I have been fascinated all my life with learning and exploring. In arts, business, in relationships, in health in fact anything can and does grab my interest. I am in love with creativity in all its forms and us human beings too. I like taking risks which is what creativity involves. I have done many many things but now am fully engaged in our current social challenges. So it's the Jump Fall Fly project.
I have been a creative entrepreneur in some way or another all my adult life.
I started out as a fashion and portrait photographer, moved into directing music videos and commercials.
I started a London based production company with three partners. The first (and last) film we made was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.
Once a serial creative entrepreneur I was hooked. Moving to South Africa, over the next 25 years I set up a number of creative ventures in film, commercials and tv production. Added into that was a PR & marketing agency.
Clients and organisations I worked with along the way included BBC Worldwide, DSTV, MNET, Carlton TV, Naspers, Conde Nast, Polygram.
I have worked as producer, writer, director and director of photography, festival and live event executive producer.
Apart from all this I have always seen the greatest and most important place for creativity as in the creation of your own life. I have worked all my adult life to support people in recovery from addiction and mental health challenges. I left the media business as I had become fascinated with how people help each other over difficulty and challenges (or don’t) and this became a career as an executive recovery and wellness coach. I created a training programme and have trained hundreds of coaches from New York to Vietnam.
In all of this I became a Dad 15 years ago and have been pioneering alternative education with my wonderful kids and partner. This lead to the writing of a book called Jump Fall Fly. Over the last 6 years we have become involved in the circus and I am now trying to learn to be an acrobat! No joke.
Becoming a Dad also nudged me into sorting out some of the glitches in my male psyche. That led to leading mens workshops and retreats.
And here we are in the what is a perfect storm of a project named after the book Jump Fall Fly. I am now bringing all these experiences and learning together in one place in service of the next generations that are going to be leading the way into the future. A future I hope to help them create in as positive way as possible.
Jump Fall Fly is outrageously ambitious. But what the heck. We wish to have a large positive impact on new and next generations. We think that play, creativity, love and community are where it is at.
I am gushingly happy to say I married the finest person in the known and unknown universe, my partner Lehla, and that it is most likely a huge glitch in the universal matchmaking system that she married me.
We have lived in Africa, Italy, Spain and at moment we live in Devon in the UK. Too much rain but……
I am a trustee for MKP UK & I and Swamp Circus Trust
And a final note to the pessimists.
It ain't over yet and I plan to die (in very many years of course) creating the next positive step for my and all our children. I am not alone.
Who I truly am is a creative who loves working to help, comfort and inspire other people. From performing in hospitals to writing a book for wonderful women to supporting self directed learners. Doing work with meaning is where I get the most joy.
I am so excited to be a part of Jump, Fall, Fly and I aim to inject my best self in to this project so that I can add something exciting, new and upbeat to this challenging and fast changing world
I trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I have worked with A and BC theatre Company, Tour de Force Theatre Company, at The Bristol Old Vic and I have worked extensively for Hoodwink Theatre Company.
I was also awarded an International theatre scholarship from Twentieth Century Fox and I took our theatre company ‘Project Underdog’ to India to inaugurate The Prithvi International Theatre Festival in Mumbai. She has also worked as a performer for the performance artist Richard Layzell.
I have written and illustrated The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women, The South African Illustrated Cookbook and Jump Fall Fly. I have illustrated many other children’s books such as Excuse Me, I’m Trying to Read which won the NAESP Best Picture book award in America 2011.
I raise my three children outside of the schooling system and have a passion for supporting self directed learners.
I am an advocate for letting children live and learn in a respectful way and I write about unschooling at www.unschoolingthekids.com
I have also written about circus classes and unschooling for The Guardian.
You can follow me at @Lehlae on Twitter or @lehla_e on Instagram