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Paper Airplane perseveres – Entertainment

Ryan Horns pushes through setbacks to make anger-fueled double album “Othello”

Ever since high school, Ryan Horns has written songs. It’s the way he processes the world around him. This week, in fact, he may write three or four songs.

But in order to do so, he had to teach himself how to play guitar, and then he had to teach himself how to record the songs. Still, that wasn’t the hardest part. He could learn those things on his own. The tough part was meeting other people, convincing them he was a capable singer, songwriter and guitarist, and then getting onstage in front of an audience.

“I remember the first show I ever did was at the Treehouse, and there was sort of a buzz because I had put some songs out. People were going to show up, and I was terrified of that,” Horns said. “So I go there, and it’s packed in that tree room, and everybody’s like three feet away from me, right at the same level. And I wanted to hide the fact that my hands were shaking. So my hands are shaking, but I needed to pick up something to drink, and then you realize everybody can see your hands shake while you’re spilling your [drink].”

As a kid, Horns’ social anxiety was written off as a harmless byproduct of shyness. “Over the years you realize ‘shy’ isn’t putting yourself in a room for days on end because you don’t want to deal with people,” he said. “It wasn’t until the ’90s that I realized, ‘Oh, I have a pretty bad problem.’ Overcoming it took a long time.”

Horns, a former journalist who now works at Ohio State, faced his fear head on, taking public speaking classes and performing routinely with his bands, the Last Hotel and

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