NAME: SARAH MOSHMAN
CITY: LOS ANGELES
NOMINATED BY: ASHA DAHYA
TWEET HER: @SarahMosh | @EmpowermentDocu
INSTA LOVE: @SarahMoshman | @EmpowermentDocu
Tell us what you do!
I am the Director/Producer of the feature-length documentary The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things. Along with that, I am now a public speaker since we are traveling around the US screening the film, and speaking about the way women are portrayed in the media. Many hats to wear, and I love it!
Did you go to college? If so, where?
I went to the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL where I studied Video/Film and Psychology.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to make movies and work in television. I think teenage Sarah would be very proud of where I am today!
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
A combination of big dreaming with a lot of hard work to back it up! After film school, I moved out to Los Angeles to seriously pursue my goals of working in TV/Film. My very first job out of college was working as a story assistant on Dancing with the Stars. I ended up staying there for 10 seasons, and working my way up to Field Producer – shooting and interviewing the celeb/dancer couples on the show for the packages that air before the live performances. I learned so much while there, and worked on many other reality/docu-series shows for networks like NBC, MTV, ABC, Lifetime, The Food Network and more.
While I honed my skills as an interviewer and a shooter/producer, I was working on my own documentary projects in my free time. With my producing partner Dana Michelle Cook, we started our own production company, Heartfelt Productions, to focus on content with heart through a female empowerment lens. We made two short docs, one of which (Growing Up Strong: Girls on the Run) won an Emmy® in 2013! The Empowerment Project is our first feature documentary.
The Empowerment Project is a dream come true. It’s the film I want to watch that I felt like was lacking from our media landscape. It’s the story of five female filmmakers traveling across America to interview inspirational women from a variety of career fields to help create more positive role models for girls. It’s also the culmination of a lot of hard work, perseverance and personal growth. From raising the money on Kickstarter, to get it off the ground, to finding the extraordinary women to interview around the country, taking the life-changing trip, editing it all together, securing distribution and now sharing it with the world, it has been such an incredible experience!
So many! Too many to count. Kickstarter was an obstacle in and of itself. Reaching out to strangers and inspiring them to open their wallets to support you is a very humbling experience. Every phase of this project has been another mountain to climb, with not a lot of time to celebrate when we reached the top, because we were on to the next mountain. The highs wouldn’t be as high without the lows, and the obstacles have made me so much stronger and prepared for whatever is ahead. And now sharing this film with audiences around the country, and hearing their positive feedback is the most tremendous validation in all that we went through to get here.
Who is your idol?
I have to mention my parents for sure – my mom was my first positive female role model with an engineering, and then law, career while balancing kids. And my dad has been an incredible mentor to me since I decided to pursue this industry, as he is a TV producer and documentary filmmaker as well. I am also a huge fan of Amy Poehler as a performer and as an activist. Leslie Knope is the single greatest female character on television, and I am a huge fan of Smart Girls at the Party and all the positive messaging she supports. Go Amy! I love Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Geena Davis, and Sheryl Sandberg as well.
Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:
Determination, focus, and creativity.
Where would you like to be in five years?
I’d like to have traveled all over the country and all over the world with The Empowerment Project, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives, and be a seasoned public speaker. I would like to have started directing another documentary, and I’d like to write a book, own a home, and potentially have had my first child with my husband Ryan. A lot to potentially happen in the next five years!
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
To me, a Girl Boss is a leader of her life. She takes control of her own destiny, pushes her limits and lives mostly outside her comfort zone.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
If I’m not in comfy clothes, I’m a jeans, boots and dressy top kind of gal. I love color when it comes to dressing up.
Fav clothing item/accessory right now?
I’m kind of loving jumpsuits right now! I have a cobalt blue and black one that I love wearing to events.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Go-to nail color?
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. When she wrote, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?” it was like someone gave me the permission to go after my dream of making this film.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
I love candy & chocolate.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
“Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding always fires me up, and reminds me of the feeling of being infinite while following a dream.
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“It’s not the critic who counts. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, who, at the worst, knows if she fails at least fails while daring greatly.” -Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
“One cannot discover new lands without losing sight of shore.” My Dad said that to me when I was in college, and it really stuck with me. It means to me that I have to leave my comfort zone to find out what I’m really made of.
Advice to future Girl Bosses:
Never give up. There is always a way to your dream, even if it doesn’t look or feel exactly as you imagined. Design your life to suit you, don’t get caught up in other peoples’ expectations of you. Never stop learning and growing in your field. Also, ignore the noise in the media about how women “should” be, or how we should look. Be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. You are more than enough.
Do YOU know a Girl Boss? Nominate her in the comments! And, HEY — if you share this article, be sure to use #ImAGirlBoss!