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Life & Work with Cameron Magdaleno

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cameron Magdaleno.

Hi Cameron, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I like many millennials started working a retail job while I was in my sophomore year of high school. At that point time, the minimum wage was $6.26 per hour. When I was a kid that wasn’t a problem. I had no bills or outstanding debt, so making a bit of pocket change was fine. As time went on and I graduated high school, I didn’t really have a plan and didn’t know if continuing my education was the proper course of action for me. So for the next few years, I bounced around from job to job doing everything from grocery store stocker, door to door wine salesman, to Forklift driver, and a. myriad of other odd jobs. All of which I knew were not my true calling. In 2008, the Housing market crash hit and work went from plentiful to non-existent.

Times were extremely tough and the only work I could find was some construction (which I had very little to no knowledge in) to warehouse work, loading and unloading shipping containers that came in from around the world. It was grueling and dangerous. The pay made it difficult to meet my monthly expenses because there were no full-time positions available at that time. The crash resulted in several years of struggling to make ends meet and many sleepless nights from insecurity of the state of what my future would hold. I felt like I had hit my rock bottom, working jobs that I had absolutely no interest in and I felt like we’re never going to lead me to anything meaningful. In 2011, I had reached my peak depression from not knowing what I wanted to do and where I was going with my life. I decided that I needed to make a change and move in a direction that would lead me to a career. I have always been a music fan and always loved being involved in the music community. I did tons of research on schools that could give me the information I would need to succeed in the music industry.

I finally settled on LARS (the Los Angeles Recording School). Where I spent two years learning the nuances of the recording arts and sciences, It was a tough en devour. I was living in San Pedro at the time and had to commute to Hollywood 5 days a week… Without a car. Having 8 hours of classes and several hours after school for extracurricular activities, as well as a 4 hour commute each day was difficult to say the least. To top that off, I had to finance my education on my own (and it was not cheap). Very specialized trade schools have a unique position to basically charge what they want. In my mind, there was absolutely 0% option of failing, I took the risk and put my head to the grindstone, two years later I graduated with Honors, a 4.0 GPA, and secured a job in live sound engineering the day before I had graduated. Eight years later, I have been gainfully employed in the live music industry, worked with a countless number of artists and musicians, and gotten to travel the entire world. It never was, and for anyone finding themselves in the same boat that I used to be in; will never be an easy path to take. I was left with no other option than to succeed and it forced me to be the best at whatever task I took on.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Whether you have a plan or not, nothing is ever a smooth road. There will always be obstacles and challenges along the way. It’s how you deal with those obstacles and challenges that determines whether you succeed or not. Obviously, Covid-19 has left a lot of us in dire situations and caused a major disruption in my industry in particular. With a new year and a new leadership, the hope is that me and millions of others like me will be able to have our careers back and have our lives go back to normal soon. Be smart and follow the advice of the hire ups. We can all does this if we stick together. I have been through this before and probably will have to go through this again at some point. Never give up on what you believe in and always follow your dream, no matter how far away it may seem.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have been working in Live sound engineering for the past eight years and I specialize in Monitor engineering in particular. A monitor engineer is the person who mixes music for the artists that are performing on stage. It’s a bit of a specialized position so It’s always an easy gig to be gainfully employed in until you have established yourself in the particular line of work. I have been fortunate enough to be able to have not only had consistent work as a monitor engineer, but It’s also taken me all over the world and introduced me to so many beautiful amazing people. I would not say that there is anyone thing that sets me apart in my line of work in particular. There are many people out there that are just as good if not better than me. We all look out for each other and hook each other up with gigs when we are not able to do them ourselves. It’s a big community of people and we all want not just ourselves to do well but for everyone to do well. That’s what unique about the live music tech community.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
With Covid-19 making all live shows almost non-existent (at least here in the US). Live streaming, recorded performances, and AR/VR being the wave of the future moving forward. That’s not a bad thing, it just seems to be happening before the industry was completely ready to support those platforms fully at the moment. As techs, our entire jobs are about solving problems with whatever resources we have and in the shortest amount of time possible. I have full confidence we will find a logical platform that will make financial sense in the very near future.

Contact Info:

  • Email: idestroyeddisco@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @camtron9000


Image Credits:

Eddie Soto – insta: @_eddie.soto_ Jonathan Duncan – insta: @jonathanhunterduncan and Me (Cameron Magdaleno) – insta: @camtron9000

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