Student Spotlight: Koppany Pusztai


Senior acting major Koppany Pusztai was born in Hungary and came to the United States with his family in 2005. They were in search of his paternal grandmother who had earlier escaped from the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. Settling in Highbridge, N.J., Pusztai attended public schools and initially became interested in acting when he was convinced by friends to try out for his seventh grade spring musical. After getting the part and having a successful performance, Pusztai ignited a new fire from within. He was determined to better learn the English language in order to help land speaking roles. He spent the next summer reading everything he could and watching movies to help self-teach the new language. His acting roles continued throughout high school and climaxed with him landing the feature role in Guys and Dolls. In 2016, Pusztai was stranded in New York city in a historical snow storm, while performing in the Unified Auditions. Santa Fe University of Art and Design was a participating school reviewing auditions but Performing Arts Department Chairwoman Laura Fine Hawkes couldn’t get to the auditions due to the storm. After Pusztai and Hawkes agreed to to do the audition and interview via Facetime, Pusztai immediately was offered a scholarship and he accepted. Eventually awarded the Robert Redford scholarship, Pusztai is now on the threshold of graduating in May 2018. Afterward, he plans to stay around for a year seeking all local acting opportunities. Ultimately, Pusztai will return and seek work in the New York area.