Coast Guardsman’s leap of faith lands him on the stage

Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Curley is a marine science technician stationed at Coast Guard Sector Juneau in Juneau, Alaska. During the day, Curley works onprotecting U.S. waters and the public from oil and hazardous material responses to conducting safety and security inspections as well as enforcing regulations for the safety of the marine environment and the security of the port.

However, during his off-hours, Curley takes off his blue uniform and dons the garb of someone new as he gets involved in the local theater community. Curley has performed numerous plays and is occasionally a paid actor within the Juneau area.

As a child Curley was encouraged by his parents to play music and participated in band through his school years, but it wasn’t until his sophomore year when group of friends requested additional people to get involved with their upcoming production of the play “Camelot” playing a character named Dap, that got Curley acting.

“This was my first speaking part where I had solo’s that I had to do,” said Curley. “That was pretty much the split. I just had a lot of fun and I decided to get into it. You get to embody the character that you are playing. So, it allows you to escape from whatever is stressing you out at the time and get into a new situation.”

Like many people do after High School, Curley went to college where he took a break from acting and music. Eventually though, the itch to perform came back, and Curley found himself enrolling in further acting courses. However, while being actively involved in college, Curley was also trying to keep up with a demanding job, often times putting in more than 40 hours of work per week.

“I was putting myself through school, and this wasn’t really the life that I wanted for myself,” said Curley. “My family is military so I looked into the Coast Guard and joined right after my second year of college.”

Curley received orders to Juneau in 2009, and after doing some research; he discovered a sizable performing arts community.

“There is a nationally known theater company here as well as a bunch of different opera and music studios in town,” said Curley. “It was really nice to come to such a place where there was a lot of opportunity for performing.”

Curley immediately got involved in a local theater production and tries to participate in one to two shows a year, if not more. Coming up in the first two week of November, Curley will be performing in the play “Hair Spray” followed by another play in Anchorage in early 2013, which may be his last performance before his Alaskan tour comes to a close and he transfers elsewhere.

For some, getting involved in different community programs can be a constructive outlet for people not knowing how to spend their off time.

“Ryan is a good example of how members of the Coast Guard are able to become part of a community,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Angela Roman, a marine science technician who works with Curley. “He’s taken full advantage of what Juneau has to offer and really integrated himself into the town’s theater and symphony community.”

Depending on where Curley ends up during his next tour of duty. He says that he fully intends on keeping up his extracurricular acting activities. “I’ve been looking up the different places on my billet list, and seeing what kinds of opportunities there are,” Curly said. “I would really like to keep pursuing it.”

“As a Coast Guard person, acting gave me more interpersonal skills,” Curly said. “And I would say to anyone looking for something to do, to just search out see what you feel comfortable with, what you think you would have fun doing and just take a leap of faith on it.”