Will Ryan Paevey visit General Hospital as Ghost Nathan West? Paevey shares his thoughts on that, dishes on his upcoming movies and much more. Click here to check it out--->>>
“I grew up working in construction," he noted before he went on further to share, "I had some guy friends during that time who were male models. They were always coming back with these stories of where they traveled and places they’ve gone and these adventures they have gone on and made all this money. They painted this picture in my head that it sounded like a very fun exciting romantic lifestyle…Their bookers were always head hunting me a little bit. ‘Listen. You should really give this a try.’ I was really really skeptical. The concept that somebody was going to give me money to just kind of stand there was absurd to me.
I grew up busting my ass. I’ve pressured washed the inside of septic tanks. I’ve done some awful jobs in my life like nasty stuff….It was over enough time and with occurrences of them (bookers) saying, ‘You should try it. You should try it.’, I said you know what screw it. Why not? Worse case scenario it doesn’t work. Then I’m pretty much exactly where I am right now. At that time, I had a cushy little shop job…It was great. I made pretty decent enough money at the time I led a pretty simple life…I gave it a go and it turns out I’m a terrible model. I was really bad.”
It’s hard to believe Ryan was ever a terrible model. But it’s not hard to believe someone would give him money to just stand there.
“I had this weird pattern to my employment. I would book really high-profile clients punctuated by huge long periods of nothing of not working at all. So, I was successful enough in terms of the clients that I booked being big deals and pretty decent paychecks. But then I wouldn’t book anything for like six months. I had maintained a level of success just enough to not get fired but not enough really to be considered successful. I lived in this grey space for a long time…..After many, many years of living in between this grey space somewhere between success and failure, I had an agency that said let’s try something different. You’ve ever done any acting of any sorts?”
Ryan was green, had zero experience and was a “super shy kid.” He started with commercial acting which he enjoyed and was good at. Ryan said, “I’m kind of a smart ass and I curse a lot”. Commercial acting gave him an opportunity to try and be funny and be in character.
He did really well. For a few years he was one of the top earners at his agency. Ryan described himself as a “pragmatic human.” Even with his success, he hadn’t quit his day jobs. He was still working in construction, bartending and dabbling in classes at college.
Seven years into this part of his journey, Jeanne, the lady heading up the agency, called Ryan into her office and asked him, “What are you doing with all this?” i.e. had he given any thought to a legitimate TV career as an actor? It was more than a fair question. The more money he earned the more this was commanding his attention. Yet, he was still somewhat complacent about it all. But it had started to feel like more than just a “pet project.” So, maybe something was there. “I had to have a come to Jesus meeting with myself after this meeting. Where I was like, I don’t know. What am I doing with this?”
Ryan was refreshingly honest about falling into the trap a lot of us do (I did big time!). He got good grades in school, he went to school because he was supposed to, majored in business because it felt generic enough to be useful, although he didn’t know what for. He had checked all the boxes. But he didn’t have a plan. He didn’t have a direct path. And this “thing” had swooped in in such a fashion that it answered those questions for him. Just like before he asked himself, what did he have to lose? Worst case scenario, he’d end up right where he was which then wasn’t that bad. He was like “Heck, I’m going to try.”
He started auditioning. He received mostly positive feedback. There was something there. But maybe he should go to school, he had stuff to learn. His actual transition into acting was swift. Six months into auditioning, Jeanne introduced him to Todd Justice and Rodney Ponder (who are his managers to this day.) The three hit it off big time! During the initial meeting, they gave Ryan scenes to do and for the rest of the four hours they played video games. Ryan knew from the moment they met how fortunate he was. Theirs is an atypical relationship by Hollywood standards. His managers are honest and Ryan credits them as being largely responsible for every good thing that has happened professionally to him since meeting them.
Todd would be Ryan’s one degree of separation between himself and his first big break, General Hospital. Ryan gave us the play by play on how “Nathan West” was born. It began with him meeting, Mark Teschner, the casting exec for daytime at ABC.
“Walked in, we sat down shooting. It wasn’t an audition because there wasn’t a part. Mark and my managers just kind of knew each other from back in the day. Mark agreed to meet me as a favor to Todd….I was there for like 15 minutes before he handed me some pages….Went outside in the hallway, sat down, memorized them and came back in. I think he was really surprised because-again it’s seven, 6 and a half pages (Ryan mentioned earlier that he has a borderline photographic memory which he knows has attributed to his success. He can memorize a lot of dialogue) because I memorized them, my memory has made me dividends. Came back in and he’s like ‘You good?’ I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m good but I know them.’ So, I went in and did them and he said, ‘Awesome you don’t suck.’ And then I went home.”
