• Lilly Heidari

Life After College

Headshot of Lilly Heidari
Lilly Heidari | Partner Relations and Events Coordinator

It has been strange navigating life after graduating college this past May. I think that grey area is cool. And yet, this particular season of change and limbo in my life has not come so comfortably.

I am usually comfortable with in-between spaces. Many parts of my identity exist outside of hard lines or strict categories, and I take pride in that. For example, my family is American and Iranian, and I am so grateful to have grown up in both cultures. I have a unique perspective on life, and navigating my own ethnic and racial identity in today’s society has been an enlightening and challenging journey. I love where I come from, and I have learned a lot about how to exist in the in-betweens.

Another example: my identity as a writer also circles around the in-between. As a poet, I am enamored by the ineffable. I am obsessed with the idea of what’s just out of reach, what’s difficult to capture in words. In my writing, I focus a lot on imagery, sound, and feeling, not so much on linear timelines. Some of the most joyous moments I have when writing occur in that glorious limbo of revision: editing, revisiting images, reimagining stories in different ways. There are so many possibilities, each one exciting and luxurious to explore.

At the University of South Carolina (UofSC), I double-majored in English & Theatre and minored in Film & Media Studies. I concentrated on creative writing and acting, and I acted in nine theatre productions throughout college. My friends and I managed several creative organizations over the years, and like most students, I had jobs and commitments outside classes during the semesters as well. I stayed pretty busy for four years. Approaching graduation, I was looking toward a future without the structure of school.

Like editing a piece of writing, I saw many directions my story could follow. I started applying to jobs, most of which focused on professional communications and video editing. None of these jobs, however, centralized creativity and passion in the ways I value. Thankfully, the right work environment came into view.

Just after graduation, I got involved with Local Cinema Studios, along with Susan and Jordan, who are also recent UofSC graduates, and Nakoa, a UofSC junior. We started working with Dustin, a UofSC acting professor and one of the founders of Local Cinema, as the company prepared to begin pre-production for Holy Irresistible. We immediately got to work, finding hotels and Airbnbs for cast and crew, filling out important SAG paperwork, picking up resources such as a grip truck, and transporting vehicles and set pieces to Georgia and North Carolina. It was an adventure right from the start.

Continue to follow Lilly's journey here