Stevie Ryan is the epitome of what all girls strive to be: determined, creative, smart, independent, stylish…and of course, funny. Stevie moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19 to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Not before long, she found producing her own online content was the only way she was going to be able to control her own destiny. With her spot-on impersonations and original characters it didn’t take long for Hollywood to take notice.
As of last week, Stevie has become VH1’s first lady of comedy on the highly-anticipated sketch-comedy series, Stevie TV. In the premiere of this comedy series, Stevie presented sketches spanning from Justin Bieber’s 18th birthday to a board game about the Kardashians.
I was thrilled to talk with Stevie and find out how she paved her way onto the silver screen, and became a fresh, new face of women in comedy.
You moved to Los Angeles at age 19, tell me a little about your first few years here.
It was really hard for me. I was terrified, broke, alone and completely lost. Everyone drove really fast and had lots of money. I was auditioning for commercials and slanging jeans at Levis in Beverly Hills. My managers name at Levi’s was Levi. How weird is that?
Really weird! What originally made you want to start producing your own content, YouTube videos, etc.?
I was really into silent films. I was obsessed with Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd and when I found Windows Movie Maker on a laptop , all hell broke loose. I started making my own silent films and fell in love with the creative process. It felt very fulfilling to me and I remember thinking why wait for someone else to put me on camera when I can put myself on camera? After that I started getting into writing my videos, getting better equipment like lights, cameras, editing software and the rest is history.
Who are your comedy inspirations?
Paul Rubens, Danny McBride, Louis CK, Tina Fey… Just to name a few…
Do you find a change in the entertainment industries view towards female comedians after the success of Bridesmaids?
Hell yeah! And I love it. Thank you Bridesmaids. And Chelsea Handler. I think if it wasn’t for Chelsea’s success in the past few years, we’d be years behind.
Are you completely self-taught?
I’m completely self taught. I’ve taken acting classes here and there but nothing I was seriously committed too. I have severe social anxiety so I find classes terrifying. Plus, I’m just a poor chick from Victorville and couldn’t afford to pay $400 a month for 1 class. I taught myself Final Cut and how to use cameras. I also watched editors I knew closely when they would work and tried to soak up as much information as I could. If you can afford classes and aren’t socially awkward then I think its a great way to polish your skills, but creating my own content taught me more than I would have ever learned in any class.
You have a new VH1 sketch-comedy series called Stevie TV, how did all of that come about?
How every TV show comes about, black mail. But not the kind of black male that got Kim Kardashian a show…
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
World domination. And a lot of puppies.
Now that’s something I can jump on board with! You can catch Stevie Ryan on Stevie TV Sunday nights at 11pm/10pm central or watch episodes online at Vh1.
Image by Jesse Ashton