LA-based Randy Kort’s DJ career has already spanned more than twenty years. During that time, he has traveled around the world to perform in such far-flung places as London, Monte Carlo, South America, and the Bahamas. As well as playing high-profile gigs, including the Super Bowl and A-list celebrity parties, he’s also worked hard to build up a successful DJ and entertainment company, Extravaganza Party Productions, which serves a wide variety of parties and events each year.
Naturally, Randy has a love for music, although this wasn’t what led him to first become a DJ. Having grown up in Kansas City, he was pursuing a career in acting by studying for a Theatre Arts degree at KU and was looking for a part-time job that would provide a little extra money but that was also relevant to his aspirations as an actor. At the age of 18 he landed a job at a local club called Studebakers. It was a performance nightclub, where the DJs were expected to lip-sync to songs and perform routines on the bar tops. This not only allowed Randy to practice his improv and performance skills, but also introduced him to the art of DJing. Incidentally, one of the other DJs at Studebakers at the time was actor Paul Rudd!
At the age of 21 Randy moved to LA to continue his studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and it was in the Californian sunshine that he decided to shift his focus away from acting and concentrate on DJing. “I did some commercials,” Randy explained, “a few small roles in movies and on television, but found myself tired of the negativity surrounding the acting scene in LA and decided to put my full efforts into performing as a DJ.”
Combining the music mixing skills honed at Studebakers with his considerable acting chops Randy excelled at a wide variety of DJ work. “I guess you can say I am a chameleon DJ,” he mused, “I have done it all – nightclubs, radio, cruise ships, club med, raves, celebrity events, fund raisers, movie premiers, and nearly every type of social DJing out there!”
Over the years he has had the chance to open up for many high profile recording artists, including REO Speedwagon, Journey, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, Boyz II Men, Sergio Mendes, and many more. He has also performed for such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, John Travolta, Kobe Bryant, Mel Gibson, and William Shatner. While his career highlights include playing at the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay and for Middle Eastern Royalty in LA.
As it is world-famous for its entertainment industry, we were interested to hear Randy’s take on the LA DJ market. “It is over-saturated and there are a ton of amateurs who unfortunately lower the bar for all DJs out here. Plus, LA crowds tend to want small. They want things to look unpretentious. New York is all about big, LA is all about simple. Plus, most celebrities expect you to play for free – for ‘exposure’! I have performed all over the world and LA is one of the toughest markets I’ve come across.”
When he says that he’s DJed all over the world, Randy really isn’t exaggerating. He has literally travelled the globe, playing gigs in London, Monte Carlo, Rome, France, Mexico, San Juan, South America, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and all over the United States. A consummate professional, he is equally comfortable in front of a thousand-strong crowd as he is performing for a group as small as 25. Celebrity weddings, corporate events for fortune 100 companies, and even a gig at Disneyland – the happiest place on earth – are all just ‘a day at the office’ for Randy.
With such an illustrious career, and so much experience under his belt, we knew that Randy would have some good advice to share with fellow DJs, especially those at the start of their careers. “As Han Solo told Luke Skywalker, ‘Great kid, don’t get cocky’! DJs tend to get a bad rap for being cocky, rude, and egotistical. Don’t! Be cool – our one job is to make people feel HAPPY! Music is a powerful tool for impacting emotions, leave a good impression on every member of your audience.”
Randy also gave a great answer when we asked him if there is a 2-3 song mix that he likes to perform. “I grew up working in the club scene and the one thing we tried to do all the time was keep it fresh. I try to never play the same songs back to back. It keeps things fresh for me and for my audience. One of the hardest things to teach a DJ is to read the crowd. Keeping a dancefloor packed is fun, but you may alienate a large group of guests that way. My goal is to let EVERYONE at that party have their 5 minutes of glory. I don’t ever want to totally kill my dancefloor, but at the same time I want all my guests to feel they were a part of the fun.”
In addition to performing regularly as a DJ himself, Randy also heads up Extravaganza Party Productions. The company provides DJs, MCs, dancers, lighting, team building, VOG work, and unique acts of all kinds for a wide variety of parties, venues, and events.
Outside of work, Randy is a huge Disney fan and has recently become a member of the exclusive 33 Club. “I’m very stoked about that,” he enthused, “I also love to travel with my beautiful wife and enjoy spending time watching movies as well as attending comedy clubs, magic shows, and live theater.”
Having enjoyed huge success throughout his long and varied career as a DJ, it is clear that Randy is extremely passionate about what he does. He summed this up perfectly by saying, “I have done what I love for over 20 years and I consider myself to be the luckiest guy in the world!”
For more information on Randy Kort and Extravaganza Party Productions, or to connect with him on social media, follow the links below.
Meet The DJ: Randy Kort