Tova Laiter: Hi and welcome to The Backlot. I’m Tova Laiter, moderator and director of the New York Film Academy guest lecture series. In this episode, we will take an in-depth look at one of my great guests and hear about his experience in the entertainment industry. And now, Eric Conner will take you through the highlights of this Q&A.

Eric: Hi, I’m Eric Conner, senior instructor at New York Film Academy. And in this episode, we bring you an alumni of our school, an actor who only a few years after graduating, found himself starring opposite Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld in The Edge of Seventeen.

Clip: Life isn’t fair sometimes, Nadeen, OK? You got to get over it.

My life isn’t perfect either. The one person who makes me happy I can’t have without completely destroying you.

Life’s about taking risks. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Nick, I like you.

Eric: A performer who’s also appeared in what we do in the Shadows, Lodge 49, Truth or Dare, and the upcoming drama Tigertail. And he is just getting warmed up. I’m talking about Hayden Szeto. Mr. Szeto screened Edge of Seventeen and got deep in the weeds about what it takes to not only start acting career, but to succeed with more. So all you performers out there listen up. For before his time on the big screen, Hayden Szeto was a young man from Vancouver who had to convince his family that he could make this work.

Hayden Szeto: I did high school theater and I really liked it. And then I also come from very traditional Chinese family. And they’re like, all right so we got you to this country. It was a lot of work. And, yeah, it was a lot of work so you’re going to be successful so do something lucrative, you know? So what are you going to be Hayden? I’m going to be an actor. Going to throw all of that away! And he’s like, oh, great. Can you go to college first? So I did. I studied sociology. But my electives, I took public speaking. I took film studies still, you know, keeping one one foot in the door. And when I finished and like, look, mom, I still want to do this. Mom and dad and I still wanna do this. And I mapped out a whole plan like I had no idea how I was gonna do it. But everything that I’ve said, I’ve accomplished everything that I wanted to do. I said I wanted to go to this school and an after school, I’m going to get this visa and I’m going to get this visa. And in the time that that visa grants me, I’m going to get a big movie.

I was not a big believer in energy and and speak it and it’ll happen. But it f**king happens. If you have the courage enough to say that I’m going to frickin do this, you do. And when I was in school, my friends. They were like oh, man. So like after school, we’re going to find an agency, you know, like what agencies are you looking at? And I was like, no, I want this three letter one. This one. They’re like, oh yeah. Hayden, yeah. Right. I’m like no that’s the one want. And that’s where I’m gonna be. I straight up said it. Not in a cocky way. I’m just like, well, that’s what I want to do. Like what do I need to do? And it just shows you in filmmaking and in acting. How do you have a good scene? Right. A strong objective. Your objective needs to be the strongest thing. It’s the most important thing. And anything you learn from acting should bleed over to your life. And that’s what it what it taught me. And I just set myself a really, really crystal clear objective that I want to be there.

Eric: What made here New York Film Academy so appealing was the school’s hands on approach to performing, including improvisation. Work which paid off dividends for its comic turn in The Edge of Seventeen.

Hayden Szeto: I like how you guys have, you know, behind the camera training. That’s very, very important. Audition technique. Like everything – this is one school that has everything complete. And in back in Vancouver, film schools wasn’t that great for for acting. We didn’t have a complete program like this. It was more known for animation and we had a lot of scene study classes here and there. They’re kind of like fight clubs in Vancouver, you know, these underground acting classes. So we didn’t have that. And I saw this. And that’s what it really drew me. And I you know, we’ve got to use the backlot and it’s pretty cool. So that’s what really, really drew me here. I started improv here. I studied with Suzanne Kent. She’s like one of the co-founders of Groundlings. She taught me. She started out teaching me. And I liked it a lot. I didn’t spend any more time on it than anybody else. It’s just something that I figured out that. OK, I have a knack for this. And that’s your job here, too. You explore like, what areas are you good at? And you’ve got to capitalize on that. You know, this is like like an appetizer sampler for all of you. NYFA that’s what it is. Because after this, you guys are not done yet. You guys gotta continue. But you got to find out here what you’re good at. And then after school, you got to build on that.

Eric: Mr. Szeto’s drive began even before he graduated. He knew that nothing would be handed to him, so he had to map out his career, especially if he wanted to stay in Hollywood.

