Lets meet the next up coming Pop Star Mark Ryan of Paranormal City – Twist Online
An exclusive interview by KBC Media and Keanu Ibarrondo with Actor, Author, Singer, Voice Actor -Mark Ryan -'Quartermaster Gates from. When you've actually met a candidate, it can come across as rude if you A simple minute interview likely required hours of preparation. August 10, • •Interviews. Mark Ryan of Paranormal City, has toured the United States, United Kingdom and scored three number one hits.
That bit of mischief on the set really made the show crack along. Not just on the set, but off the set. We were even worse off the set than we were on the set.
The story about the bed, which was one of the occasions when we all got into trouble for emptying Terry Walsh's [the stunt co-ordinator] hotel room of every object that could be removed including the light fittings and the light sockets. We just took everything out of his room and hid it. Unfortunately one of the things that we removed from his room which we couldn't really hide very well was a large bed, which we pushed into the car park. And pushed then over a mound which turned out to have a canal on the other side.
So, the bed was never seen again. We ended up paying for that. We were doing it all the time. It was great fun. How did you put extra things into the script? Well, Kip was excellent about that kind of thing. If anybody had an idea or an objection, we were free to bring up ideas, chuck in ideas, move things around. We used to go into a huddle with the dialogue.
Well, the boys did. I would just hang around and watch most of the time. If they had dialogue to do, they'd go into a little huddle, work out what they were going to do, say the lines. If it didn't work, they'd change them. That kind of stuff. Kip again, to his credit -- this is the sign of a good writer, he came out and socialized with us a lot, and he got to learn our personalities and how each of us functioned.
And he wrote for us. He said very early on, he said, "You guys are going to know these characters very quickly much better than I do. You're going to know these people. You're going to be doing it. So, you're going to know these people and I'm willing to listen to anything you've got to say about it. I don't think Nasir would do that. Or I don't think this is working. It was when Anthony Horowitz came on.
And Anthony turned into a very, very good writer -- in fact, one of the most famous TV writers we've got in Britain right now. But it was complex show to get hold of, and what he wrote which just was improbable regarding what was happening within the Merry Men. We all turned around and said "We wouldn't do this, Anthony. What was he having you do?
It was "The Pretender".
It sticks out in my mind, where Reece [Dinsdale] came in and was pretending to be [Arthur of Brittany, Kings Richard and John's nephew, supposedly murder by King John], basically takes over the band. You know, he outfights everybody and wins Maid Marion's heart.
And we just said, "it's improbable. These people live in the forest together. They fight together; they are on the run together. It's improbable that somebody would turn up and they would just follow this guy because he's better at everything than Robin. It just doesn't make any sense. That he would be able to win that.
I mean he beats everybody. He beats up Ray [Will Scarlet], he has a two-handed sword fight with me and he beats me.
He basically bested everybody at everything. And we all said "This just isn't working. This doesn't make any sense. And then Robin then coming back at the end proving that he is really the good guy after all, that he really is the best Robin Hood sort of thing.
So we had that kind of input. Since the series, you've done a lot of work on mythic themes. Did that start with Robin of Sherwood or was it something you were interested in before? I can't say it was something I knew a great deal about. Growing up, you kind of. Although I knew a lot about the Arthurian legends, Robin Hood and all that kind of stuff, it never struck me as being something that was new to me.
It was just something I knew about. But I never went into it to the depth I did later on. No, my experiences before that were mainly musical theatre. I'd done two shows in the West End before that. One being Evita and one being a show called Dean. And my experience before that was recording and that kind of thing. And how did you get into the mythic themes from Robin of Sherwood?
Oooh, I guess it was people asking me questions. I'd done some reading about the whole thing, but people kept asking me questions at conventions, like fan conventions in the US, to which I didn't really know the answers. I started getting intriguing by some of the images myself in the show. Although we were aware of the show at the time in terms of some of its themes and some of its imagery. It wasn't till a few years later when people kept coming up to me and saying "Have you any idea how symbolic and how important that show was in terms of the effect it had on the Pagan community?
It was extraordinary the power that that image had for people. And that's when I started to get interested. And you know I had to go back in a way and backtrack to my childhood memories and say "Oh, I see, that makes sense.
