Earlier this spring, it seemed as though everyone was flocking west to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Cassie Banaszek found herself making the trip from Florida weeks after graduating from Full Sail University’s online Entertainment Business Master’s program, but it wasn’t to check out the bands nor was it a temporary visit – she was going to work, and it would be a career move that would permanently relocate her to nearby Los Angeles.
While living in Orlando, Cassie worked for a concert/event staffing company called CID Entertainment; after learning that they would be staffing Coachella under the name Valley Music Travel, she was able to use her contacts with the company to land the gig shortly after graduation.
“Valley Music Group provided many Coachella attendees with travel packages that included their tickets, shuttle passes, as well as their hotel packages,” says Cassie. “We were working off-site at a couple of the hotels in the area to check attendees in, get them their packages, and give them the general rundown of the festival. My role was more customer service-oriented, as we were checking everyone in and giving them their credentials. It was two weekends of madness and a fun time!”
The Coachella opportunity acted as the perfect transition to bring Cassie out to California, where she would begin to pursue one of her main career goals – artist management. The relocation was especially serendipitous, as it brought her closer to international urban pop group Phase Five, who she had been casually working with while still in school.
“The group formed over a year ago, and I had known one of the members for years through some mutual networks in Florida. Even while I was still in Full Sail, I would communicate with the members and collaborate on a few ideas here and there,” Cassie says. “One day we had a group video chat and things became more formalized. I now help the group with their social media marketing as well as setting up merchandise proposals and day-to-day schedules.”
As Phase Five prepares to release their a single and EP independently, Cassie’s world has become more of a whirlwind. She meets with the group four times a week, sitting in on rehearsals and regularly offering her input to the group’s daily operations.
“I come in when they need me to come in, but they do lean on me or a lot. One of the group members is currently working on getting his Visa situation figured out, so he’s unable to get into the United States at the moment,” she says. “We’ve been working to put together a package to send to the embassy to show that he needs to be here with the other group members to do shows and move forward with the rest of the campaign for the EP release. Everything that we do is a big delegation process, and we make sure that we’re all able to collaborate and balance everything out.”
It’s the type of role that definitely requires top-notch time management skills, and that’s something that Cassie says she definitely took away from her time at Full Sail – and utilizes every day in her new life in California.
“I definitely struggled with time management for a while, but now I’m much better at organizing my schedule and making sure that I’m not just allotting time to get projects done, but also taking time for myself, which is important,” she says. “I’m in an industry where I want to be here, and I’m working with people who are passionate about what they do. We keep each other motivated, and the city of Los Angeles just has such a great energy. I feel ridiculously inspired every day.”