At times, Ryan Madden finds himself a little overwhelmed with his schedule, but the Fort Dodge Senior High School senior keeps going, enjoying as much as he can as he walks the halls like a Dodger.
Madden’s list of activities ranges from athletics to performing arts to band. Madden is the student body president of the Dodgers Senate and the president of the National Honor Society.
“Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming to think about everything that’s going on,” Madden said. “My gimmick isn’t really a gimmick, I’ve just been blessed with amazing family and friends who support me and remind me that everything will work out every time I get a little stressed.”
He is a freshman ambassador who also speaks for large groups, jazz bands, and youth groups at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Participates in theater and music band as drum major. On the athletic side, he is on the football, cross country, and track teams, and is also a youth soccer referee.
“Personally, I feel like when you’re involved in things, you’re making the most of every experience,” Madden said. “This sounds cliche, but you can only go to high school once, and I didn’t want to regret not trying anything, so I tried everything.”
On Friday nights, you can find Madden in the center of the field as one of the four main drummers of Fort Dodge.
“Being an older drummer has been one of the most fun things in my entire high school career,” Madden said. “Getting to know all the people in the band and being a figure they can trust means a lot to me. The band feels like a family, and having a part in all the chaos that comes with organizing 100+ people is an amazing feeling.
“There’s also something about being on that podium with the (Dodgers) stadium lights shining down on you that you just can’t replicate.”
Starting from his first role as Charlie’s grandfather in the high school production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Madden has loved the stage.
“From a young age, my parents wanted music to play in all of my siblings’ lives and mine,” Madden said. “This resulted in me being close to a lot of performances and eventually I wanted to perform myself.
“I like that acting allows me to show people a side of me that they don’t really know about.”
While on stage it’s not about the role or the subject matter, it’s about the process and the memories.
“The most important thing to me about acting is the memories you create,” Madden said. “You can ask any artist about the process of putting on a show, and I promise you there will always be specific memories and inside jokes that make each performance memorable and different for each person.
“That’s the most fun thing for me about acting.”
Madden also relishes the opportunity to get up on stage and relate to a character who may not be like his personality.
“Trying to define why I like to act has always been difficult for me because on the one hand, you’re playing a completely different person than you, but at the same time, at the end of the show, you end up relating to the character in some way. or another,” Madden said. “In Footloose, I played Reverend Shaw Moore. This was unlike anything I had ever done, and at first, I had a hard time being so uptight, but towards the end, before the performance, I began to understand more and more where I was coming from.
“The connection that you make with the character and bringing out the connection is what acting and acting is for me.”
Being involved in so many activities, it helps to have a strong support system, and Madden has you on your side.
“My biggest influence has definitely been my family,” Madden said. “My mom and dad in particular help me strive to be the best version of myself by being the best versions of themselves.”