Funnyman Jason Cook brought some laughs – and lessons on life and showbiz - to a live question and answer Media Masterclass with students at South Tyneside College.
The stand-up comedian, writer and star of the hit TV series Hebburn, entertained with anecdotes of his career in the industry but also delivered a serious message for learners aiming at careers in front or behind the camera as writers, performers, producers or directors.
He told them to expect failure and rejection in their efforts to find success, but added: “You just have to keep coming back. It sometimes just takes the right person to read the script at the right time.
“You must persevere, adapt to situations and learn from people who are better than you. Hebburn was rejected three times - failure is your friend. You will learn from it.”
Jason’s appearance at the college’s Studio 5 live performance suite, beamed live across social media channels, was one in a series of star sessions.
Jason, 43, told how he originally embarked on a seven-year career at sea after studying marine engineering at the college’s South Shields Marine School in the early 1990s.
It was only when he turned 28 that he finally found the opportunity and confidence to follow his lifelong desire to perform live comedy.
Of Hebburn and the North East, he said: “Hebburn was about life and family, and it came from real-life stories. You write what you know. A lot of it was true.
Lecturer Chris Allan said: “Jason’s visit proved inspirational, and I’m grateful to him for taking the time to speak to our students.
“It was very interesting to hear his career story so far, and to get to know about his life as a writer and performer.
“I hope his visit helps to inspire our current media students to success and encourages others join us on these fantastic courses.”