“A Day In The Life” With Actor, Musician & Screenwriter Ryan Taerk

Ryan Taerk is a very talented actor, musician, screenwriter, and songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Ryan has loved the performing arts for as long as I can remember. His career started in our basement as the director, producer, costume designer, stage manager, set designer, and star of our shows that we would put on for our family. Since then he has built quite the resume of acting credits including “Wish Upon” (Broad Green Pictures), The Umbrella Academy (Netflix), and most recently, “The Communist’s Daughter” (CBC Gem).

On the music side of things, Ryan is a great guitarist/vocalist and has backed up our brother/writing partner, Josh Taerk, on many European and North American tours. Together the three of us reached a major milestone when Josh released our co-written song “Beautiful Tragedy,” to US radio in 2019. The song broke the Billboard Top 40 Pop Indicator Chart at #38 and spent three weeks in the Top 40 on the Mediabase Pop Activator Chart.

As his younger brother, Ryan has always been someone that I have looked up to for so many reasons. Two specific things about him that stand out more than any other are his sense of humour and his big heart. If Ryan was on an airplane and the oxygen bags came down, he would be the one making sure everyone had theirs on or offering his to someone who needed it more, before he put his own on. He founded and co-operates Taerk’s Turkey Drive, which started off as an organization donating a handful of Thanksgiving meals to families in the GTA who are going through hard times. This initiative has grown in just a few years to being able to give hundreds of meals to those in need over the holidays this past year.

As mentioned earlier, Ryan’s sense of humour is also something I marvel at. He is one of the quickest thinking people I have ever met. Working with him starts off as a structured discussion about the story we’re writing at that time, but usually turns into a laughing fit about something one of us said, and will lead to some creative inspiration. Fun fact about Ryan, when you get him to a certain level of laughter it’s very hard to get him to stop! That is the overwhelming review from everybody that has worked with Ryan, he’s just so much fun to be around.

His positivity, fun energy, and love for what he does easily make him one of my favourite people… and no, he did not explicitly ask me to write that sentence.

– By Matt Taerk (Writing partner and brother)

Ryan Taerk
I usually wake up around 6am so that I can get a headstart on my day. I have a few morning rituals that I like doing before my “work day” begins. I typically wake up, have a glass of water, and then start my workout. With gyms being closed, I have adapted my workout routine so I don’t have to use a lot of equipment. I feel like when I start off my day by working out, it feels like I am giving myself energy to carry my day forward in a happy and productive way.
Ryan Taerk
Once I have finished my workout and my body is feeling super energized, I like to get grounded and take some time to do a meditation. Depending on if I were to have a zoom audition, early call time, or writing meeting, the amount of time I would give myself for a meditation would change. I feel like this is such an important tool for me. As an actor and writer, I dream with my eyes open, so meditating has really helped me stay centered and present.
Ryan Taerk
Eating healthy has been something that I have tried to practice for a while now. I feel like in order to have a good day, I need to nourish myself, especially after a workout. If my stomach is empty, I know my brain will be empty . I try to eat as balanced for my body as I can, so I make a morning shake. To me, it is such a treat because it feels like I am eating dessert for breakfast. Not a bad way to start off your day! For all you juicers or morning shake makers, try to remember the lid to the machine otherwise there will be an explosion of food everywhere!
Ryan Taerk
Once I am fueled up after my workout, I feel ready to start my writing. Depending on what I am working on that day, I make sure to set specific amounts of time during the day so that each one of my projects can get the necessary attention that they deserve. With the pandemic confining us to primarily just our homes, it has helped give my day structure, and allows me to look back on the day with a feeling of appreciation for the work that I got done that day.
Ryan Taerk
As a result of the pandemic, actors have become very creative with their zoom audition/self-taping set ups. I always love setting up my zoom audition/taping equipment. It’s always so fun getting to step into a character and feel their feelings and think their thoughts. Whether I am reading with an actor via zoom/facetime or working with one of my siblings on an audition, I feel like the pandemic has created this opportunity for actors to trust in their character choices, and be more present as their character. Such a great experience!
Ryan Taerk
Depending on what’s on the docket for the day, I always try to make time to get in some music. Usually when I go to the piano to play, my songwriting partners/brothers will come and join. My brother, Josh Taerk, and I write a lot of material together, and on this particular day, we were creating something fresh and new. Not only has music been such a fun creative outlet, but also a therapeutic teacher to me. No matter if I am feeling happy, sad or scared, I typically turn to new melodies on the piano to help me get those emotions and stories out. I feel like I am creating change through the music, making me feel more alive as I play.
Ryan Taerk
After lunch, I typically like to go for a walk outside. Not only does it give me the opportunity to move a little bit, but also the fresh air is so nice! With the weather being so nice right now, who wouldn’t want to enjoy it! I love that through the pandemic, I have met so many neighbours that previously I didn’t know. On any given day when I walk around my neighbourhood, I have started to see the same people, and developed friendships, from a distance, with them. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I’m not sure I would have experienced that.
Ryan Taerk
I am a big believer in wellness, and a part of that for me, is adding some form of reading to my day. When I was a child, I was not the strongest reader, but as I got older, and wanted to learn more about various subjects, I started to love reading. At the end of the day, I like to take a bit of time to read because I love being inspired by all forms of art and life. I have been on a kick of reading biographies and autobiographies during the pandemic. I am currently reading Green Lights, by Matthew McConaughey. It is such a great read. Love the book!


“And there you have it! That was a day in the life during the pandemic. Even though I spend the majority of my time at home, I am loving it. I am very grateful that despite my day to day being slightly different to what I was used to, it’s still always a great day! I am very fortunate that I was able to bubble with my family during this time, so not only has it fostered a lot of creativity and productivity, but also made my super close family even closer. So grateful!”

What ‘hood are you in?

I currently live in North York, but pre-pandemic I spent a lot of time with friends and family all over the city. I grew up in North York, so it has always felt like home. One of my favourite parts about where I live is that I am close enough to the excitement and fun of mid/downtown, but can enjoy the beautiful parks, space, and slower pace up north.

What do you do?

I am an actor, screenwriter, songwriter, musician, entrepreneur, but most proudly, the third son of my parents. 🙂

What are you currently working on?

I am currently co-creating and developing my first pilot script that I co-wrote with my writing partners and brothers, Josh and Matt Taerk, as well as new songs that will hopefully be released in the near future. There are a few exciting projects that are coming to fruition, and I can’t wait to share more news about them in the near future.

Where can we find your work?

You can watch The Communist’s Daughter on CBC Gem. The series is shot in Toronto, and is set in 1989. Excited for pop culture enthusiasts to pinpoint some major 80s references throughout our fun season!

If you are interested in hearing some of the music I’ve worked on, then check out Josh Taerk’s music on Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube, basically anywhere music can be streamed or listened to.