This DJ Channeled Spielberg, Influenced Letterman and is Doing Charity Near YouSep 24, 2015 08:20PM ● By Rhett Wilkinson
Holladay’s Rob Ferre and his wife Larissa met Steven Spielberg the very morning after his wedding was highlighted by a velociraptor from the world-renowned director’s films. Ferre has proven to be a top entertainer himself in the Wasatch Front. Photo courtesy Rob Ferre
What if a man in this world got surprised by a “Jurassic Park” velociraptor crashing his wedding, only to, the very next morning, on a whim, meet the film’s director, Steven Spielberg?
And what if that same man also made such a difference on the Late Show with David Letterman that he influences the famous top 10 list and is seen twice on television – all in one episode?
Rob Ferre is this man. Perhaps he is lucky. Or perhaps what goes around comes around.
“DJ Rob” is a top entertainer who has gained local celebrity status mostly through that craft of providing excellent music. But in local celebrity status, Ferre is also a man of charity. When the Holladay resident spoke with the City Journals, he was preparing to dazzle at a bike race for cystic fibrosis. He’s helped children with life-threatening illnesses enjoy theme parks. And in the past month, volunteering for struggling children.
When he’s not helping children through training gained from "The Happiest Place on Earth," Ferre may be found entertaining them at assemblies, making bar mitzvahs momentous or considering Mormon culture. Ferre gained a career foothold as an attractions host at Walt Disney World. Now, he owns a company called Life of the Party, a name coined by his sister-in-law because he is. The company was moved to Utah in 2006 and has an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau.
“I really have the amazing luxury to do a job that I really love and am passionate about,” Ferre said. “I work for myself and I get to entertain in people’s celebrations in life. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of that.”
Life of the Party sprung from the platform of a side job, which Ferre also knows a thing or two about. His assemblies come through speaking for Rocky Mountain Power; his bar mitzvahs through DJ work, which has found a niche in weddings; and his Mormon culture considerations through The Cultural Hall podcast.
The Cultural Hall explores pop culture, books, films and other items having to do with Mormonism. Ferre said that he doesn’t express his belief too often through the podcast but is viewed as the “more left-leaning contributor.”
“I try not to get too political, but sometimes I do,” he said. “I don’t talk about politics in general, but when I’m on the podcast, they come out.”
Ferre and his wife Larissa held “anti-Utah” wedding festivities in 2013 in Salt Lake City, when a certain carnivore made famous by Spielberg bared its teeth, courtesy of Larissa.
“She saw this raptor at Comic-Con and it came in and crashed the wedding,” Ferre said. “The raptor started chasing girls through the doorway. People at the wedding said ‘this is the best wedding I’ve been to.’”
When Ferre and Larissa saw Spielberg in the lobby of The Montage just hours later, they were quick to let him know that his raptor crashed their wedding. Spielberg took a photo with the couple.
“The whole idea was to have a wedding that couldn’t be topped,” Ferre said. “Because I go to a lot of weddings, I thought ‘we've got to do something that will be different.’”
At the Late Show with David Letterman, Ferre’s dialogue with the famous host about the Salt Lake Mormon temple meant that the one spot left open on the show’s famous top 10 list – in this case, the “The Top 10 things overheard at Jesus’ wedding” – had to do with the building. Previously, Ferre told Letterman where he was from (Salt Lake City) and what he did (wedding DJ’ing). Letterman replied by saying that he visited the city the prior year and then searched for a word to describe something that he remembered from the town. Ferre suggested the temple, and Letterman rolled with it, asking if Ferre took photos inside the edifice. Ferre responded by saying that he was married there. Ferre and Larissa had the chance to participate in a program where select attendees got to sit on the front two rows and talk with Letterman, with the chance that dialogue would be used in the top 10 list. One of the two times the camera panned over to Ferre when his top 10 item was mentioned.
Ferre also stars as a comedian at Quick Wits in Midvale, where he proposed to Larissa, who helps run the business and occasionally DJs in Ferre’s place. Clients have included the Utah Jazz, Universal Studios, the Larry H. Miller Group and Intermountain Healthcare, among many more. He was a master of ceremonies in February 2013 and 2015 and was formerly a performer at ComedySportz and disc jockey at Electro-Magic Productions.
Then there’s the Disney experience. Before he was an emcee and DJ at Radio Disney in Salt Lake, he was an attractions host at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Since, he has shared lessons of guest interaction, show and customer service in a presentation titled “Life Lessons I Learned from Walt.”
After starring in a Ballet West performance as a child, Ferre began DJ work more than 15 years ago, when he got his first taste of mixing and entertaining crowds with music as a stadium DJ for the Salt Lake Buzz. In college at Southern Utah University, Rob was a DJ for Power 91. After graduation was a full-time DJ and show host for Nickelodeon Family Suites in Orlando.
Ferre has found the adoration of principals and PTA moms who invite Ferre back to their schools year after year, and it manifests itself strongly at home. Ferre does so many many school events in the Holladay-Cottonwood area that people will call him by his nickname as they drive by.
“I have a little bit of variety with little kids,” he said. “When I’m with adults, I try to shed that persona by assaying a corporate wedding professional image.”
Ferre presented in September at Sugar House Park for a Give Kids the World Walk and Friday at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda for Make-A-Wish Foundation.