Ryan Pest

Ryan PestSecond Year
Performance Option

What medium do you prefer to work in? Theatre.

Favorite TV show? Oooh...that's a hard one. I don't have a lot of time for TV, but I really enjoy Parks and Recreation, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Family Guy, New Girl, Downton Abbey, Community, Saturday Night Live, Misfits, So You Think You Can Dance, and then anything on the Science or History Channel.

Favorite film/documentary? This is another impossibility. I LOVE film and watch part of a documentary almost every day.

Favorite play? No such thing as a favorite. If I had a genre to pick, it would be comedic musicals with a lot of big dance numbers.

Why did you choose Cal State L.A.’s MFA program in Television, Film and Theatre? Cal State L.A. kinda chose me. I had a connection to Professor Stephen Rothman through my undergrad theatre mentor. They got to talking about me one day, I was told to apply, did so, and now I'm here. It was luck that it happened to be the type of program I was looking for.

What were you doing before you enrolled in the program? Working the 9 to 5 life... sort of. I had a few singing gigs here and there, but nothing to write home about. I was really just waiting for the opportunity to get the hell out of Alabama.

Do you have film/TV industry experience or are you currently working in the industry? Nope.

What are you passionate about? Life! I could really care less how my life turns out as long as I'm happy and getting to live it to the fullest. There is no one right path for me. I take everything as it comes and try to make the best of it. I try and put passion into everything I do and surround myself with like-minded people.

What projects/people in the film industry inspire you? I'm not a good person to ask. I have a thing against Hollywood and its greed for money. When all a project is designed to do is make money, I see no inspiration in that. People and projects with big picture agendas inspire me. There are, however, a lot of selfless movie stars out there that prove there is some heart in Hollywood, and I want to see more people like them. I too hope to have the assets one day so I too can help change the world one little piece at a time.

Most fascinating thing you have learned in the MFA program recently? That there is no wrong. Right and wrong are only social concepts. It's okay to mess up, and forget anyone who says otherwise.

What are your plans for after graduation? Get a job to pay back these student loans—hopefully a job that makes me happy and in the field I love.