Tell us about yourself and what you do

I’m Aaron Hale. I’m the owner of tellAplay Entertainment, LLC. I originally started the company as a theatre company but also providing DJ services. As my company has grown, the DJ services aspect has also grown and now the theatre part is an added bonus. We DJ karaoke, trivia, weddings, corporate events, and private parties. We host game shows, perform murder mystery shows, and perform children’s theatre.

Was there a turning point in your life that made you seek out inspiration and self-growth learning opportunities?

I often joke about this, but a major turning point for me actually came when I was in the second grade. I was cast as a tree in the school play, The Wizard of Oz. When my older brother was in the second grade, he got to play Scarecrow. I was so upset that I was cast so low and I was told it was because my reading level was too low. I worked hard through school after that to prove that I am much more than just a tree and that they made a big mistake. Again, this sounds silly now, but I really think it helped motivate me to become the entertainer I am today.

Inspiration comes in many different forms. First, I think of inspiration from celebrities. I like to look at people who may have come from nothing or just been average but they’ve worked their way to the top. For me, my four go to celebrities are Jimmy Stewart, Don Knotts, Will Smith, and Steve Carell. They all are/were good human beings (as far as anything I’ve ever heard), they’ve worked their butt’s off to get where they have, and as actors are known for comedy yet they’re brilliant at dramatic roles as well. Strong morals and diverse abilities are what gives a person the ability to go far. This leads me into what else gives me inspiration. As a special education teacher, I’ve seen kids come from all sorts of backgrounds. Most of them having harder life experiences than I ever will. Watching them make it through the day, and many of them making it through school and onto the workforce or college, is true inspiration. They overcome things that many of us could never imagine. The most successful ones do this by learning how to take care of themselves and accepting help from others. I think about my students any time I feel like giving up.

What was or is the biggest struggle you’ve faced embracing who you are?

The biggest struggle embracing who I am, came when I was 18. I just finished my first year at college, made the Dean’s List, but found out the University wasn’t going to give me a scholarship of any sort. I applied for a job in the media industry, which is what my major was at the time, and I got it! I decided to quit school to go to work full-time. My Grandma, who had always been a big supporter of everything I did, was very upset at me when I told her of my decision to quit school and was very hurtful. She had never treated me like that before and it came as a shock. Later that day, or sometime that week, I was in line at a fast food restaurant and a complete stranger randomly turned around, looked at me, and said never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you want it, it’s possible. Thanks to that stranger, that became my motto from then on. It’s Possible. Now, not only do I have my own business, but I have a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree from the University of Virginia and am a licensed special education teacher.

If you are in business or write a blog for yourself what made you take the leap?

I first started performing professionally in 2008. That same year is when I started DJing for another company. I loved being able to perform and make money for it (it’s not always that easy for most people), but I found myself often saying if this were my company I would do things differently. After about two years, I started having several of my regulars telling me that I should just start my own company. One of them was a man who had very little money. I told him that I’d love to start my own business, but I couldn’t afford it. He said he believed in me so much that he would give me everything he had for me to be able to start it. This opened my eyes to see how much joy I was bringing to people and how much fun I was having doing it. I told my friend that I could never take his money, but thank you. A few months later, he died. He showed me that people believed in me and that life is too short not to do what you want. So about a year later, I took the leap. I took the little bit of money I had saved up to buy the equipment I needed to start my business. Within about a year and a half, everything was paid off and I started making a profit.

Advise I would give to anyone, but especially those starting a business is to not get into anything with the expectation of becoming rich, or famous, or receiving any sort of recognition. If any of these things happen for you, then great. But if they don’t happen, and you’ve expected them to, then you will be very disappointed. Instead, get into things because it’s what you love. Understand that even things we love will hurt us sometimes, so don’t let that stop you. There are bumps in the road, and guess what? The bumps never end. Realize, though, that the time in between the bumps is worth the bruises.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

Just like in any aspect of life, there are some really tough times. It’s hard to stay motivated. For me, it may be I didn’t land a client that I thought I would. I didn’t do well at an audition. The hardest is when things aren’t going well in your personal life and somehow your supposed to be able to go into work with a smile on your face. To stay motivated during times like these, you have to find the positives, even if they seem small. Majority of the times, this means to find your friends and family. Talk to them about what’s going on. Or if you don’t want to talk to them about what’s wrong, do something fun with them. There are also times, though, when friends and family are what’s bothering you. In this case, you have to look around you to find those positives and have an open mind. I’ve gone to work while sad about stuff going on in my life and wanting to be in bed instead. Then I start playing music and I see people dancing. I notice a couple on their first date having a good time. I see people singing together. These are all reminders of why I do what I do and it helps me want to keep going.

Connect with Aaron:

Website
Facebook
Instagram

Death By Chocolate Murder Mystery

Augusta County Library 1759 Jefferson Hwy, Fishersville, Virginia 22939
hosted by tellAplay Entertainment
April 7th, 2019
2 pm – 5 pm

Need a spring date idea?…Congratulations on getting to be a studio audience member for The Mike and Tina Show! You will be joining us as a master chef and baker, Chef Boyarde Potts, shows us how to bake some of her favorite desserts. But be careful, as Death By Chocolate is always possible. In fact, when you have estranged lovers co-hosting a talk show, a reserved production manager, a bumbling security guard, and an eccentric chef full of secrets, mischief is sure to ensue. But who will be killed, how, and why? As an audience member, help us solve the mystery of Death By Chocolate.

Get your tickets here