Acting Got into Me – Teodora Cristea

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012|Advice, Guest posts, Interviews|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Today’s post is an interview with actress Teodora Cristea who is based in the Big Apple (New York). She writes about inspiration, experience and tips.

About me…
Born to parents who were revolutionaries in Bucharest, Romania during the time of the Iron Curtain; raised to be extra nice and say “Eh!” at the end of all my statements and questions in Toronto, Canada; at home, emancipated by choice from the life I used to know, in New York City learning and creating.

 I’m a book, museum and history enthusiast; poet and traveler of sorts.

What inspired me to be an actor?
It wasn’t inspiration that brought me here, but more of something I discovered inside one random summer in New York while in an acting workshop. There was never a decision to move from home and pursue it, it pursued me. And I’ve been following this thing, this feeling that at first dragged me along this path, ever since. Now I shape, understand and control it. It is my calling and passion for the cinema.

How I got into it?
I didn’t. It got into me. (Editor: “I like this answer”)

 Favorite movie and why…

A Beautiful Mind. I think Mr. Crowe did a spectacular job at becoming his version of John Nash. His character was complete. He had his own thoughts, physical qualities, speech and revelations of the soul that one can’t just play, but must become that person to experience. The story is beautiful, Jennifer Connelly is beautiful, and the cinematography is beautiful. Also, a slight bias for Mr. Crowe whom I think slightly resembles my father!

I was actually quite rattled when Mr. Crowe was not awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance – but that obviously had to do more with politics than with art, so we’ll leave it at that.

Best acting experiences…
The moment right after “Cut!” when I snap out of my character, the memory of those minutes just passed is a blur and though I can’t remember what specifically happened. I trust that in the very least that scene will be interesting, which I think is what every actor should aim for.

I’ll always remember my first time. It came at the end of two hopeless years at an acting school where I felt I was making zero progress at. Luckily for me, the director I was assigned for my final project was the incredible Marni Zelnik. She had a way of seducing the talent and performance out of me and though I was nervous at first, I reached a point where between her calls of “Action!” and “Cut!,” I fully gave myself to that performance. That’s what I always bring to set with me now because I know that anything less is not worth being here for.

Tips for newbies:
First of all, take the notion that you will get discovered out of your head before you even start acting. It makes lazy victims out of talented people.
Second, it’s called show business, not your business, treat it accordingly. Work hard, be professional, and always be early for everything. Though you may get lucky, you can’t count on it. It will take years of hard work, sweat, and tears, but when all is said and done, this high is like nothing else you will ever experience.

What I dream of, and the next five years:
Considering that until three years ago I didn’t even know this was what I was meant to do, the only thing I can hope for in the next five years is to find myself in a place I never expected to be. I want to grow professionally and artistically, but also learn more about myself and this universe that we’re all a part of; all the while contributing to inspiring and innovative cinema. On the more logistical side of things, I’m constantly writing and even planning the launch of my first production company, House of Dolls, with fellow Canadian superstar Kelsey Lynn Stokes.

I hope my work will outlive me and teach future generations to love the world around them. That’s the most important thing. I hope they’ll still have a world around them.

And by the next five years, Sam, I hope to send you a red carpet premiere invitation. So, fingers crossed. Just kidding. Luck is not part of this equation.

Who inspires me?
From the unknown, to me, to humans I catch glimpses of on 23rd St. when I wander around the city, to all things nature, I find inspiration in all living beings. Anything and anyone who triggers an emotion is inspiration.

Of course, I admire some of the great screen seductresses: Audrey and Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina… But I don’t strive to be like them, I strive to be myself and live my own legend.

My parents are also a significant source of inspiration. Their strength and the story of their lives, individually and as a couple, inspire the strength and will to fight in me. They’ve come a long way. I plan to take them even further.

