 lights in decorative planter-style housings, so cords and connections are concealed in attractive enclosures matching the upscale venues. The SlimPAR 64 fixtures are controlled by CHAUVET® wireless D-Fi PLUS transmitter/receiver. The transmitter is laced at our control dimmer cabinet. We also use four COLORtube 3.0 EQ linear lights, which we have installed in custom-made walnut enclosures, and have them running along the length of our tables. These are programmed for various static and multicolored effects. Our moving heads inventory includes a CHAUVET® Legend 250RX – the fixture that won’t die! – and we also use a Vue 3.1 as top and center and a Scorpion Storm FX. All fixtures are controlled by DMX. We have two CHAUVET® controllers: an Obey 3 and an Obey 70. None of the fixtures run on automatic; they are controlled by over 150 DMX programs that I created and tied into the music mixer. On my Christmas wish list is to add four or six Q-Beam 260 LED fixtures.
4. What is your favorite fixture and why?
By far, the finest fixture we ever purchased is the Scorpion Storm FX. This laser fills the entire dance floor, the walls, ceiling and floor combined!
5. Best advice you can give someone just getting started in the DJ industry?
My advice to any startup DJ is to know your music and to make sound and lighting a top priority. Do not downsize to make it easier to set up and take down. Upscale and become a really big show. Get a bigger trailer, and keep buying more equipment – your audience will love it.
6. What are your top three most requested songs?
I have been a DJ for almost 50 years, so it is hard to pick a top three most requested songs. But my top three requested artists are Elvis, the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson.