Occupation: Private events DJ
Personal Stats: Wrubel was born in Dallas and moved Los Angeles to attend film school at the University of Southern California. After graduation, she spent four years working as a cast member at the Groundlings, an improvisational theatre and school (boasting grads like Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, Cheryl Hines and more). While living in Rome, Italy, with her photographer husband Steven, Wrubel began her DJ career. The Dallasite and her husband of nine years have one daughter, Stella, age 3.
How did you go from working as an improv comedian to a DJ?
“I’m friends with an event planner based in Florence, and she booked me to DJ a wedding with an Italian DJ [while living in Italy] — even though I had never DJ’ed before. My friend said to me, ‘You always set the background.’ And, in a way she was right. I would change the music at dinner parties and change the whole mood. I agreed to do the wedding, but the other DJ didn’t want anything to do with me … he finally let me put on one song and people started running out of the house and dancing. He said to me, ‘Got anything else?’
Afterward, I skipped back to our apartment and couldn’t stop talking about how much fun it was. It was a mis-mash of what I love … I got a job at a little discotech near our place and worked there as a DJ every weekend for three years. When we moved to Dallas [about five years ago], I kind of thought the whole DJ thing would die … but I got some jobs through friends and then started doing Fashion at the Park, and started to do more creative events versus playing at clubs. Now, instead of using jokes and words, I use music, which is something that I really love.”
How did Stella change the dynamics in your home?
“This is going to sound so corny, but I think that Stella is the best of both of us. She’s just one of us … She has really just jumped right in. Steve and I had a theory going into parenthood that we weren’t going to join a child’s life, the child would join our world. And she has.”
Is there something new that you learned about yourself when you became a mom?
“I didn’t know that I was a morning person. I thought I was solely a night person. But, I lost that option … she gets up at 7:30-8am, and what I didn’t expect is that I would hear her and think, ‘Oh, there she is.’ And I’d want to get up and see her. I guess I didn’t know that I wouldn’t need the amount of sleep that I thought I would need.”
Do you have rules to mother by?
“We have the finest pediatrician that ever lived, Dr. Sue Hubbard. Dr. Sue has given us these little pearls of wisdom all along the way. Whatever she says, we do it. She’s always right. But as for my own parenting rules … I find it hard to have rules because they just keep changing.”
What does Stella think about your job?
“She thinks I’m in a tower when I’m working — or sometimes she calls it the castle. The other day at school she was pretending to be me and said, ‘I have to get in my tower and dance and play music so that other people will dance.’ So, she has a pretty good understanding of what I do … she loves music.”
What about Stella makes you laugh?
“Everything — she’s hilarious. For example, if there’s a song on the radio, she’ll say, ‘Mommy, back it up!’ She wants me to play it again. She’s zany.”
What are Saturday mornings like in your house?
“I love Saturday mornings. They are almost always the same, which is so great. We all watch as many cartoons as we possibly can. We’re obsessed with the Backyardigans and the new Oliva cartoons. We stay in our pajamas, and daddy makes eggs and toast. Then we go outside and walk or hang out in the backyard. Saturday nights I usually work, so that’s why Saturday mornings are a time when we don’t have to be anywhere or do anything.”
Do you have a favorite song or singer for family sing-alongs?
“I grew up in a house that was always rocking (think big bowls of ice cream and loud music). People are always giving me children’s music, but I never had children’s music when I was growing up. I don’t want to dumb down my music for Stella. She needs to know who the Rolling Stones are. Right now she’s all about Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” I’m just glad I’m not driving down the road listening to the Wiggles; it’s more interesting for her and for me.”
How do you balance your career and motherhood?
“I think it’s day to day … at the end of the week, usually, I’ll think, ‘OK, I kind of got it right.’ Other weeks, I won’t get anything right. My work is so weird. I try not to work any more than four nights in a row. It’s too hard on Stella and Steve.”
How do you get dressed for an event?
“I’ve always felt that people get such a bad wrap for caring about fashion, but for me it’s art. The way you put yourself out there and the way you present yourself is very important. I’m very eclectic … I have some really, really nice things but other pieces are from vintage shops or eBay. My goal is to pull something off that is so unique. It’s a creative challenge.”
What do you keep in your handbag? “My iPhone. It’s the best thing ever created. Chapstick, a debit card, sunglasses and lipstick.”