9 Simple tips to handle being the center of attention

How to handle being the center of attention

Don’t you just love being the center of attention? The nervous smile, sweaty palms, the feel of every eye on you? While some people thrive on the influx of attention, others want to curl up in a corner. Well, the truth is that at some point in your life, you will be the center of attention. When you are the one being celebrated, it is very hard to escape the attention. What do you do?

Rule #1 Breathe. Take a deep breath and exhale evenly. You’ve got this!

Rule #2 Smile. Smiling will help you feel better and put everyone around you at ease. You will feel more comfortable being the center of attention.

Rule #3 Own the moment. This is your day, own it. People who love and care about you are here to celebrate with you.

Rule #4 Speak from the heart. There is no need to prepare a long speech. A few words heartfelt words is all that is needed to show your appreciation.

Rule #5 Include everyone. After your heartfelt speech, let everyone know to just have fun. This will set the tone for your party.

Rule #6 Keep conversation light and upbeat. When your family and friends talk with you, laugh and joke with them.

Rule #7 Personally introduce your spouse. Take your spouse to each table and introduce them. Having someone by your side can help with the feeling of awkwardness.

Rule #8 Reflect your personality. If you have a sense of humor, show it. Allow your guests to join in the fun.

Rule #9 Do not be afraid to ask for help. It can be overwhelming. There is no shame in asking your best friends for a little help. They will be happy to come to the rescue!

M & T Event Entertainment

Why do I love what I do?

Why do I love what I do?

Why do I love what I do? I get the unique chance to develop relationships with families looking to celebrate and discover emotional connections that create unforgettable moments. Moments that take your breath away and create an emotional bond with your guests. My involvement in your event is much more than just playing music.

I love:
The sentiment of sharing your love story
The moment where a father is overcome while dancing with his daughter
The excitement of a Grand Entrance
Honoring a soldier who has returned home to their family
Helping family members remember those who have passed on
The smile on the couple’s face as I share why they choose a certain song for their first dance
The celebration of a birthday
Honoring those who willingly sacrifice their lives to protect and serve our community
Celebrating with a couple who have been together for 50 years
Giving one more chance for a husband to dance with his wife who has dementia

Emotions connect us all in some way. They play a big part in our lives and we should be thankful that we get to express them through laughter, tears, expressions of joy, wonder, sentiment, and love.

M & T Event Entertainment


How much do you charge?

How much do you charge?

Recently, I was asked how much I charge for a Sweet 16 party. Below is my response.


Thank you for the opportunity to answer this important question.

Martha Stewart is quoted as saying” The DJ is responsible for 80% of an event’s success.” That success depends on how much planning is involved. Some Sweet 16’s are just a party and others are like a small wedding. What kind of party does your child want? How important is peace of mind to you?

My DJ prices range from $850 to several thousand. First, I factor in equipment cost. I find out what your expectations are and what is important to you. Together, we explore everything that interests your daughter and look for ways to personalize her event. It can be simple or extravagant, the choice is completely yours.

Next, is the experience. I have performed at hundreds of events. My purpose is to get to know about your personality, style, likes, and dislikes. I want this event to be successful just as much as you do.

How well does your entertainer listen?

It all comes down to TRUST. Investigate each prospect, find out what experience they sell. Make sure it all checks out. Ask for references, read reviews. Have an actual meeting with them and see if it all matches up. What are they using to plan your event? Is everything contained in an Itinerary or Party Planner? Are they actually listening to your wants and needs? Are they asking questions and taking notes? How do they answer you? Are they offering you helpful advice or just bragging about how good they are? It says volumes about their professionalism.

A few key things they SHOULD HAVE:
A website and Facebook account with content that pertains to the services that you are looking for. No drama or political opinions.
A professional e-mail address. No G-mail account.
A contract. It is for your protection as well.
Insurance. Again, it protects you as well.
Legal music. The music is edited with better sound compression.
Safety cables for lighting to protect against fixtures falling off.

NOTE: If anyone tries to hang any equipment above your head( trusses, flying speakers, lighting), they must have RIGGER’S INSURANCE. This is quite different than regular DJ insurance. It is very expensive and hard to get. Hanging fixtures without it is illegal. If something falls, that is the end of business for that DJ.

