We had the good fortune of connecting with John Ruby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
To me, being a risk taker is vital to living a full, meaningful life. It can be very easy to get comfortable and not leave that zone. But almost all of our growth and learning comes from taking risks in new areas. I’ve found that I have always leaned into risk. Whether that be trying something new, and not being afraid to fail. Or creating something that no one shows up for. I remember doing a two person improv show and there was one audience member and the waitress, coming in and out. But doing a midnight show like that, helped prepare me for where my career is now and the feeling of fearlessness that I feel at times. Risk can be internal or external. Packing up everything and moving to LA was a huge risk. I could have stayed in Wisconsin and not challenged myself. Becoming an acting teacher was scary because I wasn’t sure if I had anything to offer my students. Working in casting felt like a risk because there was the question of if other people stop seeing me as an actor and artist. Starting ‘The Moving Spotlight’ podcast was as risk because ‘Would anyone listen?’ Doing theater was a risk because I didn’t study it in high school or college, but then that’s where I met my wife! The risks I’ve taken have paid off. It sometimes takes time and perspective to see it, but it always does.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m so happy and proud to have carved a life for myself in entertainment doing the things I love. I have created a great blend of acting, teaching and casting. When I started in casting, I had no experience with performing. Casting helped me learn what worked and doesn’t work when auditioning. So that helped my acting. Then by acting in everything; short films, commercials, TV shows, films, web series, I learned how to apply the ideas I’d learn on set. Now I had the experience of being behind and in front of the camera. And now I get to share that with my students from all over the world. I say you have to do two things, fulfill the role and bring yourself to it. You always have to fulfill the role and tell the story, and then there are times where the opportunity arises to express your self in the role. Maybe it’s your physicality or sense of humor. Exploring that is one of my favorite things to do with my students. How you interpret a character is going to be different than the person sitting next to you. And that’s great! That’s exciting! This is why we have such strong opinions about movies and actors. We are discovering ourselves as we discover our talent.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend come visit in LA, here’s the day: 8:00am – Bike along the Los Angeles River and have breakfast and a coffee at Spoke Bicycle Cafe
10:00am – Walk the Silver Lake Reservoir
12pm – Have lunch at Salazar
2pm – Play some outdoor basketball at the Silver Lake Rec Center
5pm – Dinner at Blairs
8pm – Wine tasting at Silver Lake Wine
This would be my Eastside itinerary since I live in Silver Lake. 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have so many teachers, mentors and supporters that have helped me where I am today. My parents have always supported me, whatever field I was in. My wife is always there to pick me up when I’m feeling overwhelmed by life. My son has given me new perspective on what’s important. I was on a walk with him and in my mind, we needed to cross the field and do it quickly. He stopped and was looking at bugs and flowers. And then I stopped and looked at bugs and flowers. What’s the rush? There was no reason to rush. For books, I love ‘Peace is Every Step’ by Thich Nhat Hanh, and ‘The Artists Way’ by Julia Cameron.