Wednesday, November 16, 2011
ACTING ON FAITH: Ryan Kolbe
by Cyrus Webb
With the September issue of Conversations Magazine we are beginning a new segment that we are calling "Acting On Faith". Through it we are looking to feature individuals who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and pursuse their careers in the entertainment world as an actor, actress or behind the camera.
Why did they do it? Where did the belief come from that told them they could make it in spite of the challenges? Most importantly, what can we all learn from them as we pursue our own paths? Those are the questions I hope we will be able to answer.
Our first profile is of Ryan Kolbe. He is an individual who was able to realize that he was more than just the world around him and set up to learn not only about the craft of acting but himself as well. It is a journey that has led him to new people, a new adventure and a new appreciation for the power of a dream.
Thank you for helping us to showcase talented individuals like yourself, Ryan. How do you stay inspired as you pursue your goals in the entertainment industry?
There is a quote that has been attributed to Harrison Ford where he said, “I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn't give up you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you.” That quote is always in my head, quietly reminding me that as long as I work hard and don’t give up, I’m going to achieve my goal, which is to be successful.
Success can mean a million different things, though. For example, I left a 9 to 5 job where I worked with wonderful people to pursue a career in acting on the other side of the continent. I moved out here in December after selling most everything in my house and stuffing everything left over in a UHaul and driving here from Cincinnati to a new apartment that I had only seen a couple pictures of. Successful move = success. I wanted to join the Groundlings and within the first couple of months of being out here, I completed the first two levels, and am now on the waiting list for the third. Huge success! I’ve been an extra in an NBC pilot, a Disney show, a show on the CW, and a webseries for the music group Garfunkel & Oates. Success again. Along with all of that, I started volunteering at the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, which cooks a hot meal every day of the year for the homeless. More success.
I know that my goals are different than everyone else’s, so a big part of me staying inspired is to not compare myself to other people. I know that maintaining a positive attitude, and realizing that nothing happens overnight will both help to keep me grounded. In turn, it’ll only be a matter of time until my goals are achieved.
What advice would you have for others who are interested in following their dreams as well?
A director friend of mine told me some advice that someone told him as he was making the choice to move to LA, and that is that if there’s ANYTHING else you can picture yourself doing, DO THAT. After all, what’s the use of blindly following the herd when you’re not really into it? In my opinion, you only live once, and at the end of the day, I want to be able to say that I did everything I wanted to do, when and how I wanted to do it – and right now, that’s acting.
I would also say that it’s totally your decision. If all you can think about is moving to LA to become an actor, do it! Get it into your head that it’s going to be a tough road, and there are going to be times where you wonder what you did, or if you made the right decision, but the payoff is amazing. With that said, also be open to the fact that the dreams that you’re following today could be different five years from now, and that’s okay too! Nobody is saying you’re only allowed to follow one dream in your lifetime.
Can you tell us what is next for you?
The first 7 months of being out here have already been a cliché-sized “dream come true.” Suffice it to say - I’ve been very fortunate to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself thus far, so in thinking about what is next for me in the following 3 to 6 months, I’m going to: find a theatrical agent who I really jive with who can help me grow my career, audition for and get a role in a production at a notable theater, continue to take the fantastic classes I’ve been taking since February at Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop, and just meet as many new friends as possible.
Thanks again for taking out the time to talk with us. How can our readers find out more information about you online?
I have a website, ryankolbe.com, where you can see my headshots, reel, and a slew of other random things. If you’d like to read my mindless chatter in 140 characters or less, you can follow me on Twitter @ryankolbe. If you’re more of the business mindset, you can see some of the “9 to 5” Ryan at linkedin.com/in/ryankolbe. Oh, and the social behemoth Facebook at facebook.com/ryankolbe.