He spent $2,000 on a 'tailgating ambulance' for Lourdes HS, and recently DJ'ed for the military
Columnist Steve Lange's 10 (or so) questions with ... Collin Williams, 2017 Lourdes grad and DJ.
So, as far as I know, this is going to be the first time I’ve interviewed a child of a previous 10 Questions subject. I interviewed your mom, Tanya (a dance instructor and former Miss Rochester), back in like 2006.
Yes. She has been prepping me. She gave me the rundown. She said to watch out for you.
I hope I don't get the questions mixed up from that interview.
Tell me about your experience trying out for the Miss Rochester Pageant in 1990.
That was actually my ...
I know you had previously mentioned putting Vaseline on your teeth to make your smile better and ...
That’s actually my mother, yeah.
Oh, that’s right. That was from your mom’s questions. OK. We just watched some home movies from like 2001, and there were a few with my daughter Hadley in dance class when she was like three. And you were in her class.
The dance classes were completely against my will. It was probably from age 3 to age 6 or 7 or so. My mom had me in class with all the girls, I was the only guy. She dressed me up in the sparkly outfit and everything, and she loved it.
So are you a better dancer today because of it?
As a DJ, is there one song that’s a no brainer, where you play it and you know people are coming on the dance floor?
I always end my nights with “Don’t Stop Believin’.” And everybody sings. Everyone knows the words.
Oh! I know what I would play! “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred. And “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C&C Music Factory. And then I would end with the Golden Girls theme song so everyone could sing along.
I can’t say I’ve played any of those songs. I’m so sorry.
Oh. OK. When did you first decide this making a living as a DJ was even an option?
I started out DJ’ing on my own, just getting my own gigs where I could. On campus, for frat parties and house parties and stuff like that. And then I met the owner of Aventi Entertainment, and he asked me if I wanted to travel and DJ and I said, “That sounds amazing.” I started traveling all across the country, DJ’ing at all these different colleges. Then I graduated (University of Minnesota) with a degree in business and marketing. And he basically offered me a full-time position to come on as a co-owner. So now, Monday through Friday, I’m working in our office, doing logistics, booking, outbound sales, and then every Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night, I’m traveling and DJ’ing those nights. I get the best of both worlds.
I’m going to give you some names. You tell what you guys specifically have in common. Stephen Benner, Brandon Arneson, Joe Macken, and you.
We all went to high school together. Specifically, we purchased an ambulance in our senior year of high school, and we spent an entire summer converting it into a tailgate vehicle that we could drive to the football games and have it be just a centerpiece for our tailgates. We decked it out with TVs on the inside. We spray-painted the entire outside of it in Lourdes high school colors. We spent $2,000 on it, and I can’t even tell you how many hours we spent on that thing, but it was awesome.
And you hold that ambulance personally responsible for Lourdes winning the state championship that year in football, correct?
You took part in some sort of DJ’ing for the military?
So I did a three-stop mini tour at three different military bases. We started off in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We went up then to Greenland and then went down to Honduras, all three military bases. It was a week before Christmas when we did it. We were able to DJ to give them some entertainment around the holidays. A lot of our troops don’t get to go home over the holidays and see their families.
That sounds awesome.
I mean, they were so excited to have us there when I was the one that was excited to be there for them. You know what I mean? So I would say the coolest part out of all of it was really just interacting with all of our service members and seeing how excited they were to have us there. I DJ’ed 230 events last year. But to be there to play for the troops was the coolest, most humbling experience.
Steve Lange is the editor of Rochester Magazine. His column appears every Tuesday.