Professional actor steps back from the stage to teach drama

Callie Hermanon
Lakeside Leader

Corey Turner has been teaching at Roland Michener School since September of last year. He moved to Slave Lake from St. John’s Newfoundland after completing his Bachelor of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), but is originally from a small farming and logging town 40 minutes outside of Kamloops, British Columbia called Westwold.

“It has been a long time since I’ve lived in a small town and I wanted to come back to a small town setting.”

Turner says he came across the teaching job online when searching for full time jobs. He says he knew if he was offered the job he was going to take it and move to town right away.

Turner has completed 10 years of schooling at various universities across Canada, including Studio 58 in Vancouver for acting where he obtain his diploma in professional theatre training. He attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) to do his Bachelor of Arts in theatre and history, York University in Toronto where he got his Masters of Fine Arts and Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) where he did his Bachelor of Education.

Turner obtained his ancestry work visa and spent three years acting in London, England where he did four big projects.

Back in Canada Turner performed in several plays, movies and shows.
One of these included a Lifetime Network movie called Ambulance Girl, where he had the opportunity to work with Kathy Bates.

Turner also had the opportunity to act as a police officer in the Elizabeth Smart movie. He explains he doesn’t have one particular acting style.

“You have to be a chameleon in this industry.”

Turner says he pushed his acting abilities to the limit when he performed a one-man show he had written about his father. The play was created to honour and showcase his life in a small town after he passed away. The show is entitled ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain.’

Turner say in the next couple of years he would like to be able to re-perform it at the Edmonton Fringe Festival.

Aside from being a professional actor Turner is also a English, Social Studies and Drama teacher.

Turner says he really wanted to teach students the craft of theatre.

“It’s fulfilling when students are excited and passionate about drama.” He adds “it’s great to be a part of a community that believes in the arts.”

A couple of his drama students are going off to school for acting next year and Turner is helping them prepare monologues for their auditions.

Turner says Drama is great for students as it gives them life skills and builds self esteem.

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