#SireMedia…Humble Beginnings

Victor Cartagena
SIRE MEDIA GROUP | Artist Business Services & Audio Production.
Arts And Entertainment

Jul 20,2017

There’s nothing like being 17. You are on the edge of what could be the biggest choice in your life, all while living it up daily. At 17 I held a fun cashier supervisor job, attending all my high school classes, and recorded music almost on the daily. In between classes I would hand out mixtapes to just about anyone. After class I would hop on the bus (school bag and all) and make my way to work. One day at a time not giving tomorrow any attention. 

Coming out of high school, I decided to stick with what was comfortable. Work! Picked up fulltime shifts at IKEA and just strolled one day at a time. No thought or worry in regards to post secondary. Well that dream was shortly lived! Hours got cut in half, and I picked up a night job cleaning at a manufacturing plant. There I meant a very wise close friend of mine. Our 3am lunches were quickly filled with artistic conversations ranging from my teenage hip-hop days, to his aspirations to create screenplays. The more I shared, the more he pushed for me to get my rear end into school. After a year of mopping washroom floors it was time to do just that.

I submitted my application to Metal Works Institute (famously known for the attached Metal Works Studios). In the weeks that followed I anxiously awaited the response. I was accepted! Suddenly every night shift had a purpose. I was going to put myself through school, and follow my dreams. 

During the following months, I attended my fulltime classes all while maintaining my fulltime night job. Yup, I was a big fan of coffee and energy drinks. It’s crazy what a little bit of drive can do for someone. I pushed my limit daily and never missed a beat (not even a sick day). I used my vacation days during my exam weeks in order to ensure that I was prepared to succeed. 

After two years straight (no summer break from work or school!) I did it. I obtained a diploma for Entertainment Business as well as Audio Engineering/Music Production. I even managed to graduate both with honours. But where was I supposed to go from there?

Paying for education can be a tad bit tricky. I had a pretty hefty student loan to pay off. There was two real paths to choose from. On one path I could search for an internship as an assistance that would pay little to nothing. On the other, I could continue working at that same job (which was now offering me steady dayshift) as well as a raise. I chose the latter of the two.

I wanted and needed money. I kept telling myself that I could tap into that same ambition that drove me through school, and use it to manage a fulltime job as well as pursue my dream to work in the music biz. However, I soon realized that I was burnt out. 

With all my free time I would pick up overtime shifts and kept my focus on money. Soon the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and yes you guessed it, the months into years. I took every promotion that came to me all while my passion and drive for music faded to the background. I kept telling myself that next week would be the week I dust it all off and start again. 

I was suddenly met with what I felt was the best opportunity. I had taken a job to be a production supervisor in the same plant I enjoyed humble beginnings as a janitor. The salary was 4 times more than the one I had started with (not to mention overtime!). So I accepted it the moment the phone call came in, Life couldn’t be any better. Engaged with the girl of my dreams, with a job that could support us both. But there was a cost…my mental health.

With the job, came an insane amount of pressure. Managers often lost their mind on me and often left me in a nervous state. Prior to every shift I could feel my stomach turn, and after every shift I wanted to be alone. I wasn’t eating and my relationship began to suffer. Not to mention, that dream I worked so hard to follow, was MIA. 

In the weeks that followed, nothing seemed to change. Every step I made forward was met with someone pushing me back down. I contemplating throwing in the towel daily but constantly told myself “I just gotta do what I gotta do”. I reminded myself of my capability in difficult situations. But there was a big difference. That ambition that pushes you farther than you ever could imagine, is usually for a goal that you could not see yourself without.

This day in day out struggle to maintain my sanity was not what my ambition was made for. It’s not what drove me through college. I didn’t what to just survive another day. I wanted to make the most of it. After a long talk with the fiancé, I through in the towel and called it quits. I respected my employers with two weeks notice and dived into the unknown.

That is exactly what brought me here today. Sire Media Group. I’m injecting myself into the business by making business. It’s time for that ambition and drive to create greatness. 

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