Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ryan Conklin On Camera

Ryan ConklinIn episode eight of The Real World Brooklyn, Ryan Conklin began to express his inner Spielberg. He has an affinity for filmmaking and since he was in New York and had time on his hand, he decided to get some training on it. He had dabbled in filmmaking during high school and was ready now to get into more advanced instruction.

Ryan started off with getting his feet wet and back into it by participating in the taping of a promotional webisode for the Fairway Market grocery store in New York. He and Chet had been invited by Daniel Glickberg of the family that owns Fairway Market to watch the taping of a webisode on how to carve a turkey. Ryan watched the process with interest and actually got the opportunity to do some impromptu interviewing in front of the camera. He did a good job with it as he always look legit, no matter on what subject he's talking. Unfortunately, during the interview Ryan and Chet became possessed by the MTV spirits of Beavis and Butthead. They started giggling when there was a mention that when carving the bird you should slip the tip in and feel the bone. Unable to go on, Ryan's brief foray into instructional videos for food preparation was brought to a close.

Ryan ConklinHoping for something better, Ryan enrolled in a 4 week program at the New York Film Academy. Once he started there he was very excited about gaining understanding about the art of film making and about evoking his creative tendencies. Early in the program he was shown a scene from Apocalypse Now with the sound muted and he said he was blown away by seeing how the emotion was still conveyed by the visuals.

During the program Ryan would have 3 projects to do. For his first project, which was on 16mm, he has to do a mise-en-scène lasting under a minute using only three shots. He had Chet Cannon and Scott Herman be the actors. Chet played a man sitting on a bench reading a newspaper with an apple, which gets stolen by Scott. In Chet fashion, he was proud and boasted of his performance in his "demanding" role.

Ryan ConklinFor one of his next projects, Ryan decided to do a very "dark" film. He chose himself to be the actor because he knew what he wanted from the role. He remarked that acting was easy for him. It should be, with Ryan's expressive face and better-than-James-Dean look.

Ryan's favorite part of the process was the editing. He loved being in the editing room by himself focusing on crafting the materialization of his vision. He put a lot of hours into it but enjoyed the hard work.

One night when Chet came home very late he noticed that Ryan wasn't there. Chet became very worried and tried to call Ryan but got no answer. Eventually Ryan called back and said that he had fallen asleep on the train and now he was out on the street somewhere. Chet, Scott, and JD Ordonez immediately went to go pick him up. They found Ryan and told him how much they had been concerned about his whereabouts and how much they cared about him.

It would be good if Ryan Conklin used that as inspiration to turn away from dark subjects and make a good buddy movie, reflecting the camaraderie and goodwill that Ryan engenders in his friends and all those around him.

Ryan ConklinBefore they were famous

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ryan Conklin And Girls

Ryan ConklinIn episode seven of The Real World Brooklyn, most of the air time is devoted to Devyn Simone's two-timing with multiple boyfriends and to the adventure that might be called The Great Rat Caper. However, the most interesting part of the episode was snuggled in near the end and only amounted to a few minutes. It was the visit by Ryan Conklin's girlfriend Michelle ("Belle"). It provided another little insight into Ryan's personality and his persona. Though the view was brief, it showed some important characteristics.

Ryan was shown talking to Belle on the phone about her impending visit to Brooklyn. It was clear that he was happy that she was coming. He talked with her about some ideas of what they might do together while she was there. She said she wouldn't mind just sitting and staring at him all day (so I can tell right off that she and I have at least one thing in common). He replied, "Freak," as he suitably picked his nose and looked at the result and tossed it to the floor.

Ryan ConklinBelle continued her affectionate remarks with, "Ryan, I haven't seen your beautiful face in so long." Ryan in Ryan-like fashion let her know (playfully and with a smile), "Oh my God, you are going to make me throw up. Shut up!" Ryan may not like to hear comments like those but he is willing to suffer through them for another person's sake.

Some time later, Belle arrived at the doorstep. Ryan gave her a friendly hug and then showed her around the grounds. In an inserted video clip, he said "Belle is like my best friend. It's like hanging out with one of the guys, but it's a girl, and it's my girl-friend." In other words, she's a friend that Ryan can be affectionate with and touch, but not feel awkward about it like he might be with his buddies.

