We had the good fortune of connecting with Maggie Beltran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maggie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
When I first started Ghost in Real Life, I really wanted to have a brand where I can just be myself. No gimmicks, no made-up personality, just me and my goofy personality and my love for horror and spirituality. This was really important to me because it’s a huge soul crusher when you are made to feel like you can’t be yourself to be liked. Success to me comes from being happy and proud of something you did and being authentic. Another important factor in my success thus far is that I don’t let anybody mess with me, make my decisions, or tell me what to do. I’m the boss of this project and I have things I’d like to do. If you’re going to get in my way politely please step aside. One last factor behind my success is that I never fail to show anyone kindness who has helped me along the way. It’s very important for the people that help me know that they are appreciated and that their efforts are worthwhile. As much as this is my project, being in the entertainment industry it’s just not always about you all the time and a lot of people have helped me get this far.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I grew up training to be a professional figure skater from the age of 7 to 14. I fell out of love with it as I discovered my love for music. I knew I was going to like music when I was in 4th grade learning the recorder, I created my own music theory so I could remember the little songs I made up. Throughout high school I taught myself multiple instruments, learned music theory, wrote a choir piece, and scored a play. I played around in coffeeshops as Maggiesinacup and wrote acoustic singer/songwriter music. I ended up going to Berklee College of Music where I studied audio engineering and production. Right after college I moved to LA to work for John Powell. I also worked in many notable studios around LA and met some really cool people. I quit to work at my current job where I’m an audio engineer technician, this gave me a lot of freedom to start my own projects. I first had Miss Beltran then rebranded to Ghost in Real Life. I started Ghost in Real Life when the pandemic started and I got so popular from the live stream shows that I was touring right when things started opening up. I got signed to Subsidia Records, Rude Service, then Phuture Collective. Some artists I’e opened for is Riot Ten, Zhu, Marauda, and Excision.
I’ve definitely hit a couple of road blocks along the way. When I was a child I had a hard time saying words and even created my own language to communicate until I finally learned to speak english at the age of 4 or 5Before I started Ghost in Real Life I had one really bad 3 months where I ended a relationship, lost my job, and then my cat died. This period forced me to rethink my future and start over and personally I’m glad it happened. My biggest challenge is being a woman in the field of audio engineering. Unfortunately, a lot of the positions in this field are filled by men and I am constantly being treated like I don’t belong there or will never be good enough. I remember when I was in college, a fellow male student in my group for a project told me that girls don’t belong at the console and are better at taking notes. That day forward I vowed to never let anyone make me feel like I’m not capable of doing something I love.
There are going to be people who treat you poorly along the way and will act inappropriately, never let them get to you. Everyone’s behavior is a reflection of themselves and not you. Know you’re worth and never let anyone make you feel small. Lastly, know when to draw boundaries. Not everyone needs to be kicked out of your life, but it’s healthy to have your do’s and don’ts in your relationships with everyone.
I’m very excited to just keep going with this project. I have a lot of cool things planned among other things I’d like to do. A lot of my previous projects I quit on because I could never see a future with them. It feels really nice to finally have a project where I feel like I could have a really cool future with.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m very fond of Venice and Santa Monica. If we have time I’ll take them to Pointe Dume in Malibu. You will find me often at the beach tanning or playing volleyball. I also love getting ramen and Boba in Sawtelle or getting Korean BBQ in Korea Town.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a lot of people to thank so I’m going to try to include as many names as possible. First and foremost, I would like to give a shout-out to my family for letting me lead a life of my own. I left the nest right after college to pursue my dreams in LA and I know it wasn’t easy on my parents and the rest of my family, but having their support has been a huge factor in why I keep going. I want to give a shout-out to my team at Prysm Talent Agency for guiding me in the right direction. Mad love to my friends that I’ve known for many years Colin, Lauren, and Courtney and the many amazing friends I’ve made in LA.
Lastly I want to thank every person who has danced like a crazy person to my music, came to my shows, is in my discord gang, and is following me on social medias. You guys are keeping me around and I hope my art makes your days a little brighter. Thank you to everyone who has put a little faith in me, teaching me the lessons I didn’t know I needed, and loving me no matter what.
Maxine Bowen Jeremy Verone Frankie Jay Alex Varsa