Becoming a director is my ultimate goal, and what I am studying at school. To me, it is one of the hardest things about making a film or TV show. You can have a great script, fantastic actors, and top notch people doing every job, but every single one of those people takes his or her cue from the director. It is both an intimidating and exciting job and I can’t wait to start doing it for real.
Since everyone looks to the director for guidance, I want to be able to remain strong in my convictions. Thanks to my upbringing and experiences, I feel like I have a unique perspective to offer, and I never want to lose sight of that – especially not when I am behind the camera. I am not saying that I won’t listen to constructive criticism or that I will ignore ideas from the cast or crew. I never want to muddle my vision, however. I want to be confident enough to accept when somebody has a better idea and when I need to just stick with my own plans.
It’s definitely a work in progress. The first few times I have been a director on school projects, I have been incredibly nervous. It’s one thing to be messing around with friends who are eager to listen because you know better than they do. It is an entirely other experience to be here in school with people trying to become professional actors and film crews, who have definite opinions on how things should be done and aren’t afraid to tell you so. But, especially when we’re dealing with a topic that is in my wheelhouse, I am trying more and more to make sure my voice is heard and my directions are followed. That means having more self-confidence than I think I have had in my whole life.Luckily, the more experience I get, the easier it is to find.
Another goal of mine is to be sure to portray the subject matter authentically. I feel it is important to be true to the material as far as set design, dialogue, and costume go. I want to do research and to have trusted consultants and experts that I can talk to so that I can verify that everything we’re doing is as accurate as possible. I know that won’t always be easy, but it is something that truly matters to me. Being true to the things that matter to you will help make you a better director. At least, that’s my opinion.
My last goal is to be good at directing. That might seem silly, or even just way too obvious. But, because there is such a lack of Native American women in the entertainment industry in general, every mistake I make will reflect poorly on both my people and my gender. The better I am, the easier it will be for all the Native Americans and women who come after me. That’s a lot of pressure to put on myself, but I think it is important to keep it in mind.