Catching up with an old friend Leslie, he had mentioned he was working on an exciting project which had me intrigued. I am always so fascinated about any type of creative work, especially when it is on my doorstep of my hometown Birmingham. I admire Leslie, living in the same city as me, similarly aged, and with similar career interests. It is an honour to see how Leslie has courageously left the so called ‘rat race’ and the barbaric 9-5 lifestyle to work on creating a positive difference to the world via Cuecard.
What is Cuecard?
Cuecard is a media and production company, otherwise known as a street team that creates shareable human-centric content that empowers the truth. What this means is we’re not necessarily looking to always break down stereotypes or taboos but instead commit to sharing the truth which at times can be controversial. This makes Cuecard a platform for the everyday person to share their truths with the world.
What was the inspiration for starting Cuecard?
So Cuecard is made of myself (Leslie) and Lance, the Founder of Cuecard. We previously led quite different paths in life, however we now converge down the path of Cuecard in pursuit of creating something meaningful that will make a genuine positive difference. We saw the largely untapped potential of social media to connect people around the world and build bridges of understanding between strangers which we believe is the first step to change.
What was life like for you pre-Cuecard?
Life was still ridiculously busy but nowhere near as intense as it is now. Before Cuecard I was a fresh Marketing graduate and I secured what many (including myself) would consider one of the coolest internships in the world. It was created by a global marketing agency called Golin, and it was a competition that revolved around who had the best idea. The prize was £4500 and an internship of your choice in their London office. To cut a long story short, the process was like the apprentice with several stages consisting of interviews, creative tasks and live-tasks in the heart of London. Despite juggling final year responsibilities and 2 jobs, I somehow ended up winning and upon graduation went on to fulfil my winning idea of travelling to the happiest countries in the world to investigate why they’re so happy.
It all sounds well and good and in truth it really was, however when I returned and completed my office internship there was a part of me that felt very unfulfilled. My ambitions and the direction I wanted to take my life in pursuing self-employment were never going to be fulfilled if I continued down that path. So after 6 months, I took the bold decision of leaving that agency and that’s when I met up with Lance (my cousin) and he told me about Cuecard.
How did Cuecard get its’ name?
So when you are in front of the camera, there is usually a cue card that tells you what to say. A cue is an instigation to speak or a prompt to share. The card element comes from the fact that we actually write the questions that people submit to us on a ‘Cuecard’ that we’ve created and then hit the streets presenting these cards to the groups of people that we are filming. The card in my opinion is where the magic happens, as people actually hold, read and answer a question that has been submitted from someone across the world. This tangibility element is powerful and extracts the most intimate answers, bright ideas, authentic reactions and compelling stories.
Who are your biggest influencers? What motivates you to be in this field? E.g. Artists, role models, experiences, any passions etc.
Brandon Stanton, creator of ‘Humans of New York’ is a huge inspiration, He’s been able to really go against what traditionally works on social media and stay true to his roots creatively. His work is very raw and unfiltered, which in 2019 is a rarity on social media. These days there’s a lot of lazy or unoriginal and just repetitive content in circulation, and for that reason his photography is a cut above the rest. It actually adds value to peoples lives and is having a positive impact.
What do you aspire to be, where do you see yourself and/or Cuecard in 5 years?
We hope to have grown a genuine global community that wishes to use their presence and collective power to make a positive and lasting difference. Through this community the possibilities are endless which is what the colon in our branding (Cuecard:) represents. As a brand I think Cuecard’s able to play in any arena in the future from card games, podcasts to even hostels. However that’s quite a while off so for the immediate future, we will be looking to do a series on university students, a UK edition on black people and on homeless people. Having been fortunate enough to travel a lot, I’ve come to realise there are so many opportunities to explore our own doorstep and the people within the UK are incredibly diverse.
Could you give one piece of advice for anyone looking to leave the ‘rat race?’
From my own experience, I was only part of the rat race for a short period of time, however if I was to give any advice it would be to save money and plan ahead! I would never recommend anyone to quit their job outrightly without any financial safety net to source you. Something I personally do a lot of is research. From strategically reading autobiographies to even outright messaging relevant people on Linkedin.
Lastly, I would say try and understand your underlying motivation. As if you don’t love what you do, then you often crumble when you go through a rocky patch (of which there are many!). I learnt this whilst with Cuecard where in the formative phases there were many trials and tribulations, however I thankfully came through them more motivated than ever. However I would also say it’s also fine to not know what you want to do, as if you’ve followed the earlier point regarding planning and saving – you can always learn via trial and error.
Any last words to your fans?
If anyone is reading this who is already a fan, then a massive thank you for your continued support on the Cuecard project!
As for any potential new fans, welcome to the Cuecard community! We’re just starting out so it’s a great time to get on board and I really hope you enjoy the our pilot series!
For any creators out there, we have a philosophy of collaboration over competition, so we are always open minded to any opportunities to collaborate.
Cuecard Website: cuecardcompany.com
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