Ryan Patrick started Stay Awesome Productions and has been skydiving and making video edits for the last five years. He has honed his skill to a point where they are truly awesome edits. You may have seen him around this DZ or that DZ as he films and edits and makes all of us look good but, now, he’s teamed up with Skydive Chicago to help cover all the action that is coming your way this year. Let’s take a minute and get to know the man behind the camera…
Give us the skinny. How old are you, where are you from and how did you end up at Skydive Chicago?
My Name is Ryan Patrick Bolohan but everyone in skydiving knows me as Ryan Patrick. I was born in Michigan and I grew up splitting my time between Florida and Michigan. I was invited into this full time position this year by Rook Nelson and A.J. Johnson after we had spent some time filming Skydive Chicago’s Vertical Dreams. You should check those out by the way. They’re on SDC’s Facebook and YouTube pages. They were super fun to shoot and I really like how the edits are turning out.
What were you like as a kid? Were there any indicators early on that might make one think you’d be working in skydiving?
I was usually waterlogged as a kid. Every spare moment allowable was spent on the water. I’ve always liked extreme sports and pushing the limits. I remember seeing the Golden Knights perform at an air show when I was young and have been forever inspired. It’s hard not to be inspired by this sport I think. I mean, look around you. There are amazing people doing amazing things everywhere you turn and I’m just glad to be a part of it all.
Before skydiving, what were your favorite passions and/or hobbies?
Before skydiving I was big into wake boarding, I started at 12 years old & still ride currently. I would ride behind the boat every day after high school and I still try to hit the cable park when I can. It is one of my safe places where I can just be me and push my limits at the same time. I love it.
What job(s) did you have before you found skydiving?
I have had lots of jobs. As I mentioned before, I grew up in Florida and Michigan. Summers jobs ranging from plumbing, lawn maintenance, landscaping, cherry harvesting. I’ve served in the Coast Guard for six years and I currently work for FEMA as an insurance adjuster for their flood program when I’m not on a load at SDC.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I’ll be here at SDC all season so there is a lot to look forward to! Just to name a few, Star Search 3.0 over Oshkosh, Summerfest and the VWR are on my highlight list for sure! I am super stoked to be able to spend time with my SDC Family this year as well. Every time I leave, I just keep thinking about how I wish I could stay and keep having fun with my people. I get to skydive, film, edit, and then hang out with everyone afterwords this year and all year. It’s great! I am focused on my role here first but my fun with friends comes right after. Actually, it’s a fun role too. That mean’s I get to love what I do and I’ll tell you who taught me that later on.
What is the story of how you got into skydiving?
I learned to skydive in 2013 at Skydive Tecumseh in Michigan. I went to do a tandem with my girlfriend at the time just for something to do. I had always wanted to jump out of a plane and we finally just went for it. I was at the DZ learning to skydive the very next weekend. I I didn’t really have to much support from anyone when I started but my passion for jumping led me to keep pushing and keep pushing. I crushed out 985 jumps in my first season. I just had to have more. And more. And more. And more. And more.
Tell the story of what happened after your first jump and how you decided to continue:
I did my first jump in 2013 over skydive Harbor Springs Michigan. Free fall was right over Lake Michigan. I was hooked instantly and started AFF the following week down south. I realized that I had finally found something that was an extreme rush like nothing I had done before. After I had been to the DZ a few times, I realized that the community of people was just as awesome. My skydiving family pulls together to help, celebrate and generally take care of their own. No matter what, I can count on them and they can count on me. I don’t ever want to give that up!
What discipline do you like and why?
I love to free fly, but I am down for whatever. I spent three years working in the tunnel. I can pretty much fly whatever they need me to fly but I really love free flying the best and any video flying is my jam!
What’s something about the sport that surprised you that you didn’t know when you started?
When I first started to jump I had no idea of all the different disciplines. I just thought you went up and fell down and did that over and over. I was surprised to realize that there is so much to learn in the sport of skydiving that you will always be learning. I remember listening to Rook Nelson at a 10-Spot one day and he said, “Oh, that’s how you do that.” I was shocked that the guy who has more jumps than all of us is still learning. That’s the cool part about the sport. There is always more to learn and there is always someone out there who will share what he’s learned so that we all get better and better.
What attracted you to get a job in the skydiving industry?
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” My dad used to say that to me and I thought he was full of it until I started making videos and getting invited to boogies to film. I quickly realized that my old man had it figured out and, now, so have I.
How long have you been at Skydive Chicago and what is your position?
I have been here to work Summerfest as a videographer the last two seasons. But I am here for the entire season as a floating videographer for the fun jumpers and events held here at the DZ and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I have loved coming to SDC for 10-Spot, fun jumps, Summerfest and more but now I get to be a part of the greatest dropzone out there. It’s pretty amazing.
Can you explain a breakthrough moment in your skydiving career?
I wanted to fly well and I wanted to do it quickly. The thought of flying head down or angle flying inspired me to push myself. I worked in the tunnel for almost 3 years and this helped me progress tremendously.
What is your favorite part of the sport and why?
Hands down, the people and the places I get to see like this epic photo. No explanation needed. #micdrop
Favorite junk food?
Ice cream or Oreos.
Favorite food that you enjoy that most people would consider disgusting?
Ice in my milk.
Favorite place you’ve visited?
Place you want to visit that you haven’t been to yet?
People who are late.
What you said as a kid?
“When I grow up I want to be like my Dad.”
Something about you that few people know about and would be surprised to learn?
I am slow to warm up to those I don’t know. Please don’t mistake my being quiet for being unkind.
Best book you’ve ever read?
John Grisham books are my favorite. I like Fiction the most.
If you were to write a book, what would be the title?
“The Art Of Being Awesome: A Guide To Being Humble” Lol…(My mom would smack me for that one!)
Most used app on your smartphone? Facebook mixed with Instagram.
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