Follow Teo on twitter at @teocristea

 

An Aspiring Individual Making His Way in the World of Video Production.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012|Guest posts, Interviews|by ElliotMoore|No Comments

 

Elexu Intern, Elliot Moore, recently got the opportunity to interview William Berman. William is a Videographer based in Ascot, Berkshire. The conversation highlights his journey so far in the industry and offers a general insight into the job role.

Tell us a bit about yourself as a Videographer, what attracted you to the job role initially?

Well, I currently work for a production company based in Addlestone, Surrey and have been filming for around about nine years. I first started filming through an interest in skateboarding and just wanting to capture what my friends and me were doing and the places we were going.  At the age of 13, just going down to the local skate park was its own little adventure in itself.

I think I started out by simply borrowing my parents’ Sony video camera to begin capturing footage. After about a year, I put together a 30 minute long skateboard film and made a second one shortly after. I guess it was after producing those two edits that I realised that I had a knack for it and wanted to make a career out of it.

What would you say is the most appealing thing about the process of capturing and editing?

That’s kind of a tough question haha. I just like being able to capture something and interpret it in your own way. Everyone in the industry has a different style and as a result. Videos rarely look the same. Within reason, you can be as creative as you want. There are no set rules that you have to follow which is pretty cool.

So what equipment are you currently using?

I’m not using that old Sony camera anymore, that’s for sure! Right now my set up includes a Canon 7D and a Panasonic HPX-171. I wont go into all the technical jargon, but they allow me to capture footage at really high resolutions & framerates as well as good sound quality, which is equally as important.

What about software? Do you have a set preference?

I have used a variety of video editors over the years and the higher end ones pretty much offer the same tools, but right now I like to use Final Cut and Adobe After Effects.

After effects is pretty much for animation. I’m not as experienced with this software, but I have been using it to animate text for videos and add subtle effects. It helps make your videos look more professional you know.

So what was the first proper filming project you were involved with?

It sounds crazy when I think about it but when I was 17, I worked for a snowboard magazine (Method) for 6 months, producing 10-minute video podcasts every week to be released on iTunes. Being someone who loves snowboarding, it was pretty surreal meeting so many professional riders. I learned from this experience how to film in a line on the board.

 

What would you say has been the most exciting filming project?

One of the best projects I have had is one I’m working on right now which is for a huge drum and bass DJ called Friction. I basically went to about 8 music festivals over the summer and filmed all of his sets, capturing and editing compilation videos to highlight the tours that he went on. I’m a massive fan when it comes to drum and bass and Friction is almost one of my idols. So that was pretty incredible.

All sounds very exciting. Taking everything into consideration, how challenging would you say it was to get started out in the industry?

Well sadly, like a lot of things these days. It’s about “who you know, not what you know” which is frustrating. Throughout the process, people knocked me back a bit, telling me I was wasting my time. Gradually I started to get more and more freelance work with various companies in and around London but was never consistent enough. I tried contacting local businesses too but often with no success. I think back then my age was also against me.

There was only a handful of people I knew who were around my age. Everyone else in the industry seems to be a lot older. Companies probably just assumed I didn’t have the technical skill when I was more than capable.

But anyway, somehow, out of perseverance and luck I guess, I managed to land some work with a few agencies who provided the regular work I needed. Since then, I’ve had loads of great projects and my show-reel (portfolio) has really grown. The people I work with now don’t judge me by my age, which is a refreshing change. I feel like, respected.

Based on the last question, what advice would you give to individuals interested in filming / video editing who are just starting out?

I would say the best thing to do is to just get out there and get some real practical experience. There is a lot of technical knowledge involved, but that is something that comes with time. Trying to learn it all through reading and research just isn’t going to help in the long run.

When it comes to the software, try not to get too freaked out. Again there are a lot of technical things to learn, but just by playing around with the various tools will help a lot. Just keep at it. There are plenty of online tutorials out there, which are also really handy.

