Smart People Quit Their Writing Careers Early, Right? – Kelli McNeil

Film Courage: Have you ever thought of stopping? Have you said to yourself ‘There are easier ways to spend my life?’

Kelli McNeil, Writer, Actress and Voice Over Artist: All the time. I mean I’ve carved out a career for myself as a marketing and creative professional, copywriting and art directing (things like that). If I really gave myself to that maybe I could be very successful but I feel like there would be this hole inside of me that would just be devoid.

I think that maybe I’m not very smart. Maybe I should have given up a long time ago because I keep putting myself through this and trying and kept going but I think that’s part of the challenge that a lot of writers face is the self-doubt, the imposter syndrome (especially as a woman) and trying to break through in this industry. It’s very hard. You grapple with that all the time and writing by nature is a solitary activity. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate those little victories, just one little thing, one connection, one interview, one chance encounter could change your world.

Film Courage: But by naming the imposter syndrome and sort of calling it out, does that take away its power a little bit?

Kelli: You have to be aware of it when it’s happening. There are times and I think this…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

DARUMA is inspired by a true story about two unlikely friends: a paraplegic & a double amputee. Kelli and her team are authentically casting amazing actors, Tobias Forrest & John Lawson. Disability inclusion is the last bastion of inequality in Hollywood: it’s time for change. Video is closed captioned.

About Kelli:

Kelli McNeil is a Los Angeles based writer, actor, voiceover artist and producer. As a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Drama, McNeil has performed in multiple film, TV and stage productions and wrapped production on three features in 2017, including Gus Van Sant’s new movie, Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot.     

She was selected to attend BADA (British American Drama Academy) during her junior year. She currently has a national commercial airing for Little Caesars, directed by celebrated commercial director Harold Einstein of Dummy Films. She has voiced numerous commercial, corporate and theatrical projects.     

McNeil has also carved out a career for herself in advertising, where she has been a Creative Director and writer for multiple clients, including Fortune 50 companies. Her focus has been on producing digital spots and content creation…(Continued here on



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