Just like doing nails, being a KJ — a karaoke DJ — is having fun and getting paid for it,” says Gina Cella, a CND education ambassador who has a regular Wednesday night KJ gig at a bar called the Square in Akron, Ohio. “Surprisingly, I nurtured my love for karaoke as a CND education ambassador. We had many events where we would karaoke,” says Cella. Add to that the fact that she loves to sing and holds a degree in music and this part-time career is a natural for her.

As a KJ, she runs the show. “I emcee, announce the singers, and give them a boost of confidence if they need it. When they are done singing, I get the audience involved in acknowledging their performance,” she says. “I also run the computer to play the songs and organize the singers so there is a rotation. I decide what music gets played in between each singer — filler songs if you will. It’s also my job to make sure that the singer sounds good, so I run the sound and the equalizer.”

There’s a performance aspect as well, she notes. “I sing to show people how fun it is. I go out in the audience to meet people and encourage them to sing, or I dance with them.”

Any drawbacks are minor. “Sure the drunks get a little crazy sometimes, but that’s just part of it!” she says. Then there’s the occasional equipment failure. “Mind you this doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does, I will break out in a cold sweat.”

Still, she never loses sight of the main objective: to have fun. “Who cares if you don’t sound like an American Idol? Are you having fun? Then you get what karaoke is all about. It brings people together.”  

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