Starting at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Ryan was planning to be a doctor. Until he got to Organic Chemistry.
“On the first day of class, they had a quiz,” Ryan recalls. “I sat there looking at questions about all of the things I was supposed to remember about Chem. 103 and 104 and decided I just wasn’t interested anymore.”
So Ryan walked up to the professor and turned in a mostly blank half sheet of paper saying, “Sorry, I’m not sure that this is for me.”
She replied something snarky like, “Have fun being an artist.”
A few years later, just after graduating, Ryan was in a performance of the play Loose Ends. That same professor was in the audience watching. “I hope she enjoyed the performance,” Ryan laughs.
Ryan ended up with a double-major in Theatre And Drama (Acting Specialist) and Communication Arts (Radio, TV, and Film). He then went on to work his way up the production ladder on film, TV, and commercial sets all over the Midwest – production assistant all the way up to producer.
“I was a theatre nerd in high school, and learning to craft stories both in front of and behind the camera in college,” he says. “So I think even from when I was a kid enamored of Top Gun, storytelling was always in my blood.”