Today we’d like to introduce you to Karson with a”K”
Karson, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been an entertainer for 25+ years in Colorado Springs, Denver and surrounding areas. As a kid, I always wanted to be a DJ. There was a skating rink I would pass by on my way to junior high school. One day I decided to see if they were needing a DJ. I knew nothing about “djing”, except for the messing around I had done with my dad’s stereo while he was at work. Dave, the owner told me to come on down and talk to the head DJ. His name was Tyler, and I will never forget the 1st time I met him.
I was so nervous and didn’t think I’d be offered an opportunity. Tyler quickly calmed my nerves as we talked and got to know each other. That night, during a skating session, he assured me he would teach me how to run a skating session. I thought everything looked pretty easy. Although, talking on the microphone and having to run games was a little intimidating.
Soon, it was time for my trial run. I remember coming in for my shift and Tyler handed me a full script on everything I needed to say and a list of games I needed to host. I immediately felt relieved. Tyler gave me my 1st real opportunity. He truly wanted to see me succeed, and I will forever be thankful to him for this. Needless to say, I smashed it first try and I knew I had found my lifelong calling. I moved quickly up the ranks and became the head DJ as Tyler moved onto other opportunities.
As I grew older, I was hungry for more, so I located a local DJ company called Generations Entertainment. It was down the street from the skating rink, so I made my move. This time, I had three years of experience under my belt and was much more confident walking through the door. I was hired on the spot. Generations told me I was going to train with their top DJs, and that it would take about six months before I’d be able to DJ on my own. I was 18 years old and so excited to become a professional DJ.
About two weeks into training, I was offered the opportunity to start DJing events on my own. The company had already been hearing great things about me from the other DJs, and they were ready to let me do my thing. I worked with Generations Entertainment for a couple of years, becoming a head DJ and trainer before I landed a small radio career.
My radio career began with an opportunity given to me by Val Hart and her husband, Jammerrrrrr. Both have worked in radio most of their careers. We have continued and grown in our friendship over the years. I worked with Jammerrrrr doing nights on 98.9 Magic FM. I started back in 1998. I worked the first six years as an intern, which was zero pay! I stayed with him until he hung up his headphones.
After Magic FM, I ended up landing my dream job as a full-time DJ and was the 1st DJ on air at, 96.1 The Beat. I have so many great memories. These were the best times in my life. I worked nights, afternoons and if you were in the Colorado Springs area in the late 2000s, you may have heard about “The Playhouse” with Karson and Shor-T. We were the number one morning show in town. My achievements include winning a CBA (Colorado Broadcaster Association, it’s like the Grammy’s) award for Best Feature, Best Afternoon Show and Entertainer of the year! My radio career ended in 2011 to begin an opportunity that has skyrocketed in the past 10+ years.
I did not know I was about to meet my future business partner Brandon Lee as we linked up in the early 2000s. He was the hot DJ in town, and I had a lot of respect for this man. As we got to talking, we both found out we were mobile DJs for the same company (Generations Entertainment) but missed each other by a year.
In 2006, he called me up one day and asked if I still DJ weddings. I said yes and he told me about an opportunity for his new company “DJs with a Pulse” to become the exclusive DJ service at a venue called “The Occasion” known today as “The Pinery”. Unfortunately, his other business partner landed a job in another state and he needed help. I jumped on that as fast as I could. Brandon and I have been running the DJ service under our new name “All-Star DJs” for the last 12+ years. I believe Brandon and I to be rare business partners as he is my secret weapon and sometimes, I wonder if he thinks I’m his. Both of our styles, ideas, and experience came together and hit the market like a wildfire. We have been really fortunate to have great DJs over the years and so many loyal clients just to name a few:
The Pinery, Creekside Events Center, The Mining Exchange, The Antler’s Hotel, Garden of the Gods Resort, Perry Park Golf Course, Spruce Mountain, SBDC, BBB, Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Thirsty Parrot, CS Dental, Gold Hill Mesa, UCCS, USOC, Colorado Springs Independent, Colorado Springs Business Journal, City of Colorado Springs (Mayor), Veda Salon, Viewhouse and so many others.
For us, there is enough work for anyone who wants to be a part of our team.
I have done over 1700 weddings and thousands of events. I’m so blessed to be doing a job I absolutely love and thank everyone who relies on me for their entertainment needs!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Yes, it’s been easy. I use pixie dust for everything! The real answer is NO of course. There have definitely been some struggles along the way and tons of work with a lot of NO’s. I gave up my 40-hour workweek job for this 80-hour a week business. Would I change it? NO! I’m a workaholic and love it. I am able to balance work with my personal life which can be super hard. I recently just learned that.