Hayden Szeto: Once you have a clear objective, right, all your tactics makes sense to that objective. Right. So I want to get to this three letter agency. First I need manager or some agency to start you up. So I’m like, I need to get their attention. So what did I do? It’s simple. I went back to just being the best student I can be in class. And I worked and I asked the questions. I stayed after school. I was that annoying scene partner that wanted to rehearse for hours and hours and hours and hours. To a point where they’re like, people, Hayden you’re crazy. You know, why are you doing all this for? I just worked my ass off. There’s no shortcut. There was absolutely no shortcut.

How many of you are not from the USA? A-ha! And you guys. You guys. You guys know what I’m saying. You guys hear that clock ticking. That’s an advantage not being from here. You don’t want to go home! Right?! You don’t wanna go home. The weather’s great. Robek’s Juice is awesome. Right?! You don’t want to go home, but you got to earn your stay. I knew it the first day I got here. I love acting. I love L.A. I love America because this is where change happens. It is the heart of propaganda and media and like here is like how we can we can change things. We can change people’s hearts and minds. I’m like, I’m not going home. I decided I’m not going home. So in the whole two years, like every day was like my last day in class. And I hustled, hustled my ass off. You know, I surrounded myself with people that had the same goals and they still remain my friends today. So it’s just making the right decisions and working and making sure that every day you arrive in class that you’re improving. That you’re not making the same move. Like just coming to class and making the same mistake over and over and over again is not paying your dues. You’re just not learning, you know. I mean, being in school is learning how to learn. How do you learn? You probably learn differently from the person sitting next to you. How do you learn? Is it repetition? Or is it like mixing it up? Like you got to figure that out. And this is the gym for you to do that. And it’s your job like every time you got to police herself. I’m like, wait, I’m doing the same thing I did last class. And that’s when you know you’re not making progress and you gotta switch it up. You got – gotta learn how to be a student, you know, and don’t discredit your your teachers. In the industry so full of question marks, how do you count on anyone for advice? How do you count on anybody? Like it’s so easy to say no you don’t know what you’re talking about. But there – I’m telling you, I’m a product of just working on one thing. And it is possible if you know what you’re doing and you make sure that every day you’re growing. And that’s important. You got to be hungry. You got to be watching the right movies. I mean don’t watch Shadow Hunters or watch watch like watch movies like – why, why, why are why are movies good? Why do people say this movie’s good? Is it why do people say this actress is good? See what she does and then can you analyze it? Can you articulate why she’s good? Why is this director good? Why she’s so hyped? Why is he or she so hyped? You got to answer those questions. You gotta articulate. And that’s your job. You’re a student of this. And I think a lot of people that I went to school with didn’t think of it like that. They’re like, oh, I’m just gonna sit here in class for two years when I’m out – degree’s not gonna help you. It’s not going to help you. It’s how much you put into it in these two years. And any certificate in art it really doesn’t guarantee you work or get your work at all. You think that you walk into a casting directors office, they’re gonna be like oh my God. You’re just like everybody else, you know what I mean? Like I know people that went to Juilliard that still haven’t found work. They’re still struggling because they think they can carry that certificate around. It’s not gonna help them.

Eric: In a city built around dreams, Hayden Szeto was tuned into the reality of what an actor needs to break in, even viewing Hollywood’s frustrating lack of diverse casting from a different point of view.

Hayden Szeto: Here’s the thing that I did differently. Like my mindset was different from my peers. I felt like a lot of them – they have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder just because they see that, you know the white actor gets all the good parts, and I’m like, OK, well, why? You don’t ask the right questions. Do you see what I’m talking about? Ask the right questions. You know they talk about Scarlett Johansson being in Ghost in the Shell. I mean that that’s f**ked up. But like Scarlett Johansson is a f**king good actress. Like, you got to ask why. And you’ve got to respect it. You don’t see Jeremy Lin go and be like, yo LeBron James why are you LeBron James? He’s LeBron James. You don’t ask him why he’s LeBron James. Like you gotta know where you are. You got to respect it. And that’s how you grow. Like nobody owes you anything because of your skin color in this industry. Nobody owes you like they’re like, oh, great, you’re trans. Oh you’re gay. Oh, you’re Asian. Oh, great, great, great, great, great. Can you do the job? Show me. You can’t do it? Don’t get the job. As simple as that. You have to deliver. Your best day in class? They’re gonna take all that power away from you in the casting room. You’re gonna have none of that. You’re not gonna have your teacher. You’re not gonna have your your your peers telling you you did a good job. You just get one shot like 15, 20 seconds. That’s it. That’s all you get. Like, how good do you have to be to be in that room? You got to show them they’re shooting you all these s**tty little cameras and you get their attention and they’re watching you audition, eating lunch without sound. You got to be so good, so good. I can’t stress it enough. So work, work, work.

