When he was only a high-schooler, Ryan Koerber made his Broadway debut- but his mainstage performances didn’t stop there. After taking home the Roger Rees Award, (previously called The Gershwin Award), an award presented to one male and one female high school student each year in New York, Ryan’s life took a turn as he stepped onstage for the 2015 Jimmy Awards. The program gave him the opportunity to participate in an incredible training experience that led him to his current career as a performer, and currently, a cast member in the national touring cast of A Chorus Line. I had the incredible opportunity to interview Ryan about his experience with the cast of A Chorus Line, and some of the other life-changing experiences he’s been able to take part in because of his career.
“Not only did it open up doors for career opportunities, it allowed me to personally confirm that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life” says Ryan, “It was an experience that I will never forget, and I love seeing it continue to impact the lives of others.”
EMMA: What has your experience with A Chorus Line been like so far?
KOERBER: A Chorus Line has made me grow more and more every day as a person and performer. Getting the opportunity to learn the show from Baayork Lee has been a blessing like no other. It is an honor to go onstage every night and carry out the legacy Michael Bennett began in 1975. Touring can be quite the challenge, especially when you are dealing with a show that is this physically demanding. When you are constantly sitting on buses or planes, going from city to city on a tight schedule, it can be challenging to keep your body healthy and prevent injury. It is vitally important to be cautious at all times and be kind to your well being. Some of my favorite moments in A Chorus Line are the iconic “headshot charge line,” dancing the Montage Four sequence in “Hello, Twelve. Hello Thirteen…,” singing “What I Did For Love” with the company, and of course dancing the iconic finale when the starburst walls appear.
While touring the country, Ryan has admired one audience after the next. He says that the energy and responses of each audience in each city is always different, which always adds a fresh, new aspect to each and every performance.
Another unique aspect of the show is that several of the characters are based off of the personalities and personas of the original cast. One of Ryan’s favorite parts of playing Bobby on tour? Ryan has the opportunity to dive into the life of Thommie Walsh, the original Bobby.
EMMA: What was your experience like helping with Camp Broadway’s performance in the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
KOERBER: Assisting Camp Broadway at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was such a joy to see young kids of all ages experience what Camp Broadway has to offer. It is incredible to be part of a program that gave children of military families the opportunity to see New York City (most of them for the first time), learn from Broadway performers, develop relationships with other kids who have the same interests, and be a part of an iconic event that holds tradition in our country. Watching children be inspired and grow over a short period of time is something special that I was proud to be a part of.
EMMA: What is your advice for young, aspiring actors and actresses?
KOERBER: Someone once told me that we have nothing to prove and everything to share. That has always resonated with me. When we have talk backs with students that are aspiring actors asking for advice, one of the most important things we say is that if you are passionate about something, do not be afraid to pursue that passion and share what you have to offer. It is so important to first and foremost be yourself. It is a waste of energy and your own talents to try to be what you think others want you to be. Also, always thank your teachers and your mentors!
FUN FACT: Not only is Ryan a spectacular performer, but he has a secret talent and conversation-starter up his sleeve. When he was young, Ryan often baked with his grandmother and had a special talent for one aspect of baking in particular. He found that he had a fascination with cake decorating, which developed into a unique and amazing hobby. Ryan mentioned that with this fun fact being present on his resume, he has been asked about it before while in the audition room!
If you’d like to get to know Ryan better, you can visit his website www.ryan-koerber.com or follow him on Instagram @ryan_koerber. It’s no secret that Ryan has a bright future ahead of him on the Great White Way. Remember- even the smallest steps while you’re in high school can lead to something great and life-changing! You can do it, CB’ers!
Thank you to Ryan for the wonderful advice and the spectacular opportunity to interview you!