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Conversations with Ryan Koo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Koo.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Koo.
Ryan, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Ever since I was 17 years old, I thought I wanted to be a collegiate-level choir professor. I have an AA, BM, and two Masters degrees in Music Education/Choral Conducting. Lord knows I probably spent enough money on private voice/piano/arranging lessons to buy a house! Anyways, when the pandemic began, I started taking improv/acting classes because I wanted to get into voice acting since I already had a home studio and thought voice acting would be a fun hobby to get into. As I was taking these acting classes however, I was getting burnt out from teaching because I’ve been trying to teach choir on zoom for almost two years. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back however was when my principal put me on probation for a myriad of reasons I will not get into lol! This really hurt though because I dedicated countless hours toward before/after school rehearsals and thousands of dollars out of my own pocket to build the best choir program possible. So when I was asked by the school if I wanted to return for the following school year, I realized I was getting way more joy from acting classes and the idea of starting all over again without much support or appreciation didn’t seem very enticing. If the pandemic never happened, honestly, I would still be happily teaching choir but life is funny like that. Sometimes, it takes you in a completely different direction than what you intended.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
To be honest with you, being an actor/comedian, though I haven’t been doing it for long, feels like it has been a very smooth road because I’ve been having so much fun doing it! It’s just been a blast to do things like take acting classes, meet other creatives, do shows, etc. However, this doesn’t mean that I haven’t struggled or faced obstacles, I definitely have and still do! But, I found that when you’re passionate about something, none of the obstacles or struggles of pursuing it really bother you. For me, it’s all about the experience and no matter how cliche it may sound, I really believe that it’s not about the destination but the journey!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Right now, I’ve been doing a lot of stand up and acting and my focus for both my stand up and acting have been to not be afraid of being myself. Creatively, I never liked the idea of fitting into what everyone thinks is appropriate, especially, when my instincts tell me otherwise. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t ever try to be different for the sake of being different, I just don’t let the fear of taking risks stop me from doing what I think is funny or what I think would be a strong acting choice. Obviously, this can be a very difficult thing to do with our cancel culture today but I think it’s important that artists are allowed to creatively express themselves as authentically as possible. I think everyone in this world is genuinely unique and has a unique perspective to offer, but I also think that everyone is often scared to show it because we don’t want to be judged or be seen as weird. You have to remember though, it is your weirdness that makes you unique. Don’t be scared to show your weirdness!

Who else deserves credit in your story?
I definitely have mentors and supporters that I need to thank for the successes I’ve had thus far. Camille Mana and Susan Kate Heaney from Coaching by Camille have been wonderful mentors/cheerleaders in my acting journey. They’ve coached me and trained me for a little over a year now and wow, I can’t believe the amount of growth I’ve made in that time span. I definitely have to give a shout out to my awesome agent Janet Tscha and my iron man manager Steven Salisbury of Revenant Entertainment! I’m so grateful and proud to have both of them representing me because they are both awesome and both so supportive. I also have to thank my friends and family, they definitely help to keep me grounded and energized! Off the top of my head: my parents, my brothers, Jules Cruz, Gene Gutierrez, Korey Penner, June Yoon, David Sobolov! Couldn’t be where I am today without them!

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Image Credits
Leah Huebner Rey Cabato Jenn Norman Ana Karotkaya

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