Anna Sitar on building her own corner of the Internet

Anna Sitar opens up about how content creation has allowed her to pursue her lifelong passion for storytelling and videography, and how she continues to explore different avenues of creative expression through acting, directing, and filmmaking. Anna also touches on the importance of staying centered, trying new things, and creating a safe space for her community.

Dress DO LONG.

Let’s start this off with something fun. I am going to say a few random words, and I want you to tell me the first thing that you think of.

Okay, I think I’m ready.



Tiger lilies.


That’s fair. Tiger lilies are my favorite flower, so that’s why I said tiger lily.

Mine are peonies. I’m a sucker for [when they’re] light pink [and] unfolding. It’s so beautiful.


Pumpkin spice.

Tie dye.

Fourth of July.

The color purple.

“Lavender Haze” [by] Taylor Swift. Or, Speak Now.

Oddly enough, I was listening to Taylor Swift earlier.

Oh my gosh, I love that!

What is your favorite Taylor Swift album?

I’m a Speak Now girlie, so [that’s why I associate it with] the [color] purple. What about you?

I didn’t listen to a lot of her music after Fearless. I remember being eight or nine and having that CD and wearing it out to the fullest.

[There are] so many good songs. I feel the same way. I fell in love with her really early on, but I didn’t listen [to her music] as often when I got older. When the Eras Tour came out, I had to relearn and memorize everything again.

Yeah, because she switched genres. She went from country to pop.

Exactly! It was the craziest little turnaround. I still listen to Reputation and Red and 1989. I love those, too.

Let’s talk about your background first. You graduated college with a degree in engineering, and then you did a masters in film. Those are two very versatile degrees or career paths. Do you feel like you use any of those skills in your day to day now?

Absolutely. A lot of engineering is finding patterns and predicting outcomes, which came in handy when I first started on social media. I loved looking at the analytics and statistics on my channel and seeing where the trends were going. I could find patterns in the app, and [I was] able to predict where things were going. That definitely [helps] me with the more analytical side of what I do for a career now. My film degree falls more into what I do for work with cinematography, directing, writing, storyboarding, and storytelling. I’m able to use my film degree to elevate my channel as not only a social media platform, but also a creative keepsake for myself and a way to share my life in a more artistic manner.

I was thinking that film and directing would probably apply to content creation, but I wouldn’t have expected that engineering would too.

Engineering [is a] really versatile career. It’s really handy when I have to build something for a video. If I’m working on a car video, I know how to fix the car. I have a photography studio upstairs, and I knew how to build that because it was partially gaffing, [which I learned when I was studying for] my film degree. I worked in medical technology when I was studying engineering. I worked for a company called Stryker. They were a really, really great company to intern at while I was in school. I went to school in the same town where they were headquartered, so I was able to work part time during the school year, and medical technology fit directly [into what I was studying]. I loved doing that work, but it’s [one] of those things where as you grow, you find different passions in different areas of your life.

What sparked your interest in film and directing after undergrad? Obviously, we’re very versatile human beings, so we can be interested in a lot of things, but engineering to film is a big jump.

I’ve always had an underlying love for film and videography. Growing up, I [loved] photography. The first camera my dad got me was one of those little flip camcorders from Sam’s Club. He bought me one for Christmas, and I would film all of our home movies on it, make music videos, and put together little montages after we’d come back from vacation. I always loved [making videos]. I made YouTube videos during my senior year in college. My second semester, I was posting videos so consistently, and I realized how much I enjoyed doing it. What I found the most passion [in], though, was making short films and storyboarding. I loved watching things that made me feel something, and I wanted to be able to make art in that way as well. 

When I was an intern at Stryker, the marketing team needed help making videos for their sales [representatives], so they asked the interns if anybody knew how to use editing software. I knew how to use Premiere Pro from making videos, so I offered to help. I would take all the footage, go home, and put it together [into] informational videos for the sales [representatives]. I understood the technology that we were talking about from engineering, but I also loved storytelling, videography, and figuring out how to make it into a cohesive project. 

