Today we are celebrating School of Scratch Student Vanessa aka Baby Van Beezly from Seattle USA, who has now completed the 100 days of scratching challenge for the second time to total 200 days! ???❤️
Huge congrats Vanessa! 200 days is an epic achievement!
I asked Vanessa some questions to help those of you who are considering doing the 100 Days of Scratching Project.
Hey Vanessa! Can you give us some background on your interest in music and scratching?
I’ve been a karaoke host and private event DJ since 2010! I’ve always DJed as a side hustle and kept a day job which made it hard for me to expand my DJing into more advanced skills like scratching. Last October I quit my day job to become a full time DJ and this freed up time for me to finally pursue my dream of learning to scratch!
What made you decide to undertake the 100 day challenge, not once but twice?
I took on the 100 days challenge on news years day this year just to see if I could keep up with it, and it was a transformative experience! I couldn’t believe how much I could accomplish just showing up every single day for something, even if it only meant getting 5 minutes of practice in. I progressed SO MUCH faster than I ever could have expected, so I decided to just keep going because I didn’t want to lose momentum.
What was your approach?
I tried to show up to the decks at the same time every day. I have a toddler and live in a small apartment so the best time for me to pull this off was after I put her to bed around 8pm at night (if I tried scratching during the day when she was around she just wanted to jump in a play too haha). Following the rules of deliberate practice, I needed distraction free time to get to work so this was the best time of day for me. For the first 100 days I taught myself using YouTube videos and for the second 100 days I treated myself to an SoS membership and just worked through Emma’s worksheet and curriculum!
What is your recording and posting workflow like?
My recording and posting workflow is as simple as possible! My DJ / Mom schedule is really tight, so I needed this part to be as fast and easy as can be or I would fall behind. I just record videos directly with my phone, then I edit and post them the next morning when I am having coffee.
Top tools / apps / software / equipment to capture and edit?
Currently I am just using an iPhone and the Inshot app to record and edit. I do want to move into an option that has better sound quality, but that’s not a top priority at the moment. I just want to make sure that I am still showing up daily, and my janky little videos are what keep my accountable!
What did you learn?
I learned that it’s ok to not be perfect in this process!! For my first 100 days I was pretty strict to showing up every day, but for the second 100 days my DJ schedule blew up which really made it hard to scratch at 8pm every night. I had to do the best I could and just be ok with missing some days here and there. The important thing to me was NOT QUITTING because it wasn’t perfect. As a very all-or-nothing person this took some work on my part!
What were some of the highlights for you?
My favorite moments in the journey were always those days when a specific combo or technique wasn’t coming so easy, and I would run it over and over and over and over again until I finally got it! These are the best parts of learning a new skill!!
What helped you on your way?
I had a ton of support from my husband, who would make me feel better about missing days and make sure I didn’t quit when things in life got really busy. He’s learning how to pop & lock, so we would have nights where he was dancing while I scratched and it was so awesome!
But the BIGGEST help along the way was the comments and encouragement from the Supa Scratch Crew!!! Even when I was learning on YouTube and not a scratch school member the SSC was still helping out all along the way!!
What didn’t work?
When things got really busy in life and I was only able to show up to the decks for 5-15 minutes per session I definitely felt the progress slowing down. I wish I was more organized with my time management skills and scheduled at least 3 days a week where I could have scratched for a full hour.
What was the most challenging part and how did you deal with that?
I ran into a lot of problems during days 150-200 when my DJ work schedule went nuts. I was either missing days or having to scratch at 2am after getting home from a gig. The 2am sessions were always pretty unproductive, and I was exhausted from being on my feet for hours. I got a Numark PT01 portable that I would scratch with on the couch so I could rest and still get in a session, and this also helped a lot on days when I had to travel for work!
What are your top tips for anyone who wants to undertake this challenge?
If you’ve got a turntable and a mixer just jump right in and don’t think twice about it!! If a fulltime working DJ mom can pull this off so can anyone!! Find a dedicated time of day that works best for you and try to show up at the same time every day so it becomes a routine. I swear the routine is a biggest reason why I’ve been able to keep it up, it’s just a regular part of my day now.
If you were to do this challenge again, what, if anything would you do differently?
I actually just started my third round today!! This time I think I am going to move my dedicated time from 8pm to my kiddo’s naptime at 2pm. My DJ schedule doesn’t get any slower until November so late nights aren’t going to work so well anymore. Also, I am going to schedule 3 sessions per week that are going to last for 1 hour so I can ensure that fast progress I saw during Jan / Feb / March!
You are a School of Scratch student. What has your school experience been like?
I loooooove the SoS curriculum! Everything is extremely organized and easy to follow. I did get pretty far learning from YouTube alone, but before my 100 days ran out so did the free content haha. I felt a plateau around day 85. I needed more structured learning and feedback, and with a busy schedule like mine finding a local DJ to teach me just wasn’t going to happen. I needed to be able to learn at my own pace on my own time, and that’s exactly what the SoS offers.
What is next for you?
I am going to go for 300 days now, and I want to get to a point where I can come up with scratch routines and sharpen the beat juggling skills! I also want to feel so confident with vinyl that I can start playing out gigs with DVS rather than controllers. I am totally rocking dance floors with a controller just fine, but I want to take all of this scratch learning out in public!
Where can we find you online? send as many links to you as you want. your chance to shine
You can follow my 100 / 200 / 300 days of scratching on Instagram at:
My DJ name is Baby Van Beezly and you can follow my karaoke shows / DJ nights at:
Anything else you want to add?
HUGE thank you to you, Emma!! This journey has changed my life. I feel like I really proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to, and it gave me so much confidence as both a DJ and an evolving and growing human being haha. You have built such a rad community of people through the SoS and the SSC and I am so proud to finally say I am a part of it!!
That’s a wrap!
Thanks Vanessa! You are super inspiring! Thank you for being part of our community and for all you contribute. Looking forward to seeing your continued progress and creations on Instagram and inside our School.
About 100 Days of Scratching
100 Days of Scratching is a project I started and completed (see here) and have been encouraging my students to do the same – as a way to get in the habit of daily practice, documenting progress and connecting with others.
Vanessa joins fellow School of Scratch Students aka the Supa Scratch Crew: Julian, Crystal, Smallimus, Allexia, Thomas, Ashley, Adam, Erick, Magnus, Roly G and Denise who have all completed the 100 Days of Scratching project. What an amazing crew of creators!
Wanna take part in the 100 Days of Scratching Project?
You can take part in the 100 Days of Scratching project and join our group of supportive DJs here:
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E