cJAM Performance: Making it in the Performance Industry

Dr Who actress Mandip Gill sends message of encouragement at UCLan careers event .

Dr Who’s Mandip Gill gave a surprise good luck message to current University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) performance students at a careers event hosted by the University.

The successful acting graduate, who left UCLan in 2009 and has since appeared in Hollyoaks and the BBC’s Love, Lies and Records before landing a role in Dr Who, wished students “good luck with pitching for jobs and all the best when you graduate” in a video broadcast at UCLan’s annual Careers Jamming Session (cJAM).

cJAM allows students to learn from the best in the business and pitch to professionals to win work placements. Actors, musicians, producers and casting directors attended the event and 66 work placement opportunities were offered on the day, including with The Lowry and Manchester-based digital record label, Ostereo.

Record producer and musician Graham Massey from 808 State and casting director Janet Hampson were just some of the speakers who shared their career journeys and offered advice to students from a variety of course including acting, dance, music and television production and photography.

Advising the students Graham said:

“I come from a 1970s culture where it was ok to be bold and have a go, where energy was as important and being skilful and people could make change happen. Keep in mind the role of music in a social space. These days people experience music in a much more solitary way, but really, it’s about the relationship between a musician and the audience. Music isn’t about science and numbers, it’s about relationships.”

Janet runs her own casting company and has more than 20 years’ experience working with directors, producers and writers from the BBC, ITV and Sky in both television and radio. She is also one of 42 newly appointed Leaders in Residence who will work with the University to contribute to teaching, provide mentoring, host masterclasses and act as a role models for young people from diverse backgrounds.

Janet said:

“I’ve been championing UCLan for the last ten years so becoming a Leader in Residence formalises this already strong relationship. I am very honoured to accept the role and will continue to connect students with agents to make those vital introductions.”

It’s the fifth time UCLan has hosted cJAM, which this year will spread across four separate events covering journalism, media, performance and law. In total, 142 people attended the performance gathering.

Third year acting student Laura Greenwood said:

“All of the key speakers were very inspiring, particularly Lyndsey Wilson from Spot on Lancashire – Rural and Library Touring. She wasn’t sure what path to take after graduating and hearing stories of the routes the key speakers took to get to where they are now makes me want to never give up trying to achieve my dreams.”

video and photographs from the event at UCLan’s Media Factory are available to view. People can also look up #UCLancJAM on Twitter.

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