Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Join the Youth Forum!

Had a fab time filming the Equal Lives Youth Forum last night at Pizza Express with my pal Nicki. Looking forward to the premiere at the launch of the Great Yarmouth Youth Forum on Friday 10th January with special guest Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE (Paralympian – Gold Medalist)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Shelly Teddy is a celebrity!

Shelly Teddy is to open the Sing with Pride Jumble Sale! :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Steal like an artist

Am loving the book Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. You can watch a trailer here: 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finding my mojo

Was really pleased to be recommended this little film by Future Radio presenter Di Cunningham. It's all about being a MOJO - a mobile journalist - with an iPhone. Loads of great tips and tricks. I love making films on my iPhone. It feels a bit of a cheat turning up to film with an iPhone or flip camera and yet it allows me to get some really natural responses from people.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I was proud to be at the inaugural meeting of Norwich City Football Club's LGBT Supporters Group last night and took a photo that has been retweeted loads on Twitter. Next step is to find a name - my bet is on Rainbow Canaries.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

No to hate

This year's No to Hate Vigil to remember victims of hate crime everywhere was filled with unforgettable moments....watching the moon light up the clouds during the two minutes' silence; the sound of Sefo Kanuteh's music echoing through the park; my friend Poppy's brilliant speech; singing "Everything Possible" in public for the first time with the choir; people queueing to take a photo of Edith's candle bags; listening to Manny speak to us from St Petersburg.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shelly Telly Table Tennis Team in the news

I'm sure you guessed it wouldn't take long for my team to get in the paper now I am the league's press officer, but even so I was pleased with the huge pic in the Evening News tonight. It had been a big week for us - new boy Jacob winning with Ruth in the doubles and securing a much-needed point.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dug digs OUT140

I had a very creative pint with actor and theatre director Dugald Ferguson who was full of ideas for how we can turn OUT140 into a play. Dugald is a British / New Zealand artist based in the UK working on solo, collaborative and commissioned pieces in the visual arts and performance. He is co-founder of the Immersive Theatre Company Living Structures and Artists Collective The Norwich Dandies. Here’s what Dugald says about OUT140:

“I am wildly excited about ‘OUT140: THE PLAY’, taking these honest, moving, hilarious, delectable coming out tweets and turning them in to a feast of performance. The little anecdotes are so universal and versatile in their wide appeal and human interest, easily adaptable into a wide array of performance, music, puppetry, live art, circus, installation acts which will be a totally awesome Cabaret of Coming Out! Above all the constantly growing nature of the OUT140 project with Shelly Telly – the insatiable collector of tweeted tales – means this play / event / happening can expand, evolve and respond to the ever changing landscape of LGBT human rights.”

Shelly Telly - Sports Journo!

I am now the Press Officer for the Norwich and District Table Tennis League and write weekly reports for the Evening News. Now it's a pretty easy job because we have a wonderful website created by a lovely, talented guy with huge technical knowledge called Steve Annison. Steve's created a site where Divisional Secretaries can upload scores and reports and give their views on the week's results. They also copy them to me and I edit a summary. Wendy Durrant, my predecessor did a brilliant job for several years and the only way I could see to make any improvement was to make things a bit more visual, so I was DELIGHTED to see nearly a whole page in tonight's Evening News and the EDP with a huge photo I took on my iPhone of Thomas Connelly, one of the rising stars of Taverham E - who sadly beat us 10-0! I am now scouring the internet for ideas for poses that I can make players strike for pics. There are over 60 teams in the league and well over 200 players so I've got plenty of people to perfect my sports photography on!

Friday, October 11, 2013

OUT140 coming out in Northampton

I had the most wonderful day in Northampton Museum with OUT140. The borough council and the local LGBT network FAN worked together to put on an event to celebrate National Coming Out Day and they booked me and OUT140 to be part of it. I got dozens of new stories and particularly loved this one spelled out in magnetic letters in this photo.

The full story read: "In Africa, 12 years old, my friend told me he was a girl. She ran away from home. We don't know where she went. Maybe she will read this?" 

