Private Coaching

High-Performance Coaching with Jackson Gillman, 508-295-0886,, PO Box 41, Onset MA 02558-0041

Got a work-in-progress that you know is road-worthy, but is sputtering in performance or not quite ready to hit the track? Bring it to Jackson’s Bard & Body Shop. Specializing in: fine tune-ups for better spark and traction, hammering out the dents, lubrication and road-testing.  Let Jackson help you get that number up and running like a charm!

Goal: To assist you in crafting, delivering and polishing your best work.

Approach: To acknowledge your strengths and challenges, working within your comfort zone, or gently stretching it.

Guidelines: You have already put a lot of work into your creation. I honor that and only want to help you present it as effectively as possible. To that end, I will offer you my best ideas, which you may freely reject or pursue, to help you explore new possibilities within your work.

Why use a coach: We are sometimes too close to our own work, and can use fresh eyes and ideas. “Woodshedding” can take material only so far; you need to experience how the material actually plays. Presenting green material in front of a live audience can be unnerving and discouraging. Coaching can provide a middle testing ground. It can also help expand your performance palette and tools, perhaps with elements you had not even considered.

Why me: I am a nice, supportive guy, easy to work with, and astute. I am good with the big picture and excellent at fine-tuning.

Strengths: I have a keen sense of using space and movement to make things as visually clear as possible. I might prod you to experiment to see what could work better. I am a big proponent of bold adventure in rehearsal. One can always tone things down later but by rehearsing with a wider dynamic range, you’ll have more options comfortably available to you in performance.

Performing for one person might feel awkward but I am a very responsive audience, especially with humor. I know how difficult it can be to try out comedy on a critical stoic. Approaching the work of tweaking set-ups, wording, experimenting with timing and callbacks can be a lot of fun.

Limitations: I consider myself more mainstream than erudite. For example, I can be a total sap for a good country song, while complex jazz goes over my head. I am not a good coach for work that is overly sophisticated or abstract. However, I believe that I can very reliably gauge what will engage the typical audience. I’m also not tech savvy.

Rate: $90/hour and a surprising amount can be accomplished in a short amount of time. Another approach is for me to watch you in live performance followed by a later feedback session. One can only be aware of so much while performing. Even if the performance is taped, that won’t pick up atmosphere as well as an eyewitness. I also work with folks on a project basis at a lower rate than if a clock was being watched.

Just as I encourage you to accept feedback in the spirit of cooperative adventure and positive reinforcement, I welcome you to share what approaches work best for you, and what doesn’t. This process is a two-way street. However I can best be of help is my goal, and I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you.

Where: At any mutually convenient location. While I much prefer working in person, telephone and Skype are options as well.

References: It has been my honor and privilege to coach many professional colleagues including: Bill Harley, Judith Black, Michael Parent, Deborah Henson-Conant, and scores of others. Many testimonials from my Springboards workshops are listed on the workshop page of my web site. Below are some others from private coaching sessions:

You are terrific! You not only gave dozens of brilliant suggestions -- you released me to get the story out of my head and into my body. You are a rare coach – a generous artist who nurtures the unique art of others.
– Jo Radner

Thank you heartily for all your help and insights. I was thrilled and honored to work with you. Jackson, you are a Master! Again, my gratitude and sincere thanks!
– Jonathan Kruk

It was great fun! Your warmth and kindness helped me to feel very comfortable and relaxed when telling. Not only did you have me in stitches with your demonstrations and ideas, but it helped me to realize the difference between "narrating" a story and "performing" it… Thank you so much for an invaluable coaching session. You have inspired me more than you will know.
– Desiree Marin

Jackson, what a fun coaching session that was with you. You have a deliciously creative energy!
- Margaret Burk

Thanks Jackson -- you fixed our problem song!
– Erin Lee Kelly and Marci Appelbaum

Just a very quick line to say thanks for your invaluable input and suggestions. It worked wonderfully well. I performed it yesterday and got several gigs as a result.
– Simon Brooks

Everything went so well! We took your advice and had a lot of smiles and laughs in that room!! You really inspired us to make our piece all it could many thanks!!
– Vic and Sticks

Jackson was a bubbling fountain of ideas that totally refreshed my day! I took away so many points that I can use not only for the story we worked on but several novel ways to approach every story I’m working on.
– Sadarri Saskill

Thank you again for another wonderful coaching session. I feel like this story is on its way to becoming a thousand percent better and more fun for my listeners (and me!). You are an amazing coach.
– Constance Vidor

I learned so much from Jackson. His coaching style is gentle but spot on! He is truly a master at knowing what works and what can be improved upon. If you ever have the opportunity to be coached by him don't pass it by.
– Karen Chace