It is becoming more common for college students everywhere to hold part time jobs. Few jobs rise above the standards of menial labor, and even fewer tap into one’s creative side.
However, finding a job you’re passionate about is possible. Senior Chris Richards is the perfect example.
For the past four years, Chris Richards has been a Temple student by day and a club DJ by night. Although dividing his time can be challenging, Richards shows no sign of stopping.
Richards looks up to his older brother, who introduced “Xhris” to the club scene. “When I was younger, I absolutely hated techno. But my brother took me to a local club to go see Paul Van Dyk, a famous German DJ. After seeing it in person and not at some cheesy club, I was hooked.”
Even though Philadelphia features a variety of clubs, finding a DJ job is difficult. “Hundreds of kids send in demos to club owners all the time,” Richards said.
For Richards, it was a matter of getting his foot in the door. “I had been modeling a lot around the city and doing runway shows at clubs. After making my appearance known, I asked the owner of Club Flow to give me a chance.”
That chance came in the form of the opening spot, MC’ing on Chinese New Year.
“It wasn’t the best gig. I tried to lighten it up, make some jokes. No one laughed at my jokes! I was playing other people’s music the whole time, but it was a step up.”
When the time came, Richards was more than willing to take any spot any club would offer him.
“I’ve done everything from headlining one night to not getting paid at all the next. I don’t care what the situation is; spinning is a release for me.”
Though spinning is a common term applied to anyone with turntables, the kind of music people play always varies. “A lot of DJ’s nowadays mix CDs. That’s Fisher Price DJing! You gotta use all vinyl.”
And that’s what Richards does, a self-described “beat juggler.” By matching beats from two different songs on the turntables, Richards offers a welcome contrast to the usual house beats found at the average club.
Richards can be seen at many of the more popular clubs around Philadelphia. “I have worked at Shampoo, Studio Six in Atlantic City and Egypt. Every time I work, I see kids from around Temple’s campus. Sometimes it’s really nice to see friendly faces.”
Senior Tim Riley has seen Richards in various clubs around the city.
“Chris doesn’t care if he is spinning for five or five hundred people, he still puts his heart into it every night,” Riley said.
Richards proves there is enough time in the day to work that extra job, and there are extra jobs out there that allow you to do what you love.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org