In Ryan’s mind and maybe even Todd’s that was pretty much going to be the end of it. It wasn’t. A couple of weeks later, Todd called; Mark wanted to see Ryan again. This time with Frank Valentini also. The same thing happened. Ryan got his lines, he went back in the hallway, memorized them, did his lines and went home.
Three weeks later, over a month after his initial meeting with Mark, Ryan got a call from Todd while he was hanging out with friends at a video arcade. Screen test time. Stuff had just gotten real. Ryan did his screen test with Kirsten Storms (Maxie) and Chad Duell (Michael) in what would become Nathan/Naxie’s apartment. He didn’t remember what exactly the scenes were about. But he must have really impressed them because a week later, Ryan was offered a contract for 4 years on General Hospital. “They created Nathan for me.” That is the story of Nathan West’s birth.
Nathan West was a hit with soap opera fans. “Naxie” was well on their way to being an “it” couple. Hence, the daytime family was surprised and heartbroken when it was announced Ryan was leaving. We asked him about the decision to leave and how he made it.
“Honestly, while it wasn’t public knowledge to the public, it was public knowledge to everybody(else). Contracts have a beginning and an end. There was no bad blood. There was no weird drama. There was no nothing. I signed a contract for four years. I did two films during that time which caused my contract to extend a tiny bit…But really all it was, was my contract ended and we elected not to renew. My managers and I knew early on we were only going to serve one contract. And while nothing was spoken in the room, I think we all had a solid understanding that I was going to serve a contract and I was going to be on my way.”
Ryan expounded on what we all have experienced in our own lives. Seasons come and seasons go. We set new goals, we dream new dreams and we want to try new things.
“Our aim and I don’t mean this in any diminutive way, against soap operas or anything like that, but our aim was elsewhere, higher, want to do action stuff, want to do super hero stuff and I needed to get my feet underneath me….You go to a place like this and you do your best to learn from it. No place on earth will teach you about the left brain stuff required to survive as an actor better than a soap opera will.”
Before we talked Hallmark, Ryan made it crystal clear that he’s not coming back to General Hospital in any contractual capacity. However, he would love to come back as a guest. He is “100% behind ‘Ghost Nathan’ to see Maxie. And to let her know Nathan still loves her, Nathan will always love her and to see our son.” Ryan also would love to come back “as homage to the fans and the show that gave me my start. Wherever, I go in this industry…I will forever be grateful to GH.”
Next we talked Hallmark. With Harvest Love’s, co-starring Jenn Lilley, recent traction, Ryan believes a sequel is on its way. He couldn’t say for certain but thinks it is a real possibility. He could say for certain that the next installment of the Mr. Darcy series has been greenlit. He’s not sure of when or what the subject matter will be but it’s coming. Ryan also mentioned regarding the popular series, “It’s kind of its own franchise. But I think they want to make it into something bigger than that.”
As aforementioned, ‘Mr. Hallmark’ just returned from Canada. He was there for the last two months shooting Hope at Christmas and BFF Bride. Hope at Christmas will air on Hallmark November 20, 2018. BFF Bride, they hope will end up airing on one of Hallmark’s side channels (be on the lookout.)
Fortunate Wanderer, Ryan’s handcrafted jewelry business, came into being because he missed working with tools and making stuff. It was to be just “for fun.” But soap fans got wind of it (you know how we do) and now two years later Fortunate Wanderer “goes crazy.”
I wanted to share my favorite portion of the interview (and there were many). Ryan is lively, entertaining, animated and sooooo funny. But it was during this part of the interview, his tone changed and you could hear the emotion and the feelings behind his words. We were discussing what General Hospital and “Nathan West” meant to him.
“I will always remember. This is a chapter in Ryan’s life, not just Nathan on GH; this is a chapter in my life. I will tell my kids about this. People don’t understand yes, there are characters out there. Yes, Nathan is a character on TV. But there is a human being portraying him. This will forever be a part of my life.”
Yes Mr. Paevey, Nathan West will always be a part of ours as well. And we will be here for every second to see all the great things in store for you! Action Hero here he comes!
Ryan’s message to his fans; “I’m eternally grateful. I’m thankful. I love them.”