Ricardo found his way to acting in college while pursuing a Biochemistry degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After trying only one Theatre course, he immediately switched majors and graduated with a BA in Biology and Theatre in 2014. After graduation, he moved to Chicago where he worked as an actor and writer with companies all across Chicagoland area, as well as study long form improv at iO Chicago. A new transplant to the LA, Ricardo has already complete work on several short films and has more upcoming. He's feels very lucky to have found ECT and to have been welcomed into a Conservatory that he knows is going to strengthen his craft for a long career.
Tell us about a transformative educational experience.
My very first show I ever did was in the last semester of my senior year in college. We were doing Blue Light and Other Stories by Paul Sills, which is a collection of fairytale fable type stories, so we all had multiple characters. My director cast me as all the villains, and I didn't understand why. I didn't think I was villainous. So I asked her, and she said, "because I believe you can do it." Whatever that means! So the rehearsal process started and I really locked into one particular character. He was called the Robber Bridegroom; a cannibalistic serial rapist. I mean, of all the characters to connect to, it shocked me that it was him. And honestly it was really scary. But that was the character that people would come up to me after the show and say, "that genuinely creeped me out." To this day, I'm not sure how I did it, and it scares me a little, but it's helps me to know that I can go there for a character.
What about transformative professional experiences?
I was cast in my first professional show as a lead in Chicago, and I was very nervous. I didn't quite know what I was doing, but there was a moment, where I truly became the character and acted truthfully in the moment and... it was on opening night. There was a big fight scene, where I instigate it by throwing food at the other actor. During rehearsal, we had the food and I would throw pieces of bun at him, and finally stand up and smack him in the face with a tomato or lettuce or something, and that would spur the altercation. However, on opening night, the prop master (bless her heart), put an ice bucket on stage. A NEW THING TO PLAY WITH! The scene comes in the scene, I'm throwing food, and then that moment... and instead of grabbing the lettuce, I grabbed the ice bucket and dumped it over his head. That sparked the fight more intensely and honestly than ever before, and ever was after that. It was such a character impulse with, "what is the most insulting thing I could do to this guy right now?" And I went for it. It was magic.
Why I do what I do...
I never feel better than when I'm speaking to someone's humanity. Whether that's making them laugh, cry, think, or wonder: through acting, stand-up, writing, dance, music. The fact that I get a reaction at all means I'm not alone in my feelings. There are those in the world that feel as I feel. That type of connection to a greater whole is addictive to me.
What about ECT inspires you?
The amount of investment that the company has in each member. I don't think I've ever seen a more welcoming, accepting place for artists to come together. When I'm here, I truly feel like I can do anything and everyone there believes it too.
Where have you traveled? Where would you like to visit?
I have traveled to Mexico, Dominican, Canada, Costa Rica, IL, IN, OH, MO, KS, NE, IW, NV, CO, UT, AZ, CA, FL, MS, and TX. I dream of visiting Italy, Norway, Panama, and Brazil.
My favorite "day-off" event would be...
Spending the day at a casino with my sister, not having to worry about how much money we're winning or losing, and top that off with a delicious dinner where we could eat everything we wanted off of the menu.
If I had one million dollars I would...
If I had a million dollars, I'd just allow myself to live free. Splurge where I want to splurge, do what I want to do, be with who I want to be with. It's not about extravagance. It would be about the subtle comforts that make everyday life, so nice. That and a Dodge Charger. That would make everyday life so much better.
Did you know...
I fell down a volcano and canoed across largest man-made lake in Costa Rica
I've written nearly 300 song parodies, many of which have been featured on online radio shows.
In college I went as a different R&B singer for Halloween each year, but wore the same exact outfit.
I took bass lessons from Grammy-winner Jorge Casas, the bassist for Gloria Estefan's band, the Miami Sound Machine for an entire year.
Master of catching food in my mouth. Take a shot, I'll probably catch it.