I see where that fits. I'm not saying it's totally responsible for that. But in my own life what it did do was reawaken stuff I already knew, had it my head and obviously opened up new things that I was not aware of at all. What sorts of mythic themes do you see in the Robin Hood legend? Oh god, in the legend or in the show? I think the show itself has touched on so many different complex areas. But I'll bring up two. One was the Templars, the idea of the Knights Templar.
The other is the whole concept of a man living in the forest who is not necessarily the only man that takes on the mantle Robin Hood or Robin i'the Hood, and that he is seen by the people as a semi-magical character who fighting against Norman, Christian oppressive class system.
I think that probably is near as damnit as is truthful. That was the situation. I mean you can go from there where you want. I mean within the Templars and the whole knights' chivalric orders and the Plantagenets and John's history with the Lionheart.
I mean there is so much. It is rich in history and with symbolism. Within the old legend itself, my personal belief is that there are historically several real Robin Hood characters who were actually remembered in the pipe rolls, which are the royal household lists of people who worked the royal households. Not for killing a deer, but for stealing firewood. He was either going to be sent to prison or he could fight for the king.
So he decided to fight for the king and became a very famous warrior. And the king offered him a place in the household and he became a gamekeeper. He lived as a gamekeeper for the king for about a year and then he got bored with that and vanished, and apparently went back into the forest from whence he came. So there are several real Robin Hoods dotted around history.
I believe probably people took the mantle of Robin Hood because they were highwaymen, robbers living on what was called Watling Street or the Great North Road which runs up the spine of Britain from London to York. And York was where the Exchequer was kept at that time.
London wasn't where the money was kept. The money was kept in York. And around York there are nine Knights Templar preceptories; so whatever they were guarding, they were guarding it seriously. So, the layers within the show are multiple.
There's all the legend of the Green Man and nature and nature in man and man in nature and all that stuff. There's all the stuff to do with bows and the mysticism of archery and the symbolism of archery. It's so deep, it's so rich, we could go on about it for hours.
How did you end up designing a tarot deck based on various Greenwood legends? I got interested in tarot some years ago. And I actually bought a deck for a then girlfriend of mine. She wasn't really that much interested, but I found the imagery fascinating. And didn't really think about it anymore.
But wherever I went, particularly when I came to America, I went into a bookstore, somehow they are more readily available here than they were in Britain. I was just looking, and I got interested in the imagery and the cultures and what speaks to people in the imagery.
And I bought two or three packs and just played with them, toyed with them, didn't do any reading with them, per se. I was interested in the imagery. I found them very pretty, and I was trying to grasp the psychology of how this works, what these things symbolize. So, I read a lot about that, and I began to see what it meant: And I began to get into the Jungian side of it. I began to understand the psychology of it, the symbolism and the history of the symbolism.
So I was quite interested in all that kind of stuff. And Chesca [Potter, co-designer and illustrator of Mark Ryan's Greenwood Tarot Deck] was living in my house at Streatham [in South London] at one time when she was homeless and she was house-sitting for me. We sat talking about tarot and Robin Hood and all the Greenwood legends and stuff like that.
She says I said it, and I say she said it, but we both said at some point it would be very interesting to a Robin of Sherwood tarot. There already one called Robin Wood or something which it was interesting but I didn't really think got to the depths of this stuff, got right down into it. Because there's a whole, again, mythos to do with animals and shamanism and all kind of stuff.
We were talking about that. I said "Well, I'm fascinated by that idea. It's an interesting idea. But if you base it on the Qabalah [Jewish mysticism], which is one of the systems that is mainly used for tarot, I don't understand it. I don't get it. It's not a European tradition, Qabalah. It's interesting, but it's too intellectual for me. It's not instantly assessable. We took her deck, which I believe was the Rider Waite deck and laid it out on my living room floor in Streatham.
In the wheel of the year, using her cards. And lo and behold, it literally fell onto the floor almost. We aligned the lovers in balance with Beltane and we put Death and the Devil with Samhain. We looked at it when we laid it out and went "Wow, that is very interesting. That must have been done before. Somebody must have done this before. They must have put these images and these states at this eight-spoke wheel of the year.
