"Made in NY" PA of the Month

Orla Manning

Each month we showcase an individual who participated in the "Made in NY" PA Training Program. Click here for information on the free, month-long program developed in conjunction with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations and designed to create job opportunities for New Yorkers, connect New Yorkers with employers in the industry, and educate production assistants on how to work collaboratively with the communities in which they shoot.

Orla Manning July 2, 2012 - Four years ago, Orla Manning was in retail working as a sales associate, unsure of where her life was headed, but after learning useful skills from the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, she’s now a field producer hard at work on a new MTV television series. “I don’t know where I would be [without the program],” she said.

Manning had always been interested in entertainment and the music industry, but had no access into the field. Her mom saw an ad on a bus shelter for the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, which helps diverse New Yorkers prepare for entry-level jobs in production, and told her daughter she should try it. “I thought it would be good to do something different,” said Manning.

She applied to the program and found out on a Friday that she had gotten in and that classes began on Monday. “The program teaches you so many things,” she said, “like how to react when people are mean to you and to always have a notebook so you can take notes.”

Most jobs in the entertainment industry tend to be freelance, but Manning has had the unusual experience of only working on two freelance gigs since she graduated from the program in 2008. Everything else has been staff positions. She worked for an entertainment law firm for a year and a half, which helped her learn the legal side of the entertainment industry. “Now I can read a contract and understand what goes into it,” she said.

After that, she volunteered for the All Stars Project and shot videos for the organization with her friends from the “Made in NY” PA Training Program. “I wanted to be a producer so it was good practice.”

In 2010, she got a job at Gigantic Productions, and she’s still there. “I started as a PA/executive assistant and worked my way up,” she said. Now she’s a field producer and director of a new MTV reality series that’s filming this summer in Washington Heights. Her favorite part of the job is working with the talent. “I get along with them,” she said. “I like meeting different people and staying in contact with them.”

She and her friends sometimes talk about what they think they’d be doing if they hadn’t become “Made in NY” PAs. “I’m motivated so I would still be trying [to make it], but who knows how fast I would have gotten there?”

In the future, Manning, who lives in Harlem, would like to spend more time in the editing room and experience more of the post-production process. “I would like to take the story to the end.” Her goal is to one day become an executive producer and develop her own show ideas.

“I’d like to come up with ideas for reality shows with better role models for young people,” she said.

Interested in learning more about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program? Click here.


2014
Jermaine Cameron
Tanesha Hartfield
Gabriel McCabe
Angela Persico
Erica Solano
Denzil Thomas


2013
Julian Montoya
Jasmine Blackmon
Eric Perez
Joëlle Dussek
Caroline Ibarra
Stan Leung
Jessica Mayfield
Rahsaan Bennett
Lance Darrell
Adrian Moron
Maya Elena Thomas
Diana Klein


2012
Sorin Pitu
Klarissa Jackson
Estelle Francois
Meaghan "Lyric" Perez
Orla Manning
Lee Walker
Chantelle "Telly" Geathers
Jevonne Bowman
Bryant Donohue


2011
Darryl Prevost
Terry Perry
Tashia Valverde
James Adames
Anna Wong
Madeline Kossman
Rodney Byerson
Edgar Velez


2010
Justin Wong
Erick Charles
Teena Marie Delerme-Lugo
Key Soto
Antonio Green
Paulo Marquez
Jennifer Santos
Martin Peterson
Patrick Raphael
Will Mahr
Heyward Thomas


2009
Willie Leon
Shannon Olivaria
Dorothy Hall
Deshawne Jackson
Katiana Noel
Mike Represa
Chastity Thomas
Yancy Rodriguez
Alexander Etseyatse


2008
Nicalena Iovino
Jay Scala
Brian Hightower
Jonathan Wu
Alma Bruderman
Coleridge (Ahsaan) Mitchell
Nelson Quinones
Paul Hernandez
Crystal Jackson


2007
Tsahai Wilson
JC Mendoza
Myo Campbell
Gabrielle Rivera
Yves Wilson