Ryan ConklinHe also said, "I'm just glad that she's here. I feel more comfortable." That's because, despite having made new friends in the Real World house, Ryan still needed someone around that he knew he trust implicitly and who represented the kind of people he missed from back in Pennsylvania.

Ryan introduced Belle to Baya Voce. Baya showed a excruciatingly broad smile as she ran to hug Belle and tell her how happy she was to see her. The reaction probably was a way to ease any guilt that Baya felt from even creating an impression that she had been coming on to Ryan, which he had previously accused her of.

Belle and Ryan ended up going to Coney Island, with JD Ordonez acting as chaperone. In spite of any bravado about being a man of the world, Ryan still preferred to act as a gentleman with his lady.

Ryan confessed, "She's the first girl that I said that I love her. And I really true feel that way."

Ryan ConklinDuring the car ride from Coney Island, Ryan talked about the Inactive Ready Reserve, which he is still part of. He said that up until September 10, 2010 he could still be called back to active duty. Belle told him not to worry about it because she believed that it was not going to happen. Ryan considers the possibility but doesn't dwell on it. He claims to live in the moment. On the other hand, if it were to happen he believes it would be very tough on their relationship. He didn't state explicitly why he felt that way.

And so Belle's visit came to an end and she got ready to leave. She became tearful and Ryan gently told her to stop. In inserted video he said, "I'm just like a robot when it comes to emotions. I'm not the one that weeps and cries. I'm just not that person."

Ryan ConklinThis is very strange because physical conditions that prevent tear production are not very common. Also, it is not something that can be controlled by will. Crying is an involuntary physical reaction to a sorrowful situation. You can't will yourself not to cry just like you can't will yourself not to sweat if you overheat. The absence of tears instead would indicate that you aren't experiencing something that you find sorrowful enough. Assuming that Ryan doesn't have a defective "sensitivity chip", he must just have a high threshold for what makes him sad. When something bad enough happens, Ryan will cry.

There is a final embrace between Belle and Ryan in the car. He said, "You know I hate goodbyes. It's see-ya-laters, remember?" Ryan gave her a good-bye hug, but he is not comfortable with touchy-feely embraces. He endures it for her sake.

Ryan ConklinFrom what we know, let's look at what Ryan needs in a girlfriend. Here is a list of requirements:

1) She has to be like one of the guys. Ryan wants a girl who is a buddy and who likes to go do buddy things with him, not someone who would rather play house.
2) She needs to be a lot like him. I thought of the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry finally met someone who he was willing to marry. It was because she was just like him. Granted, eventually Jerry decided that he couldn't stand being around someone like himself, but in Ryan's case I believe it would be longer lasting.
3) She has to be someone who is supportive of Ryan. Ryan is a free spirit and needs someone to gently encourage him to find productive ways to follow his dreams and not someone who would criticize his ideas or try to hobble him.
4) She needs to be someone who is not overly emotional. It makes Ryan uncomfortable and can only be a negative.
Ryan Conklin5) She has to be someone that Ryan feels that he can trust completely and be someone he knows will be there to lean on as he deals with his bottled up feelings.
6) She has to be someone who is understanding of Ryan. She has to know that he can only show as much emotion and care as he can, but she also has to realize that that doesn't mean he doesn't feel more than he can show.
7) She has to be someone with the same sense of humor, but not a bigger joker than he is. He's proud to be the king of comedy and isn't looking for competition.
8) She has to be someone who doesn't worry excessively about things. That would be too much of a mismatch with Ryan's "live for the day" mentality.

Ryan ConklinSo does Belle fit the bill? It looks like she fits 1, 2, and 7, and possibly 5 & 6. On 3, 4, and 8, it looks like a mismatch, especially on number 3. Ryan was very disappointed that Belle didn't support his desire to be cast on the Real World and that cast a pall on their relationship.

Another thing is that Belle is a pharmacy major. Would that work, paired with a person like Ryan who favors something in the creative arts? Don't know.

From her brief appearance on RWBK, it can be seen that Belle is a really nice person, who sincerely loved Ryan very much. However, as readers of Ryan's comments on know, he and Belle are no longer together. As sad as any break-up may be, for two good people it's better to end it sooner rather than later once it becomes clear that it's not a perfect match.


Now back to The Great Rat Caper.

