Patricia Kelikani: “Do your best and forget the rest”

During this pandemic, I’m also helping teachers be able to teach online with video so they have great camera presence and engaged students. With many schools starting the year with online or hybrid learning, I realize how overwhelming it must be to have to learn a new way to teach. I created an online course […]

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During this pandemic, I’m also helping teachers be able to teach online with video so they have great camera presence and engaged students. With many schools starting the year with online or hybrid learning, I realize how overwhelming it must be to have to learn a new way to teach. I created an online course to show them how to captivate their students’ attention through good lighting and sound, for example, so their students don’t tune out and stay engaged.

As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Patricia Kelikani.

Patricia Kelikani is a filmmaker and video marketer. As a multiple Emmy Award recipient, she produces the TV documentary series, “Life on the Line.” She is also the founder of Lucrative Videos where she helps entrepreneurs increase their income and impact with video.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

When I was younger, I wanted to be one of the Doublemint twins with my twin sister. Back when we were kids, those commercials were super popular, and we loved them! It sounds pretty silly, but I think that was the start of my intrigue for film and TV. Since then, one of my favorite hobbies from my childhood to college years was acting and singing on stage. It was so much fun and rewarding to perform with the ultimate purpose of giving hope or making someone laugh.

Yet, my career goal wasn’t to be an actor, it was to be a TV news reporter. I wanted to be like Lois Lane. (I know, it’s embarrassing to admit that I wanted to be a character out of a comic book…who wasn’t even a super hero! Especially, when most women my age say they wanted to be like Oprah.)

In college I studied broadcast journalism, got competitive internships, won the journalism award…and when it was time to graduate, I was so excited to finally live my dream! But after sending out my resume tapes, I heard the same thing over and over again: “Your hair is too long.” “Your voice is too high-pitched.” And, “You look too young.”

I was crushed.

At the same time, my twin sister and best friend left for a one-year adventure in Prague, Czech Republic to teach English and help out with a church. Thankfully, the school there needed another teacher and offered me the position. Two weeks later, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time and followed, what I believe, was God’s plan. During that year, I was able to travel internationally for the first time and have such an awesome life experience across the world.

When I look back, I believe that it was all in God’s plan for what He had in store for me….

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

After my year in Prague, Czech Republic, I took the first job offer I got. It was in a PR office of a large non-profit as basically a photojournalist. The amazing part was that I had an awesome boss who knew I had a love for video. (Even though I didn’t know how to actually make one at that point!)

So one day, he walked into my office and said, “I’d like to send you on assignment to Albania. And, by the way, I want you to take a video camera and just see what happens.”

I was ecstatic and scared all at the same time.

So I took a 5-minute video crash course by someone in the audiovisual department and left for a two-week adventure!

I came back with several mini-DV tapes of video footage (Yup, this was before digital and HD video! LOL) and was ready to hand them off to the audiovisual department to edit it into a video. But, they were slammed with other work. So after a couple months, I decided that I should just learn how to edit this thing on my own.

Since my work computer couldn’t handle video, I took money out of my personal savings and bought my first MacBook Pro laptop. The computer came with iMovie so I opened it up and started to learn how to edit. (I laugh about it now because this was before YouTube even existed! So unfortunately I couldn’t just watch some free tutorials online to speed up my learning curve.)

About a month later, I showed my boss the video I made. He immediately called the President of the organization who came down to watch it, and the next thing I knew I was being sent on assignment all over the world as a documentary filmmaker.

It was then that I realized how my time in Prague prepared me for traveling the world as a documentary filmmaker.

And that initial trip with a little camcorder to Albania is when I discovered my passion in life — to shine light on untold stories to ultimately help people live a better life.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I think the most interesting part is how my career has evolved.

When I first started out, I was so surprised (and absolutely loved) seeing the awesome results businesses and nonprofits would get from a documentary film I made. Essentially, they would use that video to increase their revenue so they could help more people. It was so rewarding to see a company raise over a million dollars for the first time who helped people in Ethiopia. And to see a nonprofit triple their donations so they could help more people with disabilities.

Word spread around, and soon other local businesses and organizations contacted me to create videos for them. So I unexpectedly started my own business and created my own process to videos called the MAP method. MAP stands for messaging, artistry, and promotion. When a business has all those three elements in a video, they’ll have a “Lucrative Video” that increases their income and impact.

Then from creating custom client videos, I added on a new service where I teach entrepreneurs how to make their own videos to increase their income and impact. I do this with 1-on-1 Consulting Calls and my online course, The MAP to Lucrative Videos.

What started out as a public relations position where I wrote and took photographs, turned me into a documentary filmmaker and video marketer. Today I produce a national TV documentary series called, “Life on the Line,” and am also CEO of Lucrative Videos where I help businesses increase their income and impact with video.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I interviewed Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Perry together…and accidentally erased the footage. Oh my goodness…it’s a mistake I won’t make again!

After the interview, we needed to hurry and switch memory cards to make room for our next film shoot. I thought I switched the cards with an older one that already got backed up. Yeah…still breaks my heart to know that I got confused and accidentally erased the footage with Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Perry. But years later…I can kinda laugh about it. LOL Needless to say, I’ve never accidentally erased footage again!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My first boss, Richard Weismeyer, for seeing my potential that was invisible to me. He sent me on assignment to Albania with a video camera to “see what happens.” I give him the credit for helping me to be able to live my purpose with my dream career.

