Executive Producer's Take

Hello friends!  I'm David Sanford the executive producer of the autobiographical documentary the Jumper Maybach Story.  After three and a half years and a lot of hard work our film is complete.  We are now embarking on our journey of spreading Jumper's message of tolerance and peace.  As part of that effort, we are now on the film festival circuit and also participating in private screenings for charitable organizations.  I am very proud to report that we have received an Award of Merit from Impact Docs in La Jolla, California.  We have also been officially selected to screen at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Q-Fest in San Antonio next month.  We will also be participating in a charity event sponsored by the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce.  In November, we will be screening for the Presbyterian Church here in Houston.

I will posting here regularly to update you on our journey.  I will also highlight pertinent topics as they arise.  I hope this will facilitate discussion regarding bullying and its devastating effects on our lives.

Just the other day, I was listening to talk radio and a caller mentioned that he thought bullying was actually an important part of growing up and that it made children "tougher".  Say what?  As a victim of bullying, I can tell you that I was NOT made stronger but made to feel insecure and worthless.

We would love to hear from you on this topic as well as others.  Please share our blog and website with all your friends and help us spread Jumper's message of peace and tolerance.


David Sanford, MD




Art Therapy



Bullying is more than just play ground teasing. The victims are harassed at school or work, and can suffer from attacks on the social media as well. I am not exaggerating when I say this form of abuse can be emotionally destructive. Therapy is not a crutch and it can take many forms in the healing process. It can be counseling sessions or discussion groups. Therapy seeks to bind wounds and restore inner tranquility. My personal road to inner peace travels along the brush strokes of painting. It has done much to repair a lot of inner damage and gives me a great feeling of purpose.

I was not referred to art by a counseling professional. Rather, my introduction came from a rather unique source. Like many people, I am a devout person and seek help from God. Prayer helps me find meaning and purpose to my days. At a very depressing time in my life, as I was alone in a room praying for deliverance from all the bullying I was forced to endure, a sense of calm suddenly enveloped me. I cannot fully explain it, but I felt being gently guided towards art as a means of dealing with the pain. A voice from inside was urging me to pick up a brush. I guess the best way to describe it is that in this dark moment, when everything seemed hopeless, a light shone through. It had a splash of color.

I have never had formal art training, and abstract art is something that comes very naturally to me. My work is not something which is planned in advance; it simply pours out from me. What I quickly discovered when I was in my Jumper paintings zone was my stress level dropped dramatically. Many of the fears and worries I confronted daily seem to go away while I was working with paint and brush strokes. I was still working in an office where bullies were ruling the floor. Yet, as I painted I felt safe. I wasn’t feeling as nearly as nervous. I had many scars on my psyche and the art work was healing me. I experienced my inner self being gradually restored.

Please understand that when you are surrounded by bullies it is very difficult to express yourself. Your environment discourages that. Painting allows me to fully explore who I am, and let the world know who I am. It was not long before others showed professional appreciation for what I was doing. This led to exhibitions in Paris, Dubai, and Venice. My artwork has been seen internationally and I have one of the best art studios in the Houston metropolitan area. More than any recognition or commercial success, art has broken down the walls that others built to imprison me. What hate seeks to build, art helps to bring down. I use art to put an end to the darkness.

It is so much more than pretty pictures. Art is a healing force and this gift given to me I share with others. Autistic children sometimes feel trapped and cannot express themselves. I work with these kids to help them better communicate feelings they had inside. I am firmly of the opinion artistic expression has the power to liberate those who are the victims of bullies, and the vicious hate. I offer my work to those bullied knowing art helps with healing, and can restore a sense of self-worth. This is my life’s work and I embrace every aspect of it.


One final note. I was the only person physically in the room when the inspiration to use art came to me. I do not, however, feel I was alone. To this day I remained convinced that a very dear friend was standing beside me, protecting me from harm. I believe He still watches over my shoulder.

Bullying Destroys Innocent Lives

Quite a few people don’t understand bullying. They are not fully aware of the long and short term consequences of this kind of abuse. Sadly, they think it is pretty much just a part of life and everyone will have to endure it while growing up. To them, a person has to learn how to handle it and things will get better as time goes on. There is just one problem with that line of thinking: things don’t get better and actually get much worse. I know this because I have had to deal with bullying all my life.

I was teased unmercifully as a child because I was different from all the other kids. The verbal slaps turned into physical ones, and I was beaten up more than once by the playground bully. The trouble stayed with me as I learned to deal with my sexual orientation. Being gay as a teenager in Houston was one bad day after another. The bullying did not stop when I became an adult.

Despite my employer having a policy against intimidation and harassment, my supervisors were actually ring leaders in the emotional harassment I had to endure. I did nothing wrong, disobeyed no instructions, and followed every agency policy. My being gay was the reason why coworkers took verbal potshots at me. As I mentioned in the documentary on my life struggle, The Jumper Maybach Story, I was forced to retool my career. All of this because some people thought it was okay to make fun of my being a little bit different.

