Imposter syndrome doesn’t discriminate. Even icons like Taylor Swift — a Grammy Award-winning superstar with an honorary doctorate from NYU — sometimes suffer from imposter syndrome, as she recently shared during an appearance at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.
As Variety reports, Swift screened her short film All Too Well, which she wrote and directed, at the annual New York City festival. During a discussion with filmmaker Mike Mills about the experience, Swift opened up about feeling out of her depth when first directing music videos.
“I had this imposter syndrome in my head saying, ‘No, you don’t do that. Other people do that who went to school to do that,’” Swift said.
When Mills replied, “I didn’t go to school to do that,” Swift expressed relief.
“Oh! It’s fantastic to know that. That makes me feel better. Don’t you feel like it’s an amazing exercise in trusting gut instinct? There are so many decisions you have to make. Saying ‘I don’t know’ really isn’t an option most of the time,” she said.
Though Mills noted that directors don’t always need to have the right answer, Swift pointed out that the experience may feel different for women.
“Maybe that’s just being a female director,” Swift said.
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Now that she’s been in the director’s chair for numerous short films and music videos — such as the videos for her songs “The Man,” “Cardigan” and “Willow” — Swift is open to larger projects in the future, if they’re the right fit.
“It would be so fantastic to write and direct something… a feature,” she said. “I don’t see it being bigger, in terms of scale. I loved making a film that was so intimate.”
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