Before I went full time as a DJ, I remember working a wedding for example from 2 pm till 11 pm. I would then drive down to the local night club to DJ from 11:15 pm -2 am, followed by throwing newspapers in the middle of the night till 6 am or 7 am and getting a few hours of sleep to do it again that next day. Weekends are the toughest for us and luckily this has worked out and I was able to drop the “side hustle jobs”
My wife Beth has always allowed me to be me and work as much as I do, and I’m so lucky to have her. Last year was the worst year of my life. This would be a good Ellen DeGeneres story, lol…..
It all started in January as my Aunt’s longtime boyfriend passed away. It was very unexpected. Here’s where it gets crazy. My mother passed away on my birthday in May, again unexpected. With friends and family helping my sister (Catrina) and I during that time. Later that same week helping my older neighbor as I found him lying face down on the floor dying. We quickly called 911 and Beth and I saved this man’s life with CPR, an experience we will never forget. Three weeks later my dad was admitted to the hospital with the worst headache of his life. Unfortunately passed away near our 10-year marriage anniversary.
My dad was the hardest as he left behind his latest wife Sara of 20+ years and four beautiful children. They told us they were going to hold off on life support till the day after our official anniversary. Our friends and family wanted us to go out to dinner since it was a long couple days and we were supposed to be in Las Vegas where we got married to celebrate ten years. We agreed and I told my wife to meet me for dinner. As she is leaving our house a little girl on her bike pulls out onto the street and my wife hits her with the car! Like I said, you can’t make this stuff up. Luckily, she was ok and comes to our house often to say just to say hi.
I figured the worst as happened and I needed to move forward. Wouldn’t you believe I had a heart attack in September 2018, just a few months later. I found out I was diabetic, my A1C was over 12.5 and my sugar at 333 when I was admitted to the hospital. I didn’t even know I was having a heart attack; it’s wasn’t like the movies. You want to talk about life-changing. I ended up having a small piece of my heart die and I was 100% blocked in one of my artery’s.
I used to weigh 300 pounds, 260 when my heart attack happened and sitting a year later at 225 with a goal of 200. My blood work is getting back to normal and I’m on the right path to my health. No matter how my heart attack happened, stress, grief, weight, untreated diabetes, if I was going to stick around, I needed to change my health. This past year I have made considerable strides in my health goals and it shows in both my personal life and my business.
Tell us more about your work.
All-Star DJs is a full-service entertainment company specializing in Wedding DJs, corporate events and private parties. DJs are not distinguished by the type of equipment they use or the number of songs in their libraries. Generally speaking – all professional DJs will have similar sound systems, lighting packages and wireless mics. What sets us apart and far above the other DJ services is our entertainment abilities, our polished performances, organization and our music programming.
Programming the music for events is not just playing songs like an iPod, it’s reacting to guests and reading the dance floor which drives the songs we play to keep guests having fun and dancing. Our DJs have spent thousands of hours practicing and performing so everyone will have an amazing, memorable event. We have perfected our craft over the last 25 years. We have eliminated the guesswork, which ultimately results with our clients relaxing and enjoying their event.
I’m most proud of our team and the support we have for each other. Without them, I can’t do me, and for me, it’s to help them to achieve whatever they want in life! I do not consider myself “the boss” as I think we are all on the same level as an elite team and work and grow together. If I can set the standard and my team exceeds it, great! Now the next thing to do is become better and have bigger expectations. We are still here today and can’t wait for more opportunity’s tomorrow!
Business services we offer:
All-Star DJs – allstardjsco.com – DJ/AV service
Peak Photo Booth – peakphotobooth.com – Photo Booth
All-Star DJ Academy – allstardjacademy.com – Training, Consulting, Artist Management
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I always knew what I wanted to do for my career. If I could go back and change one thing, I would have finished high school and tried a college business class. I have technically been going to my own college learning this business thing with the help of my business partner Brandon. I’m glad I’m not paying for it, because it’s taken me 20+ years! Everything else though, haha what a fun and challenging experience!
- Address: 2210 E La Salle St Suite 218, Colorado Springs, CO 80909
- Website: allstardjsco.com
- Phone: 719-761-9035
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @allstardjsco
- Facebook: @allstardjsco
- Twitter: @allstardjsco
Melanie & Tyler