Every learner, needs a mentor. Emerging into an arts discipline or taking on a creative endeavour is no different.
A mentor can be many things. They can be someone from a higher position than you, someone who has fully involved themselves in the discipline that you wish to grow in, they might be someone who you meet every month and talk about the industry and your progress, or they could be that guy who you visit every now and then to run an idea past. For me it is the latter, but no matter what type of mentor you find yourself, one thing’s for sure, what your mentor means to you will be unique.
You will grow a respect for them, and they for you. I will never forget my first time working with Dan Evans on the show Here Goes Nothing (2012). One day he just glided into the rehearsal room and everything about our show just magically fell into place. We later found out that he had run his ideas past Lauren Clelland, someone he held tremendous respect for. I didn’t think much of it at the time but now that I think back on that moment, that was likely the strongest part of Dan’s creative process. He was able to get the support he needed to clearly identify the strengths, weaknesses and the steps left to take, for not only our devised show, but our cast as well.
That’s the type of clarity that you just can’t find without building a strong relationship. If you are an artist, then a mentor could mean much more to you than you even know, and you won’t know unless you go out and find one for yourself.
Fun tip: A coffee date has not failed me yet!