Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ryan's Story

When I was six years old, I was on track to be what I thought was the best athlete in the world. I played soccer, tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, I swam a little bit and I really wanted to join some sort of track and field. I was pretty good at everything I played, and my coaches, mom and dad were all very proud of me. Right as I was turning seven, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Slowly but surely I quit every sport I played. Some diabetics can make it work. For whatever reason, I couldn't. By the time I was 10 I was done with every sport, and now, looking back, it's as if I never played them. I'm completely athletically incompetent. Around the age of eight, I found theater. I knew it was a good alternative and a good omen when I auditioned for my first professional show and got in. I performed flawlessly until the age of 15, sometimes without even a week's break because theaters kept calling me. Right before I turned 15, I was diagnosed with my second roadblock called dysphonia, a vocal conditions up there in severity with nodes. I was told there was a slight chance I'd never sing again. Much like with diabetes and sports, theater moved to the background and I was suddenly far more interested in things like becoming a doctor, then a lawyer, then an English teacher. These thoughts pushed theater out of my mind, and I ended up applying to schools to be an English teacher, refusing to apply at any theater schools. During the fall of my senior year, after being accepted at the University of Minnesota, I decided I should use my talents as a singer and actor to apply for some music scholarships. I sent a tape to a scholarship program called "YoungArts" hoping to maybe get a small merit scholarship. I was very surprised when instead I was called and awarded with an all expenses paid trip to Miami to work with professional actors and hone my craft. It was there that I realized I gave up to easily on everything. I could have stuck with sports if I really tried, and I could pursue my dreams as a performing artist if I wasn't too busy being scared. Since then I've been awarded on a national level twice, and have performed internationally. I'm going to the University of Minnesota as a Theater major and plan to pursue my art.

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