Ryan Lehfeldt, an actor currently residing in the Los Angeles area, has quite the combination of natural skill and inspiring story. Growing up with Russell-Silver Syndrome, Ryan has let his life be a source of inspiration. By not letting his circumstances define him but instead add to his uniqueness, Ryan has allowed his talent as an actor to be bigger than life's hardships.
I am (use a max. of 3 words to describe yourself)… Caring, Genuine and Creative
My last acting gig taught me… Honestly, it helped remind me to remember two things: that no matter if you’re working with someone who’s new to the business or is a notable veteran; that we’re all people at the end of the day and we all share the same basic love for art/entertainment. It’s cool to build genuine friendships off of that!
Proudest performance moment… Ohhh man… good question! In 2008, I played Pinocchio in a musical version of Pinocchio. On a day where local schools would come out on a field trip to watch a play, the theater, which houses 700+ seat overbooked. There were kids in the aisles, on the floor, everywhere. It was PACKED (worse than Disneyland in the summer, haha!) but that day was one of my best performances I ever gave. On top of that, it was my first lead AND first time singing in front of a crowd. It was a blast though.
Most embarrassing audition… So, I had an audition and I needed my driver’s license out. I’m prepared and ready to go and I think to myself, “Oh, I’ll take my license out when they ask for it.” The casting director asks for it, and of all times, my license gets jammed in between my credit cards, business cards and what not. The casting director agitatedly mutters something and I panic. By some miraculous occurrence, my license was pulled out and they got what they needed. Haha, who knew taking out a driver’s license could cause so much stress?
Most challenging part… When I was 15 years old, I was cast as Mr. Henry Potter from the classic film, It’s A Wonderful Life. Now, going from a 15-year-old high schooler to a bitter 80-something year old man is challenging. Not only physically but I even changed my voice and mannerisms. It was a lengthy process but was SO worth it. It is probably my most successful theatrical role to date.
The moment I knew I wanted to be an actor... This is gonna sound unbelievable, but honestly, at age three. That was when I saw my first play. According to my mom, I sat perfectly still, my mouth was wide open, my eyes completely fixated on the actors and I knew right then I wanted to do what those people on stage were doing. Not long after, I started acting and my mom asked me why I wanted to act. I replied “I want to make people happy”. While that answer has matured and developed a lot over time, it still remains a huge part of why I do what I do today. I feel this has always been my purpose and destiny.
If I weren't an actor, I'd be... A music video director. I LOVE music videos and enjoy making them for fun. If I had to choose anything outside of the entertainment industry, a pastor or minister. Something to do with church.
Dying to work with... Another great question. I have four people from different mediums. I’d love to act alongside Leonardo DiCaprio or Tom Hanks, work with director George Lucas or Stephen Spielberg, and/or act in a music video for South Korean artists; G-Dragon or Jay Park. Too many to choose from but I love working with anyone. Everyone matters to me!
Was born to play... That young, coming-of-age role. I think my life story and message fits so well with the young teenager who is trying to make sense of who they are and embrace it.
Learn lines by... Repetition. Start slow, don’t add any “flavor” as I call it. Don’t try to add extra and just get the sequences of the words down. I usually remember key words/phrases. Once I’ve got the wording of everything, I start bringing the character to life more and more.
Get into character by... Turning it on. For me, I just gotta flip the switch to say “I am not Ryan anymore, I’m _____.” You have to prepare, research and stay in character. If you don’t prepare and research, you don’t have the tools necessary in creating character. Keep your mind zoned in and have fun with it.
Acting is… The form of art that allows us to shape culture, and especially have a positive impact on those watching. It’s how I give back to God by using my talents for good. It doesn’t matter if the piece is designed to feel sad or make them laugh. If I can help you release any stresses for however long or help you look at life more brightly, I’ve done my job!
Special skill I wouldn't put on my resume… Hahaha! I’m learning to play harmonica right now but I really suck, so please don’t think I’m dropping a country album next month! Definitely not making the resume cut…
Movie I can’t stop talking about... Star Wars. Diehard fan here even before the recent movies were released. By the way, for those Star Wars fans reading this... I liked the prequels. #sorrynotsorry Star Wars is and always will be a big deal to me.
Top three Netflix / Amazon shows in my queue… Parking Wars, The Bachelor (Is Nick Viall gonna find someone yet?) and it’s not on either Netflix or Amazon but being a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I looove watching MLB Network.
Currently reading… Well, I attend a university here in Southern CA; so I can list you all my textbooks I’m reading but you’d probably skip over this question. Haha! I’m reading Star Wars Jesus, a spiritual commentary comparing the Star Wars films with Christian themes. Very interesting read.
Car karaoke tune... Hmm… I love so many songs. It depends on my mood. I can’t ever go wrong with “Company” by Justin Bieber or “Bang Bang Bang” by BIGBANG.
Star Wars character that best represents me... More Star Wars! Woo! Luke Skywalker. I think the journey he embarks on is similar to mine, as well as, his longing for more.
If they made a movie about my life, I’d be played by… If we could make him young again, Michael J. Fox. I think he resembles me and could play up the fact I have a height disorder. He’s a cool guy too from what it seems like!
Actor crush... Jessica Alba. Man, I always thought she was super cute.
If I were a color, I'd be… Green. Green has always been my favorite color!
Fave travel destination… Gualala, CA. Love the redwoods up there and the beach is only five minutes away. So underrated. It’s my go-to-getaway. Besides that, Missouri. I’ve got majority of my extended family there so I love being around Midwest culture.
LA spot that inspires or relaxes me… Santa Monica for sure. Just the area is chill and relaxing. Lots of fun to experience as well.
The best advice I ever got… To stay humble but be confident. I don’t ever want lose the sense of where I came from and how far God has gotten me. I also don’t want to lose the sense ofbeing “enough as I am” and that I don’t need to be anyone else, I’m cool just being me!
You can find me at… www.ryanlehfeldt.com | Email: Ryan_Lehfeldt@sbcglobal.net | Agents – Film: Belinda Irons, TOP Talent Agency, (415) 391-1800 | Commercial: Colleen Cler Agency, (818) 841-7943 | Twitter: @ryanlehfeldt | Instagram: ryanlehfeldt | Facebook: Ryan Lehfeldt | YouTube: Ryan Lehfeldt