Over the last five years I've been taking music classes online. I studied sound design, music theory and composition, digital production and lyrics and songwriting. At this point, I consider myself a well-rounded musician. I can compose songs, take the instrumentation and produce it, put it all together into a finished track and then master it electronically.
All those skills seem a little more relevant to today's popular music than my background as a classical violinist does. While there are violins in some popular music you here today, it's not a big part of the culture.
Anyway, I got to the point where I had about 200 songs of my own but didn't really have a way to get them out there. I thought, "Maybe mixing my own songs into popular music is the way to get people to hear them. At this point I've invested thousands of hours into music production. It's a shame to only play my songs for my close friends and family or on my SoundCloud."
That started my foray into the world of DJing. In the beginning, roughly two years ago, I might have a gig here or there but they were kind of sporadic. Things really started taking off thanks to my hairdresser. I was in her chair getting my hair cut and I let her listen to one of my new songs. She said, "You should meet my friend Lisa. She's a DJ here in Vegas."
That's how I met Lisa Pittman. She's a resident DJ at Marquee nightclub who's been DJing around the world for 13 years. She's great. Our personalities are very similar. We're both high-energy, big goal-setting type of people. We clicked so well so quickly that we decided to start a female-led DJing duo called Deuces. We already have six or seven gigs lined up for the first half of 2013.
I'm not going to lie. I definitely get nervous before these gigs. It's like playing poker. I sit down and get those butterflies, the tiniest little bit of a panic attack, before I start. I see how huge the speakers are and realize that any little mistake is amplified. That's daunting. But then once I'm up there I say a prayer, gather my courage and do it. My personality takes over. Having Lisa by my side also takes off some of the pressure.
Will we succeed? I don't know. But I'm the kind of girl who likes to shoot for the stars. I'm not afraid to have big goals. If not for that quality I might have played it safe, stayed in law school and not tried to make it as a professional poker player.
People often ask what the ingredients are for my success at such a young age. I always say it's the lack of fear to set big goals. I'm not scared to fall on my ass and fail. The only way you ever do great things is to shoot for them.
Vanessa Rousso is a member of Team PokerStars Pro