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Five-Minute Interview with Actor, Writer, Director Ryan Caraway (Condon) ’06

Kelly Slonaker

Ryan Caraway (Condon) ’06 is an award-winning actor, writer, and director who has trained in the conservatory program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Laura Rosenthal Lab, and The Actor's Gym under Bobby Moresco. His directorial debut, By Jingo, premiered as the Headline Closing Night Film at the Nordic International Film Festival where he was awarded 'Best Actor' for his performance in a leading role. His short film, Hold Me!, premiered at the Hollywood Comedy Shorts Festival, and his second feature-length film is in development at Changing Film Productions. Ryan was recently a (virtual) guest speaker in our Intro to Digital Media class, where he shared his career experience and advice with the students. 

What is your favorite Canterbury memory?

Playing "All Along The Watchtower” at School Meeting.

What's one thing you would go back and tell your high school self?

You’ll figure it out. In the meantime, read everything you can. Start with Stephen King and see where it takes you.

You were recently a (virtual) guest speaker in our Intro to Digital Media class — what was it like to share your experience with the students?

Acting, as a career choice, is comprised of everything we’re conditioned to avoid. It’s chaotic, unreliable, and the smallest victories are preceded by mountains of failure. But when you look back at the path you’re on and put it all in context, you start to see there’s order in the chaos. You’re gradually making your way down the road. And that’s not just acting, that’s life. So to be able to share that with a new generation of students was incredibly rewarding.

As the world is becoming more and more digital, where do you think the future of TV and filmmaking is headed?

It’s headed wherever people want to take it. With technology being so accessible, it’s never been easier for people to tell their stories. And that’s what it’s all about. We’ve gone from drawing on cave walls, to painting on canvas, to sitting in movie theaters and now we’re moving around with laptops and cellphones. The technology keeps evolving, but its purpose stays the same: tell a good story.

Tell us about when you knew you wanted to pursue acting.

I was kind of pushed into it by accident. I was taking Film Theory in college because a friend of mine said you just sit around watching old movies. I wrote a couple of papers the professor liked and he asked if I wanted to take Directing Actors for the Camera the following semester. I signed up and the first day of class they had too many directors and not enough actors. He handed me a scene and ten minutes later I was up on a stage.

What’s been your favorite role so far? The most challenging?

I don’t have a favorite role, but I’ve had a lot of great experiences. Those stick with you a lot longer than the parts you play.

What is your process for getting into character?

I’ll read as much as I can on the subject. Aside from that, I learn my lines and show up on time.

What would be your dream role or project?

I’d love to do a political thriller.

Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

It’s all about the journey. Failures aren’t setbacks, they’re detours.