So Ryan, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I am half Japanese from my mother’s side and quarter Irish, quarter French on my father’s side.  I was born in Huntington Beach, CA but really don’t call it home since I only lived there for three months.  See my father served in the Air Force, so growing up, I was always moving from one place to another.  After leaving California, we moved to the Philippines, then Honolulu, then to Tokyo, Japan.  After my father retired from the Air Force, we returned to his hometown of St. Louis.  However, he eventually began working for Allied Signal Bendix and we ended up moving back to Tokyo, where I lived till I graduated high school and then returned to the US for college.  So looking back, I always consider Tokyo my “home” since that is where I spent the majority of my youth.

What was it like growing up in Tokyo?

It was awesome!  Tokyo truly was the ideal environment for me to grow up in.  I got to connect with my heritage, learned Japanese, and attended St. Mary’s International School where I got to meet friends from all over the world which opened me up to all kinds of different cultures and personalities.   It also made me very independent since I didn’t have to rely on my parents much to get around since Tokyo is such a safe and accommodating environment. Looking back, my time in Tokyo is really what defines me as the person I am today.

Were you always interested in becoming an actor?

Actually, growing up, sports were always my main passion as I played basketball and baseball all through high school and a little in college.  I didn’t get into acting till my mid 20’s.  After college, I generally stopped playing competitive sports and was always looking for another outlet to fill the void.  Fortunately, a friend turned me onto some acting classes and I instantly fell in love with the craft.  Nothing reminds me more of playing sports than when I’m acting.  The rush of performing on a live stage or in front of the camera feels exactly like stepping onto any field or court.  Also, much like sports, your performance is a direct correlation to how much time and effort you put into your training, practice, and rehearsal.  But honestly, I love acting because I truly enjoy being a part of a team again.  However, now my coaches are my directors and my teammates are cast mates, but the goal still remains the same...to perform to the best of our abilities!

How did you get started as a “newbie” in Hollywood?

Ha, well I was definitely a “newbie’ when I got here!  My only experiences as an actor was working as an extra on two feature films that filmed out in St. Louis.  So I immediately started taking several different acting classes to strengthen my craft and build confidence.  I also figured the best way to attain some much needed experience on a set was to start at the bottom and work my way up.  Some of my first jobs out here were as a production assistant and grip on several student films and independent movies to see what happens on an actual set and how everyone works.  Then I transitioned on to doing Extra and Stand-In work for TV shows and Feature films so I could observe the actors, firsthand, and see how they prepare for each scene and all the adjustments they make between each take.  Next, I was fortunate enough to find representation early on and began going out on actual auditions, eventually booking a Union commercial and getting Taft-Hartley’d into SAG.  From then, I got into improv at Second City and graduated from their conservatory program.  Which was an amazing experience since I not only got the opportunity to learn the fine craft of Improvisation but also what it takes to develop my own material and what goes into creating an actual Sketch Comedy show with my troupe, iGod.  I eventually segued into theater and gained an even stronger understanding and love for performing on stage.  Then I was fortunate enough to get into the lucrative and fun filled world of Voice-over work...thanks to my Japanese and improv experience.   All throughout this, I was able to act in front of the camera on several films, large and small productions.  So it’s been a gradual process but a journey I’m very thankful for, as  I feel every project that I’ve had the good fortune to be a part of has allowed me to grow into the actor I am today.

So what are your goals as an actor?

Well my short term goals are to continue refining my skills/craft and finding work throughout the entertainment industry.  My long term goal would be to become a bona fide working, successful, respected actor.  Not so much in the sense of acquiring the highest fame or fortune, but rather, making a career out this passion and being able to continue doing what I enjoy most.  The thing that I love most about acting, is that I’m constantly learning and that there’s always something to be gained from working in this field.

Thank you for your time and letting me talk a little about myself.  I leave you all with one of my favorite quotes:

“The art of love . . . is largely the art of persistence.” - Albert Ellis