With a determined expression, large headphones wrapped strategically around his head and the whispered count of beats, Mike Tirman is able to take a plain beat and make it dance.
He calls himself DJ Frontir when he’s mixing beats, but when he’s mixing with students, faculty and administration at Butler University, he’s known as the chair of the Council on Presidential Affairs.
Sitting behind the executive board table, Mike Tirman addresses campus concerns, fields questions about university improvements every Wednesday at SGA.
After watching Tirman work behind his jumble of equipment complete with cords and switches galore, it becomes clear that performing as a disc jockey is not simply about pressing the play button.
Tirman said there is much more to being a DJ than what meets the eye.
“It’s really a very technical process,” he said. “It’s an art.”
While Tirman said most of his friends at Butler know he is a DJ, it is not commonly known throughout the student body.
“It’s almost like a running joke, because I’m in the honors program, I’m in [Student Government Association] and I mean, I’ve been a fairly straight-laced kid, but I’m a DJ,” Tirman said.
As a college student, Tirman usually only performs at Greek events, school events and weddings. Tirman admits to having a younger audience, though.
“Some of the gigs I have done are middle school dances,” Tirman laughed. “It is kind of fun to go to a middle school dance and see how awkward the kids are.”
Tirman began his career as a DJ during his sophomore year of high school. He was involved in high school theater and said he always had an interest in music and sound equipment.
When he entered college, Tirman continued his career as a DJ. The only difference was his show name—DJ Tirmonster became DJ Frontir.
While he said he loves classical music, his favorite music to perform and listen to is electronica.
While Tirman said he plans to continue his career as a DJ in law school, academics will always come first.
“I love being a DJ, but it’s always been this side gig for me,” Tirman said. “I really want to try and keep it as more of a hobby.”
While many people might be surprised to learn that Tirman is a DJ, his friends don’t find his hobby that shocking.
Freshman Becky Pokrandt, who serves on CPA with Tirman, said it is hard to see him as anything but a genuinely nice, fun-loving guy even though he is very organized and holds many leadership positions on Butler’s campus.
“I always saw him as this really outgoing, loud-in-a-good-way person,” Pokrandt said.
Senior English major Ginnye Cubel is also on CPA with Tirman, and she knew Tirman as a DJ before she even became friends with him on CPA.
According to Cubel, there is no one better to work with than Tirman.
“He’s good at getting things done, and he’s very encouraging,” Cubel said. “He’s never strict or scary. He’s very fun and relaxed.”
Whether Tirman is leading a CPA meeting or spinning as a DJ, Cubel said there is little he can’t do.
“He can get anything done. I’m convinced,” Cubel said.
The key to being a successful DJ is to think simply and always remain aware of the beat, according to Tirman.