3 things we’ve learned from the She Does podcast.

Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, creators of She Does podcast.

Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, creators of She Does podcast.

Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, known for their work in the Peabody Award winning documentary “Hollow”, launched the podcast She Does this past January.

Focusing on the lives of women in the creative industries—those working at the intersection of film, media, journalism and technology—She Does goes beyond talking about job descriptions and into the grit of human experience.

Each podcast charts the journeys of female leaders in a variety of creative disciplines, gleaning truths from their individual lives that other creatives can put into action immediately.

Here are 3 big things we’ve learned from the She Does podcast.


1. Follow your intuition. It always pays off.

In their very first episode, Elaine and Sarah profiled Emmy Award winner Katja Blichfeld, the co-creator and director of Vimeo’s popular new series, High Maintenance.

Katja talks about her role in creating the web series in addition to her first love—casting. But she digs deeper into her storied career, revealing that trusting her intuition has been the biggest lesson she’s learned as a filmmaker:

“Me following my intuition and me following my instincts has never not paid off. I feel like I’ve lived four complete lives in my 35 years. It’s been a lot of my major life decisions, but they’ve always been very driven from what’s in my heart, and they’ve always paid off.”

In the case of High Maintenance, it's certainly paid off for Katja. Recently, HBO ordered 6 new episodes, while also making the first 19 available on their own platforms.

Even when it seems crazy, trust your instincts. It’s amazing how that decision will transform the stories you tell.

2. Sometimes nothing is the best thing to do.

In one of our favorite episodes to date, She Does features Lina Srivastava, a social impact consultant who helps filmmakers position their stories to have the most meaningful social impact as well as partnering with major social impact organizations, including UNESCO, the World Bank and UNICEF.

While Lina dives deep into conversations about how to impact real change, breaking down how to catalyze and amplify social impact through creative media, we found a more unexpected nugget of wisdom in her podcast, one gleaned from her personal journey.

Lina worked as a lawyer for four years at a major law firm in New York City. She entered law school with the desire to work in human rights, but she found her work as a lawyer unfulfilling and draining. It was part the culture of the firm and the culture of being a lawyer, she admits. She knew she needed a change and quit her job to do, well, nothing.

With some money in the bank, she paused her life to explore her creative interests. Through volunteering, she found her groove in social activism and nonprofit work. While Lina doesn’t advocate everyone quitting their day jobs to do nothing, she emphasizes that taking a creative rest can be one of the best ways to fight burn and find balance in your life.

Sometimes you need to take a sabbatical—for a day, month or a year—whatever it takes to help you find your center.

3. Your stories are never finished.

Sometimes we get in the habit of thinking of our stories as static, with a clear beginning and end. But they are more than that. Stories are living beasts who roam endlessly. We may have finished with them for a while, but that doesn’t mean they’re done. This is the lesson we learn from documentary filmmaker and photojournalist Lyric Cabral.

In her podcast interview, she describes how she came across the subject of a story when she was 19, but felt too young to cover it. Twelve years later, she returned to that story, ultimately creating the film (T)ERROR, premiering at Sundance Film Festival.

She describes her perspective on the enduring nature of stories and the importance of maintaining relationships with documentary subjects:

“I am the type of journalist that I’m never done. I don’t drop in and drop out. Whether they get a Christmas card from me, or I try to call, I just really try to stay in touch with people. I really don’t like the feeling of: I come in. I document you. I publish it. And then I just leave you alone with the consequences of whatever happens because you are now public. I’m never quite done.”

Remember, just because the camera stopped rolling doesn’t mean your story is over.

Have any storytelling or filmmaking podcasts we absolutely must check out? Tell us in the comments below.  


She Does Podcast

Part of the beauty of the podcast medium is that you can listen to these stories on the go—it’s the perfect format to stay inspired when you’re on the move. So head on over to the She Does website where you can download the podcasts and learn more about each featured guest.