I’m Anna-Jeannine! (My friends call me AJ9 for short.)
Here’s my card and a little bit about me:
I get to help people celebrate on some of the most joyful days of their lives through song and story.
I am a “full package” event entertainment director — I script, DJ, MC, design lighting, and sometimes even choreograph events, all guided by extremely detailed fore-planning with my clients, one-on-one, to capture a style that’s true to them. In the past, I have worked on lots of different kinds of events — theatrical plays, live sound, school dances, Bar Mitzvahs, even Karaoke — but what I really have a passion for is weddings. I help my brides and grooms express their joy in the way that THEY find the most romantic, fun, and memorable.
I have a diverse arts background and bring a lot of skills to the table — I have over a decade of professional experience in the theatre and design industries, both on- and off-stage, working as an actor; an acting and vocal coach; a wardrobe technician and “quick change” artist; a theatrical stitcher, draper, and costume designer; a hair & makeup designer; a lighting designer; a sound designer; an educator; a graphic artist & branding strategist; a vocalist; and a brass player. I’ve been honored with membership in Lambda Phi Eta and Alpha Psi Omega, I am a Berea College Hall of Fame Actress, a Paul Power Award recipient, a Julia Drukker-Stammer Award for Appalachian Service recipient, and a Bonner Scholar. Some roles you might recognize: Queen Anne in Shakespeare’s Richard III, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, and Philia in Soundheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, just to name a few. I have worked both onstage and off in theatres as far West as Idaho, as far North as Maine, and as far South as Tennessee.
I’m originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, and I moved to Ohio after Bachelor’s studies in Theatrical Performance, Theatrical Design, and Communication, to complete graduate work in Theatrical Design at Kent State University — where I met my husband and business partner, Justin Herman.
As a professional wedding entertainer, I’ve had the privilege to study with some of the biggest names in wedding entertainment in the country and internationally. I have completed both the “Make it Grand” two day intensive Grand Entrance Workshop and the two day intensive seminar the “Professional Process” (twice) with world-renowned author and wedding expert Peter Merry (Wedding Entertainment Director®, WED Guild® Founder, and Author of “The Best Wedding Reception…EVER!”) and Elisabeth “Liz” Daley (Wedding Entertainment Director® and President of the WED Guild®). Additionally, I’ve also completed training with Mark and Rebecca Ferrel’s Marbecca Master of Ceremonies program. I am a graduate of both the American DJ Academy and the Chauvet DJ Academy.
I am passionate about service to my community and about working to better our region. I am active in volunteer efforts for a number of causes close to my heart, including AIDS and Breast Cancer awareness and research, the arts, and the fair and equitable treatment of all people through including organizations such as the Northern Ohio Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (NOBCCF); the Humility of Mary Life Opportunity Services (H.M. Life); the Community AIDS Network and Akron Pride Initiative (CANAPI); the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Summit, Medina, and Stark Counties; Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio; and Torchbearers Akron.
I also enjoy giving back to the professional community through several associations and through educational speaking engagements. I am a member of several professional organizations, including the Northeast Ohio DJ Association (which I founded), the American Disc Jockey Association, the School Dance Network (Certified Responsible DJ), former vice president for the International Special Events Society (ISES Cleveland). I’ve served as a featured recurring remote news correspondent for the Crossfader Show, as an educational speaker for the Today’s Bride Show, the Mobile Beat Disc Jockey Conference’s Disc Jockey Event Planner Intensive, Akron University’s Early College High School, and SYN/HAK.
I don’t take myself too seriously… as is evidenced by my participation in our recent “Anatomy of a DJ” ad campaign. 😉
I’m known for my resourcefulness, sincerity, exceptional grammar, caring nature, and ability to create fictional Latin translations. I form strong bonds with my clients, and marrying you off is always bittersweet for me.
In my free time, I enjoy cooking, entertaining, writing, singing, blogging, costume parties, making crafts out of unlikely materials, talking about other people’s weddings, and my chronic Facebook addiction has been well-documented. I can keep a surprise, love pink, am a natural redhead, and I can guarantee that you will win fair and square if you challenge me to a game of bowling or golf, but you might not want to bet against me in a game of Skeeball.
Want to learn more about booking me for your wedding? You can contact me, here.