My name is Lora and I'm a DJ.
I have a million and one stories and I have seen a million and one things.
I've travelled to every corner of the globe - from London to Hawaii, New York to Paris, Mumbai, Brazil and Hong Kong. I've stayed in some of the most glamorous as well as some of the most scary ass places and I've probably spent more time in airports than is healthy. I've played to aristocracy, celebrities, to crowds of thousands and have met and partied with people that have both inspired and shocked the hell out of me.
Here is my story. And with all good stories, we should start at the beginning: How I became a DJ.
I told this very story just two weeks ago, in my hometown of Durban, South Africa. Whilst in South Africa for a gig, I had the privilege of being invited to return to my old school and given the amazing opportunity to chat to the present about my career. Can you imagine? When I had left school, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and yet, fifteen years later, here I was being invited back to chat about my world.
Anyway, the visit was totally inspiring and the highlight of my trip back home, so it was amazing to receive this email from one of my old teachers. Along with the email, she included an article written about my visit, which sums up how I became a DJ so much better than I could:
"One of the remarkable things about Laura Elliott is that she doesn't see herself as remarkable at all. A past pupil of Danville, Laura returned to her school on Friday 19 October to share her personal story with the girls. 'I was never the cleverest girl, I wasn't part of the "in" group, I wasn't the thinnest or prettiest girl. At the end of matric I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, so I waitressed.'
"Laura's family moved to London where she got a job in an office renting out office space. "Can you imagine anything more ordinary?" she laughs. And this is where the story gets interesting. Laura used to go to the London clubs with her friends but as she says "I don't drink, I don't take drugs and I didn't enjoy being in the middle of the dance floor. So I gravitated to the DJ's on the edge and they soon had me spinning vinyls and I discovered I had a talent for it. I bought myself the equipment and practised at home and was soon booked for clubs...and that is how I became a DJ."
Of course, this is only part of the story. What she has omitted to fill us in on is the hours of practising that built her proficiency, the willingness to take the necessary risks to make herself available for jobs and living by her mantra: "It doesn't matter what you want to be, just be the best that you can be at it. If you want to be a maid, be the best maid." Laura's perseverance, belief in herself, her willingness to throw herself into each challenge has enabled her success and today she enjoys a lifestyle that many of us would envy - flying around the world playing parties for the celebrities we read about. "This has enabled me to live a dream lifestyle combining my passions for music, travel and fashion" she said.
Laura's message for the girls was a simple one:
Live by the values you have been taught...they will empower you to stand out from the crowd. Never underestimate the importance of good manners and good grooming, they will take you far. Laura herself bears testimony to the benefits of these values and thanked the school for the grounding she was given, which has given her a solid foundation on which to build her life.
Listen to your parents and your teachers. They have lived life, they have knowledge and their advice is valuable.
If you want to make a success of your life, do not drink or get involved with drugs. You will not get anywhere if they influence your life. They are not cool.
So, the girl who left here as "ordinary" Laura Elliott, returned as DJ Lora, a polished, confident young woman - party maker for the stars!
Follow DJ Lora on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DJLORA