Ryan Artists, Actress
Delta Air Lines, Customer Service Agent
PRTC Apprentice Credits:
- “The Vast Difference” by Jeff Daniels
- “Redwood Curtain” by Lanford Wilson
- “The Spring Comedy Festival: Lovers, Liars & Lunatics” by Various Playwrights
- “The Last Romance” by Joe De Pietro
What or who inspired you to become an apprentice at the Purple Rose?
The Purple Rose held an acting workshop for teens when I was in high school, and I absolutely loved taking it! Michelle Mountain (Literary Manager & Resident Artist) was the instructor, and after class I remember feeling so inspired by the work we did. The theatre games and scene work from that course helped build my confidence not only as an actor but also as a young adult. I felt like I was one step closer to the “big leagues” just by setting foot in that rehearsal space.
Years later when I heard about the apprenticeship, I remembered that class and how inspired I felt after it. So I applied to the apprentice program right away, got the job and literally jumped for joy!
What is the most useful skill or piece of knowledge you gained from your apprenticeship?
Gaining the skills and knowledge for running a professional theatre company is what I originally sought when starting the apprenticeship. What I left with was an understanding of what “work ethic” really means and the high value of your contribution as a true team player. The importance of being “on time” (which really means “early”), always offering help to others, lifting those around you up with your words, paying critical attention to detail and always thinking a couple of steps ahead took me an entire year to fully grasp!
Aristic Director Guy Sanville would tell us time and again, “ask for what you want.” Hearing someone like Guy granting us apprentices permission to do that felt pretty cool. And to me, it meant you should take every opportunity to speak your piece, give your two cents or just let someone know you’re interested in something. It’s simply speaking up for yourself. If you don’t, no one else is going to. It’s always stuck with me, and I love sharing that nugget of wisdom with others!
What job opportunities (theatre-related or otherwise) have you had following your apprenticeship?After the apprenticeship, I decided to try something different and move to Portland, Oregon! I’m working as an actress in local film, theatre and voice-over projects. I am also a customer service agent for Delta Air Lines, and love traveling the world on a whim!
How has your apprenticeship prepared you for/contributed to your current job?
Being a Purple Rose apprentice has made me more useful in the workplace because I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. If I can conquer one year as a PRTC apprentice, I can do anything!
I graduated with such an amazing feeling of confidence and accomplishment which has influenced my current work as an actor, entrepreneur and “customer service lady.” After college, it’s surprising how rare it is to come across other young people that want to work hard and take initiative, all while maintaining a passion and love for what they do. The culture and way of life at the Purple Rose encourages those things, which I’ll always treasure.
Do you have a funny/embarrassing story from your time as an apprentice?
Too many to count! Where do I begin… well, the theatre owns a glorious costume piece that is as impressive as it is frightening… the head of a Capybara (the largest rodent in the world.) It was my first week on the job, and the Chelsea city parade was going on downtown. When a volunteer was being solicited to wear the Capybara head, I of course raised my hand! Along with my jean shorts and PRTC t-shirt, I wore the giant furry head and waved at spectators from our truck as we rode down the street. I had a great time watching people’s reactions, and hearing their guesses as to what I was supposed to “be.” “… is that the Beast? Is this Beauty & The Beast?” “Look son, a hamster!
Of the shows on which you worked, which one was your favorite? Why?
My favorite show to work on at the Rose was definitely “The Spring Comedy Festival: Lovers, Liars & Lunatics.” My dream of acting on a professional stage came true! I couldn’t have chosen a more ideal show to understudy in, either. The show was a collection of short comedic pieces written by local playwrights! Cool, huh? I got to try different accents, play a few guitar chords, wear many cute costumes, sing a song, do funny voices and even kiss Lucas Daniels. Yeah, it was a pretty great show.