Victims are often Children

Kids bear the brunt of a lot of bullying. The statistics are alarming as well as revealing:

·       more than 3.2 million students are bullied every year, because of this;

·       close to 160,000 teenagers will skip school daily in order to avoid the harassment;

Bullying is not a healthy part of growing up and yet in spite of these figures, approximately 25% of all teachers see nothing wrong with bullying, and boys will feel less sympathy for the victim as they get older. Studies have shown that victims are more likely to experience headaches, bedwetting, and other psychosomatic symptoms. The anxiety and depression experienced in childhood continue long into adult years. I can remember feeling suicidal more than once as I got older. I’m certain other victims have felt the same way. We are denied the right to self-esteem and instead must deal with self-loathing and a fear of social relationships all of our lives. It is hard to trust other people because you never know when the bullying will start again.

Bullying cannot be Tolerated

This all has to change. Schools need to have firm rules about bullying which apply in every room and every corner of the building. Companies need to have strict harassment policies and human resources must enforce them. Laws have to be enacted to protect innocent people from the abuse. I would include in any penalty some form of counseling. Many bullies have issues buried deep down inside of them, and only through therapy will they confront these demons. Counseling can help prevent such people from acting out again. Companies should have employee assistance programs which includes counseling therapy for those who have been harassed in the office. It helps develop a safe environment in which everyone can work productively.


I’m a firm advocate for putting a stop to bullying. It destroys lives and ruins victims inside and out. There is no reason for bullying in a compassionate society. Too many lives have been shortchanged and stunted because of vicious behavior of other people. We cannot wait for things to get better at some later date. Bullying has to stop now!

Why am I doing this?

The Jumper Maybach Movie has been a work in progress for almost two years now. It has not always been easy, and my troupe and I have spent a considerable amount of time doing the film. It sometimes was downright difficult with long hours in front of the camera. Quite a bit of personal sacrifice was part of the cost. People ask me why I am doing this; why am I not willing to just live a quiet life in the background. It is a very simple reason. I understand what it is like to undergo bullying and I want it stopped!

The victim is often accused of being the cause of all of it. Something they did, or something they said, or who they are is thought to be the reason for all the verbal and physical attacks. The one who does the harm is rarely punished. There are even those who say that if the victim changes then the abuse will go away. It does not happen. Bullies don’t stop what they are doing. I know because I have been a victim.

When you are being bullied you live in fear. You always worry when the next attack is going to happen. You will wonder why someone is picking on you, and never quite know the reason. It gets frustrating as time goes on. I was afraid to tell my parents about it when I was a kid. I was worried that if I told them I was gay they would love me less. So, like many other victims, I kept silent and hoped things would finally get better. Sadly, they didn’t.

My employer has a policy against harassment which was ignored and the bullying continued. Even when I took them in front of an EEO Administrative Judge and won, the managers still continued to tolerate the abuse I suffered. What I endured is not out of the ordinary. My story of bullying happens every day in schools and in workplaces all over the country. I can no longer be quiet about all of this. Teachers, employers, politicians and the public need to know what a social cancer the constant tormenting really is.

Bullying isn’t funny at all. It leads to a feeling of being worthless and is a leading cause of suicide. The Jumper Maybach Movie is the story of what I was put through by angry bigots. It is also a call for change. Laws have to be passed to protect those LGBT people who are afraid of being harassed at work. Company policies to protect everyone from bullying need to be written and enforced. I am an advocate for all those who have endured the verbal and physical slaps of those who should know better. No one should be afraid to go to work or to school.

My personal motto is "Seek Love, Peace, and Happiness and Hate will disappear forever.” I have centered my life on it. The Jumper Maybach Movie is my story and how I was able to rise about the hate and anger directed at me. I want everyone who sees this documentary to understand that society can improve, and we must rise above the taunts and slams. We can have a better, more tolerant society where everyone is accepted for who they are, and not what someone else wants them to be. No one should be afraid to go to work or be frightened of school. We must put an end to intimidation and stop bullies from owning our lives. I promise you I will not stop until that goal has been reached. 

Ben Workman speaks about upcoming release of his documentary film


I'm Ben Workman of The Jumper Maybach Story documentary which is about my life.  A Los Angeles film crew has followed me throughout the United States and Internationally for over  2 1/2 years filming for this documentary.  It is now an exciting time to see that the finished film will be submitted to film festivals.  

My entire goal of agreeing to tell my life story on film is to help others overcome trying periods of adversity.  The message inspires everyone who has experienced bullying to channel their pain into a positive outlet.  I hope my story will inspire others to do the same.

Now I need your help in getting the word out about The Jumper Maybach Story.  Tell all your friends to like and share https://www.facebook.com/JumperMaybachMovie  fan page as well as going to TheJumperMaybachStory.com website to spread the news.

Thank you,

Ben Workman