I ran up a couple of people we knew and so did Chesca. We talked to John Matthews [writer of many, many book and designer of tarot decks] about this. We said "John, can you relate to this? We had a publisher that instantly wanted to take it, but they didn't have the resources to do it the way we wanted to do it. We went to see HarperCollins. And HarperCollins immediately said well, "Yes, this is a breakthrough. This is never been done before.
We've never seen it done like this. And we grew into the whole thing about the Shaman and the animals and changing the Minor Arcana a little bit and changing the Major Arcana a bit. But yes, we got the nod, and God know, that was about or It took three years then to do the research and put it all into some kind of system that works.
I have used it and people know are using it, and it's a system which is very easily assessable. I found it interesting that you say it's used more meditative purposes than predicting the future. Yes, I don't believe in predicting the future. There was a whole section in the book about quantum mechanics and a lot of stuff was chucked out of the book, because they wanted to get the little book into that cardboard thing.
So, a lot of stuff is missing out of that little book. But one of the chapter was on quantum mechanics and possibility and probability, and why I say you cannot tell the future. You know, you cannot say somebody is going to get hit by a bus. What you do is get a snapshot of reality, psychologically and physically at the moment you do the reading. But as soon as you look at the reading, you've changed everything. You've changed it because you may get a card, and go "Hmmm, then I won't do that then," or "I'd better look at that.
It's all a fluctuation. So, I don't believe you can tell the future and say absolutely this is what's going to happen. I don't think the universe functions that way. I think what happens is that there is an infinite number of possibilities and probabilities, and what tarot does is reflect your inner state and the elements in the question you've asked that you should look at. It does that extraordinarily accurately. And that is because of synchronicity.
Synchronicity means you will always get a meaningful reading or a meaningful reflection of the situation. I don't like to read for people I know. I tend to read mainly for people I don't know, sometimes I don't even want to know their names are and I don't want to know what their question is. I recently did it at a con in San Francisco, and people were going "Oooh.
Because I think sometimes it can muddy the water if you read for somebody and you know too much about them. You tilt one way or another. Where I don't like to do that. I like to say "Look, this is what you've got. I had two people that day who went "That is bizarre. Both of them went "that is extraordinary. What sorts of images from Robin Hood do you think are helpful to someone, like in the Wheel of the Year?
Well, it's a journey. I said this in the book, the Greenwood Tarot is a journey. None of these things are a fixed points. You start in the centre and you move around. And I believe that the Major Arcana cards stand for all of the emotions and the people that we as individuals can be at any given time. You sometimes put the fool into bat if you're going into a job.
You know, that leaping off into the void.
And as an actor, I continually walk into voids. I am continually joining somewhere, I don't know who's going to be there, what's going to happen, I don't know what it's about.
But I've just got to take my guts in my hands and walk into the void and see what happens. And if I put in the fool, the fool loves that playful side of taking the blind step off the cliff edge. And that's part of my fool type things. Other times I've got to be Strength.
Interview with Mark Ryan | Trumbull Island
Other times I get to be the Green Man. I get to be sitting at my table, you know, with my feast and goblet of wine and all that kind of stuff. We all are those people, both male and female.
They live in our psyche to one level or another. And it depends on whether those particularly suit who you are, suit your culturally view of the world. That's why there are all different kinds of packs. Because people look at a certain pack and go "I really relate to these pictures. I get them, I understand it.
But eventually people who are into tarot find a pack that accurately represents them. The people in the pack are people they recognize in themselves. So all those cards are bits of people's personalities. In the Major Arcana anyway. I couldn't pick out one card and say, "These are empowering cards. I use this again as an analogy.
If you find there is a part of your personality that you really have problems dealing with, like the Hanged Man, or the Blasted Oak as we put it. If you don't like being in that situation of not knowing, of being hung upside down and having to wait for fate to move or the universe to move -- if you don't like that, there's no point in pushing that part of yourself away and locking it outside the house.