Eric: So much of the work of an actor is constant auditioning, which were even the most talented performers, means hearing no a lot. Though at least in Hollywood, they put it nicely.

Hayden Szeto: Leading up to that day it’s year after year after year of thank you for coming. Thank you for coming. Very good job. Very good job. And it’s it’s like a mental fortitude that you just have to build over time and just never lose your cool about it because it’s not about you. I mean, it’s deeply I mean, you – as an actor, it’s deeply about you, but it’s not about you. You’re too short. You’re too you’re too tall. You’re like, you you look too much like the the director’s wife. Like who cares? Thank you. There’s so many factors you can’t affect and the only factor that you can affect is how good you are. Good news. You can work on that. And that’s the only thing you got to got to work on. And I got to say, you know, with everything that’s going on in the world right now and, you know, stuff on Twitter and stuff on – people tell you how you should feel about the world and how angry you should be. And I’m telling you, you can make a difference if you just do your job. America is a place where if you do your job, you can get the job. And that’s when you start making a real difference, not retweets, not followers on Instagram. People will follow you if you do a good job. And when I was in school, I had law students focusing on the wrong things. They’re like to make it in this industry, you gotta know people got to know the right people. So you start discrediting everything they teacher’s saying. Oh you don’t know s**t. You don’t know s**t. You don’t know s**t. You don’t know s**t. But you have to realize in a school for the arts, it’s a collaboration between teacher and student. You got to ask the right questions. You got to be hungry for this. You know what I mean, you got stop focusing on everything that’s online because that’s not going to make you a better actor. Be a better actor, be a better director. Be a better writer. Write. Go act. Go do all this s**t.

Eric: Part of his approach to auditioning is finding his connection to the role and trusting his instincts and hoping the director or casting director will be straight with him. Which in Hollywood is not always the case.

Hayden Szeto: What catches my eye? The character I have to see that I can relate to them. I think that’s first and foremost the most important that I can understand where they’re coming from. And I’m like, how can I give this character dignity? And where does he fit in in the story? Do I like the story? And I think a lot of that comes down to, you know, I have to meet the director and I have to meet the writer as well, because there’s something you should learn right now. And this will help you with, you know, calming your nerves in the audition room. You’re not auditioning for them. They’re kind of auditioning for you, too, because if you guys can’t work together, there’s no movie. If he doesn’t like you, if you don’t like him, like today, I went in for an audition and big, big project, lots of money, lots of big names, not feeling the director at all. So, like, I want you to do it again. But, you know, like how you did it, but not. Like I’m sorry, what? Like I like I grew up doing sports, so I’m like, just tell me if I’m sucking. And tell me to suck less. Like, what do you want me to do? Faster, slower, what? Like I’m like I can already see I’m like, I don’t like I don’t want this, I don’t want to be a part of it, you know. I mean it has to be – there’s so many factors, but it all starts with the writing and if I can relate to the character.

Eric: For an actor, starting out auditioning is like a full time job, one which requires planning, organizing and prioritizing. And in the case of Hayden Szeto, maybe a bit of obsessing, too.

Hayden Szeto: I obsess about it. I go like human airplane mode when I have an audition. The only person I talked to is my lovely girlfriend sitting in the back. She runs lines with me like on the phone in person, and then until she and she’s like passed out and I have to like resurrect her. I’m like, Hey, again. Run it again. I obsess about it. I live in it. You know, I find the time and I take a day, like usually I get a day between between auditions and that’s all I’m doing. And the good thing about today’s day is you can answer texts or you can not answer texts. You can answer it later. You know, if it’s important people will call you. Your true friends will call you. But right now, you got to work. You gotta like police yourself. Can you handle it or can you not? Because sometimes you can have four auditions and are all like two pages. That’s fine. You can do that. Right? But when they’re all fifteen. And this happened to me during pilot season, I had five auditions in one day which should be illegal and they were all fifteen to eighteen. No, one was – three were 15 pages, one was 28 pages. And you want me to go into a room and show you what you want to shoot? And I had to prepare for it in two days, you know, and and sometimes you have to do that. But I urge you, you should try it to see if you can. And also you gotta have some balls to say, look, agents, I only have a finite amount of energy. Can you space these out? And if they can’t, they cannot get mad at you for not booking them. You gotta pick and choose, either do all them mediocre or do two of them extremely well or say, hey, I want to go to these two and I want take these two. Can they be due on the weekend? You got to know your limits and you’re like, okay, no, I tried that last time. Not a good idea. Try to space it out. So sometimes I had to do that. And in pilot season I got damn near pulled my hair off because I’m like, I can’t book anything like this. It’s impossible for me to do good work and mental fortitude -I keep talking about that is it’s something you just got to work on. You gotta know your limits too.

