We caught up with LMA, BA (Hons) Acting graduate Emma Turner, to see what she’s been up to since flying the LMA nest. Since graduating, Emma has worked on a variety of projects, both in front of and behind the camera at independent, award-winning Liverpool production company LA Productions.

Between acting in brand new Channel 5 drama, Clink, and directing plays at the Everyman and Playhouse, Emma can be found working closely with Colin McKeown, founder of LA Productions and one of the founding fathers of Channel 4’s Brookside.

 

I can’t believe that it’s been two years since I graduated from LMA, before starting I took a bit of time out and worked in an office, but it wasn’t for me! One day out of the blue, my mum sent me an email, telling me to follow my dreams and that life is too short. By the September, I had auditioned and secured a place to study at LMA.

I absolutely loved my time at LMA, especially the hands-on approach to the course. As a student, I don’t think you realise how helpful this is when you’re entering the industry – it means you already have a great understanding of how things work and what’s expected of you.

LMA always had a ‘family’ feel to it, throughout my degree and even now after graduating, I’ve always felt I supported and that I was part of something. A couple of months before graduating, I received a call from one of LMA’s founders, Richard Wallace, to say that he’d put me forward for a role with LA Productions.

After my interview, I was offered the job! LA Productions handle everything from costume design to post-production in-house.

I always knew that I wanted a career somewhere in the industry but I just wasn’t sure where.

That’s why I love working at LA Productions, as they are so brilliant at letting me get involved in different projects and help me to develop my skills.

I’ve had a variety of roles at LA, from working on the floor, to production secretary and now I work alongside LA’s founder Colin McKeown. It’s amazing, as Colin is such an influential character in the industry, not just because of the success of projects like Brookside, Moving On and Broken, but because of his attitude towards fresh, home-grown talent.

There are so many huge names like Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, who started off at LA Productions working with Colin. I’m learning every single day – Colin always encourages me to really get my teeth into projects he’s working on and supports me wherever he can.

A great example of this is my recent role in Channel 5Star’s first ever commissioned drama, Clink. I was working as production secretary, behind the scenes to support the requirements of the cast, but I also managed to land my first credited acting role playing ‘Izzy’. It was a very surreal experience, as I was working on set as part of the cast and also organising the logistics for the show – a real juggling challenge! The training I received at LMA really helped me to bridge this gap between my on and off-screen responsibilities, as I understood how my role as production secretary could optimise my performance on-screen.

Even once you’ve established yourself, I think it is really important to push yourself to try new things. Outside of my role at LA Productions, I’m passionate about directing and was recently offered a place on the Everyman’s directing masterclass. I directed my first play, A Number, at the Everyman in June last year and my next play, Vincent River is on at the Playhouse next month.

One piece of advice I’d give to current students at LMA, is to be open to every opportunity that is offered to you.  Every success story begins differently and opportunities present themselves at the strangest of times, don’t ever give up. LMA put me forward for a role with LA Productions and now I’m in a career I love. I can’t wait to see what’s round the next corner!