We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Doyle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, why did you pursue a creative career?
To put it simply, I pursue an artistic career because there’s nothing else I’d want to do. Ever since I was young I’ve always felt so connected to the arts. I don’t even feel like I even had to choose if I wanted to pursue it. As I grew up and realized just how passionate I was about being an artist, I began to put all my time and energy into it. Being an artist has its challenges, as our job is to feel every feeling, even the hard ones, and then express it back out into the world. But the beauty of being an artist is I get to channel all my emotions into something more beautiful than any one human feeling. I get to process and think in a creative way that allows me to see life through a beautiful lens. But I think the most prominent reason I pursue an artistic career is because of how it affects and connects others. I know from my own experience that hearing a song or watching a play or reading a book and thinking “I know that feeling!” is one of the best feelings ever. It makes me feel seen and connected to someone I may have never even met. The thought that art I create could have that affect on even one person in the world is reason enough to pursue it forever.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I guess the best way to describe my art and what set its apart is to start from the beginning. I grew up with a music-loving family. My mom would always be blasting ABBA and Elvis at home, and my dad blaring Blondie and U2 in the car. I began being infused with music and art from such a young age without even realizing it. It might’ve been the fact that I was always dancing and singing, but my parents put me in theatre and art camps when I was very young. I was obsessed. I can’t think back to a time in my life when I wasn’t doing something creative. This obsession with music and art did not stop, it only grew. I began writing songs when I was 5. My first song was “Daddy Likes Coffee,” and let’s just say it wasn’t quite as successful as “drivers license.” From that moment on I never stopped writing. I actually first recorded an original song when I was 8, and that song was called “Hello” (I think I should check in with Adele about copyright). By the time I was 11 I had recorded two “albums” (covers of my favorite songs with 1 poorly written original song slipped in there), and I was having the time of my life at theatre camp every summer. In 3rd grade, I was first introduced to musical theatre. My 3rd grade teacher’s daughter worked in the theatre program at our local high school, and they needed a little boy to play Young Patrick in their production of Mame. She had seen I was clearly different then the rest of my classmates (the boys in particular), so she asked my mom if I would want to audition. I wouldn’t take no for an answer, and probably would’ve drove myself to the audition right then and there if I could’ve. Long story short, I got the part, and thus began my 2nd passion – musical theatre. I went on to perform in at least 1 (sometimes 3) shows per school year at local high schools. The Cheese Grater in Beauty and the Beast was a highlight for me. By this time I had started taking regular voice and piano lessons, and I was continuing to grow my passion. I joined a children’s theatre company when I was in 6th grade, and was leaving school every day and going straight to rehearsals. I was obsessed. Jump to 8th grade and I audition for the only public arts high school in San Francisco, and I get in! During my time at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts I “majored” in musical theatre, which meant all my afternoons were spent in acting, singing, and dance classes. I had the time of my life there. While I was in high school I also recorded my first original album. This was the biggest project I had ever worked on. 10 completely original songs all on one project. I should mention that right before high school I decided to record a song I had written called “Fall.” This is what sparked me writing an entire album. I finally felt like I was writing music that was somewhat decent (or at least better than “Daddy Likes Coffee”). I used a lot of my middle and high school years as inspiration for the songs on the album, and it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had so far. Cut to me graduating high school, and facing one of the biggest decisions of my life: theatre college? music college? no college? Instead of making a decision, I decided to take a gap year to figure it all out. During this year I recorded a second album of all original songs, I traveled to New York 3 times, I kept taking acting, singing, and dance classes, and I enjoyed every second of it. I put out my album at the end of the gap year, and a week later moved to New York to do a 2 year acting conservatory. So far I had felt so fulfilled in both my passions. I got to spend a year making an album, and now I get to spend 2 years focusing on musical theatre! This time in New York changed my life. Though I hadn’t fully realized it, I had such an amazing childhood that brought not a lot of complaints. While I still have no complaints, I realized that what I needed was to jump into the deep end of life. In New York I became an adult, very quickly. I was living in my own apartment for the first time, I had to manage my schedule and my life, and I was deepening my understanding of what it meant to be an artist all the while. I grew so much in New York, and so did my art. I came to terms with my sexuality, I experienced real heartbreak for the first time, I met so many incredible people, and I discovered so many new parts of who I was. This brings us now to the most recent year. I never expected to be thrown back home for a year because of a pandemic, but alas. Thought it was challenging most of the time, the gift I didn’t know I was given was 2 years worth of experience to put into art. So I made another album. This was a huge project for me, because I decided to teach myself how to produce the album on top of writing it. It was one of the most emotional projects for me to work on too, because I was finally writing and creating art as my truest self. I had never realized how much my closeted sexuality had affected me until this year. I spent a lot of the year unpacking my past and working through deeply rooted things, and my art grew exponentially because of it. Barriers were lifted that I never even knew were there. Walls went away that had been invisible my whole life. I felt so free. I feel so free. All this to say, I think what sets my art apart now is its ability to be so vulnerable and true. Being an actor and a singer means I am able to analyze myself and my experiences in a much deeper way when I write, and I am able to approach characters from a very unique way. I am so excited to share this album with the world. My goal is that one day I affect that theatre kid in 3rd grade who doesn’t even know the person he is going to become one day. I’ve learnt so much already, and I know my journey has only just begun. I can’t wait to continue to live and share my life through art.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question. If my best friends was coming to Manhattan, it would be impossible not to have a good time. We would spend a lot of time just hanging in Central Park. Finding a spot where you can see all the greenery but still see the skyscrapers is one of my favorite parts of New York. We would definitely be getting a bagel at Pick a Bagel at some point. One day we’d definitely stop by some of the museums. and another day we’d go to the Top of the Rock. We’d honestly just put on a backpack and go on an adventure. That’s my favorite part of New York, you can walk for hours and never get bored. If money was no obstacle, we’d spend every night at a Broadway show. We’d probably get dinner at Empanada Mama’s at least 3 times, and if not we’d find some hole in the wall gem in Hell’s Kitchen, or treat ourselves to somewhere in Greenwich Village. One night I would probably make us go dancing after the show, to some place with great music and a dance floor. Another night (probably more than once) we would make our way to Marie’s Crisis for some musical sing along. Another night we’d go for some live music as Haswell Green’s or The Bitter End or somewhere downtown. And lastly, we’d have to stop by some comedy in the West Village.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my parents. I am so grateful to have parents that supported me from day 1, and I know not everyone is so fortunate to have that. Just the simple act of them believing in me has single handedly gotten me to where I am today, and for that I am so thankful!
Teaghan Rohan Ari Ichinaga Heidi Alletzhauser SubUrban Photography