Success Stories: SEP'13 From Nanny, to Filmmaker...

Sophia Kiapos

From Nanny, to Filmmaker...

Hi Stage32'ers. I've been a member on this site for almost 2 years now. I want to share a little bit of myself with you. Before I get started, I want to commend every single person who has a dream to be successful in this industry. It is hard, and I know so well what the struggle is like. Keep at it, believe in yourself. I graduated from LAMDA, a prestigious drama school in London, UK. Upon graduating, I moved back to Los Angeles (my hometown), to pursue my career as an actor and filmmaker. I'm in love with creating and performing. It is my drive, my passion, my love. I made a living as a nanny for several years. My goal was to get as close as possible to industry professionals, just to have a feel for what it's like to be "inside" of all the excitement. So I nannied, for quite a few families in the duration of 3 years. I was miserable. Even though I was meeting industry people left and right, it didn't matter, because I was "the nanny". I dealt with depression, thinking I would never achieve my dream. June of 2014, my 24th birthday. My friends were making names for themselves as "director", "actor", "writer" etc, and I was still, "nanny". For my birthday this year, I gave myself a gift. I took 10 whole days off of work, and did something I never thought I could do before. I went to Joshua Tree, which is the desert, in California. I enrolled in a mediation course, where I had to be in silence for 10 days. Craziness. I am Greek and Persian, so talking is all I knew. I went anyways. I sat in the desert for 10 days, reflecting on my life, and myself. Inside me, I felt a small inkling. This feeling told me, "Sophia, you are what you believe you are...", My dream is to make films, that's all. I came home, CHANGED, rejuvenated, self-loving, self-believing! I knew that the key to my success, was just to succeed. Stop dreaming, and DO! I quit my job as a nanny, the only form of income I was making. Within one week, I brought my crew together, and we made a film for the 48 Hour Film Festival, we won the Audience Choice Award. A week later, I got a call to direct a movie in Mississippi... I, Sophia Kiapos, was going to direct my first film. Not knowing WHAT I was getting myself into. "Olivia Martha Ilse" was the name of the project. The film was an adaptation on Anton Chekhov's, "Three Sisters". I was being flown out to Mississippi to direct a film. AND, they invited my entire crew from the 48 Hour Film Festival to partake on this wild opportunity. Below is the IMDB link to the film. It's now in post-production, and we are submitting it into every single film festival out there. I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to direct actors that I look up to. James Frain (Tron, The Tudors, Elizabeth), Tammy Blanchard (Blue Jasmine, Into The Woods, Bella), and Tonea Stewart (A Time To Kill). The moral of my story is, FOLLOW YOUR DREAM. TAKE RISKS. BELIEVE IN YOUR PURPOSE. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Now, Canyon Ranch Cinema is in the works of our third project, a horror film. You can also enjoy our short film for the 48 Hour Film Festival here: -Sophia Kiapos

Olivia Martha Ilse (2015) - IMDb
Olivia Martha Ilse (2015) - IMDb
Based on Chekhov's Three Sisters and relocated to the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s, Olivia Martha Ilse follows the story of three sisters from childhood to adulthood. The orphan sisters are watched…
Lynn P. H. Adrian

F(*&ing awesome. Thank you for the inspiration Sophia!

Debbie Elicksen

You go, girl!

Lynn P. H. Adrian

Reminds me of Michael Arndt who worked as an assisstant--took a year off and created "Little Miss Sunshine"!

Vinanti Sarkar

Great success ... Yes ... we all need to follow our dreams ... with a little bit of help with our friends ...

Lauran Childs

Well done!

Debbie Croysdale

Thankyou for sharing your special experience, and fuelling us with Inspiration!

Aleisha Brooks

FANTASTIC!! :D Congrats!

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn

Yes Sophia... it's all about the journey. Congratulations.

Taylor Hay


Benjamin Alany

Very inspiring, thanks for sharing your story.

CJ Walley

What an incredible story! Looking forward to following this and seeing where it goes.

Kalisa Moore


Jillian Bullock

Wonderful and inspiring story. Made my day.

Wendy Nichols

Love the story - gutsy and successful. Best of luck.

Vinanti Sarkar

My sincere congratulations Sophia ... So glad you followed your dreams and I enjoyed reviewing your video clip ...

Rachel Cann

Sophia was my grandmother's name. I am third generation Greek but went to Greek school so I can read the language. I have been disabled, living on social security but I'm hoping to teach Greek after I put an ad in the local Greek Paper. Then maybe I'll be able to afford pitching to producers for my film script Abuse of Power. Thanks for inviting me into your network. XRONIA POLLA!

Chris Fosselman

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing.

Sophia Kiapos

Thank you so much for your words, everyone! I am overwhelmed, and all I can say is, FOLLOW YOUR HEART! That is solely where the truth within lies. Be productive, generate your own works, CREATE! I am humbled to be apart of such a supportive community as Stage32. Thank you! I will be posting information in the upcoming months regarding a Los Angeles/New York screening of the film, "Olivia Martha Ilse", that I just directed. Coming soon! Best to all! x

Sean Patrowich


Vinanti Sarkar

Stories like yours inspire and uplift filmmakers, especially women filmmakers ... And it is so horrible to see that Cannes Film Festival did not nominate any films made by women in the last few festivals ... may be one as a consolation prize ... Thank you Sophia for your inspiration and love for your talented art and taking the risks ... Be blessed ... Beside sending the film to every film festival ... depending on the theme of the film ... find the niche - charge people for attending - asking for their critique so you can see how to improve on the next film ... All the success in the world ... My first video-for-TV film won three first prizes in three separate film festivals ... and was shown all around the world ...

Renada Young

This title caught my eye b/c I currently work as a nanny while pursuing acting, and sometimes I get discouraged. I love my job and the family I work for, but acting is my passion. Congrats on your new film. You will enjoy being in Mississippi, it truly lives up to it's name: The Hospitality State.

Other topics in Stage 32 Success Stories:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In