A Bridge to the Mainland
For a little change of pace here is Sam Young, a 2011 alumni, reflecting of her JUMP experience.
When I applied for a JUMP mentorship, I was looking for a bridge to the mainland. I am an artist based in Darwin, NT. I am a trained Actor, and a Director who is learning on the job. I had been struggling in the NT, wanting to connect with the greater industry, feeling both the freedom and tyranny of distance. Whilst I was making strides in my hometown, I wanted my work to have more of a national impact and I didn’t know how to achieve this alone. This is where JUMP has really changed things for me.
My mentorship with Matthew Lutton was a fluid one. Throughout the program we had times of little contact and conversely, weeks in which we worked together daily. I was able observe his directorial process on the project ‘Die Winterreisse’ both at the State Theatre Centre WA and at the Malthouse Theatre. We discussed his work in depth; I mined him for solutions to the problems I was facing creatively and professionally. He also gave a gentle and respectful eye to my work. One of the reasons I had chosen Matthew to be my mentor was his experience in devising work. This was something I had little experience with and I believe that without his guidance, I would not have had the skills to complete my project.
I was lucky that some of the stars aligned on their own during 2011. I was acting at Belvoir St Theatre in ‘The Business’ and performed for the Melbourne International Arts Festival in the cabaret ‘The Lovebirds’, see photo. My mentorship allowed me to take full advantage of this work and I used the JUMP network to connect with industry peers throughout my travels. I have made some excellent friends from this program, people with drive and talent that consistently inspire me.
Lastly and on a more personal note, what I didn’t expect from the program was the importance of defining a professional relationship. As a mentor, Matthew had made a pubic commitment to my succeeding in the industry. When he found opportunities that he thought suitable, he would alert me to them. He would speak on my behalf, he would ask people in a room to take notice of my work. Perhaps I was particularly fortunate to work with Matthew but I do not think the strength of a mentor investing in your success, should be underestimated .
JUMP has improved my knowledge of my own work, increased my networks and changed my focus from local to national work. People are starting to know my name. Not in a ‘bright lights of Broadway’ kind of way, but in a ‘do you know anyone who could do that… what about Sam?’ kind of way. So I would say that JUMP was definitely the bridge I was looking for.