We had the good fortune of connecting with Hailey Swartwout and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hailey, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
That’s an interesting question. I use the word “risk” interchangeable with the word “choice.” Any choice you make can be viewed as a risk. So, yes, absolutely. I make choices every day, and depending on that day, I may call it a risk. It was definitely a strong “choice” to pursue a career as an actress, and one that I look back on often and think, “where did I get the kahunas?” I know the answer to that question, but it is still instinctual to ask. I am blessed to have my heart be so naturally open to God’s plan for me. I don’t think it’s my bravery that allows me to make such strong “choices,” but my faith in the bigger picture and Who has created it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Recently, I made the choice to invest in my first ever short film. I co-wrote and starred alongside my good friend Madelyn Wall. The phenomenal company, Respectful productions, helped to bring the story to life. Most of the days in pre-production felt like a “risk,” as we were in the middle of global pandemic, and I had no financial income at the time. However, I knew I had no reason to feel that way, with Jamie Flanagan producing and directing, Derek Evans producing, co-directing and editing, as well as the incredible cinematographer, Tony Collins.This film is one of the greatest things to happen to me within the past year, and I am incredibly proud of it. I cannot wait for you to see it! The largest challenge in my career, and what I believe most actors struggle with, is self doubt. It can feel like a battle watching your friends and peers succeed, without making it feel like your loss. Learning that, In fact, it’s a win. The more people in your circle that are successful means a multitude of things, including that your success is possible, and right around the corner in your journey.
I often feel exhausted from working hard towards my goals, investing, and staying motivated. Keeping those feelings labeled as feelings and not facts, is something I work on every day. Being a part in creating my own content and having a wonderful team of friends around me has done wonders for that feeling.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d start their visit with a good behind kicking at my absolute favorite spot in the city, Sweat Cycle(located in The Forum Athletic Club in Buckhead.) I teach infrared heated cycling there, but even if I didn’t, I’d be going to get all of the benefits and joy it provides me. After post class hydrating, I’d take them to the best coffee shop in the city, Chrome Yellow. The staff and Almond Bourbon coffee is on a whole other level. I would then escort them to El Azteca on Peachtree in Buckhead for dinner. They have a safe and charming patio to dine on, perfectly fresh guacamole and the El Azteca bowl that keeps me humble. After, we’d have to get one of my favorite drinks in the city: Nick’s Garden at The Southern Gentleman in Buckhead, or the New Tokyo at Kimball House in Decatur. I’d finish their visit by changing their lives at The Windmill Arts Center in East Point, to see a Vernal and Sere Theatre production! VST is the most bold theatre company in Atlanta and will undoubtedly rock your world.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My dad’s love, support, and willingness to learn about my career and what it entails, has given me mental fortitude to push further in my career. I don’t believe that parents, family members, and friends understand the weight of their support. To be invested enough to learn about their loved ones business, and the difficulty of it, shines much brighter than asking the question, “hows your acting thing going?” Trust me on this one. My family is incredibly supportive, and I know how blessed I am to have that.
Though they all deserve individual shout outs, my close knit community of creatives are a powerful piece of my success. Without them, I am sure I would not be as bold in my “choices.”
Chase Anderson Photo, Conley Photo, and Pocket Size Pictures