The Man That Never Stops Dreaming
Written by Vaughn Stewart
Photographer: Jeff Rojas @sajorffej
Stylist Mike Stallings @mikestallingsny
Grooming: Mideyah Parker @mideyahparkerhair
From the second that you meet Tyson Ritter you can feel his enthusiasm and his zest for life. He’s a passionate man and confessed dreamer and gives his all in everything he does – that’s probably why he’s managed to succeed in the entertainment business for the last seventeen years. Cool America Mag caught up with Tyson to find out what he’s been up to lately.
Vaughn Stewart: You’ve already had such a big career — it’s hard to know where to begin. What initially got you into the “entertainment” industry?
Tyson Ritter: Having been born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, I found my way to the stage the same way every middle child does; by entertaining my family. When I was young my father used to let me stay up late if I’d do some impersonations for him and his friends. Thinking back on it, my first stage was a coffee table pretending to be Bon Scott from AC/ DC. After that, local theater became a second living room for me to play in until I left for New York at 17 to cut my first record.
VS: It’s one thing for an artist to write a song, it’s another for them to know that it’s good song. Did you know when you had that song that was good enough for the world to hear?
TR: Inspiration comes to me in many ways, but when I write something that feels special, I don’t even think beyond that. There’s something really personal about surprising yourself with your art. In the moment, when it happens – it’s “magic”, such an amazing experience that not even the entire world appreciating it can match that feeling.
VS: I was going through your music on YouTube and I saw your amazing music video Sweat/Close Your Eyes. Crazy good! How was it playing a female prostitute, and how did you learn to run in heels like that?
TR: Thank you! I put a lot of work in my performance for our “Sweat/Close Your Eyes” music video. Playing Betsy for me was so freeing, getting into her movement and finding her space was a truly meaningful experience. Unearthing my femininity in that character was such a rewarding experience. Running in heels is a cake walk.
“My first stage was a coffee table pretending to be Bon Scott from AC/ DC.”
VS: You’re doing a lot right now – modeling, acting, your music. How easy is it to balance all of it, and what are you currently working on?
TR: It’s been a wild year for sure, but the fun is in balancing it all. Whether I’m playing the inbred descendent of Christ, ‘Humperdoo’ on AMC’s “Preacher”, ‘Avery’ the con-man on AMC’s “Lodge 49”, or ruining Julianne Moore’s night sleep in “Gloria Belle”, I can still make time for family and music. Finding acting again these past few years is something I’m beyond grateful for. Being able to see the world through someone else’s eyes, feeling their opinions of the world, it’s such a deeply profound experience of empathy and compassion. For that, I would spin a thousand plates.
VS: How do you see it all of it coming together, let’s say in the next five years?
TR: I try not to look down that road, it can often turn into an expectation which to me is the death of all creation. So long as I’m breathing life into something, I think I’ll be happy in 5 years.
VS: I could be wrong, but I sense a pretty strong spiritual vibe with you. Is your life journey part of that?
TR: That’s an interesting observation! I guess over the last couple of years I’ve started to really look inward, and in doing so I guess I’ve tried to better myself spiritually. I’m not licking crystals over here, just doing my part to surrender to the ideal that it’s what good you bring to this world that matters in the end.
“There’s something really personal about surprising yourself with your art.”
VS: There’s a lot going on in this world right now – two questions. Do you think humanity is taking one step back to eventually move two steps forward – if you feel we stepped back at all? And, if you had the power to change one thing about mankind, what would it be?
TR: Those are big questions. I can’t diagnose what mankind needs to move forward, I can only feel the unrest that drives me to create. It will be the artists and the empathy of this great country that will move our culture forward, and I aim to be on the right side of that history. If I could change one thing about mankind, I’d make us all go back to swords and shields.
VS: What advise do you have for an aspiring artist?
TR: Once you stop dreaming, you stop living.
“If I could change one thing about mankind, I’d make us all go back to swords and shields.”