Offbeat Video

By Joe McFarlane


A teenager has embraced her Tourette’s by attempting a range of hobbies, including the delicate craft of pottery, resulting in a hilarious mess.

If the 1990 Patrick Swayze starring, classic movie Ghost taught us one thing, it’s that pottery is a calming pastime that requires patience and a delicate touch.

But a delicate hand is a lot more difficult for Ryleigh Hawkins, 18, to master due to her Tourette’s disorder.

From blurting out obscenities at inappropriate times to some downright random outbursts and physical tics, Ryleigh can find it hard to stay calm and reserved.

But the student, from Pleasant Point, New Zealand, hasn’t allowed her neurological disorder from getting in the way of new things she wants to try, including giving the craft of pottery a go, resulting in a messy but ultimately hilariously entertaining attempt.

From creating phallic looking objects and smashing her own creations, Ryleigh’s Tourette’s were in full swing throughout the process.

Ryleigh: “I’ve never done pottery before but tried to make a bowl.

“Pottery is difficult no matter what so adding Tourette’s just didn’t help me at all.

“I kept ticking and ruining my creation and also said some very inappropriate things.

“I did make a somewhat good-looking bowl at the start but smashed it almost right away.”

Ryleigh is fully aware what sets her ticks off and decides to embrace it in order to offer up some entertaining videos.

Ryleigh said: “The camera can set off my ticks, but my tics often increase when I see myself ticking. So, for the purpose of videos I like to trigger myself more by asking for the viewfinder.

“As I have gotten older the severity of my ticks has decreased but I still find some things difficult such as carrying things that I might throw or yelling out embarrassing things in public.

“I definitely have embarrassed myself with it but i mean there’s nothing i can do so i just get over it and carry on.

Ryleigh may get frustrated with her Tourette’s from time to time, but the ultimate purpose of her videos is to offer others inspiration.

Ryleigh said: “I want my videos to show that when life throws you a curve ball you can choose to let it consume you or take power back over your life and use it and turn it into something good.”