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Interview with Duke Resident Redwood Talent

14/01/15 Laura Wellington - Co Founder

Who are you and what do you do? 

I am Emma Helliwell. I run Redwood Talent, a talent management agency for actors and presenters. Day-to-day, I aim to secure work for my clients in their particular field within the entertainment industry, liaising with Casting Directors, Producers and other TV professionals. I like to offer a personal service, working closely with each of my clients to make sure they achieve the kind of roles they are looking for. I started out life in TV as a Casting Booker at an established agency, booking Background Artists on Coronation Street and Hollyoaks amongst various other shows. Following this I moved into TV production spending 3 years as an Assistant Director at Emmerdale and Production Secretary at Warp Films working on Tyrannosaur, Submarine, This is England '88 and Stone Roses:Made of Stone to name a few. I decided to combine all of my experience in the industry and set up on my own, creating Redwood Talent in 2013.

What brought you to Duke? 

Like most start-ups, I started working from home. But as things developed, I found the need for more space and was looking for a cost effective city centre office with a collaborative feel. I quickly found Duke Studios. It’s a fantastic place to work and has really helped me take Redwood forward. It has a great feel to it and the Duke team and other residents instantly made me feel at home. I had also heard that the Christmas parties were pretty legendary....

What are you working on at the moment? or what things have you done recently that you are proud of? 

I’m usually working on a number of different projects daily. One of my clients might be playing 3 different characters in an outdoor theatre tour whilst another could be filming a guest spot on Emmerdale, it’s often very varied - which I love! A very busy client has just completed a yearlong stint with the hilarious comedian Tim Key where she was fortunate to perform throughout the UK and in Australia, every night was a sell-out. My motto is, if my artists are happy - then I’m happy, regardless of the scale of the job. It’s great to feel like I’m helping someone along in their career.

What are you going to/doing/seeing in Leeds at the moment? Or is there something you are looking forward to? 

I love going to the theatre and I’m really looking forward to A Play, A Pie & A Pint’s production ‘Polar Bears’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse at the end of January. Also, a real guilty pleasure of mine ‘Haispray’ is showing at The Grand in Spring. You'll also find me at the cinema...a lot. 

You can find out more about Redwood Talent over on