For Women Who Want The Ballerific Life!
A few people asked me how I got started, so I decided to write a personal blog about how I got started in the entertainment business and how BallerAlert came about.
*please excuse the grammar and typos in advance* lol - a very short write up .. i'll do the long version soon
Around 2002... I started working part-time at a few nightclubs DC Live/VIP Club/Platinum/H20 as the VIP coordinator. I booked acts, made sure all our VIP's was straight, and was known as the "can't I get a band" lady. Everybody that was anybody came through DC and partied at our nightclub. The club was located blocks from the MCI Center/Verizon Center in Downtown Washington DC. We had a total of 5k people every weekend coming through our doors. In a few short months I was able to quit my good government job and live totally off working at the clubs. My boss was jive cheap but the experience was priceless and the tips were great!
From learning the business, I was about to start my own night at Eyebar on Tuesdays. My partner and I (Akil) had the hottest running party for 8 years on a Tuesday. Our motto was "Party on Tuesday Like It's Friday" We had all the hottest celebs coming to our events for FREE. I remember R Kelly came in and performed a whole concert. Being that our party was on Tuesday that was new music day so we got all the latest release parties and the celebs would come promote. One thing I learned from my boss was don't spend your own money. We never ever came out of pocket for our parties. Never paid for a celeb, dj etc. He was a shrewd business man but a great mentor. I learned a lot from him and miss him dearly.
A lot of opportunities fall under the entertainment business. From working at the club I was about to start my own marketing company Lyon Entertainment. I was the first one in DC to have an all girl marketing team. I named them Mane Passion (get it? pun on words). They got paid to host parties, they promoted all of my events and we had a great time. They are all still friends to this day and some went into the business to become very successful.
Under Lyon Entertainment I also did many private events for some of the hottest celebs. I also was hired to work with a huge marketing company and we got a huge budget to market Axe Body Spray. We did huge campaigns, sponsored parties and did product placement. Remember the Ciara One, Two Step song? Check out the video and see that Axe body spray product placement. We also had product placement in Kanye's spaceship video. He didn't release it to years later but check it out. I was also an extra in that video lol. Good times
For a short while I use to assist the owner of 1228 management who managed artist like Ginuwine and Raheem Devaughn.
My mentor and BFF/Brother Kenny Burns hired me to work on all of his projects. He was a partner in a Tequila company and asked me to be the Marketing Manager. At that time I didn't know the difference between a rum and a vodka. I took my ass to bar-tending school to learn about liquor and from there I learned all about the spirit business. After awhile the deal fell through but I learned a lot including how to mix drinks which I did for fun for a few years in addition to working all these projects.
Soon after that Kenny had a clothing company called Ryankenny with I helped with. I believe it was the second black company to get into Saks. I learned all about the clothing business. I even produced his fashion show at Miami fashion week which Tyson Beckford walked in. That was some fun times.
I am also a partner in a company called Studio 43. I heard this kid name Wale on the Radio and told Kenny we should sign him under Studio 43. Studio 43 had that nigga ROCKIN. If you google Studio 43 and Wale you will see the real history on how he got started. I remember doing a party for him at Platinum and it was 2k people trying to get in. We had the whole city behind him. It was good times... I think I will save all the details for a book.
But how I started baller alert:
I was working at VIPclub and this was back when Michael Jordan played for the Wizards. He pulls up to the club with Charles Oakley. He got there about 10:30pm.. my boss wasn't there yet so I immediately called him. He started going crazy because he could smell the money..(kinda like dolla bill in players club) he screamed: "go get the dj to shout it out over the live broadcast, get on that text message and text all the bad party girls to come down here now" .. Our VIP room wasn't open yet so I escorted MJ to the VIP room made sure he was straight then ran upstairs to the dj told him that MJ was in the house.. then started text messaging all the bad b******...and that time texting was not unlimited. I think I went over my minutes lol. Anywho..like an hour later it was 2k girls trying to get in the VIP room. *LIGHTBULB* I got home and started researching how to send out text alerts to promote my parties. I wanted to text girls to let them know when the hottest celebs were in the building. Back then they didn't have any mass texting services so I sat on the idea.
I finally found a mass texting service called EZtexting. It was expensive as hell! I already had collected over 1400 telephone numbers and to send out an alert it was $70 bucks each time. I didn't want to charge the girls to sign up so I had to figure out how I could get the price down. I started contacting other promoters asking them what they thought of the idea and would they send me "baller alerts". A few laughed.. I remember one Miami promoter told me I had the dumbest idea in the world and proceeded to talk s*** to other people. One DC guy posted how my s*** was so dumb.. he recently he apologized lol.
I hollered at my boy would was a tech junkie and he told me to take my pitiful blog off wordpress and do a social networking site. (I say pitiful because I'm not a writer. Im so thankful for Eleven and other bloggers who blog on the site) He had a site called thisis50.com. He taught me about websites, I remember we were streaming live through kyte. He even got me a kyte phone. I remember saying "i wanna be the black tmz" .. I was a one man show trying to do everything. I always tell people find a team, pay them well, and keep them around. You can not do everything by yourself.
My boy was supposed to help me but he was busy as hell with 50 Cent so I had to do everything on my own. We had a talk recently and he said "you are so smart you kept going instead of depending on me". I thought about that long and hard because I had to learn everything on my own about this business. I had to learn about the advertising on the site, technical stuff, how to get hits, etc. It was a long hard process. I am still not where I want to be with the site but it's growing. I had a goal I set in 2013 to reach a million hits a month. I reached that goal by Jan 2013. I am thankful to everyone who visits everyday. Never in a million years did I think BallerAlert would grow like this. Without a publicist we have been featured in NY Post, AOL, Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Anderson Cooper and many other major publications.
When I first started BA I wanted it to be a hot mess. I advertised on Talk Sports. It wasn't until a few months later when I had to invite girls from the website to a private party that most were educated, business owners, high ranking government officials and other great careers that most just wanted to get on the site for girl talk and "how to tips" and of course party.. who wants to party with broke people? People want to party with the stars. MEN AND WOMEN. That is why I laugh when broke dudes scream "baller alert hoes"
Since being in the business for a while a lot of your favorite celebs I know them or management personally. So it wasn't hard for me to call them to get tips. Funny thing is the ones I know personally take the good with the bad. No one over here is making up s*** on GP. Most of our baller mails are from people we know personally, most of our morning woods is the agents sending us their pics, most of our "baller alerts" the artist/manager sends them to us personally. I use to feel bad posting the ignant s*** they would do but WHY? THEY DID IT. I remember one baller got his people to call me because they were pissed we posted they were broke. We quoted the story from ESPN. Did they call ESPN upset? Once that happened I stop caring... when I stopped trying to please others things got better. That is how you keep going..
LOL. anywho I think this sums a lot up. Maybe I'll write an ebook lol