Damon Wayans’ Actor Son Starts Very Unique Business That Many Singers Will Thank Him For

Posted On : September 14, 2017
(L) Damon Wayans, Jr.; (R) Damon Wayans, Sr.

Over the years, we’ve all seen Damon Wayans at his best in front of the cameras. But when the cameras weren’t rolling, he was just like most people. A working parent, providing for his children and setting an example he hoped they’d follow. Well, it looks like Damon Jr. was definitely paying attention because not only did he follow in his Pops footsteps, acting and entertaining, he’s also a successful businessman. In fact, the 34-year-old recently launched a relatively unique business and its dynamic model will probably be something other entertainers will definitely appreciate.

The Special Guest App:

Damon Wayans, Jr. and his business partner, Kristopher Jones

Damon Jr. has partnered with Internet marketing guru and affiliate, Kristopher Jones, to create a new application called Special Guest. The app is relatively similar to other popular apps like Uber, eBay, Fiverr because it offers a means of communication for both providers and consumers. However, when it comes to Special Guest, the unique part about the app is that the providers are entertainers looking to capture a certain audience. The app will help entertainers find their audience while consumers have the pleasure of enjoying live performances. During a recent interview with Huffington Post, Damon revealed what led him to the idea. As a standup comedian, he knows all too well how difficult it can be to make a name for yourself. Although he had guidance and a strong support system during his humble beginnings, he’s well aware everyone doesn’t have the backing they need despite their raw talent.

“I do a lot of stand-up comedy. I travel around the US entertaining people and when I’m not doing that I’m home in LA refining my material. I do a lot of open mics. Open mics are where people who entertain for a living go to practice their material. It’s not just stand-up comedians. There are poets and there are musicians and what have you. One time I was at this open mic, sitting there waiting my turn. Two comedians go up ahead of me; very funny guys, never heard of them before and they kill it. Then this young lady goes up, she’s a freckle-faced, young, redhead who goes up there with an acoustic guitar. She starts singing her own material and she blows me away. Everybody in there was like, ‘Wow, why isn’t this girl famous already?’ I had goose bumps and I thought to myself that it sucks that so many people who are entertainers will never get the opportunity to be paid for the thing that they love doing the most. They ultimately have to set aside their dreams and get a regular job and it’s because of the way that the entertainment industry is set up. I have representation; I have a manager; I have agents. A lot of people don’t have that.”

The Call For Backup:

So he’s hoping the app will open doors for others. “I wanted to make a platform for entertainers to make it easier for them to get gigs.” To get the idea off the ground, Damon called for backup and got the help of his good friend Kris Jones. When they put their heads together, they managed to come up with a relatively strong system that compliments both the idea and the business model. However, Kris admits it’s not an easy project to bring to fruition.

“The process of building a platform like this, a global app platform to connect venues and entertainers is a pretty big project. We knew that it was not going to be easy at all to build a platform that became the solution for anyone anywhere to be able to easily and affordably hire live entertainment. So we thought the partnership with Apple, going on the show, having the opportunity to pitch at the end of the show to a top tier Silicon Valley investment fund because we made it that far was worth it.”

Damon Wayans Jr. (L); Damon Sr. (R)

Since most talent agencies normally look for talents already being managed, Damon and Kris are looking to bridge that gap with the app. Even though there are raw talents who currently do not have management, the ultimate goal is to get them paid so they can get from point A to point B.

“We’ve achieved our goal if we get talented people in the app and get them paid. The problem is that the traditional booking industry favors managed talent and 98 percent of talent that isn’t managed. So you have this conundrum where the 98 percent have to be not just performers but entrepreneurs. We want them to be able to focus on their acts; we will help them find venues that pay.”

That’s a cool creation Damon Jr. and his partner have devised. If all goes well, a whole new stream of revenue has just been opened for up and coming talent across the U.S. and that’s a beautiful thing. Much luck to them with this one.