Ryan’s multidisciplinary career began over 35 years ago in both theatre and television at the age of ten. At sixteen, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After majoring in Theater and English at California State University Northridge, his professional career began with the production his first play, Unnatural Habitat, which he wrote, directed, choreographed, starred in and produced. Following that, to much critical acclaim, he staged Harold Pinter’s Landscape, playing the lead role as well as co-directing and co-producing the play with Jennifer Verdon, grand-daughter of the inimitable Broadway star Gwen Verdon.
Shortly thereafter, in 1991, he co-founded the musical troupe EXP, a motley group of artists conjoining poetry and their own experimental brand of music. In 1996, they released their first album on Triple X Records while extensively touring the West Coast of America until 1997, when they separated to pursue other projects. EXP now boasts an international reputation as one of the decade’s most influential underground bands (see music page for his full discography). Also during the 1990’s, Ryan collaborated with long-time friend and iconic musician, Rozz Williams, founder of the legendary punk/Goth outfit Christian Death, on several albums, the most notable being The Whorse’s Mouth and Dream Home Heartache.
In 2000, following three years as the Wine Director/Sommelier at Szmania’s, one of Seattle’s top-rated restaurants, Ryan relocated to Paris, France where he began the next phase of his career. In Paris, Ryan attended the prestigious Université de la Sorbonne, where he earned a secondary degree in French Language and Civilization. Simultaneously, he embarked upon a series of extremely successful art exhibitions showcasing his dynamic assemblage/collage sculptures, culminating in a gallery showing of his work in 2007 at the Centre Culturel Christiane Peugeot, owned by the heiress of the Peugeot automobile family. In Paris he furthered his wine career, working for three years as the wine director at Café Universal, a legendary Parisian jazz club. These years as an American expatriate also included conducting an interview with avant-garde writer/director Fernando Arrabal for the DVD release of his classic experimental film, Viva La Muerta as well as editing a book of poetry, And What About the Bells? by Rozz Williams, published out of France by Camion Blanc.
In 2005, Ryan returned to the United States as the Southern California Sales Manager for several extremely reputable French wine import and distribution companies, supplying some of the finest selection of wines to California’s upper echelon of restaurants and retailers. In 2010, he relocated to a Lummi Island in the Pacific Northwest, where he taught The Art of Wine classes at Whatcom Community College for 5 years and launched his on-going tour business, Wildstar Wine Tours!
In 2011, Ryan released his first full-length album in 14 years with composer/sound-sculptor Jacen Touchstone. The result, A City of Brittle Stars, pairs Wildstar’s poignant style of lyrical poetry with Touchstone’s lush and intricate atmospheres. From an intensive collaboration spanning several years and recorded in several cities, comes this haunting theatrical exploration into the uncharted territory of spoken-word music, a journey which few artists have traversed with such eloquence.
Most recently, Ryan and Jacen Touchstone have teamed up again for their second album, Give Me Your Alchemy. A slightly more melodic, more accessible offering this time around, Give Me Your Alchemy incorporates many of the sculpted soundscapes of their previous endeavor but offers some beautiful new harmonies and textured vocal arrangements. Available for purchase now at: www.ryanwildstar.bandcamp.com.