I have had the pleasure of working with Justin Cerne as he’s moved from the Assistant Artistic Director of the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket to the Artistic Director. Smart, funny, and very talented, I sat down with him to find out how he keeps his positive outlook in the midst of the grueling long hours of summer productions…
What does “A Delicious Lifestyle” mean to you?
A Delicious Lifestyle means managing everything that you want to manage in your life. We are not always living A Delicious Lifestyle, although we are trying. It can’t be 100% happiness all the time, but that is OK.
What brought you to Nantucket and what keeps you here?
I came to Nantucket to direct A Christmas Carol for Theatre Workshop of Nantucket in November of 2013. I fell in love with TWN and the entire cast of 40. Justin chuckled as he pointed out, “It’s theatre. We fall in love very quickly with our people.”
And then I left. But I did throw the penny as I rounded the lighthouse. In April 2014, I was offered the opportunity to be the resident Artistic Director and the opportunity came to become the Artistic Director. I now have a real artistic say and I’m both nervous and excited about this season! We have an amazing group of people that work for and with the TWN. That’s why I stayed.
How do you re-charge?
I am a Nichiren Buddhist and I chant. Nichren Buddhists are very disciplined and I always find time in the morning and evening to chant. I have an hourglasses and I flip and chant for that amount of time. It’s a very important part of my day. Typically, it’s a sundown thing, but that does not always happen. I do always chant before I go to sleep. You can’t stop chanting because one day didn’t work. I’m glad I have I found something that works for me. Once you find the rhythm, you start to loop and lose your thoughts (or at least give them a break!). It was a lot of fun in NYC, because we would join groups of 20 – 700 people.
Photo, Lisa Frey
One of biggest re-chargers in my life is the theatre. How fortunate are we that we get to do what we love?
When you need to shift your mood, what techniques do you use?
I have a friend who gives herself a certain amount of time to be angry about something. I have followed her advice It may be that I have 10 minutes or even 2 weeks to be upset. I talk about it. If it’s outside of me, then it is not inside.
How do you keep healthy, in body, mind, and spirit?
Body: I think it’s important to find exercise you enjoy. I was a ballet dancer until 18 and danced with Virginia Beach Ballet Company but I chose not to maintain that discipline. I love spinning and am a certified spin instructor. I love to lift weights; it’s a huge aggression reliever. I like to do that by myself. I’m also a Bikram yoga fanatic. A Delicious Lifestyle, like tastebuds, changes. Read the ingredients. I started looking at things everybody say are “Healthy” but when I read labels, I realize they are not that healthy.
Mind: I chant. I communicate and release information because I recognize the “bad” thoughts are just as bad as the aspartame that you’re drinking in your soda. Stress can kill you… it can also make you large, affect your relationships and your work.
Spirit: I think that it is so important feel everything you want to feel and not feel guilty in order for your spirit prevail. Laughing and crying; make sure to let it out. If you don’t do that, you get stuck and it becomes a tailspin of sort.
Everything I do is something that releases… chanting, spinning. I also think it’s OK to go out and have a big night out and then walk home!
Do you have any “Go To” Health Tips (or tricks to keep yourself motivated???)?
- Fire cider. Recently I’ve remembered how inflamed your body can get.
- I wake up and feel very gnarly in the morning. My dog does a downward dog and inspires me. I do 2 tbs of fire cider and am on my way.
- Mentally I’m in a really great place, because I take 5, 10, 20 minutes a day to chant focus in on one thing. 2 x a day. Figure out your morning routine.
- Also, make your bed.
What are some of your favorite things to do on Nantucket?
I have an unconventional schedule and 60 – 80 hour workweeks are the norm in July and August. My goal is to take a break at 2:30 pm and get in the car or hop on the bike and go look at the water.
What are some of your favorite Healthy Eating choices?
Honor your cravings. If you want a burger, have a burger. I love Greens and Eggs because they’re so easy. I also make a mean Caesar Salad Dressing.
How do you maintain A Delicious Lifestyle?
Andrew and I are foodies. Wherever he is on tour, we’ll find the Zagat recommended restaurants. While we enjoy those meals together, we have also reached a point where we realize that every meal does not have to be that special!
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