Ryan O'Connor is an actor, singer, comedian, writer, YouTube Star, and one of "Oprah's Chosen Ones" as hailed by "People Magazine." Finishing fourth in The Oprah Winfrey Network's "Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star," Ryan was competing for the dream of having his own talk/variety show. While that dream hasn't come to fruition just yet, many of his other dreams have. From 2008 to 2010 Ryan hosted the YouTube cult favorite, "The Ryan O'Connor Show." Ryan blends everything pop culture which has quickly made him the go-to guy for witty insights about television, film, and theatre. Ryan O'Connor has also starred in some of the biggest films and TV shows including "School of Rock," "How I Met Your Mother," "What About Brian," "The Caroline Rhea Show," "American Dad," and the upcoming feature film "Joey Stefano" where Ryan will play the iconic Chi Chi LaRue.
Now Ryan brings his humor and talent to the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC for 4 Mondays in May (May 2, 9, 16, and 23) at 9:30pm in "Ryan O'Connor Eats His Feelings." This show is a dynamic, hilarious and oddly touching musical journey through his experiences as a compulsive overeater. Featuring the music of fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participants Katie Thompson and Scott Alan, along with William Finn, Ani DiFranco, Michael Arden, Gregory Nabours, and Randy Blair (who just wrote the music for "Spidermusical", which he and Katie starred in as well).
"Ryan O'Connor Eats His Feelings" plays at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Ave, in the basement of The West Bank Cafe) Monday May 2, 9, 16, and 23 at 9:30pm.
Ryan's opening night, May 2, will be benefiting "The Trevor Project," a wonderful organization that helps prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including a nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone. Joining Ryan for this special night will be Katie Thompson (who will debut a new song, in addition to the song she already wrote for this show "Oprah's Song") and [title of show]'s Susan Blackwell! So come on down to the Laurie Beechman theatre for a night of laughter and music!
For more on Ryan be sure to visit http://www.theryanoconnorshow.com/
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Early on, Bette Midler was a huge inspiration, which explains the underlying bawdiness in my show. I think she cemented for me the idea that you really can be an entertainer in several mediums. There are no limits.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Rosie O'Donnell. I tweet at her constantly and basically stalk her radio producers to have me on "Rosie Radio". I am convinced it's the apostrophe that we have in common that makes us soulmmates. Every bit of her career inspires me, even Taboo.
3. How did you come up with the title and concept for "Ryan O'Connor Eats His Feelings"? I knew I wanted to do a stage show and I knew I had a lot of stories to tell but I didn't know how to tie them all together. Once I realized that the common thread throughout everything in my life was my relationship to food, it was easy to begin to format the show. The title was actually inspired by my good friend Victoria Millin. She one time, in passing, said 'Let's go eat some feelings" and it stuck.
4. What did competing on "Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star" do for you both personally and professionally? Great question. Professionally, the competition taught me a leson I knew, intellectually, but needed to feel physically. Being an entertainer, in any form, is all about authenticity. You have to be honest and authentic or yu have no starting point. Personally, I learned that I need to BREATHE and not take things so seriously. I am naturally driven, so I don't need to try to BE driven. I do need to pause, breathe and enjoy the ride.
5. What is the best advice you've ever received? When I was a kid, my Mom taught me to make the joke before th bullies got the chance. That is what lead to me learning to be funny. I'd have to say, judging from where I am today, that was some pretty sound advice!
6. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? Neat question, but my answer isn't so good. Haha. I hate rehearsing. I avoid it whenever possible. I am incapable of rehearsing alone. I drift off and often actually stop rehearsing without even noticing. I need a piano and an accompanist to rehearse, and even then, I only rehearse numbers. As far as what I say on stage, it's never been scripted and it's never been rehearsed. I just tell the truth and it has a certain structure to it. Over time, some stories have gotten kind of locked in, but there is always something new that pops in to my head.
7. Favorite place to go on a date? My fiancee and I are an old fashioned dinner and a movie couple. We usually are pretty much homebodies, but if we go out, it's usually to dinner at The Farmer's Market at The Grove and then a movie. Pretty simple.
8. Boxers or Briefs? In life, boxer briefs, but I always wear briefs when I do my show. It's become a weird superstition at this point.
10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Neither, I'll take Clark Kent any day.
11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can recite the alphabet backwards at warp speed.
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Chessy, but it's my fiancee. He's dreamy.