Laura SeamanApril 20, 2021
Laura is 27 years old and lives in North Hollywood, CA. She lives with her best friend, a fellow Truman alumna and our two cats. Laura is a freelancer in the film industry. She has worked on TV shows, internet series, and movies in both production and the art departments. She hopes to one day be an established Prop Master or Set Decorator, but in the meantime, she is still learning and honing her skills. Some past projects Laura has worked on include the “Marvel 616” docuseries currently on Disney+, and “Design Star: Next Gen” which will be airing on HGTV this year.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2016 with a Journalism concentration.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I didn’t go to grad school, as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do quite yet or if it required grad school. Turns out it didn’t.
What was your first job after graduation?
Well, I worked two part-time jobs while I figured out what I wanted to do, then moved out to LA and got two different part-time jobs until I got my first film industry job as a receptionist for a production company.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I’m a freelancer in the film industry, so I take a variety of jobs, but recently I’ve started specializing in the Art Department. I’ve done work as an Art Assistant, a Set Dresser, and a Prop Master for various projects.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
In COMM it is important to learn how to work with other students and present yourself well; these are skills used in almost every field of work. While my line of work doesn’t exactly stem from the COMM department, I have used a lot of my presentation and people skills throughout my early career to be as efficient and productive as possible. It’s helped me be a positive presence on film sets and someone that coordinators want to hire for future projects.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Probably Communication Law. I don’t exactly use it in my day-to-day life, but in today’s world, it is helpful to know all you can about how the media works and how to know who to trust and when. I’d like to think I’m a better educated media consumer because of this class, along with my other COMM courses.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
I’m most proud of my work on TMN (Truman Media Network). I learned so much about every aspect of reporting, from coming up with ideas to developing and shaping them to completing them in the editing bay. TMN management was so receptive to new and creative ideas, like my film review segment. I had a lot of fun and met some wonderful people in that program. I even won an award for a segment I filmed and edited!
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
I highly recommend Truman because, as a liberal arts school, it allows you to explore and mold your future without being too restrictive. I went into Truman as a Biology and Creative Writing double major (wow… what was I thinking?). After one year I realized that although I love science, it wasn’t for me. I also found that I enjoyed writing from a journalistic standpoint. It was easy to completely shift gears while still graduating in four years. Also, thanks to Truman’s student to teacher ratio, I got to know my professors and they were able to help me on a personal level. I still remember all of my COMM professors and their names and would be happy to sit down and catch up with any of them. You don’t get that kind of connection at bigger schools. (Editor’s note: Feel free to come back for Homecoming. We’d love to see you!)
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
A COMM student should definitely look at working in the COMM Department in some way, whether that’s at TMN, the Index, KTRM, or as a TA. It’s a fun community and I learned so much more than I ever thought. You’ll also meet some wonderful people.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Oh gosh. Haha. It’s a very difficult field to break into and requires A LOT of patience, but with persistence and hard work it all pays off. You need to jump in headfirst if you want to work in film. It’s a big commitment. Also, one of the most important things you can learn to do is NETWORK. Almost every job I have is because someone I worked with in the past recommended me or wanted to work with me again. It’s true what they say about Hollywood: It’s all about who you know.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
I miss always being a short walk from all of my friends (or anything else really). I’m very lucky to live with a friend from Truman right now who works in film as well, but most of my friends are now scattered across the country. Luckily we’re all still very close and I’m attending two friends’ weddings later this year!
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
How’s this? “Learning to work with others while working with the best.” (Editor’s note: Pretty good)
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
Ooh, I’d love to teach a class on film production and the day-to-day tasks of set life. A lot of college film courses teach film as an art, but I would like to teach about the work that goes into bringing a project from an idea to being the big screen.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
I think it’s important for students to know that the college experience is much more than just learning and working towards a career; it’s a chance to learn about yourself and what kind of adult you want to be. It’s important to take time to get to know what you want from yourself and how to get there. This doesn’t mean knowing your exact career/education choices necessarily, but knowing what direction you want to go in as a person and taking steps to get there.
If you would like to learn more of Laura’s story, you can sfollow her on Instagram.