I'm so excited to share this week's (So)(Co) Sit Down guest contributor with you. I met Whitney Day (otherwise known as Danna Rosenthal) when I was a little kid. We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to Hebrew School together. We also were extremely disruptive and talked too much in our Hebrew classes. I'm impressed we both successfully made it through our Bat Mitzvah's. We've stayed in touch over the years, here and there, and I've really loved following her journey as a DJ and event producer in the LGBTQ community. You've probably seen these amazing photos from her wedding last year. I'm sorta obsessed with them. Such fun! I'm thrilled to have her here to share bits and pieces of what her bicoastal, constantly traveling lifestyle is like.
Join me on this journey of sharing stories and inspiring one another to be the best version of ourselves in our everyday lives. Read on to learn more about Whitney Day.
How do you spend your days?
I’m a DJ and event producer by profession. So, often times I’m traveling, but when I’m not, I spend my days catching up on administrative work from my home office during the week, preparing for future events and for upcoming gigs by researching, downloading and preparing loads of music. I also tend to spend a bunch of time on social media - updating my pages, promoting my gigs, connecting with others in the industry via Facebook or email. There are days I allow myself to just veg out and relax, especially after long nights of performing. Un-work related, I like to go to the beach, try out new restaurants, cook and spend time in the house with my two kitties and wife.
What are three things you are grateful for?
1. The unconditional support and love of my family 2. Creating and maintaining my own career from my passion, music, and being able to incorporate my other passion, travel, into that as well. 3. The freedom to marry the person I love.
Explain your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Spontaneous. Flexible. Exciting. Open. Adventurous.
If you were to attend a potluck dinner, what would you bring?
I do love to cook. I’ve learned mostly from watching the Food Network, but mostly I just like to take the ingredients I have in the house and invent something. It’s creative, and usually turns out quite delicious. This sounds kind of pedestrian, but I make this macaroni and tuna salad with onions, peas and carrots, it’s actually really good and addictive. I never had anything like it until those ingredients were all I had in the house. The sum is definitely greater than it’s parts, and it seems like an appropriate and comforting potluck kind of thing.
If you could gift everyone you meet with one book, what would it be and why?
Probably The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It’s a book I read years ago that has impacted the way I look at work, travel and life priorities as a whole. It’s an interesting view on how to escape the rat race - just knowing there’s a way, and people doing it right now has been inspiring.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I typically read the news on my iPhone in bed when I wake up. I know it can be depressing, but I like to be on top of what’s going on in the world from the start of my day.
If you could change one thing in your daily routine, what would it be? What would it take for you to make that change?
Exercise consistently. It’s very difficult for me to motivate to go to the gym. It’s so mundane, but I know of all the benefits and so many people who enjoy it or rather, even need it to get through their day. I wish I felt that way! I tend to go a bunch, and then not at all. I think committing to some type of energy release - even just a decent daily walk would be a start. Maybe I just need a bootcamp instructor who doesn’t take kindly to excuses to whip my butt into shape.
What does being healthy mean to you?
Feeling balanced and good about yourself - mentally, emotionally and physically. Each plays their part in your overall health. At the root of it seems to be feeling a sense of purpose about your life. Having purpose - whether it be your family, your passion, your career, all of the above - purpose gives you confidence, motivation and limitless goals to strive for.
Have you ever been faced with health concerns that pushed you to change your lifestyle? Explain.
Luckily, nothing too serious. But the winters in New York have been rough, particularly in the last few years. I noticed it taking an effect on my mental health. Feeling cold and cooped up, feeling like it was always dark outside. I recently moved out to California after having the last straw with East Coast weather. It’s added some other stress as I fly back and forth for work fairly often, but overall it’s been an extremely positive change in my life to see the sun and feel its warmth nearly every day. Being closer to nature - the beach, mountains, etc - has also improved my daily and overall happiness.
What song can immediately change your mood in the best way possible?
Mi Swing Es Tropical by Quantic. It’s island sun, sand and beach-life vibes. Soothing vocals, horns and a groove you can’t help but move to. It reminds me of when I began my journey as a DJ and the tracks I would spin at my very first gigs in the summertime at a tiny Brooklyn bar with an outdoor garden and feel-good crowd.
What is one piece of advice someone has given you that shifted your way of thinking?
A boss of mine once told me “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been”. Apparently it’s a really popular quote used often in corporate business by CEOs, but I hadn’t heard it before. I guess it’s a quote from Wayne Gretzgy (makes sense, with the hockey reference). I just loved the concept of moving your focus away from what other people are already doing and thinking about what comes next. Innovation. It’s been at the forefront of my philosophy since I started my own business. I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing - in fact that’s exactly why I started my own business. I wanted to take (in my case) event production (primarily geared towards women, lesbians and the LGBTQ community) to the next level. It’s a motivating, and forward-moving way to approach what your doing.
What article of clothing/outfit do you feel most empowered wearing?
The outfit I felt most empowered wearing was definitely my wedding suit. I knew I wasn’t going to wear a wedding dress, but finding the perfect suit felt impossible. Nothing had the right combination of being feminine (but not too feminine), cool (but not casual), and importantly, special enough to be my wedding outfit. Finally I found what I could have never even imagine - a very special suit by Roberto Cavalli. It was white, with beautiful pink floral details, totally unique, structured in shape and fit like a glove! Unfortunately it’s kind of a one-time wear thing, but anything with that sharp, structured fit, like a new black, leather motorcycle jacket I bought from Superdry is awesome. Just toss it on top of whatever, and I’m out the door.
Complete this sentence: “In order to be happy, I need to....”
Make change when it’s necessary. Whether that’s career-wise, moving house or making some other leap along those lines, when you have the instinctual feeling that you could and most likely would be happier if you did ‘x’, then do it. As much as possible, I try to listen to that inner voice. Sometimes that decision works out for the best - in my experience it always has. A lot of people make excuses (some, likely legitimate) for not living the lives they want. But when you really need a change, commit to a well thought-out solution and execute it.
What do you have going on in your life that you’d like to share with the (So)(Co) Community? (business, upcoming event, book launch, new product etc.)?
I am excited for a bunch of great gigs I have coming up now through Spring - they’re a tad spread out location-wise, so if you happen to be in these areas on these dates, you’re invited to come dance! Follow me on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram to see where I'll be.
I’m also gearing up for a major 2015 Pride season in New York City. If you haven’t experienced pride in NYC, it’s a must. My main event is ‘The Party’ on Sunday June 28th at the world-renowned Marquee Nightclub. It draws about 1,500 attendees! A few of the other events I can’t announce quite yet, but let’s say there’s a pool involved in at least one of them.
DJ/Producer Whitney Day is a classically trained musician-turned party-rocker leading the pack of a new generation of DJs. As quickly as she's launched her career in the NYC club scene, she's built a name for herself as a music taste-maker across the US and internationally. Armed with an exploding fan-base, coveted residencies and an impressive gig list (including Cielo, Barclay’s Center, Webster Hall, Pacha, Marquee, Tenjune, Hudson Terrace, Soho House, Avenue, Greenhouse, PH-D and more), Whitney’s momentum is unstoppable.
With an instinct for reading the crowd and an ability to artfully mix genre-blending sets, Whitney refuses to be pigeonholed into any one category. From underground Brooklyn warehouses to international music festivals to tropical circuit parties and celebrity studded benefits, she knows no bounds.But most importantly, it's her infectious passion for mixing music and performing on- the-fly sets that keeps the vibe fresh and energetic every time. These days, Whitney doubles her focus by producing wildly popular events for LGBTQs in New York City throughout the year.