Real Life

Real life: I'm a 60-year-old DJ!

'I worried people might laugh at me.'

By Brittany Smith

Sue Freeman, 61, from Calwell, ACT shares her true life story;

My heart pounded as I glanced around the room, taking in all the stunned faces.
"Have you seen the DJ?" I heard someone giggle to their friend.
I was racked with nerves but I didn't take the sceptical looks to heart.
At 53 years old, I knew I wasn't a typical DJ but my music spoke for itself.
As I pushed the volume up and slowly faded into the opening bars of Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, I had the crowd eating out of the palm of my hand.
Dozens of wedding guests jumped up from their seats and rushed to the dance floor to bust a move.
I have so many DJ gigs now.
I loved my job but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be a DJ, especially after 50!
I'd been a bookkeeper for decades when I went to a few weddings and noticed how the young guys always looked bored – one even stared at his phone the whole night!
Worst of all, most of the DJs I saw couldn't accept requests so we were stuck with the same current pop songs on repeat.
I could do better than that.
I love taking requests!
But I was also worried that, given my age, most people would laugh at me.
"Will I look stupid?" I fretted to my daughter, Nikki, 26.
"Just go for it," she encouraged.
With the support of Nikki and my son, Ryan, 14, I completed a DJ course and even bought my own equipment to spin the discs.
I called my business Runaround DJs, based off my favourite song, Runaround Sue by Dion.
My hands shook as I twisted the knobs on my turntable two months later, at my first gig.
Despite my nerves, everyone had an amazing time.
I finished the night with Runaround Sue.
"Join me on the dance floor!" I cheered as the crowd boogied.
Weddings are so much fun!
Now eight years have passed and I'm more successful than ever.
I even have groupies, the ACT Disco Group, who follow me from gig to gig.
Even though I'm in my 60's I refuse to slow down.
Besides, with weddings and Christmas parties, I'm booked out for months to come!
I really am proof you can do anything at any age.

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