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  • Writer's pictureStaci Talley

Followed My Heart and It Wasn't Easy

Updated: Jan 20

It was scary as hell

Spend life Wandering not Wondering

I knew what I wanted to do and what made me happy when I was 11 and by 19 I completely ignored it.


I shot and edited my first film when I was 11 years old with my Grandma's giant video camera. I hand wrote the scripts and bribed my sisters and cousins to be in my films and comedy skits while I directed and operated the camera. Everyday after school and on the weekends I couldn't wait to get my hands on the camera to create another film or skit, my heart and and soul was 100% invested and satisfied with a camera in my hand. I never had a vision of being famous or rich movie star or a director, I created everything out of pure love for the process and how amazing it felt to create, I didn't want to do anything else.


My family was supportive, but never really understood why I was so passionate and dedicated

to creating because being an actor or director was not an attainable career choice. I eventually started to believe them. As I got older and started finding my way in the restaurant business as a general manger at 21, I made less and less films and started treating my passion as a film maker as a hobby because I thought this restaurant career was it. I have my career then I would get married and have 2 kids by the time I was 26. It was a solid plan, but my heart wasn't there and I always had this nagging tug on my heart that something wasn't right and yet I still didn't listen myself, until someone else noticed I wasn't happy.

One day one of my supervisors asked me what am I doing with my life and I was shocked as all get out by his question because climbing the restaurant corporate ladder at his business was my plan. He told me I should go to college and follow my passion because he put his dreams on the back burner over his career and always wondered what life would be like if he hadn't abandoned something he was so passionate about. That hit me in the gut hard, everything that had been nagging on my heart in the background came to the forefront and looking back, that is the moment I opened my eyes my whole world started changing.

It was a whirl wind. I signed up at the community college and started working on my AS degree and joined the choir and theatre department. I couldn't believe there were other people like me out there, I was so stoked! I started performing in shows at the local community theaters which led to finding other film makers to collaborate with on all kinds of amazing projects.


One day after one of my theatre shows my Grandma, also my bestest friend in the whole word, shared a personal story with me that had us both in tears. She said she always wanted to be an actress and a writer when she was in high school and did a couple of plays, but gave up and she regretted not even trying. She was so happy and inspired watching me chase my dreams and made me promise not to give up like she did. **Freaking crying typing this. I though people only said that in the movies.

The woman who practically raised me and inspired me my entire life was inspired by me! I will never ever forget that moment for the rest of my life and since that day my goal has been to work hard and never stop.

I Would be Lying if I said it was all Sunshine and Rainbows

Everything you've read up until now is how I feel now looking back on those years, but when I was in the thick of it trying to find my way there were some really hard times of self doubt and feeling worthless like nothing I did mattered. I was losing all of friends who didn't understand, I was making new friends that made me feel guilty about leaving my old friends. I cried a lot, I called my mom to complain about mundane things because I didn't want to tell her sh** sucked lol. Stupid pride.

While I have grown comfortable and more sure of myself over the years, it was a long road to get here and sometimes it still feels like I have to drive fast to stay here or like I can't drive fast enough to keep up. Even though I don't look forward to those periods of self doubt I have come to accept those moments as being times when I learn the most about myself and those around me. I've also been working how to channel the negative energy, I wish I could say through Yoga, Lord knows I'm trying to be peaceful, but I still prefer to call my sisters and my besties and straight up whine about it. True friends will call you out on your BS and help check yourself before you wreck yourself (said what I said). I like the no-nonsense approach personally.

How do you deal with self doubt or imposter syndrome in your line of work? Maybe you have some good tips and tricks that could be helpful to others (and me lol).


I'd love to know where you're at in your journey!

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