ReFocus - ReFrame - ReMix - ReRelect

The best conferences or networking guest speakers that resonate with me offer me more than the content of their talk but an insight in to the passion that drives them. From the 20 sessions on the schedule, all of which were inspirational several have stayed with me as the days pass. In this blog series I've blogged about Liz Hill's session about discovering why the general population don't see the arts the way industry professionals working in the arts do.

Elliott Barnes-Worrell was the fourth speaker of seven in the after lunch time ReFrame sessions.


The Reframe session featured a series of practitioners. All leading the way in their sector. Elliott's story engaged me from the beginning. he introduced himself as an actor, teacher and poet. A recent drama school graduate from Central School of Speech and Drama where he was the recipient of The Sir John Gielgud Award. Great achievements for one so young. I say young I'm not old but he is certainly part of the generational shift I see in the twenty somethings.

As a poet, he performs his own material which challenges class, stereotypes, sexuality and religion with humorous, dark and moving material. He perform on the main stage and later alfresco. Suitably polished in both performance spaces.

This is a poem from the outdoor performance - Middle Class


Elliott's ShiftHappen's connection being from last year when he starred in Pilot Theatre's production of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. This is the inspiration and energy Marcus Romer shares with this ShiftHappens audience each year since 2008. This whole series of talks in the Refocus part of the day were filled with practitioners telling their stories and sharing their journeys, hopes and expectations for the future.

He is also the youngest ever board member at London's Actors' Centre. A great presence as a speaker and led me to thinking about conversations I'd been having about running some social media surgeries at The Actors Centre. It's an ideal location to offer social technology professional development from absolute basics "find the on switch" stuff all the way to showcasing, collaborating and production integration skill development directly to the performing arts sector.

Places I thought would be good for OpenLink venues are The Actors Centre (hence the ShiftHappen V blog series sparking this post), the vibe is fresh with the casual air and energy of a relaxed green room. The Arts Theatre, I love the foyer cafe. I'd been in several times and when the Stage Management Association held their annual conference the building resonated with me. Another place would be some far corner of the National Theatre Foyer bar and cafe. I thought perhaps at Equity's HQ.

Like what? Casual coffee meet up, hands on workshops looking at practically applying social media professionally. Managing an identity has never been a more required skill than in a world dominated by social media or "Build a web site while you wait" workshop would be one class I'd love to run, to media making trails with a project based outcome. Tools for the talent if you will!

Most important is that they are affordable, accessible and beneficial to the local working professionals in the performance industry. I like spending time in London hence my efforts focused on London but I could run them in any arts and culture area in a city. I'll be extending this thinking in to my Audiences Europe work too. Do you have a Creative Quarter? Since working as a props acquisition geek (ASM) to seeing the potential of digital apps and platform discovery it seemed like the same thing. Finding the right item for the specified task. A correctly discovered app, platform or digital tool serves a purpose far longer than any stage prop.

So Elliott, what do you think?