Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Until this point of my life I felt like a semi-alien trying to somehow fit into the rules of today’s society and at the same time be able to express myself and what I believe in. I found this is a difficult task while thinking of the most common model of living today – 40 years of our lives we work (which is not what makes us feel alive) just to pay the bills. In other words, we are exchanging big parts of our lives to earn money to pay somebody else.
I also found out this process doesn’t fit me. Not at all. Now I’m searching for different ways to change the process.
So, what am I really doing?
For the past 7 years I have been making documentaries, short films, corporate, web and music videos. I graduated as a film and tv director. I gained experience as a camera operator, executive producer, writer and more. Recently, I realized that in the past year I have made over a 100 web, corporate and music videos! I really love creating, working with visuals and working with people. I have also experimented with photography, drawing and dances.
As a person who believes in the deep ever changing and evolving human nature, I think there is a lot more to find out about our inner potential. And, of course, to find new ways to express it.
Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
Of course not. When I was in school, I really liked to invent stories but back then, it looked more like I was wasting time or finding a way to escape reality. I didn’t know it could be a real profession.
During the educational process (both school and university) I was very confused, I didn’t have any idea what my strengths were and how to continue after I graduated. This is one of the effects from the old educational system many schools and universities still use (for example – not learning to think and express your thoughts but to learn by somebody else’s methods). Years later I made a documentary called “The Method” featuring non-formal and very successful Bulgarian methodology for fast and fun learning which also gives the possibility for students potential to be expressed. I really think the old educational methodologies must be renewed as they are the main reason the kids and teens do not know what their strengths, talents and professional opportunities are.
The other way is a bit harder, to invest time and money to find your calling by yourself. It could be more than one thing of course. Actually, the combination between different areas is where innovation comes.
Were you scared to start the process?
Yes. I’m scared to start every new process. From director to camera operator, from being behind the camera to being in front of camera and much more. We are all scared to change because the mind works this way. It feels safe when we’re in known situations and not safe in unknown situations. But it can stop us from growing. When we know how it works it’s easy to control it. It happens to every person. I think we have to try to express ourselves, our ideas, to create what we believe in, and to manifest our potential.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
Yes. Really bad. During the years, there were at least 3 people in my professional field who told me to change my profession because they didn’t think I had the right qualities.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
The human brain has unlimited potential. All of us have unlimited potential. Just because we are born human. We are living in a great time full of opportunities – to travel, to investigate the world, to meet people from different countries and cultures, to create, to express our ideas, to be heard. It’s not easy to rethink old stereotypes. We have a really great chance to have a meaningful life. So, fear apart, let’s do it!
What do you love most about yourself?
I love and really appreciate this thing inside me that doesn’t allow me to live my life in a random way. And, sometimes, my hair.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
Last year I was about to quit with film & videomaking. In my country it’s not easy to turn filmmaking from a hobby into a profession. After 5 years in this “industry” I didn’t succeed to earn enough from my job. I was about to change the field I was in, but first I decided to try one last time. This is how I started Tedi Stories – a web series telling inspirational people’s stories. In the pre-interviews I was asking the participants how they succeeded in turning what they love into their profession and how they overcame the difficulties. All the answers necessary to me. In my country the people who are a great examples, who develop their strengths, reach their dreams or help to different communities are not so featured by the medias. I found out that many more people want to see these inspirational persons who inspire with their own example. So I made more videos where I was telling their stories and they were sharing real life experiences and global messages.
There were many difficulties to overcome during the process. On the one hand was my fear of being in front of the camera while sharing my thoughts publicly. On the other – where to find these inspirational people? How can I do what I find meaningful, without funding, while working on something else at the same time? At the beginning, I posted a new episode every week.
So I started, I continued and now I’m still making inspirational videos. More inquiries for corporate videos came during this period and I was able to quit my part-time job. During the last year, I made 40+ Tedi Stories web videos, 6 inspirational group meetups related with the series, and 50+ corporate and music videos were done. Let’s see what’s next!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
It is possible.
What motivates you most?
The depression, which will come if I don’t do whatever I feel I have to.
Life and the human being are interesting and deep topics to investigate. I’m really interested in what we are capable of achieving and the miracles hidden inside us. Those are topics for a whole life. Or two. It looks like my curiosity doesn’t need any motivation.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
This is a hard one, I don’t. Everything is so connected and I don’t want to put rational limitations but to answer the inner feelings. It can’t be 50:50 or 70:30 for the creative people (and probably all the people). It’s constantly changing like everything else in life. You have to be flexible, it’s never a constant.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
In my case it’s not on a daily basis but in larger periods. In some periods there are so many opportunities to grow. Later it’s time to calm down, to accept and integrate the changes.
What are your biggest passions?
Diving into the miracle of life, knowing the human superpowers we have and finding how to use them to make the World better.
Teodora Petrova is a video and film director, producer and camera operator. She has years of experience making videos and films for the web, corporate, and music.