Victor Esses, Evangeline Cullingworth, Sophie Austin, Lilith Wozniak, Emma Hayes, Aislinn Muligan, Simon Day, Kelli Des Jarlais and Iante Roach

We started the session asking what consists a mentor/mentee relationship, consistency was mentioned: monthly meetings, a “guarantee” of a reply to one’s emails or messages
We heard about SDUK’s mentoring scheme for mid-career directors where the programme matches mentees with mentors for a temporary relationship (3 months, 3 meetings) to talk through ideas. They matched 3 mentees to 1 mentor.
The experience in that programme is when they have had similar ages, those relationships seem to have been nurtured for the future.

We went on to discuss the clarity of expectations from both sides:
What will the mentor get from the relationship? and the mentee? It’s an exchange.

There’s also the peer mentorship modality

key suggestions were:
not offering too much or promising too much

For someone looking for a mentor:
have clear questions of what you want
make a small commitment (3 months?)
Check Improbable’s website for what it says about mentorship

This relationship is a space for the person to ask questions, for the mentor to identify things one can’t on their own; mentor will have contacts one doesn’t have

People shared about unofficial mentors, where they never asked. So the commitment here seemed less and not clear yet still very valuable

For the mentor:
-it’s an edifying experience, rewarding, gives one clarity in their own ideas, helping in their own practice.

In work situations it was suggested that one’s boss could be their mentor.

In other situations: approach people you like what they do and remember everyone’s been in your situation before

Mentors can be an enjoyable experience but with little pay if any. They can benefit a lot from info sharing
Some said it should be paid for the time commitment
Freelancers could be temporary mentors 1 to 6 months

List of mentorship schemes suggested were:
- Creative Skill set
- Clore Programme
- Rising
- Stage Directors UK
- Improbable
- Theatre Bristol
- UK Theatre
Someone also had an experience at the Royal Opera House (East London Dance?)

When discussing if a mentor should be paid or not a lot of things came up. A mentor present said he wouldn’t be able to do it if not paid
Another person suggested that it’s ok to keep it informal and not paid
The sense was that when paid the relationship was clear and when unpaid it was unofficial and less commited (as said above)

It was suggested to always include in funding applications to pay for a mentor – that people often don’t do it
- it was suggested that every NPO has to commit to share knowledge with others so it’s a good idea to write to these organizations

One can get in touch with a mentor of a similar age and ask for their references and from them to possibly ask to be their mentors

It was said to wait for the 3rd meeting to ask them to be one’s mentor as one might not get on with them or 1st is too soon…

It was suggested to have a written contract as well

Other places to ask for help:
- Producers Pool
- HIIVE jobs (ex-IDEAS Tap)