What makes Living Security’s security awareness training so different? Simply put, we have the best creative team around. Our powerhouse content team includes screenwriters, instructional designers, former security awareness program owners, broadcast journalists, and seasoned creative and production pros whose TV experience includes the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and Bravo. In this series, we’re going behind the scenes with the members of Living Security’s Content team to learn more about their roles and backgrounds, the skills they bring to the table, and to sneak a peek at what they’re dreaming up next. Today, we're meeting Ansel Lowry, the storytelling powerhouse behind your favorite #LivingSecurity sitcoms, thrillers and reality shows.
How long have you worked at Living Security?
Since January of 2021! So about ten months.
What’s your role on the content team? Right now, I write all of the scripts for our training content and team experiences! The Creative team and I collaborate on vision and brainstorming, then I take that and turn it into fully scripted, narrative-driven content. I’m also on set while we’re filming to ensure that the finished product is faithful to the intention of the script.
Members of Living Security's Content team. From left to right: Stephanie Pratt, Ansel Lowry, and Persephonie Cole.
What’s your professional background?
As many people in creative fields do, I have kind of an eclectic background. I’ve been a pyrotechnician, a freelance theatrical director, the creative director of an arts-based nonprofit, a teacher, etc. Right before I joined Living Security, I was doing social media marketing and freelance ghostwriting.
Ansel, pictured here with the cast of a theater production that she directed.
What are your influences (pop culture, literary, etc.)?
It’s tough to nail down just one because we’re very intentional about creating content in a wide variety of genres and styles. I intentionally seek out inspiration relevant to whatever project we’re working on at the time. For example, when I was writing Secure My Life, I was watching a lot of makeover shows. What Not to Wear is my personal favorite.
A promo for Living Security's new series, Secure My Life.
I’m also a big video game junkie, so that comes into play a lot with team storylines. I read a lot of video game design theory for fun, so I’m always considering how the narrative of a new storyline can marry the mechanics of the embedded exercises in a really cohesive way. Persephonie designs the exercises, and she and I work really closely to make that cohesion happen.
What do you love about your work?
I’m passionate about storytelling and the ways you can use it to help people have better, happier, healthier lives. Cybersecurity is part of that. Our day-to-day lives require us to use a wide array of technologies, and there are inherent risks that come along with that, risks that the average person is completely unaware they need to be mitigating. I love that I get to be creative in service of empowering people to protect themselves.
What’s the most interesting (or the most challenging) thing you’ve worked on as part of the content team, and why?
What comes to mind is a CyberEscape Online experience for state election offices. The main character of the storyline is an agent named Joan Marshall, and she’s joined via Zoom by a colorful cast of American historical figures—George Washington, Benjamin Banneker, Alexander Hamilton, etc. I learned a lot about how elections are managed and what kind of security measures are taken to ensure their integrity. Plus, it was a ton of fun to write!
What’s something people probably wouldn’t guess about the work you do?
I think it surprises people that I didn’t come into this job with a cybersecurity background! I’m just a fast learner (and also really good at research from my time as a ghostwriter). In some ways, I think this has actually been a strength. I’m not so close to the material that I can’t see what will be confusing or unclear to our end users. I’ve taught myself enough to deep dive into research studies and complicated technical explanations during the research phase of a project, but it’s not second nature to me so I’m able to process and explain it in a way that the average person can understand. I had a chemistry teacher in high school that was way, way over-qualified to be teaching teenagers, and half of us were constantly on the edge of failing her class because we didn’t understand anything she was saying. We would ask questions but end up more confused. She had such deep knowledge of the material she was teaching that she couldn’t understand what it was that we found so confusing. I think about her a lot when I’m writing.
What are you excited about for the next 12 months?
I’m always excited for the next project. Because we create content in so many styles and genres and tones and settings, every project brings the opportunity to try something new, which helps me grow both as a writer and in my cybersecurity knowledge. I’m also just excited to keep watching the company grow. Even since I arrived we’ve more than doubled in size. Startups move fast and Living Security is no exception. I’m sure the next year will bring all sorts of exciting things.