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Meet Shawn Ryan of Young Actors’ Theatre Camp in West Hollywood

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

Shawn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Oh, where to start. I moved to LA 16 years ago with my husband and we hit the ground running. Cater waitering, extra work, more catering, more acting work, less catering, lots more work, writer’s strike, no work, started writing, self creation took over, I made my first short that went to the Cannes Film Festival, then tons of acting work, recurring on a hit show, no more catering. I feel like that’s probably the briefest version of my starlet life.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think that the road is as smooth as you make it. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” applies not just to how you look at things but also how you view your life. I wake up each day, kiss my Chihuahua (that’s not a euphemism, I have a small dog), I thank my lucky stars, and then I hit the pavement to see which things I can move forward in. I try to measure success not by how many things are checked off my To-Do list but in how I feel at the end of the day.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My husband and I founded Shawn and John Productions 17 years ago and we produce films, concerts, and The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp (YATC). We are creators, having produced over 100 films at this point, traveled extensively, and hopefully, fostered meaningful change by teaching and influencing young artists of all kinds.

YATC has become renowned not just as a haven for training artists, but for creating a safe and supportive environment for all kinds of artists, especially those who traditionally don’t find their voices amplified in the culture around them. They’re weird, and we love it, so we like to arm them with the tools they need to chisel their own path, whatever size, gender, color, ability, income or family life they come from.

On the first day of our program, we tell our students we’re not their principals, we’re their family, and that by the end of their session they’ll have 120 new best friends. None of them ever believe us, but here we are 17 years and (by my rough estimate) 8,000 friends later!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I love Los Angeles. There is such a vibrant feeling of “YES”. Everything you do, everywhere you go, it just seeps into your artistic soul and tells you to look for the next exciting venture. It’s the perfect land for a self-creator! Unless it’s the Valley. No, I’m just kidding. I love the Valley. I’ve been told it’s beautiful.


  • Summer Session 4 $2794
  • Weekend Workshops $90-195
  • Individual Coaching Sessions $60-85/hr

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mason Trinca, Chip Scheuer

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