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Meet Linda Seto of Dallas Young Actors Studio in Farmers Branch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Seto.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Linda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a young child, I enjoyed creative and artistic activities such as writing, performing, arts and drawing. My playtime was filled with adventures from my imagination and having the neighborhood kids be a part of my creative plays, stories, acting them out for fun. Thus, was my first experience in developing my early writing, directing and producing skills, the spark caught fire and my passion grew. As I became a young teenager, I craved to explore and learn more by spending after school hours seeking ways to add to my knowledge and experiences in the performing arts and the entertainment industry. I was told that I would have to wait until College to get that next type of training and education to become a professional. It didn’t seem fair, as I had the desire, commitment and motivation to learn but it wasn’t available for a person under 18 yrs. old. This would be something that I would change in the future as an adult. An opportunity, a goal to provide a much needed Arts Education Program for children for those like me.

When I entered College, I was also interested in human behavior, fascinated by why people do the things they do, what motivates them and decided to study psychology.

This provided more understanding in not only learning about myself, a self-discovery process but adding to my understanding of others, the different ways we perceive life and situations. I chose not to pursue psychology as a career path but discovered how this important knowledge was and incorporated it in my future as a writer, director and approach as an acting coach.

I took a year off from college to pursue an opportunity to professionally model. I became the shortest model in the Dallas area Talent Agency. Being the determined motivated person that I am, I wasn’t going to let height be a determent to my goal.

Soon after, I met my husband who was in the TV industry. This was wonderful as I had the exciting opportunity to get my chance to learn hands-on experience in the TV/Film entertainment field.

Within 2-3 years, when my friends were just finishing college, I had not only had my first child but was Co-Producing (2) Saturday morning half-hour Children’s TV series which aired on local TV in the D/FW market. I was learning on the job all aspects of the creative side of TV entertainment business through professionally writing, co-producing, executive producing, directing, scouting locations, making marketing, promotions and PR strategies, decisions and partnerships, which including working with the top Hollywood Movie Studios. One of our TV series won national and local awards for excellence in Children’s TV programming. It was both exciting and challenging to learn how to be a professional while doing it. No mistakes allowed, demanding weekly deadlines to be met as we had an hour of TV show air time that we were responsible for filling. No problem, as I was determined to making things happen, an attitude that carried into my next venture and childhood goal.

Five years later, after completing 4 years of Producing Children’s TV series, I took on a small group of 12 young child local actors who were excited to learn and develop their acting skills for TV/Film. I took my professional experience as a TV series Director to give them the tools and guidance to transition from Stage/Theater style acting to TV/Film technique. It became the beginnings of developing an original curriculum and new training approach for young actors. Within a year these aspiring young talent ages 6- 15 yrs. old were headed to Hollywood on a trip led by myself, to meet and interview for professional agency representation, guidance and auditions for TV and Movie roles.

This was a first in Texas and in the country, establishing the respected and well-known “Texas-to-Hollywood bridge” for young actors who would travel for opportunities and dreams of becoming professional actors and fame over the past 30 years.

It was during that Hollywood trip, when I had a conversation with the top Child Agent, Bob Preston of CESD who was impressed with the level of acting skills of the child actors. We discussed my concept of creating a unique Theater & Media Arts for Children organization and agreed that it was an innovative idea and would provide opportunities not being offered anywhere else. With my professional background in Children’s TV entertainment, if was a natural fit for me to step into that role of Founding, creating and developing the nation’s first non-profit 501(c)3 TV/Film/Theater and Media/Filmmaking Arts organization for Children. With Bob’s guidance, encouragement and professional relationships with the Hollywood Movie & TV Casting Directors, the Dallas Young Actors Studio aka Dallas TV & Film Workshop, Inc. was founded in 1987.

The Dallas Young Actors Studio mission is to provide Education, Classes, Performances, Hands-on experiences in both the creative aspects of Acting/Theater/TV side and the TV/Filmmaking Technology side for children and young people.

It is unique as it has its own TV soundstage and Studio, professional TV/Filmmaking production and editing equipment and technology used in top Universities and TV/Movie Studios. The Artistic Staff are professional actors and award-wining professional Children TV Directors/Writers. The Program also provides valuable Internships for high school and college students who are wishing to pursue a career in the TV/Filmmaking Industry. There are Mentorship/Leadership/Volunteer opportunities for local youth and adults interested in the Dramatic Arts and TV/Film Media Arts.

“It is very gratifying to create a business, a special place where thousands of young people lives have been enriched by their experiences here. Those young creative and artistic minds receive guidance, education, support in a unique community developed for them. ”

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve found that creating any new projects or business that’s new or innovative is exciting but does have its challenges. By bringing to the table the wisdom learned from past experiences, I’ve been able to create a way of thinking that enables me to always move forward in my goals, overcoming obstacles.

I have implemented these positive attitudes and understanding into the organization to help teach and motivate our creative, artistic children and teens. I feel that it’s important to share and support those on their life journey.

For example, I have an Inspiration wall in the students break room which is covered in over a hundred great inspirational Quotes from many great thinkers to read and reflect upon.

1- Have Passion: Being passionate about what you do, helps the flow of energy needed to create, develop, nurture and put into action, all that is required through the process of achieving your goal.