Ryan ConklinThe roommates discovered that their home was infested with mice. When they are spotted, JD jumped onto the countertop and Sarah onto a chair. Ryan remarked that it was just a mouse and that it was ridiculous to see how some people reacted. At the same time it was apparent he was gleeful to see people jumping.

There was ongoing bad blood between JD and both Devyn Simone and Sarah Rice. They mutually treated each other like crap, although Devyn and Sarah were much better equipped to handle it than JD. JD resented that the girls refused to acknowledge that they were mean to him, so he devised a plan for retribution. He decided to buy a rat from a pet store and put it in Devyn's bed.

He knew that he would be unable to place it in Devyn's bed surreptitiously because he would not be able to keep from laughing. For this reason he engaged Chet to help. Chet and the other straight guys were already appalled by Devyn's having two boyfriends at the same time. They felt that according to the guy code that they should do something to show their displeasure, so they were happy to join in the plot.

Ryan ConklinThe "covert op" with Devyn was a success. Later, Ryan wanted to get Sarah too because he just didn't like her and wanted to see her have a bad reaction to it. He took the rat and placed it under her bed covers.

At some point Sarah turned back the covers and saw the rat droppings. Strangely, she emphasized that she has not slept on those sheets yet, as if to stress that the doo-doo pellets were not her own. She accidentally flung the rat to the floor but when she saw it she jumped onto the bed and into the rat poo. She then ran out of her room with her fecal feet to tell everyone. Ryan pumped his arms victoriously. Another triumph for Ryan and another example of what Ryan regards as having a good time with girls.

Highlight of the week: RyanConklin lying with Scott on his bed while wearing shorts, a double dose of hot maleness. Love those Ryan legs.

Ryan Conklin

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ryan Conklin Returns To Smallville

Ryan ConklinReturning from Metropolis to his home town of Smallville, superhero Ryan Conkin showed the viewers of Real World Brooklyn a glimpse of the origin of his not so secret identity: the mild mannered small town boy. He also showed the source of his great power and the nature of his one weakness, the thing that he must avoid long exposure to in order to retain his abilities.

Chapter six of the RWBK series began with the characters Katelynn Cusanelli, JD Ordonez, and Sara Rice volunteering to work at the New York City LGBT community center. There the trio learned of a plan for a special fundraising event, known as Braking the Cycle. It would be a bicycle ride that coincidentally begins in young Ryan's hometown of Gettysburg, PA. The three agreed to join forces with the center and use the ride as a weapon to fight the archenemy, HIV/AIDS.

Ryan ConklinThe threesome returned to Ryan's lair at Pier 41 and revealed to him the plan. Ryan, fulfilling his mission to aid mankind and to protect the American Way, quickly agreed to ally with the LGBT league and to travel back to the place where his journey had first begun.

Ryan was excited by the circumstance. Though his adventures had taken him far from home, the place was still dear to him. He wished to show the other members of the Real World team, who had also agreed to join the mission, why he loved it so much.

Ryan ConklinOn the appointed day for the start of the journey, Ryan arose from his bed at the break of dawn. He was clad only in the protective boxer shorts that many have longed to penetrate though few have succeeded. Wishing to travel in the guise of an ordinary straight boy, Ryan covered his handsome physique with traveling garb and looked to gather his compatriots.

Ryan saw that the females of the group were still asleep, as though under the influence of some dark force. Relying on the training he had received years before as a member of a marching band, Ryan marched into the room to awaken them. He resourcefully used a pan, rather than his trusty trumpet, to produce a sound so great that no sleep could withstand it.

Ryan ConklinThe females rouse, but in that instant Ryan was forced to flee from their presence. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that females drain Ryan of his abilities and so he must not remain long in their company. Prolonged exposure could even be mortal. Ryan's sidekick Chet Cannon was aware of this and accordingly insisted that the females ride in a vehicle separate from Ryan's man force. Ryan acknowledged that riding in the car with even one of the females for a period of four hours would cause him not to arrive alive.

In their own vehicle the boys successfully used artifice to separate themselves from the females and to proceed with haste to Gettysburg.

They arrived at the rendezvous where they had arranged to meet the other superhero in Ryan's family, his brother, the equally powerful and even more hunky Aaron Conklin. While Ryan was away in Brooklyn, Aaron had remained behind in his identity as a security officer at Gettysburg College. There he helped those in need, and protected the innocent youth of the school.

