Intern Feature – Fiona Smout: Turning a Dream Into Reality

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012|About Elexu, Elexu Team Posts|by Fiona Smout

Fiona Smout is one of Elexu’s newer interns; her passion is performing on stage in a local amateur theatre group. In this blog post, she talks about her experiences and wonders what the future could hold for her group, if only it could form an alliance with a company that could help move it into the realms of professional theatre…

It’s opening night. The adrenaline is pumping and backstage the rest of the cast and I are putting the final touches to our costumes before going through the ridiculous, (yet hilarious!), ritual of singing “Zip-a-de-do-dah”, as we will do before the start of each of the four performances in this run. Panic sets in. Three minutes to go. Heart pounding. Two minutes to go. Palms sweating. Why do I put myself through this? It is my passion; my purpose in these next two hours is to show the audience that I am this character. With one minute to go, I take a deep breath and enjoy the familiar flutter of excitement as it courses through my body, reminding me of how great it feels to be alive and living my dream. Then suddenly…applause. The curtain is up! Hearing my cue, I step out onto the stage and bask in the warm glow of the spotlight…

In a little over two days, this will be me. As a member of an amateur theatre company, called Leighton Buzzard Drama Group (, I have always enjoyed the sense of belonging to a group of like-minded individuals who share the experience of exploring a text, spending weeks rehearsing in order to get it just right, and then giving it the recognition it deserves in front of a full audience. An amazing prospect for the future would be for the theatre company to tour its productions around the country to gain broader public interest, with the hope of moving from the realm of amateur to professional theatre. Making this prospect a reality is where we would need help. Where would we even begin to look for the information to access how to pursue such a goal? How could we contact people with the right connections in this industry to put our plan into action, and where would we get the much needed money to finance such a venture? Luckily, the answer to all of these questions is simple: Elexu. By hosting competitions (called “Endowments”), Elexu can enable anyone with an aspiration access to the right content, capital and connections to make their dream a reality. The Endowments are sponsored by brands, charities and other organisations who have themselves benefitted from the Elexu platform. If this alone doesn’t inspire you, Elexu members have the facility to set up their own Endowment for whatever grant needed, whilst encouraging other members to vote for and financially back their ideas. As member Endowments are set up under the Elexu Foundation, you (or your company) are saved the personal and financial expense of creating your own charity for this purpose. So very simply, my theatre company can advertise through Elexu, increasing public awareness of itself, and informing members of why it is eligble for their votes, and if so minded, their donations. Sounds like an efficient, stress-free and exciting alternative to taking out a loan or putting your dreams on the back burner, doesn’t it? In the future, individuals and companies such as the theatre company I belong to will reap the benefits produced by Elexu, but it all starts with you. Please follow the Elexu journey today, and who knows, maybe my theatre company will be performing in a town near you in the future.

My favourite word? It would have to be: courage. Without it, you will probably achieve very little.

 ’The Importance of Being Earnest’ runs from Thursday 12th July 2012 – Saturday 14th July 2012 at 8pm, at Leighton Buzzard Theatre, Lake Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1RX. Tickets are £9.50, or £8.50 for concessions. For bookings, please contact the box office on: 0300 300 8125.