For more information on OUT140, check out my website

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jean "Binta" Breeze

Happy Black History Month! I went on an amazing poetry masterclass with Jean "Binta" Breeze today. It was organised by the Writers' Centre Norwich. I loved her vocal warm ups - how she got us to play with phonetic letters to see where they formed on our tongues, our lips, our teeth, our throats. I loved the way she talked about the power of silence  - how the audience hush before a poet speaks is beautiful and the poet must ‘seduce the air’(thanks Laura for recording this so perfectly in your blog). I asked her if she chose poems in advance when she's doing a performance and she said no, she has her book and she responds to the audience and the atmosphere, almost like a DJ. I thought there was something very person-centred about this. It wasn't a case of "listen to me, I'm the great poet", rather she listens to the audience to see what they need. It was such a privilege to spend the afternoon with her - an unforgettable experience.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Counselling Training

I've started my Certificate in Counselling at the Norwich Centre. I did the introduction course over the summer and really enjoyed it. What's counselling got to do with filmmaking? Well there's a lot of listening when it comes to drawing out people's stories and I need to build trust so that people have the confidence to open up. The best films are the ones that enable the viewer to empathise with the people in them - these are the ones that are going to change hearts and minds. I was excited to discover that there are films on YouTube of Carl Rogers explaining his theories about person-centred counselling. Here he is talking about the core condition of empathy:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

OUT140 Movies

I'm going to be running a workshop about OUT140 at booQfest, Northampton's festival with a literary bent, next week so I've been gathering up some of the 12 second films people made when we first launched OUT140 as a multimedia show on the Fusion screen in the Forum in January 2010. At the time, there was a website called which suggested that a movie equivalent of a tweet would last 12 seconds. The website no longer exists but I still love the idea of micro-movie-making and will show some of the films next week. Here is a selection.


Friday, August 23, 2013

A good life

On the bus back from Stansted with Sabrina and Janet from Opening Doors. Exotic holiday? No! A days training in quality assessing at the Holiday Inn! It was a tiring but well-organised day with lots of activities to get us thinking about what it means for people with learning disabilities to have a good life. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mystery Patients

It's Learning Disability Week and the local hospital are promoting the work they've done to make their services more accessible for people with learning disabilities. I worked with them to develop a team of Expert Patients and we recently had a day of Mystery Shopping. Today, I supported Dawn and Andrew to be interviewed on Radio Norfolk by Phil Daley.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Inside Out & Proud

Inside Out & Proud exhibition went up at the Castle Mall Shopping Centre yesterday as part of the Pride 5 celebrations. The photos taken by Antonella Muscat looked amazing. I was delighted that the local papers sent Denise Bradley down to take photos of us with the posters - I love her work too. There's an article and online gallery of her pics on the Norwich Evening News website.
Here's my favourite one :

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hello Shelly Teddy!

I have got a mascot! A giant bear called Shelly Teddy created by Rach Nobes from Pawz4play. Shelly Teddy had her debut at the RAF Marham Children's Centre birthday party, with Rach inside and Stevie and I outside blowing giant bubbles. Her next gig is the Pride Picnic on 27th July.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

OUT140 at the Hand-in-Hand Festival

Sing with Pride choir performed a suite of OUT140 micro-songs at the Hand-in-Hand national LGBT choirs festival in London on Saturday. Here's a review from John Flinders, accompanist to the Pink Singers:

"We had a wonderful day and the concert was a feast of variety from massed choirs to fledgling groups; in a way every performance was a high point, but for me, and for several of the people that I've talked to, one of the real standout moments was your OUT140 Suite - an inspired way of sourcing a text for a new work, a succinct, interesting and very singable musical realisation, and a witty and passionate performance. A wonderfully imaginative and creative idea, which was both incredibly personal to those who contributed texts, and yet spoke to us all and moved us, too. Thank you for sharing it with us."

Thanks to Kathleen from the Fourth Choir for the pic.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Kirsty, the Pride Treasurer and I went to the Norfolk Show today to take part in the Parade of Community Champions. It was also an opportunity for me to see Eloise's wonderful paintings on the Young Carers' stand. Bumped into fellow community champ, the singer, dancer, drummer and activist Anna Mudeka. Grabbed this sweet pic of us with the rainbow flag. "Shelly, we look like twins" said the charming Ms Mudeka...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Young Carers

Jo from the Young Carers asked me whether I could create 4 pop-up pictures of young people with different caring responsibilities for their stand in the County Council tent at the Norfolk Show. I could make them however I wanted - photographs, clipart, paintings. The idea is young people visiting the stand will throw counters into a dish in front of the picture that best represents their situation. I decided to commission international artist Eloise O'Hare to work with me on the project and spent several days in her garden enjoying masterclass art lessons, helping her paint in blocks of colour and using the jigsaw and sanding. Here's a pic of a young carer responsible for managing her dad's medication. She looks sweet, strong & very capable. Perfect.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

