This much I know Ryan Andrews
I began acting professionally when I was 10.
I’m 25 now and about to star in the Olympia panto. That’s where it all began for me, in that very theatre, 15 years ago when they chose me to play the young Gene Kelly in Singing in
The Rain. I was hooked.
It’s a complete fluke that I became an actor as there’s no history of it in our family. Dad has worked in Guinness for over 30 years and mam works in M&S on Dublin’s Grafton St. I was always a very outgoing child, I loved all sports, as well as acting and dancing. My brother Karl is three years older and he’s the complete opposite – very laid back.
I’ve grown up on telly, in RTE’s Fair
City. I’ve been in it for 10 years now and what’s really brilliant is that I’ve got to act out story lines that mirrored what I was experiencing in my own life, as a boy and then as a young man. Before that, my first big break was the film Frankie, when I was 13, and then The Clinic.
My parents agreed to let me quit school altogether when I was 15, to concentrate on performing.
The biggest challenge I’ve had to face so far was when I set off to London on my own at 17, to go to stage school. I was leaving my parents, and my girlfriend Michaela, but, it was the making of me. Having been around film sets since I was so young, I was already pretty independent.
The best advice I have received was that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard enough.
The reason I love performing, is the buzz. Of course those butterflies are going upside down and all around inside me before I go on, but I turn that feeling into energy. And, I get to imagine what it would be like to experience things that I never would, otherwise – like being the suspect in a murder trial.
If I could be someone else for a day I’d be Walt Disney. He was a creative genius and his legacy lives on.
My biggest fear is letting people down.
My biggest fault is that I take on too many things at the same time, I find it hard to say no.
I’m really into going to the gym and watching my diet, particularly approaching panto season as we’ll be doing two shows a day for over three weeks. It’s very physical work so I make sure to take my vitamin shakes and try to get to the gym five times a week. I hardly drink – although when I do go out I enjoy a good time.
The gym can be a great escape, mentally
as well as physically. And, I love walking our dog on Bull Island, not far from my home in Donaghmede. If I’ve a problem, the first person I call is Michaela. We were in pantos together since we were 11, and started going out when we were 15. She’s a primary school teacher as well as a performer.
The trait I most admire in other people is a strong work ethic. I respect people who put their all into whatever it is that they do. Michaela is the hardest working person you ever met. We run Stage Kidz Academy together.
When it comes to nerves, we always advise our students to simply take three deep breaths as they calm you and force your shoulders to relax and to remember that the audience is coming to enjoy themselves, not to find fault with you or take you down.
The thing that irritates me most about other people are bad manners.
I’d like to believe in an afterlife. I do think that the spirit continues on in some way after a person passes away.
If I could change one thing in our society, I’d make sure that charities got more funding. Especially children’s organisations We support several of them, like LauraLynn.
So far, life has taught me the importance of being resilient and of taking a chance – and also, of just believing in yourself.
Fair City’s Ryan Andrews appears in ■ the Olympia panto, Polly and the Magic Lamp from Friday, December 21 until Sunday, January 6, matinee and evening shows. Featuring an all singing, all dancing cast, tickets are on sale now from ticketmaster.ie or from The Olympia Theatre Box Office and by calling 0818 719 330.