You may know Ryan Lane best from his role as Travis on Switched at Birth, but did you know he’d never planned to be an actor? Ryan was discovered when he was still in high school, when a director was looking for the perfect actor for a very special role. Now he has been on TV and in movies, and even won award for his role on Switched at Birth.
Ryan, who was born deaf, grew up in Riverside, California, where he graduated from the California School for the Deaf in 2007. While he was still in school, he was discovered by a filmmaker named David Risotto. Risotto was making a movie about the deaf baseball legend William Ellsworth Hoy, and he was looking for someone to play the lead role. The person in the role had to be deaf, be able to play sports and look like Hoy.
Risotto had been going to different places, looking for the right person, when he saw Ryan’s photograph in his school yearbook. Ryan played football, so Risotto knew he was an athlete, and he looked a lot like Hoy. Risotto asked Ryan if he would be interested in the part, and Ryan agreed, even though he had never acted before! Ryan changed his hairstyle and learned to bat left-handed, and then spent all spring filming the movie.
Ryan did great in the role, and he realized that he loved acting. He went on to guest star in different TV shows, like House M.D. and Cold Case, as well as movies and short films. Then, in 2012, he got the recurring role as Travis on Switched at Birth. Ryan said his real life is different from Travis’s life on the show. Ryan’s parents and sisters learned sign language, but Travis’s didn’t, and that makes Travis angry sometimes. But even though they are different, Ryan thinks that he would enjoy meeting Travis, and that Travis would definitely enjoy meeting him!