Ryland Narvaez: Acting Through a Voice


Michelle Carrillo

Junior Ryland Narvaez hopes to be a voice actor when he grows up.

By Ella Ilg, Staff Writer

Anyone who has spoken to junior Ryland Narvaez for more than two minutes will recognize something that sets him apart from most other high school boys. His speech is tempered and quiet — almost regal sounding — and his posture and walk might make a person suspect he’s secretly a royal heir to the throne. These qualities are essential to his career plans, as his dream is to become a voice actor.

Narvaez began theatre in middle school at Lincoln Jr. High, and found that he preferred acting with his voice over his body. After college, he wants to enter the voice acting field, hoping to eventually get a career voicing video games, cartoons or anime.

“Before I never really had an aspiration to do anything, then I joined theatre in eighth grade. I thought it was fun, and then I just came to realize that it’s much easier for me to say things and act than move around in a space and do things with my body,” Narvaez said.

Narvaez enjoys the therapeutic aspect of acting, as it gives him an opportunity to scream and let some energy out.

His first show at Niles West was “Almost Maine” his sophomore year, and since then, he’s been in five shows. Although Narvaez is heavily involved in theatre production at West, many students don’t readily associate him with the theatre department.

“I remember Anthony [Saldaña] and a class came in for the first show of “Streetcar [Named Desire]”. When he took his shirt off, there were so many female admirers in the crowd. I don’t think I live up to the same fame as him or the other people,” Narvaez said.

A lot of the students that are involved in theatre are also very involved in the music department here at West. Due to the fact that Narveas is not musically inclined and has never done a musical, he feels separated from the majority of theatre students. However, that doesn’t stop other students from recognizing his talent.

“I see the effort he puts into theatre and the hard work he puts into acting in the shows. I think voice acting is very suited for him. He has that voice that can carry him in that career, and the drive he has can put him in a very successful position,” junior Tina Siegler said.

Theater director Andrew Sinclair has been able to observe Narvaez’s talents as well and praises his skill.

“Ryland initially presented himself as unbelievably shy. I think he had an ‘aha’ moment where he decided to just let himself be. I call that breath, like when an actor can take a breath and present who they really are, and that’s when they can cross over and just do it. Once he did that, there’s no way to ever go back,” Sinclair said. “It is that level of confidence and owning who you are that is really cool to watch an actor achieve. I think Ryland has a sage wisdom and kindness and maturity that you would think of someone who’s lived a very long life but has the energy and commitment level of someone who’s young and spry.”

It’s clear that in one way or another, Narvaez hopes to find himself on a stage or in a sound studio in the future, and his drive for performing and throwing himself into different characters is not going away anytime soon.