Ryan ConklinFor Ryan, the immediate need was to replenish his power. The source of it is an unknown form of energy that is created by all men. It surrounds them, penetrates them and binds them all together. It can be harnessed by Ryan out of the focused effort of a group of men engaging in similar activity and in close proximity.

To effect the power production, Ryan had a plan to commandeer a local transport and use it to bring his brother and the Brooklyn man force together where they could bond and release their free testosterone. He accomplished this and the manpower began to flow. Unfortunately, half way through the process, the females arrived and threatened to negate the action. Ryan deftly diverted them away and completed his plan.

Ryan ConklinRe-energized, Ryan was then able to take time to visit with his family and introduce the Real Worlders to them. Ryan brought them all together for dinner at the The Pike restaurant in Gettysburg. Upon meeting Ma and Pa Conklin, the Real Worlders finally understood from where Ryan had gotten his good and gentle nature.

To fulfill their mission, early the next day all the Real Worlders converged on the opening ceremonies of the cycling event. There they expected to support helping others and to honor those who had passed away. Sadly, their success was marred by an antagonist from within the group. The soulless Chet Cannon used the opportunity to mock the dead and to terribly engross himself in only his own amusement.

Chet CannonLetting his ugliness from inside show through, Chet disrespectfully used a flag meant to honor a specific victim of AIDS in a way that he admitted was an attempt at a "joke" so that he "could have a good time."

The only joke related to this would be to have a standard size flag pole shoved up Chet's ass and then waved vigorously. He's not like Ryan, and surely someday Ryan will call him out for his bad behavior.

With the charitable event completed, Ryan Conklin returned to Brooklyn. Another chapter in the story of this American hero had reached its conclusion. Without doubt there will be many more in the future.

Ryan Conklin

Thursday, February 12, 2009

250,000 Visitors

This blog has hit the mark of having over 250,000 visitors in total since its inception. For sites that get that much in day, this would seem like incredibly small potatoes. For this site, since it is only a hobby and something that I update infrequently on only a small number of television subjects, it's pretty good. I have trouble imagining that many people seeing this thing.

To share the credit, I have to thank Brian Kehoe and Danny Nunez and the rest of the models of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency who inspire a lot of interest and web searches, day after day around the world.

Second, I have to thank Brett Novek and the America's Most Smartest Model cast, who still grab people's attention. People have never lost interest in Brett (me neither) and they find their way to my pages. Brett was my first break out star and you never forget your first. ♥ Brett.

Third, I have to thank the boys of Make Me A Supermodel, season one. There are always people interested in Ben DiChiara and Perry Ullmann.

Fourth, I have to thank the people who have become one page wonders on the site. Adult film star Aaron James comes to mind.

Fifth, I have to mention Ryan A. Conklin who is beginning to draw eyeballs over here. He's a complicated character who takes a lot of time, and I do mean a lot, to figure out so I hope it will be worth it in the end.

I also have to mention Bravo's Work Out. What a dud for me. It was a lot of work and no payoff. Occasionally I get a hit on a search about Greg Plitt, but he was a minor character in my posts. I really skewered Jackie Warner and I wanted to share that condemnation with the world.

Most importantly, I thank you nameless strangers who pass this way and especially the ones who leave a comment.

I really don't know how much longer I will continue to publish stuff online. I'm not a writer and I don't get satisfaction from the act of writing. It's work and I would rather devote my time to other things that may interest me. At first I wanted to see if I could do it and now I know I can, so that's done. The thing that keeps bringing me back is that I kind of hate the idea of building something up and then letting it die a slow death.

If I'm still doing this I'll give a shout out at the half million mark. Till then...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ryan Conklin Light And Dark

Ryan ConklinWhen I saw the preview video for episode five of Real World Brooklyn, with clips of Ryan Conklin shouting and him being noticeably saddened in relation to his experience in Iraq and his being in New York for the anniversary of 9/11, I felt dread about what the episode would show. I had started to feel fondness for Ryan the character during the first episode and by the end of the fourth I definitely had affection for the person. So being empathetic towards him, I was eager to find out what happened and concerned about what that may be.

The episode begins like the relaxing ascension on the first hill of a major roller coaster. You can lean back and enjoy the view on a nice summer day.

In early September, the roommates prepared to go the Love Brigade fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for Spring 2009 in NYC. Ryan lightheartedly feigned interest in fashion with Baya Voce. It's funny, you have to know enough to know what to say in order to mock it and Ryan did it well.

