Ryan Phuong | Biography 2021
Ryan Phuong | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Ryan Phuong
  • Occupation Dancer, Actor
  • Nationality America
  • Birthplace California, USA
  • Born Year And Birthday Dec 27, 2001
  • Age 19 Years, 5 Months
Young Sheldon's Childhood Friend

Ryan Phuong | Biography 2021

Miss Allen pushed us to explore everything, and I started to really give acting a chance by taking classes and going after auditions. But, what really made me interested in acting was that it’s similar to dance and how you express your feelings with movements. I love blending the different art forms because as dancers we have to express and act as well.


Quick Information
  • Full Name Ryan Phuong
  • Occupation Dancer, Actor
  • Nationality America
  • Birthplace California, USA
  • Birth Date Dec 27, 2001
  • Age 19 Years, 5 Months

Ryan Phuong is a hip-hop dancer and actor, best known for portraying the role of Tam Nguyen in the CBS hit sitcom Young Sheldon

Who is Ryan Phuong?

Ryan Phuong started dancing when he was seven years old. He then attended the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, where he performed Allen’s annual live productions of Hot Chocolate Nutcracker every year. The showcase was later featured in the Netflix documentary film Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker in 2020. 

Phuong later joined acting classes and started going for auditions. After playing minor roles in some of the television series such as The AXI: The Avengers of Extreme Illusions (2011), Shameless (2011), and The Thundermans (2013), Phuong landed a significant role as Tam Nguyen in CBS’s comedy television sitcom Young Sheldon, a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory. For his role in the series, he also won the ‘Young Entertainer Award’ in 2019.

Early Life and Education

Ryan Phuong was born in San Gabriel, California, the United States, on December 27, 2001. He has an older brother Jack. Started dancing at the young age of seven, Phuong joined the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. After his mentor Debbie Allen’s advice to be open to other endeavors, Phuong started to explore his talent in acting. 

“Miss Allen pushed us to explore everything, and I started to really give acting a chance by taking classes and going after auditions,” Phuong said. “But, what really made me interested in acting was that it’s similar to dance and how you express your feelings with movements. I love blending the different art forms because as dancers we have to express and act as well,” he added.

Phuong expanded his mindset after learning the importance of balancing one’s emotions in dancing and acting from Allen's class. About the journey into radical self-love, he acknowledged, “changing how I perceive myself and being in touch with my emotions more helped me to be free.”

In 2020, he enrolled at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance's Class of 2024 to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance. While applying to USC, he was confused about balancing his acting work and dance school parallelly. But, he gained the confidence to carry on with his aspirations through constant encouragement from his friends, family, and well-wishers. 

“That entire time period of applying to USC, including my audition piece, I kept thinking, “How is this going to work?” But having faith and being determined in myself, and having a solid team, like my parents and classmates, has made it all easier,” Phuong said.

He balanced both of his endeavors during his first semester and developed this mindset in future semesters.

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

Phuong performed in live productions every year during his time at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. He regularly performed in Allen’s annual Christmas ballet showcase called Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. The showcase later became the subject of the Netflix documentary film Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. It featured Debbie Allen’s career and behind-the-scenes of her dance group students, including Phuong, as they prepare for Allen’s annual showcase Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. According to Netflix’s official site, the documentary was an inspiring and feel-good movie. The documentary was directed and filmed by Oliver Bokelberg and was released on November 27, 2020, in the USA. 

“When it would come close to November, we started rehearsing on weekdays. So, it was Monday through Saturday or even sometimes Monday through Sunday,” Phuong said. “The role I played was just going through rehearsals while [Bolkenberg] would come in and be backstage filming the process of it all.”

In addition, Phuong was one of the dancers in the video game Just Dance Kids 2, released on October 25, 2011.

He appeared on the Nickelodeon show The Fresh Beats Band for seasons 2 and 3. In 2011, he also appeared as a dancer on Dancing with the Stars and The Voice.

Acting Career

Phuong began his acting career in 2012. He appeared as a child in one episode in the action-adventure musical television series The AXI: The Avengers of Extreme Illusions (2011-2019). Phuong then portrayed the role of Boy Soldier in an episode of the comedy-drama television series Shameless (2011-2021) in 2016. The same year, he starred as Punk Rocker Kid in one episode in the action-comedy television series The Thundermans (2013-2018)

'Young Sheldon'

After playing minor roles in some of the television series, Phuong auditioned for the Young Sheldon when he was in high school. He landed in a prominent role of Tam Nguyen on the series portraying Sheldon Cooper’s childhood friend and classmate. He portrayed the character of a pessimistic, short-tempered Vietnamese-American boy. He was cast in a recurring role in Young Sheldon. So far, he had appeared in 30 episodes since the first season that began in 2017.

His role in Young Sheldon also earned him the ‘Young Entertainer Award’ for ‘Best Supporting Young Actor - Television Series’ at ‘The 4th Annual Young Entertainer Awards,’ in 2019.

Though the entertainment industry looks terrifying, Phuong advised the aspiring artists to break open the industry and conquer over the fear of putting themselves there, regardless of their experience. 

While advising the aspiring artists who fear to enter the entertainment industry, he suggested, “I really recommend just going out for auditions even if you’re inexperienced or afraid of what others think of you,” and added, “You should really push for it, train and hone your skills in the craft. At the end of the day, your hunger, drive, and work ethic is going to pull you up.”

Social Media

Phuong is active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Most of his social media posts consist of videos of his hip-hop dance classes and clips of his role in Young Sheldon.

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