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Check Out Katie Rohlfing’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Rohlfing.

Hi Katie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve always loved photography and filmmaking and I consider imagery my favorite storytelling medium. In my senior year of high school, I took a video production class and made a really terrible, overly dramatic, all-around bad short film for my senior project. Exported onto a VHS tape of course. Because it was 2001. And I loved it! I had wanted to pursue film school, but fear of failure held me back. I chose a degree in psychology instead, thinking that was a safer path. And then over the course of my twenties, I really experienced a gradual loss of self within a bad marriage. I had no confidence to pursue any of the arts I had been so passionate about and driven by in my younger years. At the age of 29, I found myself a divorced single mother really struggling to find myself again. It started with therapy. If I was going to do this parenting thing alone and do it well, I needed to take care of myself first. Therapy was where I slowly started to regain my sense of self. And by the time I was 33, I was ready to rebuild my identity. I intended to start slowly by taking an acting class. But once I stepped foot back into that world of performing arts, I couldn’t get enough. My love of storytelling and expression of the human experience came back fiercely. I took improv classes, got an acting agent, bought a camera, video editing software, started going to IFCKC meetings, networking, learning from others, self-teaching, making short films, and shooting weddings. Each project led to new connections, which led to new gigs and best of all, new friends with a similar passion. I’m 37 now and still a single mother with a 9-5 job in insurance. The work I do in front of and behind the camera may never be more than a side hustle, but it is a hustle I am so thankful for. It continues to connect me to so many others in a beautifully intimate way and most importantly, it ultimately brought me back to myself.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My biggest bugaboo along the way has been my struggle with imposter syndrome; My own self-doubt is what often sets me back. Being a single parent also adds extra challenges, but it has also been my biggest push forward. When my son was three years old I decided I would push through my fear of failure and pursue my passions so that I could set an example for him. I didn’t want him to grow up with the same lack of confidence that I had. I figured if I wanted my son to grow up to be a person who believes in himself, I had better get to believing in myself too.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As a creative, I’m still very much learning as I go. I’m a dabbler. I dabble. I’m not interested in selling myself or perfecting anything. Rather than promote my art or explain what sets me apart, I’d like to use this opportunity to encourage other people to pursue their passion. I wasted so many years feeling like the ship had sailed or I was too old to start again. But once I answered that little voice inside that kept urging me to create, it was like a whole world opened up that had been waiting for me the entire time. I know it’s waiting for you too. At 37 I feel like my life is just beginning.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory is also my earliest memory. I was three years old running on the beach in South Padre Island. My grandparents were snowbirds and we had gone to visit. I vividly remember carefully collecting seashells on the shore with my grandmother when I looked up and realized the vastness of the ocean before me. I suddenly felt filled with the energy of the waves and tore off running down the beach, ignoring my grandmother as she called after me to stop. I take my son to the beach every Summer so he can experience the same joy.

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