What Quiet Entertainer Is Really About

The most common question I get asked is, “How did you come up with the name Quiet Entertainer?” The answer is pretty simple, but it deserves a not so simple explanation.

At the very beginning, Quiet Entertainer was just a screen name. Kind of an online alias. When I first went to college, I received my very first email address at MTSU where I attended. This was my introduction to the internet. I had a school email address but I wanted my OWN email. My real name is pretty common so when I signed up for a free email address I needed to come up with a name. I didn’t want to be gregfreeman12345@whatever .com .

So, the name Quiet Entertainer came to me quite easily. It most accurately reflected my personality at the time and still does today. When I was in elementary, junior high, & high school, I was the really quiet and nerdy guy. I didn’t really talk to anyone except for my one or two friends. And I usually only had just one or two friends at a time. In high school though, I started being involved in theater. Performing in front of a live audience, more than anything, made me feel very alive. So I was a very quiet dude, who suddenly had this very expressive outlet.

It not only reflected my personality then, but also what I wanted to be. I remember my high school self as being very self centered and egotistical. I really didn’t like a lot of other people. I loved to brag about how much better I was in whatever area. As I started to become more self aware about this, Quiet Entertainer as a name was a reminder to myself to practice humility, but put your best self forward. As it related to acting and theater, I wanted to stop being conceited, stop boasting, and just perform excellently. (By the way, I still am pursuing acting as a career. Take a look at my first national commercial.)

As life took its turns, I wanted my new title to spill into every area of my life instead of just acting. I think I parked quietentertainer@every-email-I-could-think-of.com at some point. I really didn’t know just how far you could take it or know anyone else who really embodied what I was trying to accomplish. As I type that, I realize I didn’t know exactly what I was trying to accomplish in the first place. That was until I discovered DJ Shadow.



I saw that video late one night in college and I was mesmerized by the music and by the DJ. Who was this guy? There wasn’t a lot of information on the internet about him at the time. Before this discovery, I was just kind of interested in DJ-ing and I thought it was cool. After seeing this video and then buying his record Endtroducing, I knew I wanted to DJ. Not just DJ, but I wanted to do what he did.

I wanted to make people feel the way DJ Shadow made me feel.

So now, I had a template. In my mind, I had found the ultimate artist. I started looking for other artists like him. As I got more and more information, I started finding my favorite artists and watching their interviews and going to see them perform. I paid attention to everything. How they carried themselves. How they answered questions. All of my favorites had a few things in common.

They were all very humble.
All were doing things artistically that no one else was really doing.
They all were great performers.

Of course, I felt the same initial feeling that I felt when I would see these types of artists.

I suppose this is all very subjective from my point of view. Artistically, I’m influenced by DJ Shadow. Also, I got a lot from Blue Man Group. I remember seeing them in New York and I was absolutely blown away by what they were doing. It seemed like they almost appealed to all five senses with their performance. As I continued to learn more about DJ-ing, I wondered what would happen if Blue Man Group decided to become DJs?


No one started calling me Quiet Entertainer in person until the Earthsuit days. I was a huge fan of Earthsuit, a band that is now broken up. I achieved superfan status for this band and was a fixture on their online forum. When I would see other Earthsuit fans, they would sometimes call me QE. The band members, even after Earthsuit was over, really inspired me to take my passion and run with it. Every time I perform, I try to pay homage to Earthsuit and all the guys that were involved in that.

So for me, it’s kind of an artistic pay-it-forward kind of thing. I want to intrigue and inspire people in the same way I was intrigued and inspired. I try to do that with the music, with my live show, with this blog, and especially through my emails.

If you have any questions about any of that, leave them in the comments below.

Realizing the Difference Between DJ Sets and Live PA

I have a lot of shows coming up in the Middle TN area. I love to play live. It’s one of the more cathartic things I do in life as an artist. I recently found out that I will be a part of Mashville in August. Mashville is the monthly DJ party here in Nashville where the best DJs play hip-hop, electronic, dubstep, and whatever other music they want. It’s always an honor to play. Here are some pictures from the last time I played Mashville.

Quiet Entertainer - Live at Limelight (Mashville)

Something odd happened at the last Mashville show. I had some fans come out to see me. After my set, they were all disappointed. One of them had brought her friends. She said, “Well I told them how awesome you were and that you had such a crazy energetic live show. But when we saw you, you were just playing records.” I was kind of taken aback. Did she not know that I was killing it? But then, I realized the problem. Normally, I don’t just DJ with records. My live show has developed into a unique blend of music, crowd engagement and performance art.

Quiet Entertainer - Live at The Basement 06/02/09

I recently learned of a term and genre for this called Live PA. The PA part stands for “Performing Artist.” This Live PA term is used to describe producers who recreate their studio environment while performing their tracks live. Usually, this is different from a typical DJ set where a DJ will play mix tracks that he might not have created himself. I do think that you can be both. Perhaps, the best DJs and Live PA artists are both. The Live PA forum states, “The “real” Live P.A.s take it further by recreating their studio sound live and have the expressive capability to improvise and change the music on the fly, because all of their instruments are right there with them on-stage.” Later, they go on to say, “…many of us grew up going to and playing in rock, jazz, and classical bands and concerts, where musicians play instruments live and put on a show for the audience. Some Live P.A.s also DJ, and some DJs also do a Live P.A., so the two performance methods go hand-in-hand for some musicians, while other more traditional musicians wouldn’t want to be caught dead behind turntables – it all depends on the person. ”
Check out Divinci of Solillaquists Of Sound

My goal as an artist and as a performer is to grow in the DJ world and the Live PA world. My favorite DJ, DJ Shadow, seems to move effortlessly between these two distinctions. For instance if you have his In Tune and On Time DVD/CD, you can see that he has lots of turntables, samplers, midi controllers; plus, he’s remixing it all live to create something completely different from the studio creation. Somehow I think this is what DJs can and should do anyway. However if you then listen to a Shadow mix such as this next one, you’ll note that he performs tracks of his own plus some other ones.
DJ Shadow In Los Angeles 10.31.09- Snippet by djshadow

Anyway! To avoid future disappointments, I will try and communicate what kind of set I will be doing. Either a Live set or a DJ set. If you see my name on a flyer with no distinction, it’s probably a live set. For instance here:


But if you see it and it says DJ set, well then obviously:


Eventually, I hope to grow to the point where this type of distinction isn’t necessary. At the same time, it’s kind of a fun problem to have. Would you rather watch a DJ set? or a Live PA set? You have any stories or comparisons? Let me know in the comments.