From auditions to keeping up with school work, young actors experience life on camera and stage in challenging yet rewarding ways. Nick at Nite’s “See Dad Run” star Ryan Newman has adapted to being a young actress in Hollywood quite well. At 15 years old, the star has already taken on both film and television roles over the years. At age 6, Newman became the youngest actor to ever be motion captured on film in the movie “Monster House.”
The starring role led to television appearances on Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “Hannah Montana,” where she played a young Miley Stewart. “I started when I was 3 years old,” Newman says. “I begged my parents for about a year and a half by pointing at the TV and asking to do that at a crazy young age. I started out in print and modeling and then moved on to commercials and TV and movies.”
Having learned quite a bit in her young career already, Newman shares some advice for fellow teenage actors.
Take charge of your own career.
Despite still being a teenager, Newman says she takes an active role in carving out her career path that she hopes to have for a long time to come. “It’s hard because I was so young starting out. I’ve recently been involved in choosing more of my roles,” she says. Given how vital each part can be for an actor’s longterm career, making the decisions of which roles to take on can be a daunting task for those growing up on camera, but the actress insists the most important part is to work hard and stay positive. “It is hard being young and an actress. There are so many challenges but it’s rewarding. Sticking with school is hard to juggle but I have an amazing family and support system. I have my friends from school from when I went back in eighth grade, I try to surround myself with people I have fun with.”
Grow with your roles.
Newman is prepping to return as Emily Hobbs on the comedy “See Dad Run,” where she plays the eldest daughter of David Hobbs (Scott Baio). Newman says it’s a unique experience developing a character she as so much in common with. “I feel like I’m so much like my character. I’m so comfortable with my role now because we’re going onto season 3,” she said. “I’m going through the same things and I understand it; being a teenager makes playing one a lot easier and relatable.”
Appreciate the benefits of a diverse resume.
Having played characters in feature films and television, Newman says she appreciates both mediums because they’ve developed her acting skills in different ways. “The difference with television is you get to play the same role for a long time. With ‘See Dad Run,’ I’ve done it for two years now. There are pros and cons to both. With movies, you get to play characters for months, but then you move on and do something else, so there’s something fun about that also.”
Work toward longterm goals.
Entering the industry early in life has its advantages. Newman has found that constantly working on your craft and staying focused is the only guarantee to career longevity. “I would say to not to give up. If you’re really into it, continue to dream,” she says. “Always be involved with training. I started classes and workshops when I was 3 or 4. I’ve had my fair share of coaching and workshops, now my training is on set.”
As for the future of the bright young actor? She’d love to head in a different direction. “I feel like I’m in a good place in my career at the moment. I’d love to get some drama in right now. I started out with dramas and movies, and ended up with comedy. I’ve spent the last few years in comedy television, so I can use some dramatic roles soon!”