Somedays in this industry I like to think of myself as a tummler. According to Every Goy’s Guide to Common Jewish Expressions, a tummler, (TOOM-ler) is someone who is maker of fun, commotion, tumult. Particularly someone who’s always making jokes- that can get the party started. Also, someone hired professionally at a resort in the Borscht Belt to get people dancing and laughing.
I don’t think of myself as an “uncle Morty” type character with suspenders and my pants up under my armpits- but more as someone who has the opportunity to bring fresh life and fun into the room even before guests arrive, to lighten things up and set the stage for glamourous revelry.
When we work on bar or batmitzfah’s and the heavy hitting dj’s arrive with their entourage of headset wearing foxy dancers in tow, I always try to impress upon them the the importance of their pedigreed heritage as party starters. I breathlessly explain to them that they are in fact modern day tummlers. They usually play along, politely disengaging as soon a possible, but I am comforted by the knowledge that this esteemed profession carries on…