Teacher Spotlight: Julia Ryan

Doug GoldringCommunity, Training

We’d love to introduce you to one of our incredible TBG teaching artists, Julia Ryan! Read our interview with her below…

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

JR: What I enjoy most about teaching is the privilege of being in the creative process with others – class is fun, community is formed, we share our talents and stories, and we laugh a lot. I also love when students make discoveries and have “aha!” moments, and when classmates support each other with keenly observant and supportive comments, which helps the whole class move forward.

I love seeing the joy that occurs when someone does some really beautiful work, (usually by simply relaxing and allowing the scene to unfold,) and the whole class celebrates. It is moving and inspiring to witness, especially in people for whom acting is a whole new process.

What is a TBG tool you love to use in your own acting journey?

JR: Script analysis. The most important thing to consider is what is the story being told – what is this particular scene about, what is the main event, what needs to happen here, and why? Being as specific as possible in terms of knowing what is literally on the page, not making any assumptions, and doing my best to be aware of any implicit bias I may have about the characters or situation. (In Seth’s book that is perhaps all encapsulated simply in the tool “What’s Going On?”)

Then I play the reality of the scene – and once we start to play I love to work with the tools: Do Stuff (and Really Do It,) Get to the Point, Make it Unimportant, Real Life Model, and Looking for the Earliest Reason to Speak. But it’s hard to choose favorites!

There’s also Just Say It, Join the Audience, Look for Lists… I often remind myself to KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart) and make it all about the other person.

What is a project that you’ve been a part of that you are proud of?

JR: Last year, I booked an episode of Law & Order: SVU, and Mariska Hargitay was the director. When I arrived on set she pulled me aside right away to let me know why she chose me for the role – she explained that all the other actresses made this obvious sort of negative choice when doing the scene, but that I had understood the scene more deeply, and that the way I read the role showed my love and compassion for the other character, and that it was all just part of doing my job in that role. (Thank you, script analysis!)

I was so grateful for her generosity and kindness in giving me that feedback – it really reinforced and affirmed my journey as an actor. Currently, I am working on a YouTube channel, NY See Hear Now, with a producer/actor friend I met many moons ago at TBG – it’s a channel all about NYC history and culture, and we are having a blast! (Please like & subscribe!)

Also – I am very proud of my neurodivergent teen wonder-boy who is a senior in high school and is now choosing which college offer he should accept. I am so proud of the caring, funny, and brilliant young man he has turned out to be.

To take a class with Julia, try 1-Week Teen Film/TV Acting Intensive (ages 14 – 18) starting 8/12 or keep an eye out for more additions to the calendar.

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes!