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04 May 2020

College Patron Karen Gives Students Tips on Making It in the Film Industry

Scottish actor Karen Gillan has given a group of Edinburgh College’s Performing Arts students a boost during an online question and answer session, giving tips on how to make it in the TV and Film industry.

Inverness-born Karen, who was announced as the patron of Edinburgh College’s Performing Arts Studio Scotland (PASS) in October 2018, studied acting at the College from 2004 to 2005.

Twenty-six students from across the College’s Performing Arts courses, including Acting, Dance, Make-up Artistry and Theatre Costume took part in the online question and answer session and quizzed the star on her journey into the industry, as well as on how she was keeping busy during lockdown.

Since graduating from the College, Karen has gone on to star in Dr Who, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films, the Avengers films as well as the Jumanji franchise. She has also turned her hand to writing and directing.

The actor dialed in to the Q&A session from her home in LA and spoke of how her time spent studying at the College was a great stepping-stone into her successful career.  

Acting lecturer Scott Johnston, who taught Karen and has stayed in close contact as her career has developed, said: “I was thrilled when Karen said she’d love to take part in a Q&A video session with our students whilst they are all studying at home due to the lockdown measures. It gave them a great boost, which is much needed in such unusual times.

“I’m so proud of how our students have continued with their studies whilst in lockdown and it was fantastic for them to be able to speak to Karen, to find out more about how she made it in the industry after leaving College.” 

HND Acting student Jordan Cant said: “It was amazing to get the chance to speak to Karen via video call and to ask her questions about what it’s like to work in the industry and find out more about what happens behind the scenes on big movie sets.

“We’ve all been working really hard to continue our studies at home and I was so happy to be given the opportunity to take part in the Q&A. Karen was really inspiring and hearing her stories has made me more determined than ever to succeed.”

Karen said: “It’s always such an honour to connect with the students of PASS. I love chatting and sharing my experiences with them. Hopefully I will get to see them perform when the lockdown lifts.”

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