Eric: And if you prepare, study, work hard enough and maybe have a bit of luck. You get into the room. That can change everything. Like when Hayden Szeto auditioned for The Edge of Seventeen.

Hayden Szeto: I just auditioned like everyone else. I was one of four auditions that day. Didn’t think much of it. And they didn’t even have a title. I just read it off the page pretty much. But of course I worked on it. Come on, I worked on it, but I wasn’t confident enough to put it down. I just had it in my hand and they laughed. I’m like, haha. Everyone always laughs and nothing ever happens. Something you’re gonna get used to. And I walked to my car and when I got to my car, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. And it was the casting director like, hey, are you free tomorrow? Can you come back tomorrow? I’m like, Yeah, sure. Same place? Yeah, same place. Came back the next day. And in the room was Kelly, the director and three producers in the back. I knew there were producers because they’re older and they’re judging me. And so I went in and I did the scene again with Kelly and she laughed and she looked at me for a second. She’s like, OK. Thank you. Thank you very much. And it’s a sentence you’ll hear a lot. Thank you. Thank you for your time. Thank you. That was nice. And I left and at that time my visa was about to expire. So I had bigger things to worry about, like going back to my own country, Canada. And they called me. They’re like, hey, you’re the choice. Like, what? What, what? What does that mean? I’m the choice. What do you mean? What does what does that mean? Do I have the job? Like what? What does the choice mean? And what’s choice? What’s choice? And they’re like, yeah, well see, you’re like the first person to be cast. We don’t even have a DP yet. We don’t even have any money yet. But we really like you. Well see, I’m about to go back to my country because of the law and it was really funny I mean, they they wrote up like a mock contract. And I signed it and I gave it to the immigration lawyer. And I’m like, hey, I need to go film this movie. And so I called production. I’m like hey, where are we filming this, by the way? Oh, in Canada. So I had to get a temporary visa from immigration to go back to where I was going to go back to anyway and filmed the film in my hometown, shooting it in the same Ferris wheel I rode when I was 14. So that’s my story. That’s how that’s what happened.

Eric: After years of thank you’s and small roles, Mr. Szeto finally got his big break. Thankfully, he discovered that his illustrious colleagues were just as human as the rest of us. Albeit, really talented humans.

Hayden Szeto: Good news. Woody Harrelson messes up his lines too. Hailee Steinfeld needs to run to the corner with me to run lines as well. She’s – they’re not – they’re not these like dieties, OK? Like, we’re all actors, right? That’s the good news. Just because they have a Golden Globe, Oscar, whatever, they still need to run lines just like every other actor. You know, they just been doing it for a longer time. So it’s your job now to just pay those dues. Just keep doing it. And I didn’t realize anything. She is insanely charismatic and she’s been doing it since she was like seven. And this girl has the ability to just tweet and then they’re setting up the shot. Shots ready, throws her phone, assistant catches it and then she just like, blah, kills it. Goes back to tweeting. Like, she can do that. You know, I don’t necessarily operate like that. I kind of have a stay in it. Morgan Freeman works on his scenes quite differently. He likes to, you know, just sit with his scene partner and just talk about the scene. Not even working on the lines, but he likes to talk about, like, the backstory and everything and get into the relationship. And at the same time, he’s bonding with you. You try all these tactics with your scene partners next time. Yeah. Like, I didn’t notice anything that was different. Woody was exceptional, exceptional improviser as well. Just to watch him work – it’s, it’s hilarious. Like when he puts the VHS tape in for the class, like he made up so many different titles. He’s like the KKK a musical, you know, like he’ll like make up s**t. It’s so funny. He’s so funny. He’s a hilarious guy.

