Steamboat Springs When Ryan Serhant starred in his seventh-grade play, he knew acting was what he wanted to do the rest of his life.
That ambition drew him to Steamboat Springs in 2004 to attend the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, and it eventually led him to New York City, where he recently was featured on the Internet reality show "InTurn" on cbs.com. Serhant was chosen as one of nine young actors to compete for a contract on the soap opera, "As The World Turns."
"It's been great," Serhant said Thursday. "It's been a little bumpy as any young actor would find in this city. We all sort of look the same."
Serhant's family purchased Creek Ranch, which is southwest of Steamboat Springs, after his dad, John, retired. Serhant spent summers "as a normal cowboy kid painting fences" and is proud to call Steamboat Springs home.
"I love how great the community is," he said. "I remember coming over (Rabbit Ears Pass) and pulling into a gas station where someone just started up a conservation with us. You don't see that here. Nobody talks to each other in New York."
Serhant said attending Perry-Mansfield changed his life.
"It was the turning point for me," he said. "Working with the professional actors there convinced me this was what I wanted to be. I'll never forget them because they were as passionate about acting as I was. It was really great."
June Lindenmayer, executive director of Perry-Mansfield, said the feeling is mutual.
"Ryan was very bright and intuitive," she said. "He's not at all afraid to take risks, which is very important in growing as an artist."
Lindemayer described Serhant as "an exemplary student."
"He was a standout student for us," she said. "He takes the acting profession very serious. It doesn't surprise me at all that he is in New York. He's got a great work ethic."
John Serhant said Ryan is his only child "who chose a profession where cash compensation isn't a big deal."
"He's always been a big theater person," he said. "It is his passion. I hope he either gets good at it or gets it out of his system."
Serhant moved to New York after graduating from Hamilton College in 2006. He has starred in plays including "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Reapers" as well as appearing in student films, music videos and independent films.
"InTurn" airs every Tuesday and Thursday on cbs.com through August. Viewers will have the opportunity to vote for one of the remaining three actors to receive the soap opera contract after the show ends.
"When it comes time to vote, I hope the Steamboat people will get behind him, because he'll need some help," John Serhant said.