Contact me if you should have any other questions. I will be happy to answer them!

Michael Thoma, Owner M & T Event Entertainment


Jared and Shari Newkirk Wedding

Jared and Shari Newkirk wedding

Jared and Shari Newkirk were married on October 13th, 2017 at The Purple Iris in Martinsburg, WV.  They have been friends since elementary school. They were always close to one another, but since Jared wasn’t “broken”, Shari had no romantic interest in him. He always loved her and never dated anyone else.

Shari had a son named Justin with another man and wanted someone wore stable to be a good role model for him. She decided that Jared was worth getting to know on a more personal level. They went to the renaissance fair for their first date. The second date was at Dave & Buster’s and this time, Justin went with them. They all had a great time together.

They fell in love

Shari asked Justin if he preferred to stay in North Carolina or move to be with Jared in West Virginia. He said that he loved West Virginia and wanted to be with Jared. Jared taught him how to fish, play baseball, and included him in everything they did. Justin is so lucky to have a loving mother and an awesome step-father. May you have love, luck, and happiness as you begin your new lives as husband and wife.

M & T Event Entertainment

Jared and Shari Newkirk’s Love Story

Jared and Shari’s Love Story

This is the Love Story between Jared and Shari. They have known each other basically for their entire lives. Shari’s brother Jeff was Jared’s best friend and they all went to school together. But Jared always preferred to hang out with Shari. They played cards and did lots of things together.

During her 11th grade year, Shari’s father was offered a new job in North Carolina and that meant that they would be moving. This didn’t keep them apart though. Shari would come up to visit Jared regularly. When they got together it was just like old times. Even though Jared had always liked Shari, she never thought of him in that way. Jared wasn’t a ‘bad boy’ and didn’t need to be ‘fixed’ so, therefore, offered no challenge.

Later on, Shari had a son named Justin and the ‘bad boy’ did not appeal to her anymore. She wanted to have a real man in her life. Someone who would mold her son and teach him how to treat girls properly. Just the way that Jared had always treated her. One day, Shari decided to see what would happen if Jared was given a “real date”. Jared came down to North Carolina and they went to the Renaissance Fair for their first date. They had a wonderful time and that date changed the relationship forever. Jared said that he should have asked her sooner, but Shari stated that it would not have been the right time.

Justin and Jared

Justin developed a real connection with Jared. Jared planned a trip to Dave & Buster’s so that Justin could go with them. They all had a blast together! Jared taught Justin how to fish and do other manly things. They created a real bond together. It was this interaction that caught Shari’s eye. Her heart filled with love as she watched how the two of them interacted together. She knew that Jared was the one.

They faced a small problem though. Jared lived in West Virginia and Shari lived in North Carolina. Who would move? They asked Justin where he wanted to live. He had only been on one trip to West Virginia and even though he had lived in North Carolina his entire life, Justin wanted to move here! So, they made plans to do just that. Shari and Justin moved up to West Virginia on July 20th, 2016.

They had all been together for 6 months or so, and the thought of popping the question entered Jared’s mind. He had listened as Shari described the ring that she dreamed about. She wanted a princess cut diamond with just the right setting. So on February 7th, 2017, Jared went to Kay Jewelers and found that perfect ring. He rushed back to the house because he wanted to catch Shari by surprise. They were cleaning the house from top to bottom when Jared felt the opportunity arise. They were sweaty, hair all a mess, dusty, dirty and Jared had a thought “ This is as real as marriage gets”. Jared entered the room upstairs where Shari was working on bills. He got down on one knee and proposed. Well, to say the least, Shari was caught by surprise.

The Wedding Plans

They began to make wedding plans and the news of these two started to spread. Jared had never really dated anyone and people were shocked to hear that Jared was actually engaged. One day as Shari was picking up some Crown Royal, the clerk heard her name said. She exclaimed, ” OMG, You do exist!” (like Shari was a Leprechaun or a Unicorn) I imagine that Christmas M & M’s commercial…lol

As you have witnessed earlier, these two life-long friends married each other today, Friday, October 13th, 2017. This just goes to show you what kind of twisted sense of humor these two have. Ladies and gentleman, it is my pleasure to give you Jared and Shari, the new Mr. and Mrs. Newkirk.

