“I never wanted to be an artist. I grew up in Woodstock, NB. And when I grew up in Woodstock, no one in their right mind would have considered being an artist a real job.”

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About Ryan Griffith — Writer

Ryan Griffith grew up along the banks of the Saint John river just outside of Woodstock, New Brunswick. He began writing plays while attending St. Thomas University in 1999. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Ryan currently enjoys performing and writing for theatres in his home province. He is also the showrunner for Fred and Carl are Park Rangers, which recently made it to the TOP 55 in the CBC’s Comedy Coup competition. Oh yeah, and he brews beer for Picaroons as well.

The above contest closes Sunday, November 9th. Your vote could help them to move forward. Check them out on Facebook or Twitter to learn more. Scroll down to the bottom of this interview to view the trailer for Fred and Carl are Park Rangers.



The Interview

1. What is the force that drives you forward? What fuels your ambition?

I am driven by the desire to tell great stories. In the past, maybe I was fuelled by some kind of desire for fame or success…now I just want to tell stories that stick with people.

2. Can you talk about your greatest “failure”? (something that led to your most significant shift in consciousness, and made you who you are today).

This is too hard to talk about. Cheers!

3. Are you happy? What does happiness mean to you?

I don’t believe people who say they are happy all of the time. I believe in duality, I believe that every day you ever live is equal parts hope and misery, laughter and sorrow. Happy and sad…just like that happy and sad face icon you always see representing the theatrical endeavour. Every day of your life is happy/sad. Every freakin’ day…lol!

4. What do you think is your greatest strength? On the reverse, can you identify a personal challenge (something you currently struggle with)?

I have a strong back. I have big ears. I love humanity and I enjoy rhythm and metre. A personal challenge for me is being in a large crowd.

5. When did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist? Can you talk about that moment or time in your life?

I started reading books when I was four. I loved reading. I loved movies, too. And comic books. I just got so much exposure to story that at a certain point I would find myself anticipating a character’s next move in a movie I had never seen before. If I didn’t like the outcome, I would wish it had happened a different way. I never wanted to be an artist. I grew up in Woodstock, NB. And when I grew up in Woodstock, no one in their right mind would have considered being an artist a real job.

I started writing comic books in middle school. That’s my earliest recollection of doing anything artistic. Then I wrote short stories in High school for my friends.

I really started writing a lot after reading Stephen King for the first time. He made writing seem cool…like it didn’t have to be just for the brainiacs.

6. Habits, routine, morning rituals — What are the positive things you do daily that have had the most significant impact on your life and work?

Breathing, jogging, push-ups, potatoes, coffee, beer.

7. How do you deal with doubt? Where do you go for support?

I just run my artistic endeavours like I would run a set of rapids in a canoe. I know if I make the decision to hop in the boat, the current is going to take me and I can’t fight it. But I gotta keep looking ahead. Try and avoid rocks. Aim for the ‘V.’  I get support from my friends and family.

8. What, in your opinion, are the qualities of someone who is a “great” artist (in whatever discipline)?

People who listen to the world around them. People who breath. People who play. People who are kind. People who care.

9. Any advice for artists on a similar path? (Perhaps advice you wish you’d been given when you were first starting out).

Really listen to the people who tell you there’s no money in it.

10. Ever experience flow/being in the zone? What does it feel like for you, and can you tell us about a time when you experienced it?

No idea what that is. When there is work to be done you do it. Craft is more important than the…hallucination stuff.

11. What is your favourite book? It could be about your craft, or maybe just an excellent story. If that is too difficult to answer, who are your favourite authors?

My favorite book of all time is Such is My Beloved, by Morley Callaghan. When the priest wakes up at the end for that moment of clarity it just kills me. Completely rips me apart. MC was one of the most honest and kind writers the world has ever seen.

Follow Ryan

Facebook: Fred and Carl 

Twitter: @FredandCarl

Cast your vote for the Comedy Coup Competition: VOTE NOW

Watch the trailer for Fred and Carl are Park Rangers:

“North Lake Provincial Park is in danger. Danger from pollution. Danger from the Government. And danger from tobacco smugglers. Fred and Carl are Park Rangers. They will fight for what’s right, in uniforms tight. They will befriend the beaver. They will jail the litterbug. They will secure our proudly Canadian borders and save the environment. Suck it, crime.”

Check out the favourite books by the other interviewees

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Ryan Griffith: I just want to tell stories that stick with people
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These conversations are about the creative soul. They are the true experiences of creatives with their own creative impulse, and they are the private (made public) reflections on what creativity feels like on a very personal level. All interviews are conducted by Christine Bissonnette
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