Ron Howard came to the NYFA Los Angeles campus to speak with the students about the entertainment industry, as well as working as a director. His visit in early 2011 was a hugely inspirational for students. Ron started his career as an actor in The Twilight Zone television series in 1959, followed by the role of Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. He starred as Richie Cunningham from 1974 to 1984 on Happy Days. Howard made his directorial debut directing Night Shift with Henry Winkler in 1982. He has gone on to become one of the most well-known directors in film.

Asked about the transition from child star to adolescent actor, Ron said, “You’re 14 or 15, and they can hire an 18-year-old and not have the child-labor law restrictions, and so they do. Just at the point when you’re feeling confused and vulnerable, you’re being rejected. It was always my dream to be a director. A lot of it had to do with controlling my own destiny, because as a young actor you feel at everyone’s disposal. But I wanted to become a leader in the business.”