Eric: Once an actor finds himself shoulder to shoulder with Oscar nominated greats like Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson. Well, that’s not necessarily the happily ever after, because that’s when the pressure kicks in. Thankfully, Hayden Szeto received valuable mentorship from producer James L. Brooks and director Kelly Fremon Craig.

Hayden Szeto: Tell you the story I was gonna tell it like before I left, but I’ll tell you now, it was a challenging experience because I went from getting parking tickets in Hollywood and going to audition to audition to one day, being on a set where they drive me everywhere. They pay for everything and they treat me like a goddamn king, OK? And I got to set and I’m like, I gotta perform. I got to let them know that I own my space. I got, why I have the job. And when I was thinking like this, I couldn’t perform. And I was like, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. Think I’m doing a pretty good job right now. Nobody’s saying anything so I think I’m doing a pretty good job. And I get a phone call from James L. Brooks and Kelly Fremon Craig. And they’re like, can you come back a bit earlier from lunch and we just want to talk to you for a little bit? I’m like, oh, no, this is like a principal’s meeting. I’m in trouble. You just felt it. You know, the feeling you get when you walk into a room with your girlfriend sitting a certain way, your mom sitting a certain way, you’re like, oh, s**t. You know, I mean, it’s it’s like that’s how I felt. And then I’m like, uh oh, what’s going on? They’re like Hayden, do you feel like sometimes the character leaves you and the character doesn’t come back? I’m like, so what you’re saying is in a defensive mind, I’m like, you’re saying sometimes I suck and sometimes I suck less. Is that what you’re saying? You’re saying I’m sucking, I’m sucking, I’m sucking right now. Right. So freaking out. And they’re like, so what’s going on? I’m like, OK, I was gonna lie. I was going to say, you know what? I’m fine. Where’s my money? I could’ve done that. But I’m like, no, we’re a team now. I’ve got to be honest. And this is what you gotta do in class. If you’re not feeling something, you got to articulate why. Articulation is everything. So I’m like, OK, here’s what happened. I can’t believe I’m on set right now. I’m overwhelmed. My grandma just died. So many things have just happened in my life. And I can’t access this because I’m all the way up here. And James L Brooks is like, OK, bring it in. I’m like bring what in? What? He spoke into, like his cell phone or something. And his assistant comes in with an iPad. I’m like, what the f**k is going on? And he holds the iPad, he’s like, that’ll do. And the assistant leaves. I’m like, this is so dramatic. And he was like, I just wanna show you something Hayden. And he turns the iPad to me and it’s a video of me. This is your audition tape and I want to show you why we hired you and he played tape. Me, Kelly and James watched it. I was clutching a pillow, crying my eyes off. And they’re like, Do you remember this guy? I’m like mhmm. Do you think we can get him back? Yeah. So how can we help you Hayden? Just give me five minutes and some space. And James L. Brooks was like, all right, clear the room. Clear the room, everybody out. He’s like, shot is ready. I want you to come out whenever you’re ready. The scene is yours. The day is yours. Don’t you worry about a thing. And then before he leaves, he turns around. He says, like, you know, I work with a lot of actors in my career and I just wanna let you know it’s not often that somebody finds their voice so quickly in their career. And this, this is your voice. This is your mirror and want you to bring it every day to set from now on. And he leaves. The lesson is you got believe that you’re doing this. You got to believe yourself, because when I was in school, I’m like, oh my God, I can’t believe I’m moving from Canada. So I was always living in the past one step. And if there’s one thing that I learned from this movie is that now I’ve caught up with myself and I’m here and I’m centered and that takes time. So it’s okay if you guys feel that along the way, it’s totally, totally normal. So that’s one of the most challenging experiences that I had to overcome on set so far. And one of the things I want to play in the future is continue doing characters like this, giving characters dignity and, you know, people of color, dignity. That’s all we ask for. I mean, isn’t the bar so low? Just dignity, you know? Well, that’s that’s a start, right? So that’s what I want to do.

Eric: When one of the creators of The Simpsons gives you advice, you listen, though, Mr. Szeto already came into this business knowing one major life lesson. Balance is everything.

