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Daily Inspiration: Meet Spencer Huffmeyer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Spencer Huffmeyer.

Hi Spencer, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m from a small farming community in southeastern Indiana. One stoplight, railroad tracks, and 1000 people. When I was in grade school, I began to collect music – digitally of course. I was able to get a substantial music library in just a few months. I loved the music! I would make mix CD’s for all my friends’ cars and sync all their iPods with music from my computer. My family was very close and I had a cousin graduating from high school that year and we were all together discussing the graduation party and what sort of things to do. I was asked to play some music during the party and I couldn’t say “YES!” quick enough. I went into full nerd mode and did as much research to find out what kind of speakers I needed and how to hook everything up. We packed up my mom’s SUV with all my gear and in May 2007 (14 years old) was my first official gig as a DJ and everyone had a blast and my company “SuSpence DJ Service” was born. I got my 2nd big break when one of my teachers from school asked me if I would Co-Headline his wedding reception with another performer doing a one-man-band show. I would play popular dance songs and emcee during his breaks and everyone loved it!

This was my first introduction to the flow of a wedding reception, which became the bread & butter of my company for next five years. I think my busiest year was the summer between my Jr. & Sr. Year. (2011-2012) I was booked with weddings, high school dances, community festivals, birthdays, graduation, & anniversary parties every weekend from April until October. Aside from the love of the music, I also loved the technology and equipment. I had grown my company from just two small speakers to an entire trailer full of production gear that could blast music & flashlights for about 750 people. It was AMAZING! I knew and was fully supported in my decision to pursue this as a career path and by god. nothing could stop me! I graduated high school in 2012 and planned to go to Purdue University (3rd generation) to get my degree. After some deliberation, my major was declared Mass Communication with focus in emerging media and technology. It couldn’t have been more fitting. Only 2 1/2 hours north, I was still trying to book gigs at home and make money but I wanted a new chapter per say. I decided that I would book myself less and dedicate more time to my life in West Lafayette.

Naturally, that decision was hard but paid off. I got connected to the division of the university that manages all the university events and venue spaces – Purdue Hall of Music. There I met one of my best friends and mentors who helped develop me as an event technician – which was where, at the time, I wanted to focus. I dove right into the nitty-gritty of the behind-the-scenes magic of show business. I graduated in 2016 and decided that Los Angeles was the best option for me. (No snow!!!) I found a great community, some amazing friends and mentors and for the next four years started to develop my professional network in the entertainment industry in LA. Being mostly freelance, I was able to accept a variety of jobs to explore what I liked. I did some odd jobs in nightlife. I was a stagehand and production assistant for a while. I helped produce some large scale events for Pride and others but ultimately what I kept returning to was lighting. I found myself working with a small lighting company and really was taken under the wing by the owner and helped me refine and develop my skills as a lighting designer and event producer. I worked with him for almost three years and we did some incredible projects. Lighting for A-List celebrity tours, big events for huge brands, and some really great gigs for some local talent. Things were really looking up for me in terms of my career in entertainment. I could feel the momentum behind me and was really excited.

In March of 2020, that momentum came to a FULL stop! The Covid-19 pandemic killed the entertainment industry. Everyone was scrambling, trying to figure out how to pivot, how to survive, make money. My small company decided streaming was the avenue that seems most logical. We transformed our small shop into a Covid-safe streaming venue space, pretty much the first one in SoCal. This project was called Social Sanctuary. During our brainstorm, we decided that to get some recognition, we needed content. I found myself the booking agent for our new venue space. We streamed on the weekends, 5, sometimes 6 hours a day straight, all with local talent. (Including my bestie Matt Suave and others). This project grew exponentially and was really catching the attention of some important people in the industry. The next thing I know, we had moved into a new warehouse space and we were producing festival style production for artists and their streams. It was AMAZING fun! This project re-ignited my passion for the performance aspect of live entertainment and I was determined to get behind the decks.

In May of 2020, I transitioned out of my tech-heavy work background, and with not many gigs happening during this time, I had plenty of free time to focus on learning the technicalities of DJ’ing. I bought some decks of my own to be able to practice and perform and baby did I do it. Some great friends would spin with me and help me with transitions and Keys and all the volumes of stuff to learn about mixing music. Through our content from the live stream venue, I had a friend reach out who produced parties in NYC. Since then, we’ve teamed up and are now on our 3rd iteration of a small LGBTQ music festival and I’m humbled and blessed to be one of the headliners. I like to say that Serendipity is sort of “my thing”. The universe always has a way of putting things in place at the right time and if you listen, it will never steer you wrong. I fell in love with music again but in a different way. The magic of how transformative a single song can be to a dance floor. The synergy of energy between the performer and the audience is exhilarating. People who recognize that and know how to create and form it have a superpower and I’m constantly learning, improving, and growing every day.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
My career has always been arduous but it’s the career I picked and I always had a deep deep passion with a mid-west work ethic. To me, really anything is possible with enough hard work. However, one of my biggest struggles has always been balancing my confidence and being humble. To this day, I still am working on being humble in my confidence yet courageous in my character. Of course, every career has some intense learning moments, but I compartmentalize, so it is difficult for me to recall the trauma of past. The entertainment industry is cutthroat and stressful and if you don’t have thick skin or a clear head, it will really mess you up. Clear and concise communication has always been my methodology and I feel it’s been a keystone of my success.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My degree from Purdue is very broad, but I think that’s sort of the point. Mass Communication | Emerging Media & Technology. During high school, I was a mobile DJ in southeast Indiana. I ran my company from 2007-2016. Then in 2016, I did a rebrand to Spencer Huff Productions, which provides technical event services and now DJ’ing. Along the way, however, I have had many jobs that I’ve learned and developed from. From Hall of Music productions at Purdue where I was thrown into just about anything technical production, to my super focused lighting & design work with West Coast Show Support in SoCal. I have always felt like the Jack of all trades and in the entertainment industry, the more jobs you can do, the more work you get. It wasn’t until 2020 that I fell back in love with my performance side. I’ve always loved to dance and sing and there is no better place those skills translate than behind the decks of a DJ set up.

I suppose what sets me apart would be: 1) The sound I curate. – I feel very strongly about the emotional connection that I have with music. I play tracks that are about good energy, fun times, love, sunshine, all the stuff that LIFTS you up and gives you good vibes. Music can be SO transformational and, for me, is such an easy way to pull me out of a weird space or improve my mood – and why shouldn’t I be sharing that! 2) The connection I develop with an audience – This all goes back to the emotion and the synergy the music provides for this type of non-verbal communication. I like to tell this story — One of my favorite sets that I have ever played was when there were SO many last minute changes and the venue of the party got moved and stripped down to bare minimum production. My decks were on the same level as the dancefloor – no stage. During that set, I felt more in touch with my dancefloor than I EVER have before. I was able to truly connect with the people, dance with them, sing with them, and I thrived on that energy.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I really can’t wait to start producing my own music. There are so many times that I want to take a dance floor to a place and to say that the song that took them there was one of my own… Idk… I just might explode. XD Don’t sleep on me, baby! I’m more determined than anyone! If you want to book me, check out my website.

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