Actor Spotlight: Jericho's Ryan M. Lindberg

What attracts you to MJTC?               The people. I've been afforded some incredible opportunities here, and it's freeing and invigorating as an artist to have that kind of trust and confidence invested in me. I've consistently worked with great directors and designers here, and audiences are always sharp and engaged. 

How did you prepare for the role of Josh in Jericho?
I tend to focus on the script almost exclusively. For Jericho, I read the script several times and picked it apart, looking for clues about how other characters saw or described Josh, and how Josh saw or described himself and others. I also did a little research on the Biblical story of Jericho, but I generally leave the abstract metaphors to the director and designers - if there are parallels between the two, those abstract ideas are harder for me to play. I just trust that they'll come through.

Jericho explores both personal and collective catastrophe, but it contains a lot of humor and irony as well. Is it challenging to navigate this juxtaposition?
I love that challenge. Laughter and tears are closer than some think, and the excitement is always in finding human extremes and peculiarities - people who respond to extreme tragedy with a macabre sense of humor being one great example.

Is there an aspect of your character in this show that you particularly relate to or appreciate?
Josh seems to struggle with being hyper-aware of himself, and unable to live his life without commenting on it or judging it. That particular behavior I strongly related to - it's always a struggle to get out of my own head and just be.

Any roles you're dying to play?
I love working on new plays. I'd love to see some of Ike Holter's work get produced here, and I did a reading of a Cory Hinkle play recently that blew me away. There are an awful lot of smart, talented writers here in town, so I'm always excited to take a stab at whatever they're cooking up.

Who or what inspires you?
Oh, this is going to get weird and cheesy here. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and local rapper/writer/all-around badass Dessa. These are people who both have a tremendous work ethic, and also aren't afraid to show it - they don't need you to believe that it was easy to get where they are. They had to work for it. Knowing myself and my own strengths and weaknesses, I'm inspired by the people who constantly push themselves. Reminds me to give up less readily and rest less frequently.

What's the best part about living in the Twin Cities?
There's a great alchemy here, and I think some it stems from people being more interested in collaborating than competing. I see it in the way the musicians in our tremendous music scene constantly recombine in new and interesting ways, and in how our chefs and restaurateurs cheer each other on and work together on different side projects. There's an inherent scarcity of opportunities in theater, which makes the competitive landscape somewhat more difficult, but I'm still seeing more and more people finding ways to work together - establishing producing collectives, doing self-produced work, or setting up informal reading and workshopping groups. People here within and across disciplines genuinely want to play with each other, and I think that's exhilarating.