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Life is pretty sweet

Debby Ryan of the TV show ‘Suite Life on Deck’ is also a camera bug, artist, equestrian and blogger.

November 24, 2009|By Joyce Rudolph

Those who know Debby Ryan are familiar with her role as Bailey Pickett on Disney Channel’s original series “The Suite Life on Deck,” a spin-off of “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”

But what most of her fans don’t know is she’s a photographer, collage artist, equestrian and has started a blog that features her interviews with bands, she said.

“I’m super close to the equestrian center and go riding with my friends,” she said. “Riding is peaceful, passive and gentle.”

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The 16-year-old also enjoys choreography and once toured with a hip-hop dance group.

“I took classes in ballet, jazz and drill team at high school,” she said. “I incorporate everything with hip-hop. With everything I do, I’m always mixing elements of things.”

The Glendale resident began acting in professional theaters at 7. Her younger years were spent in Germany before the family moved to Texas.

She appeared in the Barney & Friends straight-to-DVD film, “Barney: Let’s Go to the Firehouse” in 2007. She was in the 2008 feature film “The Longshots” and will star in the independent film “What If,” set for a 2010 release.

“Suite Life on Deck” has just been picked up for its third season, and the cast will resume production in January, Ryan said.

A new episode from the second season to be aired in early December features actor Ed Begley Jr. as a guest star.

“He was such a genuine guy,” Ryan said. “He’s a vegan. We talked about that. And he’s very funny. He can personalize a line in a way we would have never thought of. He breathes the line and it’s really funny.”

A fan of the original series, Ryan said she was excited to learn they were changing the format to a cruise ship and casting for a new role for a girl the same age as Zack and Cody.

She really wanted the part, which she auditioned for via video, but she tried to stay calm and focused, she said.

“I thought to myself, ‘Give it your all and forget about it,’” she said.

But she immediately caught the attention of those running the audition, said Judy Taylor, vice president of casting and talent relations for the Disney Channel.

“The second we saw her face pop up on the screen, we were intrigued, and we decided to fly her in to test for the role,” Taylor said.

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