M & T Event Entertainment

Samantha and Trent Wojcik Wedding

Samantha and Trent Wojcik wedding

Samantha and Trent Wojcik are high school sweethearts and best friends. I was honored to play a part in their wedding on Saturday, September 30th, 2017. Samantha and Trent were married on a beautiful sunny day at Clifton Farm near Berryville, Va. This gorgeous venue has a view that goes on for miles! Built in1834 near the Blue Ridge mountains, this 411+ acre farm was originally home to George Washington’s family.

Their wedding party was the largest that I have witnessed so far to date. They had a full set of bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as juniors too. The ceremony happened at the edge of the large lawn, followed by a cocktail hour on the upper terrace. The reception continued in the tent where dinner was served. Everyone had a blast and things really went full-tilt during the ‘after party’.

M & T Event Entertainment

What makes me different? Capturing the moment

What makes me different? Capturing the Moment

Pictures are a very important part of any wedding or event. Your photographer is looking to capture the moment, the emotion, and the best that you can be. By taking the time to look through the eyes of the photographer, I can see what will create a perfect picture. If something will detract from that moment, I will ask if I can alter it or remove it so that the pictures will be perfect.

What does this mean?

I take a moment to look at every aspect of your event. My focus is on your special day. If the party is outside, and the sides of the reception tent are flapping, I will tie them down. I pick up trash and place it in the proper receptacles. I neatly bundle the power cords to my equipment. My crew takes the time to position the wedding party behind you during the introductions.

I turn off my party lights for special photos. A point is made to have every one of your family members in the room for your toasts and special dances. By keeping the photographers informed of what is happening, they can be ready to capture these great moments.

M & T Event Entertainment

What makes me different? The Details

What makes me different? The details

I attend local rehearsals. This is the perfect way to iron out the final details. I bring the equipment out and I take this opportunity to get music and voice levels correct. I make sure that the processional order is correct. If names are difficult to pronounce, I have each name written phonetically and I double check to see that I am using the proper emphasis. (My last name is Thoma (Toe-mah), so I understand how important it is that names are pronounced correctly.)

I have also found that most people are more nervous during the rehearsal than the actual wedding day. Crazy, right? Having the rehearsal music playing gives them a sense of calm. Psychologically speaking, going through a full-fledged rehearsal complete with music will help the next day, You get to make mistakes, joke, laugh and generally have fun. I also rehearse the Grand Entrance, complete with all of the cheering and hype associated with it. I want them to own the moment and enjoy it. The next day, the entire wedding party feels that they have done it already and it feels comfortable to them. Everyone is relaxed and you have an awesome time.

M & T Event Entertainment

What makes me different? Little Things

What makes me different? Little things.

Everyone knows what a DJ does, right? They play music and make announcements. They are the ones who move the reception forward. I am not referring to any of that. By caring about the little things that personalize your event, we create a deeper experience for you and your guests.

It all starts with your consultation. I engage my couples in conversation and find out who they are. I help my couples visualize what their day will look like through their own personality and style. The very first thing that I usually say is
“This is YOUR wedding, not my interpretation of your wedding”. This is a powerful concept.

I am not looking to tell you what to do. My purpose is to help you figure out what you want and then offer suggestions on how to create that feeling, emotion, look, style, etc. By finding out why you chose that certain song, I can create a personalized introduction.

An awesome event

Taking the time to focus on the little things can make the most powerful memories. Show your guests who you are and share some personal information about your relationship. Have fun with your guests and create some wonderful moments together!

M & T Event Entertainment

Do you want to have the Best Wedding Ever? 5 easy Tips!

5 easy tips

Do you want to have the best wedding ever? Follow these easy tips! Intimate Weddings posted a great article on August 19, 2015, by Laura Downs

This article shares some great easy tips to help you create a wedding that is fun and memorable. If you would like some more ideas on how to have an outstanding event, contact me at M & T Event Entertainment