Because it's like a poltergeist. It will sit outside the window, tapping on the door, saying "Let me in. I'm part of your personality. You got to deal with me. I've got to learn to deal with just waiting. To realize that they have all these different facets of their personality, and they can make them all work positively for them, if they understand them all, not reject them.
That's why I emphasize the whole thing about going on the meditation. Besides designing a tarot deck around Robin Hood themes, you actually wrote a Robin Hood story in a Green Arrow annual [about a comic book hero who uses fights crime with a Robin Hood motif].
And as a comic fan, I'm on a mission to mention comic books on my website as much as possible. Dinah, the Black Canary, buys an old magical necklace which places her mind in the body of Maid Marian in a fantasy adventure.
The characters often sound like their Robin of Sherwood counterparts with one of them being Rassan, a mostly silent Saracen based off Nasir.
I spoke to Mike Grell [writer and sometimes artist of Green Arrow when Mark Ryan worked on it in ] this afternoon. We've got another project we're trying to get organized. Mike's a busy man these days. But yes, Mike Grell -- we'd been pals for two or three years, and he asked me if I'd be interested in writing this 50th anniversary comic. And I immediately said yes, obviously. And that was great fun because that was based on a book, some of the adventures I had with a guy called Andy Collins.
Andy wrote a book called The Seventh Sword. He had a group of psychics which did what they call psychic questing, which was basically finding lost objects by remote viewing. I went out with these guys several times on some of their adventures. It was great fun and very interesting. A lot of that stuff to do with Ellen.
Ellen was a real old British goddess, a guardian goddess of sacred trackways and wells. One of his books actually is called the Black Alchemist, and I nicked his title. He was supposed to get a credit on the comic, and he never did. Ellen struck me as a Herne for Maid Marian, her empowering figure. Well that is what Ellen is. Ellen is basically the Greenwood archetype of Herne. She is the female, polaric deity to Herne.
When you were in Toronto some years ago, you mentioned MR: Let me say to all people in Toronto, first of all, that I think Toronto is one of the nicest cities I've ever been to in my life.
And I don't know why nobody's ever invited me back. I must've upset somebody. They decided that Robin Hood had been overdone that year, and they held off for quite a while. And we never got it off the ground. Which is a shame because I thought it was a nice idea. But again, we have another idea which I came up with; so, we're looking at doing something else. We've just never got round to doing it again.
We've talked about this for six years, about doing something else. We know have an idea that we both really like. Could you please tell me about some of the things you had planned for the Hooded Man? It was basically sort-of Robin of Sherwood with a much darker, more magical aspect. This figure really was a spirit of the forest. There was a lot that was not quite human about him. He wasn't Swamp Thing, but he was the spirit of the animals and the wildlife and the trees basically.
And he was the avenging angel of the forest. That was the original concept. I think you said there was going to be a lot of Templar lore in it? Yes, there was a lot of Templar stuff, regarding the history of the Templars and particularly Yorkshire and England. It started out as a school project, then I think he decided to sell them. Are you a cat guy or a dog guy? They were all there with the Manhattan kids and semi-older transplants.
People were overprotective because it was still like a baby. But that being said, he was super cool and was friends with a lot of punk kids and liked the music. Who is your favorite band ever?
Live, Spankrock is always insane. Who are your favorite artists, painters, actors, sculptors, etc.? Got any health foods you are trying out? Homemade, some dude would just bring it in.
Chaka and I would drink that shit all day long, then it seemed to disappear for quite awhile, and I was really bummed. What was the hardest thing you did before the age of 18? Like hit someone with a U-lock in a street fight hard, or algebra-test hard?
I try not to think about shit like that. I was glad I was around and part of the punk scene back then. How did Supertouch and Bold get tight like you did?
I met them through the Youth of Today guys and we just wound up hanging a bunch, playing basketball, talking about hardcore, hip hop and sneakers. When was the last time you watched a Knicks game?
Can you clear things up a little bit about the unreleased Supertouch LP? We heard there was a full record done up without vocals. Is this true at all? Do you still bump any hardcore music yourself? What are you bumping in general? I like a lot of Studio One stuff. Old school hip hop always works its way into the mix. Do you think Supertouch at its peak could have taken the Cro-Mags in a game of hoops?