 

 

It’s Easy to be Stuck in a Music Rut

Thursday, October 4th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Today’s post is inspired by a number of people who had conversations with on the way home about current music. I put the conversations we had into a post. So it’s “written” by a number of people, but edited by Intern Sam.

Music is a subjective topic. Everything is an opinion and most likely should be in that “don’t talk about religion or politics with friends” category because I have seen arguments and tears over music. However, my friends and I were driving home one night and did not adhere to my previous wisdom and starting talking music. The fear…

Luckily these friends are mostly all in the same  genre boast as me. Therefore no comments were made or judging occurred, unlike when fellow intern Claudia started playing “Call Me Maybe” in the office. That song is as catchy as a cold and you will be singing it all day, regardless of musical taste. Anyway, back to point of the post. My friends and I had agreed that we hadn’t got into any new music lately and were just listening to what we liked two years ago. We had all lost faith in commercial music at the moment and didn’t even bother keeping up to date with new music.

I mean look at some of the top 100 today. Some music is more about gimmick than music. Ex: “PSY Gangnam Style” (maybe it makes more sense in Korean). I decided to come up with a system to get myself out of this musical rut. I wrote down genres of music and put them all into a bowl. Once a week I pull a genre out of the music bowl, find a video on YouTube that represents the genre and listen. After, I then I click on a few related videos to expand what I listened to (rule of on thumb click on videos that don’t represent well known artists) so at least I have the possibility of finding some new music I like. So far, I am really liking some Biggie Smalls, Foster the People, Alexisonfire, Colourshop and a amateur artist who does really good covers of songs. I recommend everyone tries something like this because you don’t know what exists until you have heard it. Kind of like that whole, “if a tree falls in a forest it doesn’t make a sound” saying.

Music can have a much more profound effect when heard live because not only do you get the music, but also the personality of the artist. Mixed with the crowd, it makes a unique experience incomparable to your headphones. So go check out some open mic nights and gigs. Maybe amateur music put up for the world to see in sites like YouTube is truly the way forward in music. These artists have no other influences except themselves (no managers, no marketing team or controlling label). I truly believe that some artists are only as good as thier marketing team and I know that some amateur artists become commercial artists. This may explain why some musicians first album that made them famous is their best (Metallica). Amateur artists are truly free to perform what they want. THAT IS WHAT MUSIC IS ABOUT, not about whether or not I will call you.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but some people have the a wrong opinion. If you would like to share your opinion on something and write a blog post for this page then contact Sam at sam.watson@elexu.org.

Tips for Being an Intern by Interns

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|1 Comment

Today’s post comes from all around the Elexu office. Each member gave one tip for being an Intern. Some tips are what you would expect to hear, but are always important to reiterate and some are personal suggestions based on experience.

1) What am I getting into.

Whenever you volunteer to be an unpaid intern there is always a risk of joining a company that simply treats you as unpaid labour. Therefore it’s a good idea that when you see an advertisement for an internship you should research the company, the person (if a name is given) on LinkedIn and most importantly throughout the interview process you should gather this list of info: expenses, potential for a full time position, main responsibilities and ask them what you get out of it. Also ,some internship’s are in foreign countries so it’s best to know that you will be spending the next six months in China.

2) Networking and attitude.

Networking isn’t just a fancy word for meeting people in the white collar world. It’s building a list of useful contacts for the future. So meet and build up as many relationships as you can. You never know who you may need to contact for a favour in the future.

Also, treat the internship like a job because most internships are summer long interviews. Even if they don’t tell you, they are definitely looking at what you can do. Everything you do can affect your opportunities and references you get out of the experience.

3) LONDON is the place to be

Supposedly around 61% of UK Internships are located in London. This is a great opportunity to go to some events in London after work, just because you end at 5 o’clock doesn’t mean you have to head home. Once a week, look to go out in London, maybe with the other interns. You can find a number of free events listed at Timeout. For example: this month I am going to a liquid spray art battle (yes they exsist). There are also museums that do late nights, karaoke bars, alternative bars and small unique events such as Soho secrets; London is an oyster, you just have to open it.

