We had the good fortune of connecting with John Ramaine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The moment you mention you’re diving into show business, or even possessing the very thought of it, spells RISK in large, capital letters. No one who understands risk will simply make an informed decision, as one who would fancy a particular pair of shoes. It demands attention and response. If you have loved ones who discover your passion for acting, filmmaking or dance, the first thing they will do is try to talk you out of it, explaining the risk involved. They will read to you the percentages on success or even making a living. They will begin to fear for your life all because your passion has dictated risk.
I have for many years given up the concern people have over my decision to be in show business. There was never a sense that a debate or detour in possessing a fall back position would have influence over me. It’s this or bust. Risk also defines my work. I just completed two particular projects that in themselves possess a risk in storytelling. As artists, we strive to influence a culture. Risk be damned. The only time risk is dictated as having influence over someone is when the artist gives up and explains his or her defeat. This is not an option for me nor should be for anyone who inspires to inspire.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The only thing that sets me apart from others is that I am not afraid to take risks on projects. Of course, the project has to move me to where the risk has no influence at all. Nothing is easy and there are tremendous challenges when it comes to every decision you make as an actor; who will you choose to represent you; what projects are your drawn to; what is your niche as an actor; should I do this play or this particular film; should I be involved with these particular people or would it be better to stay apart? There are a myriad of situations and influences that can either enhance or hinder your career. You have to be sensitive to your impulses and your inner spirit. None of these decisions are easy and a lot of it is trial by fire. I have made numerous decisions that I believe held me back from success. But whatever it is, I know my steps carry their own unique brand. If it’s one thing I’ve learned is that no one road is the same for everyone. Who we are as individuals, artists, creative beings, leads us down our own particular road that carries lessons that only we can know or from which we can learn. As I get older, I cherish the life that has led me to this particular instant. It’s different from what I expected and I am better for it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my friend to all the places I like to go. I live in Brooklyn so, as you can imagine, there are many restaurants that we would mutually enjoy. He is also a baseball fan so if it were the season, we would go to a game. One thing we would both thoroughly enjoy is going to the theater or a good film. We’ve done this numerous times and we would afterward have a wonderful debate on our observances and reflections. These are wonderful memories. Please understand that aside from my male best friend, my wife Julie is also my total best friend, so we also share in all the same special locations, eateries and entertainment venues that carry our stamp of approval.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have had many mentors throughout the years who have marked my life. If you were to go back and notice the signposts that led me to where I currently am, you’d start with my mother who gave birth to me and did the best she possibly could in giving me purpose. After a few years it was my first mentor, Robert Pond, the artistic director of Anchorage Community Theater. He gave me the focus to harness this passion that I have. Others came along, Nancy Sellin, my first acting teacher at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She said that I was destined for success and that I had IT! Another was Hal Lehrman, who helped me overcome my fear of Shakespeare and opened up a new world of possibilities. A huge influence on my team of people is my spiritual advisor, Joann Taylor, who possess an insight and inspiration towards my purpose and calling. And I would be negligent to omit my wife, Julie Ramaine, who’s full trust and confidence in my ability and calling have made it more imperative for me to be successful. My faith has also played a large influence in my direction, knowing that my steps are ordered.
Chelsea, LeSage, Justin Ferrato