The Jumper Maybach Story
The Jumper Maybach Story is the autobiographical tale of Ben Workman. The film chronicles the years of bullying and intolerance endured by Ben while growing up in the conservative state of Texas. As his story unfolds, Ben takes the viewer on a journey through space and time; illustrating how a lifetime of pain and suffering serves as fertile ground for enlightenment and peace.
Ben’s journey begins in the 1960’s in Corpus Christi, Texas. Early in his childhood, Ben learns that he is different before he is even old enough to understand why he is tormented and bullied by fellow students. In his teens, he continues to be shunned by his peers in spite of being an active student leader. And soon after, rumors begin swirling around the campus that he is gay. Ben learns quickly that his kindness and academic accomplishments are no shield for hate.
As he reaches adulthood, Ben struggles with the realities of his life: a terrible car accident, the loss of his beloved mother, a failed marriage, and that he is, indeed, gay. He seeks solace in his employment with a federal agency where he is recognized as a valued employee with yearly awards for his performance. Incredibly, his outstanding dedication does not protect him from the hate and fear that await him in the halls of his workplace where equal rights is not apparent. Ben finds himself stalked daily and eventually “outed” by a co-worker. His superiors fail to provide him with a safe workplace choosing rather to participate in the criticism and insults. After exhausting all options and desperate to stop the harassment, Ben proceeds with administrative action and after a long drawn-out process, he prevails. Ben is exhilarated by his victory but alas this proves to be ephemeral. Unfortunately, the culture of the agency appears to remain the same. In 2010, Ben faces an even greater threat posed by supervisors who, through their homophobia and hate, turn Ben’s life into a nightmare in which he finds himself on the brink of an emotional and physical precipice.
From the ashes of a once productive life, the artist Jumper Maybach arises and helps begin the healing process. Jumper, Ben’s clown personae, is born during a time when Ben is literally on his knees in prayer seeking strength and guidance. He finds salvation deep within his soul when he hears a comforting voice guiding him through an open door. Ben enters that door, and artist and humanitarian Jumper Maybach emerges energized and consumed by his mission to end senseless bullying and discrimination through abstract painting. While Jumper’s paintings are an exorcism for all the pain that Ben suffers, they offer spiritual and emotional healing for all victims of persecution by revealing how to turn darkness and despair into light and comfort.
The documentary features interviews with Ben’s attorney Mary Sinderson; celebrated equal rights activist Reverend Helen Havens; friend and painter/actor Pepe Serna (The Jerk, Scarface, American Me); Ben's life-partner of 21 years David Sanford, and many others involved in Ben's life and the equal rights community. The film also features a behind the scenes look at Ben's "Jumper" work as an abstract painter and the emotions and positive energy that go into each and every painting he creates. Director Alan De Herrera paints a candid portrait of a man split in two halves, trying to become whole again.
Alan De Herrera
David Sanford, MD
Camera/Sound/2nd Asst. DP
Artist Jumper Maybach
David Sanford, MD
Rev. Helen Havens