Meet Jess Cobourn.
Newcastle started as my base but I’ve lived and studied in a few places. After years of experience, training and adventures, everything started snowballing. Since 2017 I’ve run my own professional performing arts and creative business, jessica.co.creative alongside Newcastle Fire and Flow (a community of professional performers and hobby practitioners) acting as an agent for up and coming and established performing artists through Fire and Flow connections.
Newcastle Fire and Flow all started one winter’s night in 2016. My friend Mel and I were hanging out playing some music. I pulled out my Pixie sticks and had a spin. Mel said “Man you should do this for a job or something, and we should do this more often”! I wanted more people to spin with, and assumed there had to be a few backyard flow artists out there that craved community as much as I did.
So from that conversation I created the first “Newcastle fire and flow” spin jam in May 2016 on Facebook. It started with six people in the park and now we’ve got 800 followers on Facebook. Our events usually runs over the afternoon into early night. It’s always in a park and you can’t really spin unless you have insurance, so the professional performers mainly spin. We create a fire safety circle and your gear is checked, all the standards are checked. You’re in a good state of mind.
When I started Newcastle Fire and Flow that really opened up a whole new magical world to me. I became friends and worked with some leading performing arts professionals not only from Newcastle and other parts of Australia and on an international level as well! All of a sudden I’m on this board with amazing people figuring out how to put on great events. I found people were so nurturing creatively; if you have a slight doubt in yourself, they’re like ‘you can do it!’
Since then I’ve temporarily relocated to Port Macquarie, but I regularly make trips to Newcastle and Sydney. Newcastle Fire and Flow still runs once a month; I have an amazing team and have directed the events remotely a few times. There’s less of a creative community here in Port Macquarie compared to Newcastle, but I think that’s given me more opportunities to be involved. Suddenly I’m working in film, photoshoots and commercial festivals up here too.