As we approach the launch of our third (THIRD!!) print issue, we want to take time to recognize the amazing Kickstarter supporters who funded our very first issue in September, helping us make our dream a reality and ultimately get to where we are today. Today we’re featuring Heather DiPietro. Read on to learn more about who Heather is, what she does, and what success means to her.
Hi Heather. Thank you for your generous donation to our campaign! What inspired you to help fund Darling’s first print issue?
Donating to Darling was a really easy decision because of what the magazine stands for. It inspires women to be who they are, which is just themselves and not a cliché of what the media and society thinks we should be. I feel like it’s really important for women to find a voice and a passion and with that strive to make new ground in whatever they are pursuing.
You work in the entertainment business. Tell us more about how you ended up there and what you’re currently doing.
I’ve always had an attraction to art. Drawing. Painting. Photography. Writing. Being creative was an outlet for me growing up and turned into a career. I have to thank my teachers in high school for encouraging me to pursue it, if they hadn’t I probably would have listened to my parents that still insist it’s a waste of my time. Like Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Right now I am currently producing short films and web series, but I often stray to assistant directing and writing.
My most recent project is a comedic web series called My Story about a group of college age soap fans that come to realize their lives are just as dramatic as the daytime soap they watch. It’s a passion project inspired by soap fans that spoke out after All My Children and One Life To Live were cancelled. I was working as an associate producer on a documentary at the time called “Soap Life” about the rise and fall of soap operas and in marketing the film on Kickstarter, I met and talked with a lot of fans on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Their stories about how they started watching and why they never stopped were stories that I thought deserved to be heard. I’ve been watching General Hospital with my mom since I was four, and when the rumors circled General Hospital may be next, I could relate to the kind of ache in these fans hearts. My Story hopes to address these stories and the impact soaps have on the fans in season 2. The show currently airs on blip.tv/mystory where we’re closing in on 100k views.
The entertainment business is notorious for rejection. How have you learned to overcome failure and persevere in pursuit of your dreams?
I’ve learned to overcome it by believing the worst thing someone can say to me is “No.” Opportunities don’t find you—you find them. Putting yourself out there is half the battle. Eventually someone will give you a chance and when they do, give nothing less than what the next person would give to have your job. I see everything as a learning experience. Be open-minded. Be optimistic. Be determined. The harder it is to achieve what you want, the more rewarding it will be when you finally achieve it.
We only really experience failure when we have an idea of what it looks like to succeed. What does success look like to you?
“The taste of success can be tricky. It makes failure that much more painful.” –Patty Hewes, Damages
One of my biggest flaws is that working day and night will make me more successful. My roommate in college was like this. She believed if she studied Physics day and night that she would get an A in Physics. Well that could happen or you just may never grasp it despite how much you really want to. Success comes in so many different highs that it almost becomes overrated. It doesn’t mean I still don’t want it. I do. Badly. But there is a fine line between success and happiness. The inability to sustain success and be okay with it is a battle I fight daily with myself. It’s an insecurity about myself that I hate.
The disappointing thing about success is that its constantly changing and when you realize that it can almost be depressing. When you graduate college with your degree that you’ve worked really hard for whether it be four years or five or six, you feel really accomplished. Then six months later when you’re living with your parents and can’t find a job, you feel like a bum. Not that I’m exactly in that situation, but with my show for instance, one week we had an episode with 40K views. That was really exciting to watch it go sort of viral over night. Then the following week we had an episode that only had a few thousand hits. It was sad. Such a let down.
The best way to look at it without beating yourself up over it is to have a goal your constantly going towards and as long as your making progress then you are successful in the grand picture of things. On a day-to-day basis, you look at what you did well and what you could have done better. You have to let go of the things you can’t change and work you’re hardest to change the things you can. Attitude is everything, remain optimistic or you are destined to fail.
Image provided by Heather.