From the Scandinavian countryside to the bright lights of Hollywood, Marthe Vångman’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite what she describes as a very comfortable life in Scandinavia, Marthe felt an irresistible pull toward the United States and set her sights on pursuing a college education in California. After years of hard work, and a little bit of fun, she’s now rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in Tinseltown as the Talent Executive at Invisible Narratives – a digital studio founded by producers Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon), and Adam Goodman, the former president of Paramount Pictures.
Despite climbing the ranks in one of the most cutthroat industries in the world, she has still managed to hold tight to her Scandinavian values – something she credits as a significant factor in her success.
What began as a journey many Scandinavians embark on, continued into a career many dream about. How did she do it? What have been her biggest challenges, and what can others learn from her experience? I found Marthe’s story incredibly so inspiring, I wanted to sit down with her to share her story in an effort to inspire others who might be on a similar path.
Interview by Natalie Söderberg – Founder & Editor at Swedes in the States
Born in Norway, raised in Sweden – where is home to you?
Sweden is home to me. That’s where my family and childhood friends are, but I feel very Norwegian at the same time. Growing up, we would always celebrate holidays according to Norwegian traditions. My grandparents and close family still live in Norway, so I guess I would say I’m literally half-half!
Why did you decide to leave Scandinavia, and what brought you to Los Angeles?
I’ve always felt very restless and dreamt of exploring the world. The creation of movies has also always been something that’s fascinated me and inspired me to dream about working in the movie industry. I first moved to Santa Barbara to study film production and realized quickly thereafter that in order to succeed within the entertainment business, you had to have connections. That’s when I decided to move to Los Angeles, the “movie city” of the world – I wanted to meet people with the same interests and who were working in the same industry.
Best decision I ever made.
Many Scandinavians choose to come to Los Angeles for the college experience, what were some of the highlights for you?
My college experience was great, mostly because I’ve met so many awesome people through college. I’ve created lifelong friendships, and those who are my very best friends today I met through college.
What do you think sets the experience apart from studying in Scandinavia?
It’s completely different!
First off, you need to learn a new school system which is a whole thing. Second, you meet so many new people from different cultures, and since you’re far from your friends at home, you really have to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Third, you get to wake up to sunshine and palm trees every day which gives you so much happiness. Lastly, Los Angeles is a city with endless things to explore and there’s never a dull moment.
How did you get a start in your career?
After college, I landed an internship at one of the biggest artist management companies in Los Angeles. During my time there I was recruited to work with one of the artists directly as a part of his management team.
As this was happening, one of my close friends was founding a company called Studiotime, a platform that acted like Airbnb but for music studios. He was looking for ways to promote the studios and came up with the concept of Studiotime Sessions, where I was directly involved by helping to gather artists for organized live music events inside the music studios. We invited people from the entertainment business, and it quickly turned into a place where people could network and discover new artists.
We grew from having 30 people attend the first show, to 200 people within a few months. Then covid hit, and we had to put the events on hold. I was lucky since I had been offered a job by my current boss, Adam Goodman, two years earlier, and decided to call him up and ask if the offer was still standing. He liked what we had done with Studio Sessions so two weeks after that call I joined the team at Invisible Narratives.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have some really exciting projects coming up! This summer I’m set to be working on the comedy feature film ‘Time Tripper’, which will feature some of today’s top TikTok influencers. This movie has been a long time coming as it was originally set to go into production in 2021, but due to covid and other outstanding factors, we had to delay the project. We’re finally moving into production this summer. My role is to manage all talent for this production and I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this project.
Another project that I’m currently working on is the second feature in Faze Clan’s ‘Cinematic Universe‘. The feature will be a follow-up to the first movie ‘Crimson‘, which was a box-office success and starred FaZe Rug. I’m set to be the talent agent for this production, where I’ll be working closely with the creators and producers.
In addition to that, I’m working on some fun projects with great creators like Lizzy Capri, BWA Jack, Yoeslan, Jessii Vee, Dimucc, Greg Renko.
What would be your best advice to anyone wanting to start a career in the United States?
Connect with people, and help people get connected through you. Having a great network is key, and by helping other people connect you’ll stand out as a valuable resource and friend.
Another piece of advice would be to reach out to other people that are working with what you’re doing. It’s so easy to send them an email or hit them up on LinkedIn. People love talking about themselves, so show interest in learning about their stories and the companies they work for. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself, show your work and how you could bring value.
You recently started splitting time your time between Miami and Los Angeles, how do the two cities compare?
I love both places a lot. Los Angeles is a big city and you need to plan out your day because the distance between places is usually very far. Miami is a smaller city, and it’s easier to be more spontaneous as everything is within a 10-20 min radius. Los Angeles has so much to offer when it comes to being in the nature, there’s a large amount of hikes and mountains to visit. Miami has more of a sea-life vibe where people go to the beach, go on boats, do paddle boarding and other fun ocean activities.
Other than that, the vibe of the two places are completely different from each other. Miami is very rich in culture, and LA is rich with aspiring entrepreneurs. Both places has it pros and cons, but they are both definitely two of my favorite places.
What are your favorite spots in Miami?
Miami has many good restaurants, and some of my favorites are Mandolin, Doma, Cote, Carbone, River Oyster bar, and Chotto Matte. The one thing I do miss in Miami is a good cafe to have a “fika”.
For outside spots, I love taking walks around Brickell Key, sometimes I’ve even spotted dolphins. It’s also nice to walk around in the Design District, where you can find a lot of cool art. And of course, South Beach. Many Miami locals feel like South beach is a tourist place, but going to the beach is a must for everyone that comes to Miami. It’s really clean compared to other places, and the ocean is clear blue. I also love going out to Key Biscayne to go paddleboarding! There are so many fun outdoor activities you can do in Miami, and the best part is that it’s always warm.
What are your visions and hopes for the future?
My vision for the future is to keep working with Invisible Narratives, help build the company and take it to the next level. I want to keep evolving professionally and challenge myself. I also want to find new ways to inspire people, and eventually, build my own influencer business that makes it possible for Scandinavian influencers to collaborate with brands and influencers in the U.S. I want to keep expanding my network and create opportunities for others. Making it possible for others to achieve their dreams is the most rewarding thing in the world.
As for my personal journey, I’d like to stay healthy and prioritize well-being before anything else. I want to become a better person and see my family more often. I’d really want to start traveling more again and discover new cultures, which is something that I really value. In a few years, I’d also love to create a family and start that journey of my life. But for now, my focus is health, career, friendships, and family.