Ryan ConklinNext, Ryan the scamp was shown mischievously tying people's shoelaces backwards as a playful prank. The affected roommates were mildly amused.

In the same spirit, JD Ordonez also wanted to play and to give Ryan and Chet Cannon a silly prank in return. With Scott Herman and Katelynn Cusanelli's help, he sprayed some shaving cream into Chet and Ryan's room while they were sleeping. The boys were awakened by the rain of this light foam.

By the way, we are now at the top of the hill on that roller coaster. Hang on.

Ryan ConklinRyan immediately knew that JD was responsible (because of JD's distinctive laugh) and confronted him. Ryan began shouting at JD in a frightening rage with an out-of-control volume and demeanor that made Ryan appear to be almost completely unhinged. JD, though lying down, stood his ground and didn't let himself get intimidated, which probably fueled Ryan even more. The other roommates cowered in their rooms, fearful of the shocking outburst that they could hear. Eventually Ryan broke off the attack and returned to his room with Chet to wipe up the residue of the shaving cream.

Ryan tried to explain on his MTV blog that though he was indeed agitated by what JD had done, he intentionally wanted to look furious about being blamed for the shoelaces so that people would think he really hadn't been doing it.

Here's my take on the whole incident:

Ryan Conklin1) The reason for the reaction. Ryan admitted that he has a unusual problem with being disturbed while sleeping, which he attributes to his experience in the army. That's believable. However, when talking to Scott about JD's prank, Ryan rationalized his reaction with some clearly on-the-fly rules of pranking that he said that JD broke. Supposedly, one of the tenets of "Ryan's Rules of Pranking" is that one cannot commit a prank in someone's bedroom, especially while they are sleeping. That's not believable. I'm sure that Ryan himself would not hesitate to prank someone in a similar situation. [Update 2/11/09: Ryan wakes Katelynn and the house by banging loudly on a pan. How is that not worse than waking with foam?] [Update 2/18/09: Ryan participates in pranking Devyn with a rat in her bed while she is sleeping. By himself, he also puts the rat in Sarah's bed. Apparently the prohibition on bedroom pranks only applied during the time period that episode five was taped.]

2) The reaction itself. I believe that Ryan intended to put on a good show when confronting JD, but real rage did take over. Devyn made a good assessment that Ryan's reaction came from something much more serious that being coated with foam. To me, Ryan's being awakened did trigger something in his mind. He was unwillingly reminded that he could have some kind of negative experience back in civilian life from just being awakened and for this, at least for awhile, he hated JD for causing it to occur.

Ryan Conklin3) The planned retaliation. Seething with anger over the feelings that JD's prank had produced in him, Ryan told Chet that he would like to duct tape JD's mouth with a sock in it and tie JD to a mattress and put him outside. Later, Ryan lost sleep trying to formulate a counter-attack that would include a fish and JD slipping and potentially hurting himself. I like to believe that Ryan wouldn't actually torture or cause someone physical harm, so giving him the benefit of the doubt, these statements must just be a way of venting through imagination. Still, they reflect that something must be terribly wrong to have such ill-will over an incident so inconsequential as shaving cream.

Ryan ConklinThat brings us to the subject of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is understood that the show is edited to create whatever impression is desired, but it still seems clear that something is affecting Ryan. What is really disconcerting is that Ryan keeps saying that he knows people who are badly affected by keeping their problems bottled up and by not wanting to be thought of as having a problem. As many times, Ryan also says that he, Ryan, is also like that (hint, hint). If this is not being done consciously, then certainly his subconscious is shouting to everyone that something is not right. There should be compulsory evaluation over time for stress disorders of veterans returning from combat so that pride doesn't get in the the way of getting some kind of relief.

On the 7th anniversary of 9/11, Ryan went with a army friend to the commemoration at Ground Zero. He was moved by that and by further reflections on the day and the effects the original tragedy has had on the world and on him personally. Ryan has a hard exterior but some inner sentimentality. No shame in letting a softer side show through; he should do it more.

Ryan ConklinThe episode ended with Ryan Conklin looking at the light display for the twin towers and dejectedly commenting on his "crummy life". This is where the prayers of his new TV friends cause Clarence, now AS1, to be summoned and to point out to him the wonderful life before and yet to be.