Robbie Ryde is riding the train to success. This former Peninsula Grammar student has already made a big career change and is now looking for his next challenge in his move to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, that’s for sure,” Robbie says. “I have great days and terrible days but I have learnt so much about myself by being over here and I really feel that it has fast-tracked my career. My biggest fear isn’t failing; my biggest fear is never knowing, and that’s how I’ve always lived my life.”
Robbie’s passion used to rest with football until a lower back problem meant he was no longer able to play his favourite sport. Before the stage called, he was a carpenter after falling into the trade after school. But after finding it wasn’t as fulfilling as he’d expected, he went back to the drawing board and asked himself: “What did I like doing at school? What was I good at?”
His Year 11 drama class stood out, not only because he found it enjoyable but because it was one of the only classes in which he excelled. So he enrolled in an introduction to acting class, and from the first minute he knew he was hooked. Another six-week course followed, and when an old elbow injury flared up and required surgery, he took this as a sign to hang up his tool belt and start studying full-time with The Australian Film and Television Academy.
“I’ve always been extremely goal-driven, even as a kid. I’d focused on AFL and wanted to be the best I could.” He’s now applied this way of thinking to his acting.
Robbie first experience with LA was when he embarked on a six-week intensive study program comprised of about 200 hours of work that consisted of acting coaches, casting directors, agents and manager meetings, writing workshops and stand-up comedy training. This was completed (twice!) with TAFTA USA on top of his study at the Australian campus before his most recent trip this month, to continue refining his craft and have meetings with US representation.
Mornington Peninsula Magazine asks him: “Why the move?” He replies: “I think I love how much opportunity there is and how passionate everyone is about the industry over here. I just want to be able to do what I love every day and strongly believe that LA is the best place to allow me to do that.”
Robbie’s favourite genre is comedy - “I love to make people laugh” - and this goes hand in hand with his acting idol, Adam Sandler; Adam was his favourite actor as a kid, Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison are still his all-time favourite films and he’d be over the moon to be a part of a film as iconic as either of those.
This year was topped off with an appearance on Neighbours and booking two television commercials. Furthermore, he was honoured to play the lead in Enid, which has recently screened at the Upstate New York Horror Film Festival and is set to screen at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. “The first time I saw myself on a ‘big screen’ at the screening of Enid was a very rewarding and surreal feeling.”
He’s now working towards getting his 01 Acting Visa to further his studies and meet some US managers. Not wanting to be stuck in one role, he’s also stepped behind the camera for a couple of small projects shooting and directing a documentary. “I absolutely love it. I really want to make my own content, and with the internet and streaming channels really taking off there is no better time to do so.”
Robbie’s currently hanging out for a good old Aussie parma and can’t wait to head back to the Peninsula for a visit and to have a nice cold beer with his “stupidly supportive Dad”.
“I don’t think I could ever not see the Mornington Peninsula as my home.”