by Elisha Westmore
Elisha Westmore is a freelance writer and editor who currently splits her time between Portsmouth and Bath. She is a Creative Producer for House of Imagination and has worked with a wide variety of small creative businesses and publications such as 2BU Productions, The Writing Platform, and Sooothe.
Tobias and Syd is a time travel play involving seduction, tobacco, shape-shifting and breath made by 2BU Productions. For more info see https://2buproductions.org/tobias-and-syd/
When Elspeth first reached out to me on LinkedIn, I had just graduated with a degree in Creative Writing and finished my placement year as a Content Creator at The Studio in Bath. I was stumbling blindly through those first post-graduation months, freelancing and feeling like I was very much making it up as I went along.
The 2BU team were generous and welcoming from the start. After hearing more about Tobias and Syd, and attending an initial meeting where creative ideas were bubbling away, I was excited to help bring young people’s voices to this project.
My main focus with this project was to bring young people to Tobias and Syd through new social media accounts. This involved a lot of learning on my part:
- Learning how to build social media accounts from the ground-up
- Learning how to target specific audiences with content
- Learning how to best utilise Tik Tok (a new platform to me)
The generosity from the team with their time and expertise was invaluable. Throughout the months, watching the numbers and engagement on our content climb, and seeing the ever-expanding portfolio of young voices, became something to feel very proud of.
As a storyteller first and foremost, the thing that struck me most about this project was the belief and conviction that a good story can send the right message. Tobias and Syd, and everything that surrounded it, was an exploration. An exploration into tobacco, mental health, how we connect as humans, ritual, desire, capitalism, environmentalism… But it was also, for me, an exploration into storytelling, and the many ways we can utilise and shape stories to share our collective ideas.
I got to share my own and other people’s stories, as well as reflect on my own relationship with tobacco and the ever-expanding culture, history, and human nature that comes along with it. Thank you Elspeth and the team, for the opportunity to be involved in a truly unique project.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to listen to Tobias and Syd, please do. Audio is an ever-growing medium and the story really has its chance to shine in this format.
Find it on https://tobiasandsyd.podbean.com, Spotify, and other major podcast platforms and see some of the videos through our website https://2buproductions.org/tobias-and-syd/ on insta @tobias_and_syd_play, or TikTok @tobiasandsyd
Prepare to be hooked… it can be addictive: Tobias and Syd is a play about smoking and vaping, which 2BU Productions released in January 2023. We ran 4 discussion events alongside the launch, to explore the myriad of roles tobacco plays in the world historically and currently.