For those of you born AFTER 1984, let “Un-Block The Music” take you back to the days when MTV ran videos all day long. Let me take you back to when my friends and I sat by the TV waiting for a list of times Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” would be played, and when we saw (and heard) Madonna challenging traditionalists with her videos “Like A Virgin” and “Like A Prayer.” And…of course…there is my all-time favorite 80’s video, “Take On Me” by A-Ha. What does this have to do with Ryan Doyle, the subject on this story? He has an 80s sensibility plus 10! If you read this blog regularly, you may know that Ryan was one of the stars of Safe And Sound, the award winning musical that premiered at the Front Row Fringe Festival in March.https://unblockthemusic.blog/2021/03/10/women-wonders-twenty-somethings-holly-block-elizabeth-jerjian-unapologetically-premiere-their-musical-safe-sound-at-front-row-fringe/
Ryan is a storyteller. He has always been 100 percent committed to both pop music and theater. It’s evident with “The Key” and “Strings Attached”, the the first two singles from his yet untitled upcoming album. “People tell me I have to choose between pop music and theater,” he said. “And, I just thought, pop and theater are cousins to each other. I like to write a narrative to incorporate theatrical elements. Lots of the shows are now pop songs with musicals built around them.”
Ryan began his musical theater journey when he was 8 years old, growing up in San Francisco. “They needed a young boy for the local production of ‘Mame’. I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do.” He started taking voice lessons and even recorded some songs with a friend of his mom’s. “I sang songs like ‘My Heart Will Go On,’” he laughed. However, by the time he was 10 years old, he wrote and recorded a song call “Fall.” “It was the first time I thought, this is a real song! And, it got him attention. He continued to write music, and recorded a 10-song album at the age of 15!
Despite the positive vibes surrounding a burgeoning pop career, Ryan continued in theater as well and went to a performing arts high school. When his high school counselors were pushing him to college, he decided a gap year would be a better idea. He had to decide which direction he wanted to go, pop or theater. Or did he?
Ryan ended up going to The Circle In The Square Theater School in New York. “Un-Block The Music” has written quite a lot about them. It’s unique. You can train in acting or musical theater acting. https://unblockthemusic.blog/2018/12/28/433/
While attending the school, Ryan also did a lot of writing. It wasn’t until the pandemic shutdown, however, that he was able to really concentrate on his own music. “Shutdown came just as Circle was helping students transition from student to professional. The week that happened, my mom booked me a plane home to California. Why should he be stuck in his New York apartment for two weeks?” LOL…And here we are a year and a half later! While Ryan has finally returned to New York, during his time in California, he taught himself production and has released two songs. “Amidst the frustration, I am grateful for the time I had to focus on my own music.”
Don’t think his theater chops have been ignored, however. He has been doing some readings and recording songs for up-and-coming theater writers. Then, there is Safe and Sound. Well, you know “Un-Block the Music” is partial to that show as my daughter, Holly Block, is a co-writer (along with Elizabeth Jerjian). Ryan played the role of Michael who starts his journey as a doctor who is broken, but through humor and courageousness discovers who he is meant to be.
“Un-Block The Music” asked Holly what makes Ryan so special. She said “’everything”. He is beyond talented while also being one of the most committed, reliable and humble performers I have ever had the honor to work with.”
As “Un-Block The Music” has continually said during this crazy shutdown, watch out Broadway, this new generation is coming for ya!
Check out Ryan’s videos: