Day 94 - Ryan (1st person I approached)
April 04, 2014 - I met Ryan as he was sitting on a bench at the side of the road, enjoying his lunch break from work. Ryan is a born and raised Vancouver man! He was born at Vancouver General Hospital and grew up in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood. He is the second of four children.
“I went to elementary school near where I grew up, and then Prince of Wales High," said Ryan. ”I still see people I went to school with from time to time, but you know, life gets busy. I definitely still know friends from school though.”
When I asked Ryan how he did in school, he replied, a bit shyly,
”I did okay. Not brilliant and not too bad. I graduated!” In his final years of year high school, Ryan developed an interest in theatre and acting.
After high school, Ryan went to Kwantlen College, with an idea of general studies towards perhaps a Bachelor of Arts degree.
“I dropped out after almost a year. It just wasn’t what I wanted to do,” he said.
Ryan worked for a couple of years in a few different jobs.
“A couple of years after leaving college, I got an invitation from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angles to audition for their acting program. So I went down and got into the program, and spent three years there going to school. The program is three years long and then afterwards you get a one year working visa to enable you to go out for auditions and look for jobs. I went for some auditions, but it never really amounted to anything. I’m glad I did it though. But I love Vancouver and so I decided to come home,” he told me.
Once back in Vancouver, Ryan worked a couple of different jobs, including managing a coffee shop.
“I used to drive trucks and make deliveries and I found out that truck drivers at Vancouver General Hospital make better money, so I applied and got a job driving trucks for the hospital. I did that for a while and then heard about a vacancy going in the Records department. I applied and got that job. I did some education upgrading, like taking a medical terminology course and a couple of other things. I’ve been working there for about six years now. I really like my job and enjoy what I do,” Ryan said.
I had asked Ryan about growing up in Shaughnessy, a very affluent neighbourhood, and if he felt it had any impact on his childhood or schooling.
“Well, my parents certainly didn’t grow up there. They worked very hard for everything they’ve got and made sure that we as kids knew that. Sure, some of my friends came from wealthy families and had certain expectations, or feelings of privilege. Some of my friends were spoiled and got cars, or whatever it was they wanted. My parents made sure we knew that just as they had to work hard, we had to work to get anything we wanted. That was just the way it was.” #notastranger