Tech Whiz and Leading Man Ryan Bailer is Crushing It!

By Kimberly Dijkstra

With a degree in musical theater from University of Michigan, Ryan Bailer quickly became a leading man in shows like “Evita,” “Forever Plaid,” and a national tour of “Les Miserables.” A self-declared Apple geek, he has always been the go-to Apple support person for his friends and church group. These two disparate talents have shaped the course of Bailer’s dual careers – in theater and in the tech field.

“I thought I wonder if I can do this as a sort of side hustle,” he said, and started his Apple support company called Ryan Bailer Support about 15 years ago. It became more than a side hustle. The business was so successful, Bailer took about 10 years off from performing.

He got back to it in 2013 with the first national tour of “Evita” as the Perón understudy. Since then, he’s done regional productions of “Evita,” “42nd Street,” and “The Sound of Music.”

“It’s fun to see how excited people are to see that level of talent because the national tours are really high-quality productions,” Bailer said. “People on tour take a lot of pride in the performances…You’re meeting people all over the country [and] it’s just exciting to see how excited they are, especially the kids.”

Bailer is the first to admit he’s been an outlier during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My heart just breaks for so many of my fellow actors because not only did they not have any acting work…but the work that they would normally do to supplement like waiting tables, that was shut down too,” he said. “I had a lot of friends move out of the city, go back to school, think of something else to do in life. I’m really fortunate. I wish I could say this was my master plan, but it was just fortune that my tech support company is a home tech support company.”

Business thrived through the pandemic with more people than ever needing tech support at home as they worked and learned remotely. Fortunately, Bailer was able to hire a handful of his actor friends to do administrative work to help them get through the dry spell.

Always juggling his two specialties, Bailer has been keeping up with the pulse of theater as well this past year and a half. He is involved in ACT of Connecticut, which has kept theater alive during this time by releasing readings of children’s books, among other things.

Early this year, Bailer starred in Stephen Schwartz’s “Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook” with ACT of CT, which they filmed as a movie amid strict COVID protocols and released to audiences online in February and March.

“Stephen was involved in that production,” he said, remarking how valuable it was to have the prominent Broadway lyricist and composer present during filming. “He actually rewrote some of the music to make it more suitable for a movie as opposed to a stage production.”

The nonprofit theater also held a fundraiser online and brought back some of their prior actors to participate.

“They had me play

and all the other actors they had playing their respective characters calling in for this sort of telethon. It was a funny bit,” he said.

Bailer is also a familiar face at The Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY. They set up an outdoor drive-through haunted house event last fall and invited Bailer to record a spooky voiceover. The little gigs are a way to keep healthy and active, Bailer says.

“Now that things are sort of starting to open up a little bit, a lot of actor friends are saying that they’re out of shape. They’re not in vocal shape, not in physical shape,” he said. “It’s a unique situation. We’ve never been through this before so we’re all trying to figure it out together.”

Several of the productions he was supposed to be in were postponed or canceled and the future is a bit up in the air.

“It’s one of those things, even if you’re cast in a show, you don’t know what it’s going to look like. It’s sort of a strange existence,” he remarked.

A concert is in the works for this summer and Bailer is looking forward to exercising his voice again and getting it back into tip-top shape.

He’s also looking forward to auditioning again.

“I would never have said that before this thing happened,” he said. “Just getting back into the room and singing and getting feedback.”

Bailer added, “Just having the opportunity to perform is really what all of us want.”

 

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