4) Free Stuff!

Let me just say: DON’T STEAL. What I mean, is that if you helped work on a company magazine, poster, newsletter or anything you put effort into then try to get a free copy of it. This is evidence of your work, value to the company and can be a great thing to show off to potential employers in the future.  Make sure that you name is represented or else no one will no you exist. Also, consider anything the comapny gives away for free, such as buissness cards to computer programs.

4) They need you (You can tell this one is from an executive).

Find a way to make yourself invaluable to the company, make the company or organisation feel like without you they will wither and die. This also puts you in a position of power to get what you want but don’t push it.

This is an Elexu Community post. If you would like to write a Blog post that you think the Elexu Community would be interested in then please contact Sam at sam.watson@elexu.org.

 

A Strange Conversation with a Stranger

Thursday, September 20th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Today’s post comes from Sam who tells us his strange conversation with a stranger on the train and about how sometimes we should talk to strangers.

Tragedy had stuck! My phone had run out of battery and the train hadn’t even departed from Waterloo. I was about to endure 45 minutes of painful silence and not having unlimited information at my figure tips, however fate had another plan when “Paul” stepped onto the carriage.  After a few stops on the busy train Paul ended up sitting next to me and straight away started up a conversation about how people don’t talk to each other even though this train is full of people no conversation were happening. In my lack of headphone state I replied which gave him the go ahead that I wasn’t scared of a stranger trying to talk to me which most people give the vibe of when talked to by a random.

During the conversation he asked what I did and I in turn asked what he did, he laughed a nervous laugh like he was having a internal battle and he said “do you know what I will tell you”, he leaned in and whispered in my ear “I provide protection for women of the night” (if you dont know what this means please stop reading). In my astonishment all I could mange was “does it pay well?” and apparently it does and also he would never touch those girls with a 50 foot poll (good to know, this whole convo was a curveball). I also found out that the reason his arm was bandaged was because he had to deal with a punter who had brought a baseball bat into the room and started getting rowdy with one of the girls..you can guess what happened. Paul also told me that last week he was bitten by a giant pig (I saw the teeth marks and a picture of the pig), this guy wasn’t very lucky to be honest.  Before my stop I also received advice to visit Thailand, I had to promise him I would go to a club called the “couch and condoms”,  received encouragement to become a full psychologist, a story about how he made a fool of himself at a Muay Thai fight and saw a picture of his girlfriend back in the Isle of white. He was a colourful character and honestly made my train ride home.

This got me thinking people really don’t talk to people anymore. Can you imagine if you had a chat with the person sitting next to you every time you went home, you would most likely here some fascinating stories. Also when we do talk is not even a real conversation it’s normally about that crazy guy on some reality show, pop politics or about the contents of hello magazine. Most of the time  half way through the person supposedly listening will get out their phone, we have all these communication device’s but we don’t properly communicate. Maybe we should sometimes voluntariliy turn off the electronic device in out hands so we are not distracted from what non screen world has to offer.

My recommendation is every now and then spark a conversation with a stranger, take a risk, choose a topic that isn’t superficial, tell a personal story because you can tell a stranger almost anything (anonymity is a powerful thing) and don’t shut out the world by looking at your phone because you don’t know what you might learn and what stories you might hear. A stranger might make your train ride home too.

 

Welcome to the Real World: Freelancer

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012|Advice, Guest posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Our guest blogger this week is Rob Roper, currently studying Broadcasting journalism and Media communications at glyndwr University Rob talks about life after university and the world of freelance. His blog: http://robroper.wordpress.com/

And so the fact remains; if my degree ended tomorrow, what would I do? Fortunately for me this is not the case and my education will (thankfully) go on for another 12 months. But what then? I will be in the very same hypothetical situation posed at the beginning of this paragraph. The unknown, mass-unemployment and many other nasty real-world things. To subvert my mobile phone providers slogan; the future isn’t bright.

