Overcoming Impostor Syndrome through Music, Photography, & Filmmaking
“To anyone who is trying to fit in, I wanna convey this message: Be yourself and be unique as we are all created diversely…” is a mantra that Kayzne remarked through his personal narrative film to encourage young people to embrace their true selves.
Kayzne Domingo was raised in Connecticut. He lived in Laoag City, Philippines for two years when he was 6 years old with his aunt and younger sister. This allowed him to embrace his Filipino identity at a young age. As a Filipino-African American in a town with only 7% Black/African American, Kayzne struggled with impostor syndrome.
As a first-year high school student, Kayzne was accepted into the basketball team. His basketball career spiraled quickly from feeling unworthy of being on the team and on top of that Kayzne had to help his single mother raise his 4 younger sisters. Throughout the obstacles he faced in high school, he felt supported by a group of friends, but during the pandemic, he realized that his friend group was negatively impacting his academic performance at school.
Nonetheless, the social distancing caused by the global pandemic helps Kayzne redirect his choices as he approaches his senior year. Some of the opportunities that Kayzne seized this summer are two summer courses, an online coding course, and the summer film intensive International Crossroads: Student Create Mini Films About Their Culture & Stories with See Stories.
The summer film intensive was taught by Rafael Bitanga, cousin of Kayzne. Though Rafael is Kayzne’s cousin, they have not spoken in over 9 years, since Kayzne lived in the Philippines. This course allowed them to bond and understand the benefits of storytelling for change and pursuing a college education.
In the intensive, Kayzne focused his two-minute film on his passions: Music, Photography & Filmmaking. He reflected on his life experiences and how he utilized his passions to overcome impostor syndrome. One of the types of impostor syndrome is being a perfectionist, Kayzne does his best to ensure everything runs perfectly. But through this program, Kayzne had the opportunity to reflect through journaling where he discovered that it was music, photography, and filmmaking that helped him conquer his fear of failing and not being enough.
Throughout the program, Kayzne bonded with his younger sisters especially when filming them fixing their hair, baking cookies, and singing together. While is still recovering from impostor syndrome, Kayzne feels equipped and more confident in navigating his senior year of high school.
After graduating high school, Kayzne envisions attending Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York where he will study Digital Communications to combine his passions for music, photography, and filmmaking. As a first-generation low-income college-bound student, Kayzne plans on applying his film to the Live Mas Scholarship this coming January.
“We should have confidence in who we truly are and not what others want us to be… Just know that we are all worthy to Live Mas” says Kayzne.
Story written by Rafael Bitanga, son of two Filipinx immigrants, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and photographer