2- Dedication: This means giving it your all, the extra time needed to achieve each step along the way. Not giving up when things get difficult. I have a favorite saying, a Japanese proverb taped on the wall next to my desk. It reads, “Fall down seven times… get up eight”

3- Resilience: This is being brave, strong, finding your own “Inner Hero”. Listen to your own heart and don’t become dismayed by others who may not understand or believe in your ideas or concepts in the beginning. Innovators are independent thinkers.

4- Be Inspired: I find that reading about innovative, influencers own stories on their personal struggles and achievements helps inspire me to do and be great. Inspiring the creative young people while they are within our program is very important. It makes a big difference in their future lives and happiness.

5- Think Creatively, think outside the box: In 30 years of being in business, I’ve found that solutions to problems can be discovered when one thinks creatively. I always have a Plan A, B, C… to Z.

6- Stay Real: being honest, genuine and not losing yourself, being true to yourself and who you are. Everyone marches to the beat of their own drum. Know yours and don’t be afraid to create your own path.

Dallas Young Actors Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Dallas Young Actors Studio is a non-profit community Theater Arts & TV/Filmmaking/media Arts organization for children. It has provided arts experiences, classes, education, performances for several thousand local youth over the past 30 years.

It is nationally known and respected by top Colleges for its excellent educational arts program and by TV/Film Industry professionals and entertainment companies.

Our Program has helped train and launch many young child actors into successful careers in the TV/Film industry. Kaitlyn Dever of “Last Man Standing” ABC TV series, “Justified” TV series, “Short Term 12 “Feature Film Molly Quinn of ” Castle”ABC TV series, Jesse Plemons of “Friday Night Lights” TV series and “Breaking Bad” TV series
Jake McDorman of “America Sniper” Feature Film and “Limitless” TV series, “Greek” TV series.

Paramount Pictures chose Linda Seto to personally train Noah Ringer, the 13 yr. old star of their Feature Film, ” The Last Airbender” to be the lead actor playing the role of Aang.

Linda provided a month long acting Bootcamp to prepare Noah to be on the Movie set.

This was a first in the entertainment industry, as Noah had no previous acting experience. She used her experience as a professional Director and Producer to develop and customized a training program specifically for what the action adventure role required.

Our Company has produced an impressive amount of Arts & Media Projects, Productions & Performances.

The purpose to Educate, Inform or Entertain.

Accomplishments:

1,500 Short Films, 155 Live Taped Performances & Sitcom Shows, 64 Indie Films, 5 TV Specials/made for Cable.

For Professional Broadcast TV, we produced ” Studio A” and ” Cybernet” which were

(2) Half-hour long Saturday morning TV series airing in the DFW Broadcast TV market.

Completed (26) episodes of each TV series. ” Studio A” featured special celebrity guests appearances and interviews. This series won acclaim by receiving a TELLY Award for Children TV entertainment.

Our creative young actors and filmmakers gain new perspectives and better understanding of their world through the varied experiences in participating in Artistic Projects, Performances, Stories and their characters. They learn the creative thought process that benefits them not only as an artist but in their own lives, in social skills, relationships, decision making, goal setting, problem solving, collaboration with others and self-confidence.

We provide this in a nurturing, encouraging and creative environment in our studio facility that fosters friendships, positive role models and embraces artistic personality and diversity.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Knowing that I’ve touched the lives of the many children and made a difference, is most rewarding.

When alumni come back to visit us years later to tell us how being in our program changed their life in a positive way, when they were a child or teen struggling to find a place and community of creative and artistic peers, warms my heart.

They all tell how what they learned and experienced through our program, has helped them become more confident and successful in whatever path they have chosen and are happier in their lives as adults. This is what I consider success.

I believe that I have personally succeeded in my career, as a minority woman who was in a male dominated TV/Film Industry. I believed in myself, had the courage to not give up and was inspired to create and achieve what others considered difficult or not possible.

It was always challenging but I was determined to make things happen.

It continues to be an exciting and rewarding journey.

Pricing:

  • Monthly Class tuition $195- $225
  • Workshops, Labs, Private lessons $60- $450
  • Summer Camps $300- $695

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

3 Comments

  1. Kathryn Slaughter

    September 14, 2017 at 1:11 am

    What a fantastic article about the Dallas Young Actors Studio and it’s founder, Linda Seto. As an alumni of the non-profit organization, I can’t express how amazing this place is to young actors and film students. Linda and the staff not only teach the students how to become successful actors and filmmakers, but they also teach the students how to be confident and successful in whatever path they may choose when they transition into adulthood.

  2. Gretchen

    September 14, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Linda and YAS helped my son grow into an amazing actor. The experiences he had at the studio in front of and behind the camera were invaluable and one of a kind for teens and children. I watched Linda’s instructors help build confidence in young people who never imagined themselves performing, writing, and even directing. And, it truly was a second home and safe haven for my son.

  3. Stacy Simon

    September 16, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    DYAS is amazing and Linda’s vision, leadership, and talent are inspiring to the students and parents at the school. I speak from experience as my daughter has loved being a student there for many years. All of the teachers are so dedicated and bring out the best in each child there, encouraging them to reach new possibilities in a positive, fun, and nurturing way. DYAS is a true gem!

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