I really enjoyed video editing and being in more of a creative role, and I knew that if I went to school [for] film for my masters, there wouldn’t be any loss. My engineering degree wouldn’t go away. I would always have that, so I might as well try something new. It was something that felt fresh and gave me the chance to [be] more creative and explore something I was passionate about outside of engineering. I always loved [engineering], but it was [a] field that I knew I [could] have a career in [at any time]. If I had taken the risk and done film first, I’m not sure how that would have panned out. When I started as a grad student, they [told us] to prepare for the long game in film, because we could potentially end up as an assistant to someone else for the next ten years. It was better and easier to take the risk after I already had [my] first degree to fall back on. I was also a little bit older, and I had experience in corporate America, so I understood how to sell myself, how to be in a room, and how to be professional. Once I got into film school, I was really excited to have the chance to follow my creative passions.

Definitely. I feel like it’s always good to have that “just in case” career to fall back on. Like you said, just because you went to film school doesn’t mean that you lost your engineering degree, and honestly, it gives you a bit of an advantage because you have more knowledge and more skills.

It’s also a great conversation starter. Everyone always asks about it. When I tell people that I went to school for film, they always ask me how I have an engineering degree, and I get to tell them the story. It’s a good thing to sell myself on.


You currently do content creation full time. Do you think you would ever want to branch out more into engineering or directing?

I would love to get into directing, writing, and filmmaking. Even now, I work on a lot of projects behind the scenes. I’m always writing and storytelling because that’s something that I find a lot of relief in. When I first started posting on TikTok, social media allowed me to find that release and creative expression. Since I do social media a lot more regularly now, it’s nice to keep exploring different avenues, like writing scripts or storyboarding or any of my other creative passions. I love having that feeling of self-expression when it’s not tied to my work. 

Lately, I’ve been taking acting classes, which is so different from anything [I’ve] experienced before. I don’t have a background in acting. I don’t have a background in being on set or being in front of the camera. I’ve always been behind the camera, so it’s been fun to explore a different side of the entertainment industry and understand what it’s like to be in that role. It’s also helped to elevate my writing and my ability to understand how writers and actors differentiate themselves from each other and interpret different scripts or scenes or storylines.

This goes back to what we were talking about a moment ago. Humans are very versatile and have a lot of different interests. I feel like a lot of people will find a hobby, and they won’t branch out beyond that, but you are picking up hobbies left and right.

I have a bad habit of being a jack of all trades. I can’t like one thing. It’s my worst quality. Well, not my worst quality. (laughs) I always think about whether it would be better to focus on one thing and love that one thing, but there’s something so exciting about starting something new. That’s what really engages me. Once I get to a point where I know that I did it, I got good at it, and I enjoyed it, then I start thinking about what’s next and what’s new.

How do you feel like learning all of these different skills has benefited you personally?

It keeps me centered. It allows me to express myself. I think that’s where a lot of people struggle. They don’t know how to tap into their inner self, and I’m not afraid to have that inner child come out. [I’m not going to say] that I don’t get easily embarrassed, but I like feeling like a kid, and I like having that excitement and light in my eyes when I’m trying something new. It keeps me feeling excited to wake up every morning and do those things. If you don’t have something that you’re looking forward to, it makes it difficult to be excited about [waking up] every day. Whether it’s pottery classes or my acting class on Mondays and Wednesdays, I always have something that I’m looking forward to. It keeps me really engaged. Even though a lot of my life is on the Internet, it keeps me centered in my own world.

Self-expression is so important. I mean, you’re talking to someone who has had five thousand artistic hobbies throughout the years. From sculpting and songwriting to theater and visual art, it all snowballs. 

I’m sure you feel this too, but it makes you feel more like yourself when you have a way to make something. It’s [kind of] weird, [because] we are visually existent, but being able to take what’s in your brain and make it into something physical has its own way of becoming an extension of yourself, and makes you feel like you understand yourself in a better way.


Why do you feel like it’s important for other people to take that leap into the unknown and try new hobbies?