IDAHO Day Quiz

17th May is IDAHO Day - International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia - and we celebrated in Norwich with an international quiz raising money for the Sing with Pride choir. I was quizmaster and Stevie prepared a wonderful bread and cheese supper for over 50 people. We raised £212 - here's a sweet pic of us handing over a 'giant' cheque to treasurer Ruth.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Carnival Arts

I went on some fabulous free courses in April run by NORCA celebrating the Carnival Archive Project. I got to learn about filming oral history, developing oral histories as stage plays (very useful for my plans for OUT140!) and even got to make a rainbow bus using felting!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Creative Writing Class at the Norwich Arts Centre

I really enjoyed the "Getting Started in Creative Writing" course at the Norwich Arts Centre led by Claire Sharland. It was definitely an area of my work I would like to develop. I do enjoy writing the scripts for my voice-overs but most of my film-work is factual-based so it was fun to use a bit more imagination. I was pleased to see Claire's exercises sparking all sorts of ideas for characters and plots and settings. Maybe I could do drama afterall......

Saturday, February 16, 2013


"Evolving: Young Trans People Tell their Stories", a set of films I made with some amazing young filmmakers from MAP is showing at Cinema City on Monday evening, supporting the documentary "What Katy Did". It is guaranteed to make you cry/laugh/feel proud. It's a rare opportunity to see the films on the big screen - the young people are very precious about their production and it hasn't been released on DVD. Please support if you can. Some of the ticket money will go to the Evolve group.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Norwich Rising

We had an AMAZING time at Norwich Rising and got some wonderful press.

I made a trailer for the event on my iPhone that has had over 5,000 views! It was mentioned in the Guardian: “The idea of dancing to stop violence has understandably attracted naysayers, even among committed supporters, but two videos, among hundreds, sum up how Ensler’s idea inspires campaigners. The first is the one that launched the new anthem written and produced by Grammy-award-winning Tena Clark, Break the Chain, with a video choreographed by Debbie Allen, who went on to make her own accompanying “how to” dance video. The second is one produced by campaigners in Norwich. Without the involvement of the sort of Hollywood A-listers – Robert Redford, Jane Fonda – usually associated with Ensler, it’s still hugely effective. Local organisers were keen to show that the campaign is supported by men and boys as well as women.” Our trailer is embedded into the online article.

Hundreds of people came to the Forum and danced. We took this big team pic at the end when loads had already gone.

I had some sweet feedback from Anne from NIA Norfolk who led the dancing: "Brilliant job Shell - you should feel very proud of yourself- an amazing feat of collaboration and seemingly effortless organisation!" It was great doing such a wonderful event and it only lasting an hour - much easier than organising Norwich Pride! Here's a great pic of me and Amrita from Norwich Mind taken by Ann Nicholls from Look, See, Click!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Portrait of an Artist as a Gay Man

I've been in Brighton Filming the launch of Vince's B.Right.On Festival. There were two events today - a launch of the festival at City Hall at 3pm and a launch of Vince's exhibition BANNED in the library at 7pm. The library event was stunning. There was so many people and Vince's idea to paint 78 people with the names of countries where homosexuality is banned was genius. Over 100 people joined in so there was some doubles but very effective and very moving. Here's a pic Sam Collins took of me filming some of Vince's art. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

One Billion Rising

Have you heard about One Billion Rising? It's a global day of action on 14th February 2013 to inspire 1 billion women and girls, and the people who love them, to dance to demand an end to violence against all women and girls. Why 1 billion? Because the UN estimates that one in three women on earth (1 billion women) will be raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

Here in Norwich, we're aiming to inspire 20,000 women and girls (approximately one in three women who live in the city) and men and boys to dance on 14th February. It's less than 30 days away so the pressure is on but we are getting people on board every day and we're marketing this virally through social media and word-of-mouth e.g. women are going to their dance tutors and spreading the word through their dance classes. The Chief Fire Officer emailed his staff to ask them to dance with him which was pretty cool. We are in touch with women dancing all over the world via Twitter and Facebook which is really exciting. There is a campaign dance that people are learning across the globe. You can watch it here: We're encouraging people to get together with friends and colleagues and learn the dance and we have set up some weekly rehearsals (6pm at the Garage on Thursdays; 10am at the Forum on Sundays) where people can meet up with others.

We're going to have a mass dance outside the Forum in Norwich at 1pm on 14th February and we are encouraging people to dance with us there or wherever they are and in whatever way they can. I'm going to be making a film about Norwich Rising and would love you to send me clips of you dancing to include in the movie. Future Radio 107.8fm ( will be playing the Campaign song so people can dance with us in their homes, schools, workplaces etc

Please spread the word.