Women's History Month 2019 Profile: Sam Bailey

Sam Bailey, Filmmaker

How would your peers describe your personality?

Ambitious, nurturing, blunt. Maybe? Lol I’m not sure.

When did you consider yourself a success? How did this make you feel?

I don't consider myself a success. I consider myself a work in progress. And some things I've worked on have been well received, and that's amazing. But 'success' feels so finite. I don't think I'm trying to reach one point, I'm just trying to make work that interests me, be a good friend to the people in my world and beyond, and not sacrifice my sense of self.

What is the biggest challenge you have come across in your career and how did you handle this?

The biggest challenge has probably been figuring out to balance my time between Chicago and Los Angeles. I wasn't planning on spending any significant amount of time in LA but once things started rolling, it didn't stop. But finding the balance between being in California for work (and not hating it) and being in Chicago for my spirit has been difficult to find. Now I try to make sure I don't go a month without being in Chicago for at least a week and I also try to find things to do in LA that's not just business orientated so I can find the joy there too.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?

I only attach myself to projects I'm passionate about. Working in tv and film can be such a long game and it takes a lot of time to get a project up and running. So it's important to me to put my energy into projects that make me curious, projects that I fall in love with.

What are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of my amazingly talented friends. I have a tight knit circle of creatives who not only inspire me but also hold me down all the time. To cultivate a group of people like that, where egos and competition are not part of our existence, it's really lovely. To have a foundation of love and loyalty in this tricky world is what I'm most proud of.

What inspired you when you were younger?

Music. I was a huge TLC fan. I was a huge Lauryn Hill fan. It's really the only space where I saw young black women in the arts and I gravitated to their images and work.

What nail color makes you feel most confident?

Yellow or white.

What is a piece of advice you would give to young women?

Other women are not your enemy. The sooner you get that out of your head the better. My friendships with women/femme people have made me whole and a better person.


Photo Credit: Zoe Rain Photo