Since starting my course I have been told by lecturers, guest speakers, hairdressers, next-door-neighbors and my Nan (you get the picture) that it is going to be very very (very) hard to get a job when I leave Uni. But I know this, I have been told over and over again (not that it makes it any easier).

So what would my plan be if tomorrow I was no longer a student but a respectable functioning facet of society?

Simple, I would be become a freelancer.

“Oh, simple hey Rob? Just saying ‘I’ll be a freelancer’ doesn’t mean you instantly become a freelancer. I want to be a millionaire; it doesn’t work like that”

All right then fictional voice of reason, who invited you in? I know it’s not as easy as just saying that I will go freelance, but that is the first step.

The Times of India published an article earlier this month with some guidelines for any budding freelancers;

1. Discover you area of interest and proficiency

This I think is a bit of a no-brainer; don’t go freelance if you don’t really know what you are going to do.

2. Approach the right people

Networking, a word that makes my business cards curl. But it is a great way to get work but more importantly converse with people in the same situation as you are.

3. Use social media

If you don’t already need an excuse to not close that laptop lid; you can find work on Facebook…apparently. More and more businesses are on it, surely it can’t be a bad thing to investigate.

4. Email marketing

Most companies have a contact email, drafting a mail shot and sending it out via email is a great way to drum up interest. Throw enough mud as they say…

5. Search online

Google is quickly becoming the solution to virtually all of my problems in life. But again, it is there because it is good at what it does; searching for businesses hiring freelancers is probably one of the more effective tips that takes the least effort.

6. Price your service

How do I price my own services. Minimum wage? By the hour? By the job? By its success? It is something that any freelancer needs to get to grips with and will learn their lessons quickly.

So if it all ended tomorrow, would I be ready? Probably not.

But then again I don’t think anybody ever is. In closing if I could add another point to that list (which I can, because its my blog poast) it would be confidence and naivety and god knows I have bags of that. I’ll be fine.

Jumping On Stage With Colourshop

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012|Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Update 1/10/2012:

Elexu is launching a new competition for songwriters tired of keeping their songs in a drawer.

Upload your original song for the chance to win two tickets to a cool concert in London.

How to Make “The List”

- Join Elexu at www.elexu.com/invite using VIP code MUSICEV1

- Upload your original song

 Then come out Tuesday, 23 October for a live workshop featuring networking and advice from top UK music producer Jason Grant.
 
You’ll have the opportunity to meet others on the same path as yourself and share ideas. This will be a chance to unleash what you have hidden inside. Check out www.elexu.com/live/Music-Eve for details.

 

Today’s blog post comes from Colourshop band member and Elexu intern Deigo Salvati who talks about what inspired him to play music and his experience with going on tour.

Jumping on stage and performing is just the best experience I have ever had, people shouting my name and groupies waiting back stage…just kidding. My first time playing a musical instrument was when I was six years old and I played a really simple and silly piece, however this sparked a passion that has shaped my adult life. The performance most likely sounded pretty basic however I practised and can now play confidently… especially when the ladies are listening.

Since then I tried to play every single day of my life. I started with classic guitar and then moved to classical piano. My first composition dated back to 2000 and my last one just some days ago. I have no intention of stopping.

I have been touring the last two months with my band Colourshop around UK and abroad. Touring is the most rewarding and exciting thing I have ever done in my life. At this moment it is not matter of being famous which I’m not, it’s the matter of having the possibility of having my thoughts and music shared with other people. This is the kind of experience that I need to be inspired in order to write new songs, this is what drives me and is most likely then main reason for other people getting into music aswell.

Everything I write comes from my personal experiences. I can’t just write down words if what I have to talk about doesn’t belong to me. It could be a person, a good experience, a bad experience or even a simple smile crossing my way home. A song without personal meaning is hard to perform to the fullest because you don’t have a connection and I believe that the audience can feel that.

