Here is my interview from the Influence Women’s Journal – August 2020.
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Bio Sydney Patapoff is a 2nd Assistant Director who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. After beginning her career on NBC’s “The Office” she has worked with some of Hollywood’s premiere creative teams on shows such as ABC’s “The Middle”, “Black-ish” and “How to Get Away with Murder”, as well as Hulu’s “The Mindy Project.”
Sydney graduated from Biola University in 2009 with a degree in Film, Television, Radio as a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute. She also runs the 558 Network – a professional organization for Biola alumni working in the entertainment industry.
Kathleen Cooke: Hollywood productions came to an abrupt halt with COVID-19 shutdowns. As a DGA 2nd Assistant Director what has God taught you during this disruptive time?
Sydney Patapoff: “Be still and know that I am God.” How often are we taught to trust God in the high and the low moments, yet how rarely we learn to trust Him in the silence. We like to think of our God as a God of action – He moves the mountains and the seas, rescues us out of despair and hardship, blesses us with success and praise. Yet, God also walks amongst us when work is going okay, when the grocery store has our favorite fresh baked cookies, and when you remember to return Mom’s phone call. God doesn’t just ask us to “be still and wait for me to do AMAZING things,” He asks us to “be still and know” – know that we follow Him, know that we trust Him, know that He’s there even when his presence is quiet.
Kathleen: I have to disclose that I was at one time your college internship supervisor at “Biola University” and also your first employer. It’s been a great joy to watch how God has guided every step of your career. What has God taught you about pushing forward through uncertainties and challenges?
Sydney: Throughout my career, I’ve found that God usually knows what I want long before I do. From early on He has opened doors to guide my journey, and often pushed me through a window when I decided to shut a door. His desires for me are so much greater than anything I can imagine, and I’ve learned that often to doubt myself is to doubt Him.
Kathleen: The life and schedules of a working professional in Hollywood are nonstop. What has God taught you about rest and resting in Him?
Sydney: Free time is hard to come by in my career. We shoot long days with few hours off each evening. Even more, as an introvert I’ve learned I have to be protective of my rest – since “free time” and rest are two very different things for me. Often, if I try to fill up my free time with “good” things – friends, volunteer work, church activities, and sometimes even family events – the time begins to not feel free at all! Instead, I prioritize my rest and have learned to make sure that my own cup is full before beginning to pour into others.
Kathleen: God has uniquely placed you in an industry that is influential and where you can influence others in big ways. How do you see your influence where God’s placed you?
Sydney: It’s easy to think big when we consider influence – God tells us to go be an influence on the world, and the world is so large! But I don’t think He’s calling each of us to influence THE world, but rather our world. Maybe it’s a kind gesture to a friend that’s having a difficult week, a quiet suggestion to shift a co-workers’ thinking, or just taking the time to be our genuine selves to one another. It can often be small things that influence those closest to us in a big way.