I am an interdisciplinary artist working in the medium of theatre and performance working with young people and communities as a theatre director and writer, producer and drama practitioner and as a solo and collaborative performance artist.
With a bold artistic vision, keen eye and through my commitment to open artistic collaboration and engagement, I aim to create performances and experiences which have the power to transform, inform, educate, and stimulate the eyes, ears and imagination and leave a lasting legacy for all involved in the process and the outcome.
After a long passionate involvement in amateur dramatics and my local arts scene as a performer, I started my career as principally a theatre director and I now now works in a wide range of disciplines from performing myself to large scale events production management.
I was born in Falkirk, Scotland and have studied Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland [formerly RSAMD] and graduated with a Directing & Devising Diploma from Trinity College London with Acting Out Drama School UK.
I am the Founder and Artistic Director of Project Theatre (SCIO) and Producer/Director of Children's Theatre Bo'ness. My recent work includes the direction of musical productions and plays, teaching of classes and workshop facilitation in youth and community settings.
I am also founder of Scottish Community Arts, an online network to support community arts, have written several plays and pantomimes, work freelance as a graphic designer mostly for theatre and arts publicity material and currently serve as Secretary (Trustee) of the Falkirk Arts Network.
As a performer my recent credits include solo public and digital performaces and performances in public Ghost walks and seasonal work at Christmas.
I am a member of the National Operatic & Drama Association.
I am James Bernard O’Rourke. I am known as Jamie O’Rourke. I am male. I am 25 years old. I am Scottish. I am a performer and an artist.
I come from a background of logic, reasoning and stability.
Where the norm is safe and safety is the norm.
But I crave flux. I crave change. A little creative chaos is nice sometimes too.
I feel I have lived a relatively sheltered life so far but with a lot having happened in my past which still impacts on my present and I know will impact on my future.
I make work which engages as many people as possible through its diversity, not only reflecting but interrogating the diversity of our world.
I see my developing practice as an ongoing search into the human condition especially in areas such as mental health and relating to one other on a basic level in an ever connected but increasingly disconnected world. I am inspired by a struggle to critically engage with popular culture and well-known structures and institutions that reflect the complexity of our social and political reality through an unbiased discourse.
I work with and want my work to inspire young people to give them confidence to live as unique individuals in an ever growing uniformed world and in turn take leadership in inspiring others to make a real difference as the next generation.
Music is an important element in much of my performance work. I feel without giving an overpowering or obvious narrative to performance it can give a sensation which is often universally comprehensible or readable. I search for readings in the work I see and make. As hard as I try not to, out of some form of trying to surrender to pure emotional response, I more often than not search for meaning in what I see. This meaning and the reactions that are evoked are rightfully subjective but there is also a desire for me to achieve communal response from an audience when appropriate.
I often question where my authority is to do this work and I have come to the conclusion that because I am a human being I have the inherent right and responsibility to make the most of my life and the world I live in.
I am interested in creating and sharing in universal experiences for and by all humans as well as creating experiences that highlight the alienation that occurs when people are forced or become accustomed to categorizing themselves within restrictive boundaries and labels.
I often use playful humour as a strategy to establish a sense of comfort and safety for an audience so that we can broach challenging subject matter. I question if this is always necessary though. Do I need to or am I hiding behind the laughter?
I am interested in all areas of our lives, especially the current society and structures we live in and particularly the environmental crisis we face in which I feel more collective and individual responsibility must be taken by everyone.
I want to stare straight and deeply into everyone and everything.
I see myself and my work as a ball of string. The start of which is in my hand. The other end of the string is yet to be seen amongst the tangled mass.
Will it ever be seen? Is there an outcome. An answer? A question? An end?
I'll tie myself up in it and untangle myself trying.