I had the best tour experience in Poland this summer. I played in an Arts Festival full of painters, photographers and artists. People were just amazed by our music; they asked us for pictures and for autographs. As I said I’m not famous (yet…heheh) but that day I felt like I was.

Sometimes I feel that something I can’t explain in words may be only be explained by music. I think this formula really suits me. In the end music is a universal language that can actually reach everyone and I encourage everyone to try to learn to play a musical instrument it could shape who you are and provide you with new experiences in life.

Check out my Facebook at www.facebook.com/colourshopmusic for links to music, performances and the upcoming event in line with Colours shops new album.

Written By Diego Salvati

 

 

 

 

‘Sucking at Something’ is the First Step Before Being ‘Kind of Good’ at Something

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012|Advice, Guest posts|by JackClarkson|No Comments

Today’s Blog post comes from Jack Clarkson who graduated with a degree in creative writing and is currently the CEO of unbored.co.uk a start-up website dedicated to retro cartoons, reviewing media truthfully and anything else that makes you chuckle. He writes about how it’s ok to suck at something.

When I left university several years ago I had to face the terrible truth that my writing was nowhere near as good as I hoped it to be. Every job asked that I already have several years of experience already, and nobody wanted to give me the experience either. I decided that if nobody was going to give me experience, I would make my own. So I started writing reviews of games, movies and books on my website while I looked for a job. I never set out to write anything earth-shattering, I just wanted to write stuff on a website even if my writing sucked too much to ever get paid for it.

Funny thing is, Malcolm Gladwell said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)) Whether you study intensively for five years or spend fifty on your weekends it all adds up to the same amount in the end. I don’t think I passed much of that yet, but after a year of it I started to feel more comfortable writing reviews by breaking something down into relevant points and I noticed I started hitting the 600 word mark almost every time instinctively.

Now I’ve been offered several jobs writing professionally I still keep on writing for fun, because even if I still suck, I’m working on getting kind of good at it. I’ve got reviews down pat, so I’m starting to write fiction again because I feel like doing something I suck at until I get good at it. So if there’s something you like doing but feel you suck at… Do it more, because you never know when you might find that you’re actually kind of good at it!

Becoming a Writer

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012|Guest posts|by Orna Ross|No Comments

Elexu would like to introduce Orna Ross, a talented writer (see her recent book After the Rising) and founder of The Alliance of Independent Authors and today she will be sharing her insight with us. She touches on the struggles and dedication it takes to becoming a writer.


A writer is a person who writes.

A writer is a person whose writing is worth reading.

If you want to be the second kind, the kind who is writing for something more than self-expression, the kind who keeps up the good name of this activity of ours, then you need to be willing to work.

To put words through your fingers, like a musician practices scales. To lay down sentences like an athlete lays down miles. To kneel to the mysteries of creation, like a priest before the altar.

You need to prove to yourself that your writing is more important to you than publication or money or fame.

And you need to have practices that cocoon your creative self, that softie within who needs protection from from assaults by the outer world (including your very human longing for money and publication).

The Perils of Publication

Writing and online publishing is the latest way to sell millions, one young writer told me recently. And I meet many new and aspiring writers who have barely put pen to page but can talk for hours about the money their writing will make, about author and publishing celebrities, about the relative merits of traditional and self publishing.

Not so much putting-cart-before-horse as sitting-into-cart-without-troubling-to-harness-horse.

I understand. I was once like that myself. I can still give into such moments. Harnessing a wild horse is never easy. And foolish as it might be to sit in a horseless-cart, it can feel more sensible than admitting the truth.

That we don’t know why we want to tether our wild spirit into words.

That we don’t know where it’s going to take us if we do.

Becoming A Writer

As you forge your connection to writing, you find yourself making vows: “I’m going to write every day”; “I’m going to write 5000 words every week until I have a first draft”, “I’m going to finish this book by Christmas”.