Growing up, we’re told we should be one thing. For example, if you want to pursue engineering, you should have an internship in engineering, and every job you do should be [in] engineering so that your resume looks good for your engineering role. All your friends will be in engineering because those are your study buddies. Those are the people you’re going to see every day. It fits us in these boxes since the day [you] start high school. 

I think it’s important to be diverse in your interests. If you put all of your love and excitement into one thing, it might not work out or you might get burnt out from only loving one thing. When you have a million different things to turn to, it gives [you] the opportunity to find engagement, excitement, and joy in your life. Even [when] I was in college studying engineering, I was a substitute teacher, I taught a Zumba class at the rec center, I was in an acapella group that [performed competitively], and I was also on the swim team for a little bit. It’s totally fine if your interests do fall under a similar category — I think my younger brother is like that — but it’s exciting to explore different avenues of life, and it keeps you trying new things. 

Some of my most asked questions when I was an engineer were about the things that I did outside of engineering. If you have different passions that you can look to when one area of your life lacks that feeling of excitement or feels too much like work, you’ll always have something else to turn to that keeps you engaged and empowered and full [of] joy. 

Is there anything you haven’t learned or experienced yet that you would like to do in the future?

I would love the opportunity to be in a movie or TV show. My goal is to do that within the next year. I want to book something really exciting and have this new project that I can really pour my heart into and run with. I’ve really been enjoying the psychology of acting and imagining [myself in] these different roles as different individuals, but still as an extension of [myself]. [Doing] a movie [would] be really fun. I’ve taken two pottery classes, but I want to do more. I’ve only made cups [and] bowls. I would love to tap into that more, too. In Shenandoah, we rode horses through the woods. I did that as a kid, so it tapped [into] that inner child a little bit. I was so excited to get to be around horses. They have this very tranquil energy that makes me want to be around them more.

Full look DO LONG, necklace THE STEAMPUNK GHOST, hand jewelry CHAINED BY SEDONA.

Let’s go back to when you first started your career as a content creator. What was the transition like from posting TikTok videos for fun to suddenly getting millions of views on each video?

It happened during Covid, so we were in this limbo. It’s not that I didn’t understand what was happening at first, but it didn’t feel as real until the world [opened] back up again and I went out in public. The first time I got a brand deal and made money from it felt surreal. When I started TikTok, I wasn’t thinking about growing a channel. I was thinking about building this keepsake of things that I loved — a safe place on the Internet where everybody felt included, and everybody felt like a part of this adventure I was on that was simply life. TikTok gave me the chance to share all of these experiences with a community of people. 

It was an interesting transition because it felt so sudden. I remember the day I got verified on TikTok. Three months later, my channel quadrupled in size, and this was now a full-time career. I knew grad school was coming back in person in the fall. We were going to be part-time in the spring and full-time in the fall. I remember there was [definitely] a moment [where] I was thinking, do I go back to school, or do I just pursue this one career? I didn’t want to quit grad school because I knew it was a passion of mine that I would never live down if I didn’t complete it. The transition was easier because I was still in school and because it was a passion for such a long time. Even as I was growing, it was really something that I [loved] to do, so it didn’t feel like work, which is why I think it works so well for me. 

It sounds like you didn’t really have any set goals when you started on social media, since you weren’t looking to do social media as a career at that point. Looking back at your journey, do you feel like your goals have evolved as you’ve grown?

Absolutely. I see more opportunity in it now than I did before. The social media space was still a little bit of a gray zone when I was first starting. [You would hear] about a couple of viral people. Everyone knew the Viners and YouTubers who had made it, but we weren’t seeing TikTok creators yet other than the D’Amelios, Addison Rae, and other bigger names who had [that unexpected] trajectory. At first, I didn’t know where the opportunity and potential [were] with social media, but I started to see how well it fit with the career I wanted in film and entertainment. I’m able to use my social media as a stepping stone for the next big thing, and to show the behind the scenes of other things I want [to] achieve in life. 

