Please introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and what you want people to know about you.
Hello friends. I’m Ryan, and I’m an actor currently based in Chicago. Acting, to me, was always a way to relearn what it means to be human – a way to rediscover connection. Acting required bravery, because it took bravery to make yourself emotionally vulnerable in front of strangers – both on stage and screen.
Before I got the “acting bug,” as many call it, I was in a variety of rock bands for most of my life. I taught myself to play guitar when I was very young and released my first records before I had graduated high school. It’s still out there, somewhere!
Now, I spend a lot of time reading autobiographies and works written by teachers that I look up to, to better sharpen my skillset. I also listen to podcasts on a number of topics, from lore to life-coaching and personal growth.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I think it’s my energy that people notice the most. People have told me that I have this energy “cooking beneath the surface” most of that time. I don’t know what it means, but it sounds cool haha. I would’ve said the bags underneath my eyes, but that’s probably just tiredness.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you wanted to do what you do now. Who did you tell first? What has it been like since that moment?
I had completed my first acting class in a community college, about to transfer to university. Originally, I had it set on Computer Science, but my mind kept going back to the one acting class and stage experience I had had. At the end of the class, my coach told me that I had “grew exponentially” in a matter of weeks – in an advanced acting class with no experience whatsoever.
I was in the middle of orientation for the Comp. Sci. program when I thought to myself “what the hell am I doing?”
I went home and changed majors the very same day, scheduled an audition (that audition day is a whole other story haha), and progressed from there. I went forward and never stopped.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
Tackling city life for the first time, after living in small towns for most of my life. Not only was it the first time on my own, but I was moving to the third-largest city in the states. Nervous was an understatement. I had NO idea what I was doing. I think I spent the first day in my apartment alone. I remember thinking “okay, what now?”
I immediately started scheduling meet-ups with friends to pick their brains on the market I was in, landed a day job, and started growing my network. The cure for the nervousness was to simply become heavily focused on what I came here to do.
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
The Rock, Joaquin Phoenix, Quentin Tarantino.