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Lennie Varvarides

Creative Producer and Founder of DYSPLA

Lennie Varvarides

Creative Producer and Founder of DYSPLA

In Art School, I was told or taught, to use my dyslexia as an additional colour in my palette. This concept not only changed the way I think about dyslexia and myself, but it has given me the opportunity to create a business model out of dyslexia too.

DYSPLA is an arts organisation that has been running formally with the support of the Arts Council since 2013. We have a very clear message - dyslexia is an aesthetic and the work of Neurodivergent artists and storymakers is what we promote and develop, both in film, theatre and the moving image. Being Dyslexic gave me the freedom to quit working the 9-5 and I have work for myself ever since graduating with an MA in, Writing for Performance from the Royal School of Speech and Drama, in 2006. 

Being an arts council funded arts organisation is pretty amazing, but I am also proud of the talent agency I run called MSFT Management, which I set up in 2011. I know I am very lucky to be able to do what I love, on my terms, but I worked like a horse for years before I got to this point and the fact I am still in business, is my career high.

My advice to other ND women is this; don't expect it to be easy or to happen really quickly or to make loads of money overnight. Building a business takes time and commitment and energy and a good healthy attitude about work. 

The WFTV Mentorship Program in 2018 was a real turning point for me - it got me to think about myself and who I am and how I work for the first time in my life in a critical and practical way. The best part of the program is working with a mentor who was hand-picked for me by Nicola Lees. My mentor, Judy Ironside, gave me the best lesson about 'balance' and how to have it all, to be a mother, a businesswoman, and a creative. I owe a lot of my inner happiness to Judy and program, so, the best advice I can give is this, get a mentor!

https://dyspla.com/

https://msftmanagement.com/

 

 

 

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