Day 123 – Jack, 22, Kirkcudbright

Jack works full time as an Associate Producer with Electric Theatre Workshop, which is a non-profit cultural organisation operating out of Dumfries. They make culture and create experiences. Year round they produce events and festivals across the region, and the north of Cumbria – and are the producers of Big Burns Supper (the worlds largest Burns Night celebration), and the Carlisle Fringe Festival.

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Which young Scot inspires you?
The Young Scot that inspires me is Kris Kyle – one of Scotland’s most talented young people on 2 wheels. Kris rides his BMX with creativity and fearlessness and is always trying to scout out, create or develop new and exciting tricks never before seen on the circuit. His moto is: “If you want anything bad enough, you can do it.” He’s been picked up by Red Bull, and is a pulsing example of what young people can achieve if they focus their wants, and proves to us that you can achieve greatness, and that you don’t have to be a physicist, world speaker, scientist or politician – do what you love and good things will follow.

What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
The best thing about growing up in Scotland is the people – I’ve always loved being a stranger in places, cities or towns in Scotland because you always leave with a hunner new pals, a story or two and a bed if you ever want to come back. I like that when we walk down the street we say, with a nod, ‘Alright pal’…even though we’ve never encountered that person or met them before. It’s an unspoken politeness that’s been integrated into the Scottish way of life, and I hope we never forget it.

What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
I would like the older generations in Scotland to know that young people are not as intimidating as you may think. Walking down the street, it’s very common for an older person to stop looking ahead, and lower their gaze to the street when young people walk past them. Don’t look down, look up, and you’ll probably get an ‘Alright pal’ and a smile. So many older generations suffer from loneliness, and I think I’d like them to know that young people can help cure loneliness – both of us just need to reach out.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement to date is successfully producing and programming a national cultural festival and supporting our team to bring over 25,000 people together to celebrate Burns Night over 11 busy days. Watching people dance, sing, laugh and have the best of craic with each other at an event you have produced is what makes me proud – even better if they have the chance to get a little tipsy. What would you most like to achieve in the future?

What would you most like to achieve in the future?
In the future, I’d most like to have achieved creating and producing my own festival, as well as developing cool and exciting projects all across Scotland that brings together different audiences from all across the world. I want to see young and old mixing with different cultures from across the globe, and I’d like to see loneliness cured through music, comedy, theatre, cabaret and FESTIVALISATION. Bringing people together and making people happy is what makes it so special to me – and if I do manage to achieve this, it would mean that I’ve achieved what I set out to, and that all my work over the last 4 years has been worth it – I’d also like to see my boss/mentor/role model, Graham Main, party alongside me.

What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
If I could give young people in Scotland advice, I’d tell them that experiential learning is just as valuable, if not more valuable, than any qualification or university degree. Anyone can become a master, or genius, in their field if they apply themselves to it with passion, dedication and commitment. Don’t let yourselves be guided and influenced by older peers or mentors if you don’t believe in it – if you want to be a mechanic, become an expert and work across the world. If you want to be a world-class mountain biker, go out and ride your bike and become the best, and if you want to be a producer or festival organiser, go out and experience festivals, volunteer and become a member of the team – above all, you need to work hard and show you’re tough and as rough as guts when it comes to achieving what you want. I’d also tell them to support their local music scene and support their local festivals.

If Jack’s story has inspired you, why not share it on social media using the hashtag #MyStory365 or visit the ‘Get Involved’ section to share your own story!

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