Ryan Ortega: Feeling Fulfilled
Ryan Ortega is a 23 year old, Brooklyn-based actor, theatre artist, and director with an interest in devised theatre. (In order to stay true to Ryan’s artistic style, I will not be editing this interview in the same format as the previous ones. I want to share this information in the written style that I received it.) About a typical day:
wake up. check email. hit reply. check playbill and backstage for upcoming calls. be my own manager. submit for roles. drink some coffee, although i need to cut it out. write. READ SOMETHING INSPIRING. (right now i'm reading just kids by patti smith and a book of published letters and texts by joseph chaikin and sam shepard.) jam in the kitchen. eat well. look good. my body and soul is important to my craft. meet with my tribe, a group of likeminded artists, who share an affinity for community and creation. work in a restaurant like three nights a week, but only for survival. ride the train. transfer a few stops and bump into strangers, until i'm home in my brooklyn apartment feeling fulfilled.
About becoming an actor:
there is apart of me that always knew that i was destined to do this for life. even as a young kid, watching my first show, i was certain i would be up there one day. i didn't even have to beg my parents (i think they knew too) so i was put into theatre to harness my curious and creative energy and subsequently it just became apart of my life, an integral part of growing up and ultimately forming into my career.
About acting in college: my decision to go to an arts school to pursue acting was the strongest decision i've made this far. i was able to explore different facets of the performing arts until i found my own language within my area of study. surrounded by likeminded individuals, i discovered what it meant to work as a collaborative artist within an ensemble. About current projects:
right now i am working on a project that stems form a conversation my dear friend rachel puleo and I had on the porch of my savannah home in the late summer. she had just returned from a playwriting program with the eugene o'neil foundation and had many ideas to share on creating new work. we both agreed that we were bored as artists and needed an alternative outlet for creation that both challenged us and excited us. our goal was to create a safe environment for theatre artists to workshop and experiment ideas without the pressure of the institution. as college ended, the group dissipated, giving the project room to breathe.
it is now three years later in brooklyn new york and with the blessing of our founding members we are using some of the ideas and structure of the young collective to form something fresh and new, and a bit more seasoned.
I am the co-founder and the artistic director of the bitter flint collective made up of eight scad performing arts graduates. we are a group of interdisciplinary artists devising work from its fruition to its final realized production. our first collaborative endeavor will be teaming up with the lovely ladies of oh, dear beast on a fundraiser show in nyc to help them through the last week of their kickstarter campaign. the night will consist music, live art, dance, and some original pieces by the bitter flint. if you are in the nyc area on february, 15 from 7-10pm, join us at the roll gate studio at 272 seigel street in brooklyn, ny.
You can check out the Oh, Dear Beast website here. And join in the fundraising event on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/501978639981887/