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The Man Behind the Mask: DJ Juice

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It is nine o’clock on a typical Groton Saturday night. After walking awkwardly past the teachers stationed by the Dining Hall stairs, you squeeze into the throng of sweaty, overworked students and begin jumping in sync with the music. What a hype song choice, you might think to yourself and look over to see a figure in a white, Halloween-esque mask intently pressing buttons on some sort of DJing apparatus. This is DJ Juice, Groton’s resident Radio Head, and, yes, he is the source of the hype music you were just marvelling at. When he’s not in the student center smoothly transitioning from one sick beat to the next, he is known simply as George Altshuler ‘18. The man behind the mask gave us the inside scoop on his experiences DJing.

 

When George was first asked to DJ at Events Dance last year, he wasn’t quite the accomplished DJ that he is today. In fact, he had only played around a bit with a free computer program he had installed in middle school.“Word had apparently spread that I had some vague idea of how to DJ,” George says, “so the heads of the Events Committee asked me to do that dance, probably just scrapping for anyone who could play decent music loudly.” The dance was a success among the Groton people, and the then Radio Heads decided to pass the torch down to him. Of course, he does it all for his fans: “I just assumed if that’s what people wanted, then you gotta do what you gotta do.”

 

Unsurprisingly, the hardest part about DJing a Groton dance is song choice. Describing picking songs as 80 percent of the battle, George says, “Variety is important and playing the right variety can be difficult if not nearly impossible…I have to make some compromises. You can’t please everyone.”

 

The more technical aspects of DJing are also never far from George’s mind. When asked what people might not know about DJing, George replied, “There is a lot that can go into it: deciding at what point to transition/how long to play an individual song, gauging the vibe of the audience, picking a song to transition into, choosing the starting point, and making some attempt at an artful transition.”

 

Despite his consistent impact on the Groton dance scene, George says that he doesn’t really know how well his dances are received. So I decided to do some investigative work and ask some regular dance attendees for six-word summaries of their opinion of DJ Juice. Spoiler alert: the reviews are rave. Maddie Culcasi ‘20 said, “Five stars. A good time, always.” Annabel Kocks ‘20 delivers similarly positive feedback, saying, “Great songs, great transitions, great mask.” Sunhoo Park ‘18 was more reserved in his praise, responding with a simple “solid.” While this does not constitute six words, he certainly seems in full support of DJ Juice. In sum, George can rest assured that his dances are indeed received well by all.

 

DJ Juice is not only a name: he is a presence, and a large part of that presence is his mask. Answering perhaps the most pressing question of all, George delivers the story behind his look: “The theme for last year’s Events Dance was ‘haunted house,’ if I remember correctly, and the members of the events committee had purchased an excess of various masks for decoration or something…I opted for a plain white one. After that I guess I just thought it would be part of ‘the look.’”

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