I grew up watching Joan Ryan on NBC's hit series Saved By The Bell as "Tina Pallodrino." I loved her on that show! So, it was quite an honor in 2014 when I got to interview Joan for the first time. One year later, it's great to catch up with Joan to discuss her Rockwell Table & Stage debut which will take place on Sunday, January 17 at 8pm!
Joan will be performing her show, Joan Ryan Live, a musical journey through her life and eclectic career. Written and directed by Andrew MacBean (associate director with Trevor Nunn on Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love and Sunset Boulevard) and musical direction from fellow Broadway World Winner Todd Schroeder, this special performance will include fan favorites from her extensive career, as well as new, never performed songs. Portions of her concert will be recorded as bonus tracks for her new studio album, set to release in 2016. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating social inclusion for children with disabilities through the creation of inclusive playgrounds and ability awareness education programs worldwide. Joan Ryan Live will play for one night only at Rockwell Table & Stage (1714 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA) on Sunday, January 17 at 8pm! Click here for tickets!
1. This January you are making your Rockwell Table & Stage debut, which is run by my friend Kate Pazakis. What are you looking forward to most about your Rockwell debut? I am looking forward to joining a long list of amazing performers in a great space that caters to performers. The space at Rockwell allows me to get up close and personal with the audience and I love that. It makes for a really fun night and in a space like that, I’m not really sure where it will take me!
2. A portion of the proceeds from this concert are going to Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating social inclusion for children with disabilities through the creation of inclusive playgrounds and ability awareness education programs worldwide. What made you want to get involved with this organization? How has your involvement with them changed you? I first met the founders of Shane’s Inspiration before we had our children. Catherine and I were both pregnant at the same time. I have watched the remarkable work they have done over the years and have been wanting to do this for some time. Catherine Curry-Williams and her husband, Scott Williams are remarkable people who turned the unspeakable tragedy of losing their firstborn son, Shane, into the life changing gift for children with disabilities all over the world. And Marci Moran and Tiffany Harris, the people that I personally know who run Shane’s Inspiration day to day have a commitment to their work that is inspiring.
3. Since you have performed this show at other venues, how do you keep it fresh for yourself? Every time I perform this show, it is new. Audiences are different, I add different guests and new songs, new things to talk about. And as I mentioned before, the venue has a lot to do with the tone of the show. If I am up close and personal with the audience, who knows what can happen! In New York, at 54 Below, as I sat on the stool to sing a very serious song, I didn’t realize the stool was slippery and began to slide down the stool. The table in the first row clearly got a good view of my Spanx. I’m always happy when things like that happen, as spur of the moment things are so much fun. And believe me, they always happen in my shows!
4. For someone who has never seen you sing before, why should they buy a ticket to this show? It is very entertaining and a really wonderful night out. Not to mention the fact that this show is a fundraiser for a wonderful organization, Shane’s Inspiration.
5. You are known for playing "Tina Pallodrino," the arts and music teacher on Saved By The Bell. If she were to join you on stage, what duet would you sing together? And, if you had a sing-off, what song would you and she choose to sing? Who do you think would win (as if I even have to ask)? Well, Tina might space out and forget to come to the show and then have some adorably written excuse as to why she forgot to come. Maybe that she got the broom handle stuck in the disposal, something like that. So, I don’t think I would ask her. I would, however, ask "Mr. Belding" to speak sing (a la Dennis Haskins). He is, in fact, coming to the Rockwell!
6. You are also well known for playing the role of "Judy Denmark/Ginger Del Marco" in the Los Angeles production of Ruthless! In that show, your character, "Ginger," is being interviewed by a reporter who reveals "Ginger's" past as bland housewife, "Judy Denmark." If you as Joan were being interviewed like that, what is something we would find out about your past that you haven't revealed before? I have to confess...I love Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Chrisley Knows Best. And I just started watching Married at First Sight. But, I promise, I ‘m very smart. However, I always fall asleep about ten minutes in because I watch them very late at night, so I really couldn’t tell you anything about the shows.
7. Additionally, you are also recognized as "Kathleen Houghton," everyone’s favorite psychiatrist on The Young and the Restless. What advice would you give to yourself that you've given other people, but not taken for yourself? Never do scenes with people that are so traumatized that they become catatonic, like the last story line I had on Y & R. I had to learn all the lines.
8. You received critical acclaim for is the independent film Hot Guys With Guns. If you were to cast a movie with that title, what hot guys would you cast? First of all, I loved doing that movie! The director, Doug Spearman, was fantastic as was the cast. Everywhere I turned on the set there was another Hot Guy. It was very intimidating. Their bodies were exquisite. I actually had to do a scene in a bathtub and worked out for weeks before hand. Then I got a spray tan and forgot that you cannot sit in water the second day of the tan. About an hour into shooting the scene in the tub, the color starting turning black. I looked like I was molting! I had to come clean about the spray tan. Maybe we should call it NOT Hot Guys With Guns and shoot it with the Republican Presidential Nominees. Scary.
9. On "Call Me Adam," I have a section called "One Percent Better" where through my own fitness work, I am trying to encourage others to improve their life by 1% everyday. What is something in your life you would like to improve by 1% everyday? That is fantastic! I love that! Well, for sure it is working out. I just don’t understand how people love it. And I have tried everything. From Yoga to Kickboxing and everything in between. I do it, but I would like to like it. I’m open to ideas!
Known for her recurring role as "Tina Pallodrino," the crazy music and arts teacher on the long-running series, Saved By the Bell, Joan has appeared on-screen in numerous television shows and movies including two years as "Kathleen Houghton," everyone’s favorite psychiatrist on The Young and the Restless. Most recently, Joan received critical and audience acclaim for her role in independent film festival favorite, Hot Guys with Guns.
Winner of Broadway World’s Best Female Cabaret Artist, Joan Ryan has been called "a mesmerizing performer who moves smoothly from larger-than-life drama to small, captivating emotional moments," by the Los Angeles Times. Rex Reed, of the NY Observer, said "she can explore the nuances of a piercing ballad with the investigative talent of a forensic expert, then ignite a show stopping Broadway melody with the combustion of a freight locomotive on the Philadelphia Railroad." Her stage credits include the original LA cast of the musical Ruthless!, the West Coast premiere of Anyone Can Whistle, Footloose, Triumph of Love, Little Shop of Horrors, Les Miserables, among others. Last year she participated in a national tour performing hits from composers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Marvin Hamlisch.