Powerhouse Ryann Redmond, originally from Atlanta, GA has appeared in both the original Broadway casts of Bring it On: the Musical and If/Then opposite Idina, Anthony & LaChanze, as well as a role opposite goddess Sutton Foster on the tv show Younger.
YB caught up with Ryann as she lends her considerable experience (for her very young age) to this year’s LA class of Broadway Dreams (a program she started with as a student!), alongside fellow instructors Taye Diggs, Stafford Arima and Alex Newell.
What was the first role you ever played on stage?
Mr. Bundles in Annie.
How old were you when you began at Broadway Dreams? What is your earliest defining memory of it?
I was 15 years old. I remember the entire faculty being so enthusiastic about me. They showed a real interest in furthering my career and I will never forget that feeling of discovering that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Tell us about a few teachers that really left a mark on you and why:
Kate Guyton was one of the first teachers I had at BDF and I remember wanting to be just like her. She went to NYU, which was where I wanted to go and, in fact, ended up going. And then I was lucky enough to have her as a teacher at NYU. She was so nurturing but also demanded such high level of respect. I looked up to her so much and am so glad that I got the chance to continue working with her.
What is one piece of advice about a career in the arts that has really stuck with you?
Robin Williams is one of my favorite actors and I try to live by one of his quotes. He said, “You’re only given a little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.” There are a million actors swimming in this pond that we call show business, so it is paramount that we maintain our uniqueness and our passion for entertaining.
What made you decide to return to teach at Broadway Dreams?
BDF is my family. I grew up with this foundation, so it wasn’t ever a “decision” that I had to make. It was just a given. It is such an honor to share my experiences with these students, especially because I was in their exact same position only a few years ago. I am proof that Broadway Dreams is a formula that works!
Tell us about a defining moment you’ve had as a teacher:
Any time a student has a breakthrough in my class is truly special. The moment that you see in their eyes an understanding of what you’ve been teaching is a wonderful thing to witness.
If you could go back in time and whisper some advice to a teenage Ryann, what would you say?
I would tell teenage Ryann to enjoy the ride. I got a lot of success early on, so I think it’s important to remember to savor each moment in a business that is so fleeting.
The Broadway Dreams Foundation is an international, multi-city traveling performing arts training program for all ages which is staffed with a faculty of Broadway professionals, casting directors, choreographers and agents dedicated to giving back to the theatrical community. Last week, Broadway Dreams took over Los Angeles with a faculty including Taye Diggs, Alex Newell, Ryann Redmond and Stafford Arima. To get involved click here!
Check out this cool mash-up of “Learn to Live Without” from If/Then and “Without You” from Rent, Ryann sings at 54 Below with Anthony Rapp