Featured Actor-Ryan Santiago
Ryan Santiago Actor Reel
Interview with Ryan Santiago
1) Ryan when did you first know that acting was something you wanted to
pursue in life?
In 2006 I took an Intro to Theatre class at Mohawk
Valley Community College because I needed some credits. I've been
interested in acting since I was a kid but was never really brave enough
to give it a shot. I decided to go for it. My teacher, Mr. Gifford,
said I had the voice and the look for it after doing a staged reading of
"Ten Little Indians" by Agatha Christie as Lombard. I decided to jump
in head first and joined the Theatre Department at SUNY Oswego the next
semester. I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Acting. The rest is
history with much more still left to be written.
2) What are some of your current projects you are working on?
I just wrapped on "Barely
Coping", a film where I'm a guy in a panda suit. We're also in
preproduction for "Radiant Dark", a
fantasy/adventure film, as well as "The Man With No Pants", a movie
where I wear no pants... I'm also always in Slade Collins mode. "Slade
Collins: In and Out of Time" premieres November 11th at 7 PM at the Rome Capitol Theatre in Rome, New York. Come on out and enjoy!
3) What has been your most challenging roles?
In 2014-15 I played John
Wilkes Booth in an original production by the former Covey Theatre
Company called "Lincoln's Blood". It challenged me in different ways
from having to do a southern accent (I've never had to do an accent
before) to having to perform heightened language text from the likes of
Shakespeare that was written into the role. It was a lot of fun. The
show was taken to the 2015 Fringe Festival and I was nominated for a
SALT Award for Best Supporting Actor. I also had to wear a wig... In
terms of other challenging roles, Duke Orsino in "Twelfth Night" is up
there because, well, it's Shakespeare. It was also my very
first role. Action is also very challenging but super fun.
4) This month you have a movie premiere for your newest film "Slade Collins: In and Out of Time". What is that experience like for an actor?
It's a great experience. You feel like a movie star if only for a
night. Although I've always felt awkward watching myself on screen,
especially with a bunch of people around, it is great to see all the
hard work that everyone put into the movie finally come together for
people to enjoy. You get a sense of accomplishment and immediately want
to get to work on the next project. Plus it's great to see all the faces
that show up!
5) You're often put into a lot of action roles in movies. What are some of the challenges you face doing action and what is some advice you can give on it?
The main advice I can give is to always commit and trust your fellow actors. I'm also the kind of actor who wants to do it until it's done right. Action is a challenge because it's very easy to have the sequence come out looking choreographed as well as looking like there was no commitment from the actors. Give it everything you've got and don't be afraid to get hurt (minimally but still safely) or dirty. Sometimes it's part of the fun.
6) You recently filmed "Barely Coping" in which you had to wear a panda suit throughout the whole film. What was that experience like and did you have to approach acting a different way with it?
It was very hot but
I'm not complaining... I would sweat a lot but luckily I had some of
the coolest cast mates ever who wouldn't let me die. I needed to focus
on my face and body a lot more then I was used to, or at least it felt
like it, because the only part of my face that showed was from my eyes
to my mouth. Facial expressions were difficult to pull off. Also, did I
mention the amount of sweat I had to deal with?
7) You got to act as the very charming John Wilkes Booth at the New York International Fringe Festival. How was that experience for you and how has it helped you grow as an actor?
New York City is one of my favorite places in the world. It was an
incredible experience. I've only acted in New York City one other time
before and that was back in 2009-10 as Bob Cratchit in "A Christmas
Carol" at the 13th Street Repertory. It's a thrill being on stage in
Manhattan. For me it's just a psychological thing. The idea of being
there fills me with pride, drive, and gumption. It only made me want to
accomplish my goals even more.
8) What would be your dream project?
Where do I even begin... I have so many interests in terms of
actors I want to work with, directors, and film genres. I'd love to be
in a Tarantino, Scorcese, or Ron Howard film. I'd love to act with the
likes of Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, and Al Pacino. I'd love to keep on
doing action movies. A dream project, I guess, would be
a Slade Collins installment on a Hollywood budget. How badass would
9) What advice would you give to people looking to get into acting?
Just do it. Who cares what people may or may not say. Get
involved with as much as you can. Find a community theatre and audition
for a play. Look for a local film company and try out for a movie. We're
very welcoming in this film/theatre world as long as you put the work
in and treat each other with respect.
10) You are trapped on an island, that is the home of an evil Nazi Organization set out to destroy the world. What fictional character would you like to be on the island with you to help take them down and save the day?
John McClane, obviously. Jason Bourne if John isn't available... Not Les Bronson. Jerk.