Ryker Baloun is an actor. He is in the movie The Magic. The Magic is a holiday love story about a hotshot attorney David Kane who loses the Christmas spirit and closes his heart to love following a tragic loss fifteen years earlier. Ryker portrays the character of young David Kane. The movie was released on November 25th 2021. YEM was able to speak with Ryker about what the audition process was like, what it was like meeting Kristos Andrews, and who he enjoyed working with in the movie.
Young Entertainment Mag: Hi Ryker, thanks for taking the time. From what we read you have been acting for quite some time. What is the best piece of acting advice you have received?
Ryker Baloun: You need to stop acting if you can. If you are not drawn to it then try another career path. Too many people were brought into this industry because of someone’s dream for them, then they suffer working for years without passion. I think most young actors should take a break from acting to see if it’s something they really want to pursue. If I didn’t love acting, my life would be so much easier. I have found that I just can’t walk away from it.
YEM: What was it like to work alongside seasoned actors like Kristos Andrews, Charles Shaughnessy, Eric Roberts, and Glenn Plummer in The Magic? Was there anything you picked up either in life or in terms of your acting that you learned from them?
Ryker: The most important lesson I learned from these amazing actors was how to conduct myself on set. Before working with them I often felt like I was waiting to work or sometimes in someone’s way. Now I am far more comfortable and capable.
YEM: You are a National Honor Society inductee. Can you give some background on the National Honor Society and what drove you to want to be a part of it?
Ryker: The National Honor Society is an organization that serves as a testament of academic success. Students that maintain high grades, possess leadership qualities, and meet the community engagement standards can be accepted. Before NHS, I began pursuing academic excellence because of my family life. Throughout my childhood both of my parents have held a minimum standard of all As. Additionally, my older brother Holden has always been disciplined and determined to produce the highest quality work in his education. He has been a more than exceptional student and I, while pursuing entertainment, have tried my absolute best to meet his level.
YEM: What was the audition process like? What was the first thing you did when you found out you got the role in The Magic?
Ryker: The audition process was smooth as we quickly moved from audition to callback. However, I was told that I booked the part over the phone. Sadly, my reaction was rather underwhelming. I wasn’t sure if I actually booked it or what was going on during the call. I imagine the director was confused when I responded with something along the lines of “okay awesome.”
YEM: How has this role differed from roles you have done in the past like The Rookie and The Conners? What are some things that you learned from those roles (acting-wise) that you brought with you to The Magic?
Ryker: This role took far more out of me than The Rookie or The Connors. I don’t want to spoil the film but just so y’all know tears were streaming after certain scenes. I learned that I had a habit of thinking about my performance that could get in the way of me finding something naturally beautiful in the character and script. I have nearly abolished this, but old habits die hard.
YEM: How does spending your time supporting the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation help you on your career?
Ryker: I have become connected with likeminded people and get to see that what I’m working for in my career is not only my dream, but also going to bring some good into peoples lives.
YEM: How much fun was it to do a movie all about the holidays and the Christmas spirit It was so nice!
Ryker: We shot at the beginning of the year and it was nice to see Christmas decorations well before Christmas. It was like having two Christmas’s.
YEM: During your preparation for The Magic, how did you get into character? Did you study the way Kristos Andrews was playing his character?
Ryker: During my preparation I watched Kristos in previous projects and build a character that was malleable. Interestingly, getting into character wasn’t too challenging as I personalized most of my interactions.
YEM: Because you were playing the young version of Kristos Andrews, were you able to meet him? If so, did he offer any life or acting advice?
Ryker: Yes I met Kristos Andrews a few times and actually asked him for life advice. He told me to never give up on what I want, but he said it like an affirmation. Since then I have told myself plenty of affirmations including that giving up is not an option.
YEM: Was there anyone in the cast you especially enjoyed working alongside in The Magic?
Ryker: Everyone was so nice so I can’t say I had a favorite. My “father” was really smart and into books and my “mother” was super light funny. Though my two “sisters” we especially awesome as I know them personally and became much closer with them.
YEM: What is your favorite movie? And if you were to play any role in that film what would it be and why?
Ryker: My favorite movie would probably be The Notebook. Of course, I would like to play Ryan Goslings character because I could do so much with the brilliant script and I have thoroughly analyzed the spectacle.
YEM: You were the first assistant director for BSA Live. Does directing interest you? Is it something you would be interested in pursuing one day?
Ryker: Directing interests me because I’m not sure how they get everything to work. The entertainment industry is like a mosh pit but directors take in the chaos and create a diamond. I think that there is so much to be learned by directing that I will need to direct sometime in my career.