Vows you inevitably break.

You work harder than you’ve ever worked at anything and see yourself fall short.

You read back words that took weeks or months to get right — and hate them with a nauseated disgust.

You feel in your core what Iris Murdoch meant when she said: “Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.”

And you resent that it is so hard. That nobody seems to care.

But you come back round again.

Because nobody does care, not really. Nobody out there asked you to do this. The call came from inside and that’s the bond you must strengthen.

That’s what enables you to forgive yourself for the broken vows and the work that never lives up to your vision. That’s what brings you to a true understanding of what writing gives — and what it asks in return.

And that – not getting a publisher or an agent or even an audience – is what makes you a writer.


Orna Ross is a bestselling novelist and founder of the The Alliance of Independent Authors so if you’d like to take a look at her book, ebook, or pbook they are available today on Amazon here (USA) & here (UK)

#InvisibleDisabilities Day

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012|Guest posts|by Abigail Stafford|No Comments

Today The Elexu Foundation would like to share a day with our community that was developed by one of our followers, Abigail Stafford. She initiated Invisible Disabilities Day because at the time there wasn’t a general umbrella to raise awareness about disabilities that may not have the publics attention. So if you’re on Twitter, tweet with the hash tag #invisibledisabilities this Friday and learn all sorts about conditions you didn’t even know existed, yet affect people’s lives on a day to day basis.


I’m Abigail Stafford and at the age of 16 I was diagnosed with a hereditary joint condition called hypermobility syndrome Ehlers Danlos Type. After years of suffering with pain and HMS symptoms, I started to wonder why had it taken so long for me to be diagnosed with a condition I was born with? Simple, such little is known about the rare condition in the UK and around the world. So now, at the age of 18, I’m trying to help make the ‘invisible visible’ and raise awareness about #invisibledisabilities.

After attending an inspiring workshop with blogging professionals organised by 4talent, I set up my own blog to help raise awareness about invisible conditions www.hideandseekdisabilities.blogspot.com. The blog was set up as a platform whereby people from all over the world could interact by educating others about their invisible conditions and go to for advice and support from those that are in similar situations.

After the initial success of the blog, I set up a Twitter and Facebook account where people can regularly access short snippets of advice and info. I soon realised, that whilst there are months, weeks and even specific days dedicated to raising awareness about certain conditions, there is no awareness date for the umbrella ‘invisible disabilities’. Therefore, I decided to dedicate Friday 4th may as #invisibledisabilities day! This hopefully will coincide with my HideAndSeek Disabilities Blog reaching the 10,000 hits mark as it’s not too far away from hitting this milestone! On twitter and on the blog, I’ve promoted this day and have got people involved to help raise awareness about all #invisibledisabilities! So if you’re on twitter, tweet with the hash tag #invisibledisabilities this Friday and learn all sorts about conditions you didn’t even know existed, yet affect people’s lives on a day to day basis.

Since its launch in September 2011 I have had an overwhelming response from people across the world, many of them contributing to blog by sending in video clips, links and inspiring stories. Many people, including myself, have already learnt a great deal about disabilities we never knew existed, yet there is so much more we still need to realise and discover.

I have since realised that there isn’t enough support out there for young people, like myself, to help us to persevere in achieving our goals. That’s when I came across Elexu online. I was immediately taken in by the appeal and intentions of the new social platform that will be launching in the near future. A support network whereby the youth of today can access the help they need in making their dreams into reality!

I’m certain that this initiative will reach out to and inspire many young people, like myself to pursue their dreams and showcase their talent by offering resources and competitions for financial support and I’m privileged to be involved with Elexu in its early stages, to witness the whole process of how Elexu succeeds in helping young people achieve their dreams and aspirations.


-Abigail Stafford

www.hideandseekdisabilities.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/#!/hideandseekid