Jessica Cochran

Name: Jessica Cochran

Creative practice/s: Creative practice/s: Actor, Spoken Word, Writer, Theatre, Model

Postcode: 3429

State: Victoria

Do you identify as disabled and/or Deaf and/or with disability?


Other identity/ies? Intersectionalities you may like to declare (not compulsory) eg, POC, queer etc


Why do you do what you do?

I am a disabled queer performing artist. I have done some acting on stage and I have also taken part in scripting workshops and spoken about my lived experience as someone who has a disability and identifies as being part of the LGBTIQA community in awareness and training videos. I also do a bit of public speaking and have helped facilitate workshops for National Disability Services.

What are you looking for?

Paid Work Only, a more level playing field, world creative revolution, better access to classes and spaces, accessible and affordable courses for performing arts.

What’s still with you from the workshops? What do you remember?

I remember coming in to the space with initial feeling of uncertainty. I’m often a reserved person in my personal time but I realised as I came through those doors that the air was filled with the electric buzz of excitement and anticipation. I felt my worries slip away as I realised I was able to truly be myself in this space.
I remember the moment I completely allowed myself to let go. It was during a movement and interpretation exercise. Even though we were broken in to groups and others may have observed what people were doing I knew that it was out of curiosity and awe rather than judgement. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath in and let myself feel the music and the movement of my body in the space.

Another moment that sticks in my mind was one of our very first exercises. I don’t remember exactly what we were doing except that we linked hands with each other and closed our eyes. I remember holding the hand of the man to my left and I felt a connection. Even after the exercise our hands stated linked for a bit longer and I had been so moved by the connection that tears had begun to well in my eyes as we sat there hand in hand.

What’s the legacy for you - creatively or with contacts?

I think the legacy for me is the connections and contacts I made during the workshops. It was such a joy to be a part of and I feel I learnt so much from being in a space with like minded passionate people and hope that many others get the opportunity to learn and grow from workshops like this one.

What makes a good workshop for you?

For me a good workshop is one that involves people from all backgrounds and experience levels. Those who are newer to the performing arts can draw from those who have more experience. Those who have more experience in the field also learn from the newer members as there is a fresh set of eyes, views and ideas.
I think it’s really important that a workshop creates a space where people can feel completely free to express and be themselves. When I went to the workshop I was still a relatively shy and reserved person, once I realised I was in a space to let go and just go with the flow I really let go and came in to myself and a performer.

The arts industry and you - how do you feel about where you are professionally? Where would you like to be?

Professionally I think I’d still class myself as an emerging artist. I have had various experiences in a range of fields and settings including acting, public speaking and advocacy but I feel I still have so much to learn from others.

Artist link: (website to be released soon)