Center for Creative Media | Sarah Joy Byington

Sarah Joy Byington

Lights. Camera. Action. —- And a lot of hard work!


Sarah Joy Byington knows firsthand that being a glamorous actor on set requires a lot of grit, hard work, and sweat. At CCM, Sarah was the model of persistence, commitment, and dedication to do more than what was required. She was one of those rare interns at CCM who excelled in many different areas of production: Producing, Writing, and Acting!



It didn’t take long for her work to pay off. Only four months after graduation, she had already landed a role in a major feature film: Parkland, produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (The Silence of the Lambs). Having heard that the historical film surrounding John F. Kennedy’s death would be shot in her home base of Austin, she researched the era to find a character that she could portray. Her discovery: Marina Oswald, who shared Sarah’s same age and hair color. Determined, Sarah submitted herself for the role. The perfect fit was obvious, and the night before open call casting scheduled to begin, she was given the role.


One month later, she was on set, acting in the movie’s cemetery scene with Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Glenn Morshower (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Moneyball, X-Men: First Class), and James Badge Dale (The Departed, World War Z, Iron Man 3). Completely honored to be on set with such big-name actors, she expressed her gratitude to Gary Goetzman, who responded, “You belong right up there with them!”


After the Parkland shoot, she went on to play the same role in the History Channel’s Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live. Since then Sarah’s gone on to stage productions, voice overs, commercials, and lead roles in several student films.

Through all her work, one thing is constant: her non-stop tenacity for auditions and connections, never relying on just her agent, but pursuing opportunities herself. “You’re never entitled to be upset about not getting a role. You’ll have 1000 auditions for every gig. Try hard. Don’t give up!”


Looking back, she sees how CCM acting school prepared her to integrate God with her desire of acting in Hollywood. “There are so many people who think you will go to Hollywood and be corrupted. Now I know that I can be set apart.” Her motto: Always be a pleasure to work with. Be a light on set when no one else is.