Hayden Szeto: One thing you got to have, it cannot just be about acting, because sometimes you do need a break from it. You can’t just obsess about it that much. That’s your only outlet, because for a long time, you know, you’re going to be paying for classes. You’re going to pay for your opportunity to stand on the stage to practice, essentially. Right? and then you gonna be like, this is stupid. Why am I paying money to act? I came here to be paid to act. Right. But it’s going to feel stupid. It’s going to feel stupid for a while. OK? and you got to have a hobby, something that you really suck at. This is what really helped me. I found something that I really, really, really sucked at, which is getting hit in the face. And I love boxing so much, but I’m like, all right. And we’ll find something. I’m really stuck at home with excel at that. And that’s going to be my outlet outside of acting. And I’m going to find the throughline between the two. And what I learned from boxing helped me put the throughline back into acting. It’s kind of like Dodgeball. Everyone’s seen Dodgeball here? “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge ball.” Right? It’s like there’s something profound in that. It sounds stupid, but there’s something profound in that. You know what I mean? If like you can get hit in the face and recover, you can recover in acting. You’re fine. But you gotta find something that you really, really suck at outside of acting and try to be good at that. You know, you just constantly have to have the practice of be chasing something that’s so far away from you, because that’s what this career path is. So you’ve got to have a hobby that’s a mirror to that that you can have easily accessible on the side. I think that really, really helped me. It’s like a form of meditation for me too.

Eric: Another part of Hayden Szeto’s holistic approach to his life and career is not allowing himself to be defined as an actor only by his ethnicity.

Hayden Szeto: I won’t do it if it sucks. No, straight up. Here’s the, here’s the thing. Being an actor of color, like you’re going to have people in your community are going to, it’s going to be a mixed bag. Some are going to say you owe us something because of your skin color. I’m like no, I don’t. I’m an artist. I’m here to do good work. I’m only going to do good work. You got to know your worth. You know what I mean, if it’s about the Asian-American experience and it’s written well, it’s directed well, hell yeah, I’ll do it. But I’m not just gonna do it for that reason. You understand what I’m saying? There’s a differentiation. So I want you to know that, like, make those choices now. You don’t owe anything because of how you look like. You know the quality of work that you want to achieve. You go out and you do it. Don’t let anybody tell you that. Hey, you’re Asian, right? Here’s an Asian role. You got to do it. You’re Asian. No, no. I spit on that s**t. Toughen up. That’s all I gotta say. No, because when I when I was in class, I straight up had people like, look we got this Asian part, it’s stereotypical. Even in film school I was already like, no, I was going to go do that. He’s like, you don’t want footage? No, not that s**t. I’m not going to have that s**t on my demo reel. I’m going to have some goddamn dignity. Right? So you got to know how to pick and choose. You gotta see past all of that.

Eric: So now that his career is up and running and he’s accomplished so many those goals he set out, what is Hayden Szeto’s favorite part of his career?

Hayden Szeto: The best thing? Honestly? Talking to you guys. It’s no, it’s the best it’s honestly the best part. Being able to just sit in a room and talk to people that love the same thing and want to do the same thing that are much younger than me. And I love that. Like oh man, like let me tell you, I was just there. I was just in the trenches. I get to tell you guys how to avoid that. All the stuff that I had to avoid. And I think that’s that’s really cool. And I think it takes a lot of balls wanting to be an actor because nobody really needs you. We need doctors. We need hamburgers. We don’t need actors. Like nobody saying, oh, my God, we need more actors here. You know what I mean, it is a goddamn blood sport out there. It’s not a joke. I mean, and it’s it’s fun to say, oh, there’s a job for everybody. No, there’s not. You got to fight for it. You gotta, you gotta kill somebody. No, don’t don’t kill anyone. But it’s something you have to own. That’s one of the things that I love about my job, is I get to talk to younger actors or other actors and being able to do this for a living, something that I’ve dreamt about since I was a kid is extremely fulfilling, extremely fulfilling.

Eric: Hopefully, his words inspire others to approach their training and their careers like he has. We want to thank Hayden Szeto for taking the time to meet with our students and for doing our school proud. And thanks to all of you for listening.

This episode was based on the Q&A, moderated and curated by Tova Laiter. To watch the full interview or to see our other Q&As. Check out our YouTube channel at This episode was written by me, Eric Conner. Edited and mixed by Kristian Heydon. Produced by Kristian Heydon and myself. Executive produced by Tova Laiter, Jean Sherlock, and Dan Mackler. A special thanks to all our staff and crew who made this possible. To learn more about our programs, check us out at Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. See you next time.

New York Film Academy
New York Film Academy film and acting school offers the best hands-on degrees, accelerated courses, and intensive workshops. Call +1 (212) 674-4300 for more info.
New York Film Academy