The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
Entrepreneur, Investor, and Film Producer/Financier
Founder of Hero Artists Inc.
Tell us about your company?
My first company and dear to my heart are Hero Artists Inc is a full-service talent agency representing over 300 actors, writer/producers, singers and personalities since 2009 across Canada. Further, we manage experienced talent in the Canadian market to transition them into other markets (especially the US).
In Producing and Film Financing, since 2015 I have been blessed to have been involved with some incredible films that I have personally invested in as well as raised financing for. The first film was ‘Forsaken’ with Kiefer and Donald Sutherland and Demi Moore. After that, I was intrigued by producing, and my friend Sean Cisterna brought me on board a Telefilm supported film based on a true story ‘Kiss and Cry’ to help package the film. My most recent film which will be released this Spring, ‘The Last Full Measure’starring Samuel L Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Ed Harris, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Peter Fonda and Diane Ladd (to name a few). I am currently in pre-production on the next film ‘Spinning Gold” and a co-production with Mexico for ‘Under Duress.’ Film Projects are not all I gravitate to…I am an Executive Producer on an innovative VR Project, CMF/OMDC supported ‘Spacewalk VR,’ and with Hero Artists, we are packaging a few TV series currently under development.
What do you love most about your job?
Every day is a different, exciting challenge and it never feels like a ‘job.’ In fact, it’s not- its who I am and its a part of my being. I am and have been blessed to meet the most exciting and talented people. When I am passionate and believe in the people behind a concept or idea, or believe in their talent, my passion is to find a way to make it a reality and see it manifest. The journey is the most exciting aspect.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The people I surround myself with and the passion I have to be on this journey. I am surrounded by my team, mentors and loved ones who continuously inspire me….push me…constructively criticize me and support my vision. As I mentioned above, I don’t need to be motivated to go to “work” its just who I am and what I do. As a first generation, Portuguese-Canadian with immigrant parents who instilled the importance of work ethic from the age of 6, waking up in the morning to achieve my personal goals, and help others is embedded into my DNA.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
There are so many examples that I cannot even summarize. Everyone brings their own life experiences and situations which help me to see every situation from a different perspective. My partners, coworkers, employees are all such energetic and passionate individuals (in the own ways), and we all help support each others vision, dreams, and growth. They help me get over my fears, help me overcome issues I am experiencing, help to push my boundaries, support my vision, and they are not afraid to question me! The question, challenge and ask difficult questions which generally people are too afraid to ask me (or anyone, for that matter). Who they are and their individual personal situations and varied personalities/skill set continuously remind me to have an open mind, adapt and respect everyone’s journey and walk of life. After all, we are all in this together.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Well, we ARE in the entertainment industry! So watching clips, sending funny emails, laughing out loud and openly discussing frustrating situations really are great. One particular member in our team (ahem* BT), has a sense of humour like no other and is notorious for pranks, memes, jokes and has a sense of humour and personality that is so vibrant and lively and yet she is both clever and assertive simultaneously. I go to a lot of events, concerts and many of our meetings involve entertainment, so we have a pretty great time together. It’s in our nature for us to have an open and vibrant atmosphere. After all, work should not feel like “work,” we all need to enjoy each day.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
There are many, but my primary challenge is always fighting for what’s right. Being a mediator between parties and understanding very differing personalities….is not easy.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Do your research.
Be prepared to expect 1000 “no’s” before a yes. You need to be resilient.
Don’t try to be or mould yourself to someone you think other people want.
Be true to yourself.
Be open-minded. Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on your growth.
Be prepared to sacrifice….live, breathe and embody your journey.
Surround yourself with like-minded people and only seek positively symbiotic relationships.
Remember our place in the universe. Welcome challenges and try to look at positives.
Smile even if it hurts. It brings joy to others.
Practice Empathy in every situation.
Respect Yourself, Each other and the Universe.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: