August 10, 2012
Every week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them, so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth): This week is Ryan Rogers
Ryan is a Copywriter at Right Angle Advertising. He is one of those ‘creative types’ – and I mean that only in a good way. I have a feeling that Ryan Rogers is a name to watch – his words and his talent will take him far – and heaven help us all when he realizes this.
What was your first job?
When I was thirteen, I worked the snack bar at a country club on the Westbank. I made Frito pies all day and took inventory of every individual chicken nugget at the end of my shift. One morning, I was taking the trash to the dumpster, it busted onto my shoes, I threw up, I started crying, and then I walked into my manager’s office and told him that didn’t want to work there any more. That afternoon, my dad made me print flyers for my new grass-cutting business, and I instantly missed the luxuries of the snack bar – frozen nuggets and all.
Describe a typical day in your life.
7:30AM: Wake up. Check in with God. Find napkins marred with illegible scribbles in yesterday’s jeans.
7:45-8:25AM: Shower Dance Party and Mirror Pose-Off.
8:30AM: Arrive at work (werq).
8:30AM-6:00PM: Spend the day at Right Angle writing, proofing, editing, sketching, and collaborating with my extraordinary team. We have a creative meeting, I say something ridiculous, and then I say something inspired, and then I skip back to my desk and churn out fabulousness. At some point, I eat something terrible and quietly nurse a stomachache until it’s time to leave. 6:05PM: Meet Joey at home and argue about dinner for 30 minutes. We decide on Agave.
6:35-8:45PM: Feeding. I write a tagline idea on a bar napkin, and shove it into my pocket.
9:00PM-Midnight: John meets us at the restaurant and we head to Green Room, then Marley’s, then Bolt. We run into Amber, Nick, and Randi along the way. I write something like “Good writing is wasted on men” on a bar napkin, and shove it into my pocket.
12:05AM: Get home. Shower. Call the boyfriend. Sleep. Dream.
What advice would you give the younger you?
I would want a miniature Ryan Rogers (in all his fluffy red afro glory) to know that he needs to start building his legacy now. To have a noble purpose. To use his powers for good. That no boy is work crying over. And to give people a chance.
What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
The day my little brother, Rhett, was born definitely shaped who I am now. Even at the age of seven, I knew that it was time for me to start setting a good example and stay on the right track – because he will watch me and I don’t want to f*** it up. Now, Rhett’s starting his senior year of high school and I’m still working to be a respectable big brother for him.
What values do you live by?
Be confident. Be adventurous. Be optimistic. And if it’s wet and not yours, don’t touch it.
What do you most appreciate?
Fiona Apple’s comeback. Have you listened to “The Idler Wheel…” yet? That s*** is incredible.
What is your favorite journey?
Literally: Road trips. Figuratively: My twenties (so far).
Where is your favorite place to be alone?
My favorite place to be alone is my room in my parents’ house in New Orleans – it’s the only place in the world that’s always been mine. If I go home for a weekend, I’ll spend half the time captive in my bedroom. It’s where teenage Ryan incubated and where mid-twenties Ryan ignores texts and eats chips.
What living figure most inspires you?
If we’re talking creative inspiration, Ryan O’Connell inspires me to be a better writer.
If we’re talking about life, my dad inspires me to be a better person. I know it’s a canned answer, but if you’ve met Jimi Rogers, you understand. No man has more charisma, confidence, or honor than my father. Plus, he has a mouth like Sam Jackson, the inhibitions of Tucker Max, and the bravery of Aslan. So I guess he’s like a black, shameless, lion/Jesus. And who doesn’t want to be a black, shameless, lion/Jesus?!
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Rudyard Kipling’s “If” is a poem that I keep next to my bed as a constant reminder of what it takes to be a man. Line-after-line, Kipling dispenses invaluable advice for boys to follow on their journey into manhood. I want the poem in its entirety to be read at my funeral. I also request that Jesse McCartney be in attendance and perform an entire set for my loved ones.
What book would you tell everyone to read?
Everyone should read Sedaris’ When You Are Engulfed In Flames. I read it twice and then bought the audio version so that I could listen to it when I ran. I’m fully aware that my admiration for David Sedaris makes me painfully whitebread. But you know, if I’m going to lose a little street cred, it might as well be for reading.
What is the best thing about where you live?
That I live here.
How do you “let the good times roll” ?
The safe answer that won’t get me into trouble: I have a passion for what I do. Even when I’m not at work, I’m writing. And when I’m not writing, I’m out there finding new things to write about. Smooth, huh?
What did u want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an artist. I have an extensive background in visual art and even attended NOCCA | Riverfront throughout high school. But when I got a job writing the sex column for UL’s student newspaper, The Vermilion, I discovered my ardor for writing. Now, I get to spend every day at the best advertising firm in Lafayette, with the Creative Team that I’d have chosen myself, writing for clients who I genuinely care about. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do.
What is your motto?
“Different is better than better.”
How would you like to be remembered?
I want a gilded statue erected in my honor. Or else I’m going to haunt you people.
What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
“You’re Ryan Anthony Killian Rogers. And you’re f***ing brilliant.”
What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Taking risks, working fearlessly, and dancing on top of things. And if you’re dancing on top of something, you’re already a fearless risk-taker. Congrats, girl. You’re just like me.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Words: C’mere, High-five, Lerd, Dibs, Champ, Yes, Brunch
Phrases: Jesus Jet Skiing Christ; Where am I, and who are you?!; I’ll take a number seven with two Double Cheeseburgers, a Hot & Spicy, and a Vitamin Water.
What is your favorite word?
Acrostic. It’s just phonetically awesome. I also like bitchtits. Not actual bitchtits, but the word “bitchtits.” Nevermind. I like ‘em both.
What do you collect?
What food could you live on for a month?
High Life and Beefy 5-Layer Burritos.
What would you change about yourself?
Physically, I wouldn’t change anything about myself. But if I had to change one aspect of my personality, it would be the way that I take things for granted. Like my ability to drink High Life and eat Beefy 5-Layer Burritos.
What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
I feel like a combination of Carrie Bradshaw, Regina George, and Roger the Alien from
Describe yourself in five words.
I always ask “why not?”
What is your idea of happiness?
A few weeks ago, Right Angle took a road trip to Houston for a weekend of creative inspiration and client research. One of our destinations was the Museum of Fine Arts, where I stumbled across a 92 x 80” Rothko in an abstract gallery. I stood alone in front of it until I finally took a seat on the floor, where I continued to silently marvel. When I finally stood up, I realized that I’d been staring at it for 45 minutes. My idea of happiness is finding something that surprises and fulfills me in the way that a few blocks of muted color on canvas can.
What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie of all time is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, followed closely by Drop Dead Gorgeous.
What music defines who you are?
I’d like to think that I’m a mix of four albums: “Treats” by Sleigh Bells, “The Reminder” by Feist, “Version 2.0” by Garbage, and “The Bends” by Radiohead. If I had to choose a theme song, it would be Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing.” But if you’re asking what song is the fairest representation of my personality at this moment in time, it would have to say “Brokenhearted” by Karmin – it’s loud, silly, and demands that you smile.
What do you most regret?
My Limp Bizkit phase.
What question do you wish I’d asked?
“Why are you wearing cowboys boots with shorts?”
What would the answer be?
Because no one else is.