And, also Dr. Richard Hart. He’s the president of Loma Linda University Health who believed in me when others questioned him and doubted me. At the time, I was young and had no experience as a documentary filmmaker. Yet he gave me one of the best opportunities — to film a documentary in Ethiopia. Not only did it win multiple film festival awards, but it also helped bring in the most donations at that time for a nonprofit program. From there, my career took off.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

So often people think what will happen if I fail. But instead we need to think about what will happen if I get it right!

Remember your why. In most cases, you want to make a film or TV program because you want to make a positive impact on others. Maybe it’s to make people laugh and be happy or perhaps it’s to bring awareness to a social injustice issue. Whatever it is, think about how those individuals need YOU.

I think too, it’s important to remember that everyone fails and has setbacks at different points in their life. What matters is how quickly you learn from it and get back up. You’ve got this!

What drives you to get up everyday and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?

What drives me is the fact that I have an opportunity to inspire others through the stories I share in my documentary films. Not only that, but I also get to help entrepreneurs make a bigger impact on others by teaching them how to use video, too.

The change that I’d like to see in the industry going forward is to have less programs out there that make people feel crappy and not good enough. Film and TV are the most powerful mediums out there. It has the power to move viewers into happier and more fulfilling mindsets.

Yet, shows can also have the complete opposite effect. I remember talking with a friend of mine who’s a nurse and transports kids via helicopter who need to get to a better hospital. When a certain popular show came out targeted to teenagers, she suddenly saw an influx in teenage suicide attempts. At first she didn’t know why this was happening. But then some of the teens opened up and attributed it to this show.

That breaks my heart. We need to see more shows that aim to build people up, not down.

Imagine how different our world would be.

You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?

I’m currently working on season 6 of “Life on the Line.” It’s an Emmy Award winning documentary series, narrated by Lisa Ling, that gives an inspiring look into personal journeys of hope and determination.

During this pandemic, I’m also helping teachers be able to teach online with video so they have great camera presence and engaged students. With many schools starting the year with online or hybrid learning, I realize how overwhelming it must be to have to learn a new way to teach. I created an online course to show them how to captivate their students’ attention through good lighting and sound, for example, so their students don’t tune out and stay engaged.

We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?

I think it’s so important to have diversity represented in film and television, whether it’s diversity of ethnicities, skin color, body sizes, disabilities, etc. so that we can live in better unity with others in our communities and our world.

1) Compassion — it allows people to understand others better and be less judging. To be able to put yourself in “their shoes” and understand what life is like for them.

2) Confidence — it increases self-esteem and confidence in individuals. For example, when I was a little girl, Barbie toys were only blonde. I literally thought that only blondes were pretty and wished so much that I was blonde. And then I remember one night as a 6-year-old watching a TV show with a brunette starring in it and hearing my big brother say, “Wow, she’s so pretty.” Thankfully, since then I’m fine with the color of my hair. It sounds silly now…but it’s crazy how impactful something like that can be.

3) Acceptance — The more something is normalized and accepted, the less bullying, discrimination, and injustice we’ll have.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. “Do your best and forget the rest.” I love this line by Tony Horton. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others who are already successful or wish you could be like them. But the fact is, we need to focus on doing our best, cause that is what’s going to help us reach our goal.

2. “If God called you to it, He’s going to see you through it.” Sarah Jakes Roberts said that, and I love it! There were so many times in my life where I was scared that I wasn’t good enough. Thinking things like, “Who am I?” to do this. My faith in God has helped me through those times.

3. You are the only expert at being you. In other words, don’t try to be someone else. Embrace who you uniquely are and let yourself shine.

4. Embrace where you are and accept it. I remember when I started my first job, I was out to prove myself to the people I worked with. But the fact is, I was just a beginner. And, recognizing that and letting people know that will get you farther in life.

5. Double check before you erase footage. Because if I did that…I would’ve had the video of Ryan Reynolds and Matthew Perry. Lol

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.

Exercise and writing in my prayer journal.

There are times when I’m super busy with my career and being a mom that I “don’t have time to exercise.” But the fact is, I’ll never have time. I need to make time. Because it’s when I exercise that I feel less stressed, happier, and have more energy.

My other favorite thing to do is write in my prayer journal. I’ll often read Psalm in the Bible, and then use a 5-part outline as I write in my prayer journal and pray to God: 1. Praise 2. Admit 3. Request 4. Thanks 5. Listen. When I do this, it makes me feel at peace, more calm, and filled with gratitude.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Do it scared. Because as Christy Wright says, “Fear doesn’t mean you’re doing something bad. It means you’re doing something bold.” If I was too scared to push record for the first time or go on that trip to Albania with a camcorder, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Most recently, I was super scared about starting a YouTube channel. I was afraid of what people would think of me. But starting that YouTube channel has been one of the best things that’s happened to my career. I think it’s when we get outside of our comfort zone that amazing things are going to happen.

You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would love to inspire people to a 30-day challenge where they only consume content that educates, inspires, or brings them joy. I honestly think that after those 30 days, people will feel more fulfilled, have more compassion, and be happier.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

James Wedmore. I admire how he grew his business from helping entrepreneurs use video to now helping them become digital CEOs who design their businesses around their life and values. He’s helping me a ton, and I’m seeing breakthroughs in my own business. I’d love to be able to meet and thank him in-person!

Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?

Yup! I’m on YouTube and Instagram. Would love to connect!

This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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