20 Questions with John Michael Schert
1. What is your breakfast of choice?
“‘Gas-house eggs’ also known as ‘eggs in a hole.’ Bite a hole out of a piece of bread, drop an egg in, and fry over butter. Two every morning.”
2. What is your pre-performance ritual?
“Always allow for a process that slows your mind down while speeds your body up. Whether it be company class or your own personal warm up. Know that you will always give yourself the routine that puts you in the right, peaceful, but engaged, place. This will help dispel nervousness as well as let you reach a more intuitive place with your performance.”
3. Last passport stamp?
4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see dance in 10 years?
“In ten years I will be doing the thing that most inspires me most. No clue what that will be. In ten years the field of dance will be much more selective. Regional/repertory dance companies will have become obsolete. Major ballet companies and choreographer driven modern dance, dance theater and contemporary dance companies will be all that remain. This will mirror society’s desires to have interactive, authentic experiences with “true” artists. Whether they consider the “true” artist the choreographer’s voice as told through the experience of his/her company, or the “true” artist is a celebrity dancer performing on the world stage. Audiences only want to use their dwindling free time and voluminous options to see something relevant.”
5. What gives you inspiration?
“The day to day challenges. Finding new and better ways of doing the same thing. Making life a little easier so that I can then take on a new challenge.”
6. What are your biggest vices or indulgences?
“iPhone. Biggest time killer. Also my favorite way to kill time.”
7. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
“Deciding to be a dancer and executive director simultaneously. It presents daily difficulties of time and energy, but the biggest challenge is responsibility for others.”
8. If you hadn’t chosen this career, what might you be doing?
“Psychology or being a dad.”
9. Favorite book?
10. What’s your favorite non-dance activity or hobby?
“Can’t remember one, it’s been awhile. Reading.”
11. Pet peeves?
“When someone doesn’t take responsibility for their actions. And dirty dishes in the sink.”
12. Where do/would you most like to travel?
“San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State.”
13. What’s your idea of relaxation? What’s your idea of fun?
“Spending time with really good friends. Acting completely stupid and just relaxing with zero thought process.”
14. Do you get bored?
15. Are you more introverted or extroverted? Do you need long periods of time alone, or are you energized by interaction?
“Bit of both. Most of my extroverted energy is used for work and fundraising these days, and dancing and relaxing is my time to be introspective and recharge.”
16. What’s your average bedtime?
17. What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
“Don’t know. Get to know me and find out.”
18. Where would you like to live long-term?
19. Last song you listened to on your ipod?
“Dr. Dog – The Breeze”
20. Words to live by?
More photos by Jonas Lundqvist below. Click to enlarge.