I get asked about the longevity of my career all the time. On my flight home yesterday, a dad asked me what I was going to be doing in ten years. He was very [unsure] of me. I told him, honestly, I hope I’m still making videos, but I hope I have other things I’m making videos about. I hope that I’m directing my first film, and I’m on set making videos about getting ready with me to go to set. I hope we evolve beyond this corner of the Internet. I love that I have a lifestyle. In my opinion, my channel fits that lifestyle category. First off, you never know what you’re going to get. One day, I’m riding a unicycle. The next day, I’m talking about breakups. My favorite part is that there is no single category that I fit into. I definitely think that [social media] fits into my lifestyle, and I’m excited [to see] where it’s going to go. My number one goal, which has always been consistent, is to build a safe corner of the Internet where everyone is welcome. I want to have this space where everyone feels creative, feels inspired, and feels this pull to be themselves. I’m just so happy they’re there.

What are some of the most important things you’ve learned or become more aware of from your career as a content creator?

One thing that I learned — and didn’t realize at first — was the value of privacy. I’m very open on my channels, especially with my relationship [and] different things coming into [my] life. I didn’t know how to separate what I [wanted] to share from the moments I wanted to just live and enjoy. [During] my first two years of content creation, I posted five to eight times a day every single day. [I took] no days off, no vacations, and no weekend breaks. I had something to talk about and post about [all the time during] those two years, which [was] my greatest time of growth and when I was most [excited] about my work. Even as I’m coming up on this new chapter in my life, [I’m still establishing] that [balance] and figuring out what I want to make videos about and what I want to experience and enjoy in my own time. I’m still learning how to recognize when things are better kept [as] my own mental keepsakes, such as the pictures I take and films I make [that I don’t share]. The nights that you don’t see [are] some of my favorite memories now.

I feel like it’s always a balance, especially with content creation. When you’re sharing so much of your life, it’s hard to figure out what to keep private and what to share with the world, because those two worlds blend together so much. 

Exactly. It’s always tough. For so long, [I was] filming everything. Putting the phone down and living [in the present] is something that I’ve been working on.

Over the summer, you posted a visual podcast called “LET’S TALK HATE COMMENTS + CONFIDENCE + FEELING NUMB + BIG LIFE CHANGES.” All of your videos have a sense of “deep talk” to them where you go fairly in-depth on different topics. What inspired you to make that video, and would you ever consider branching out into a podcast or something similar?

I had so many friends in my community from the videos in my Anna’s guide to series, and they were asking for those videos as forty minute podcasts. I’m so video-focused, and I love visual things. That’s where I’ve always had my passion. I’ve never really worked in [an] audio space. I love music, but I don’t make music. It’s just a thing that I enjoy, and [it inspires a lot of] the [visuals I create]. I was curious about [what] that format would look [and sound like], and how it would feel [to create in] that format, so I made that YouTube video. I thought, I wonder what this would be like? Or I wonder if I would enjoy this? How does this make me feel? [It has] been really fun. I really enjoyed it. [There are hopefully] new projects coming out very soon. It was an incredible opportunity to experience that and [learn] that it was something that I really [love] and [enjoy]. I’m excited [about] some of the things that I have in the works.

That’s exciting. It’s always nice to try new things. Especially when it comes to your career, it’s nice to realize, you know what, this is actually fun. I want to do more of this!

Exactly. I am not [someone who likes] to jump the gun. I want to make sure [it’s] something that I love and enjoy before I pour my whole heart out into it. So we’ll see.

With the end of the year approaching, is there anything you’re looking forward to professionally, personally, or both, either in 2023 or early next year?

I’m excited about a lot of new projects that are coming to light that [might be in] a couple new formats. I’m so excited about [continuing] acting classes. I’m hoping that we have the opportunity to start auditioning again (depending on the state of the industry). I’m also excited [for] Christmas and Thanksgiving. The holidays are my favorite time [of the] year, [and it] always feels like such an exciting time for content creation too. The second November hits, I’m dialed into the Christmas remixes. I’m so excited to make videos to those. I just moved in to a new place, and I have high ceilings in my living room, so I want a twenty-foot Christmas tree. That’s also on the agenda. [It’s a] non-negotiable.


Photography IRENE CHEN






Special thanks to ALIGN PR

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