PLATTERS AND BOARDS
Shelly Westerhausen with Wyatt Worcel
We've all been there. You're having a get together with your girls or inviting a few people over to go over something. You don't want to go all out with a sit down dinner or maybe you are, but you want a few nibbles to have at the ready. You could buy a platter, but why not make an Instagram worthy presentation with the help of Shelly Westerhausen who has great tips on how to create casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy. This visual cornucopia of a cookbook is the guide to entertaining with effortless style.
You'll find that this book is organized by the time of day and the pairings include recipes, drinks and more to make it easier for you to create your next tasty look. In addition, there is a chart that gives great board suggestions which ensures that they'll photograph well!
Sarah Hays Coomer
Women are constantly being messaged to about size, weight, skin tones and more. It creates a mindset of how we should view ourselves which can create a stigma.
Physical Disobedience asserts that denigrating our bodies is, in practice, an act of submission to inequality. When we decide to take a stand on individual physicality, reclamation of the authority and the ability to sustain our efforts in activism: the protests, community service, and emotional resilience it takes to face the news and stay engaged.
This book's focus on wellness as an act of nonviolence toward our bodies, and embracing them through diet and exercise, fashion and social media, alternative therapies, mu sic, and motherhood. The focus is to ignite the body in a healthy way.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS
Unless you have been in seclusion, Crazy Rich Asians was released the middle of this month and has become a blockbuster movie, that not only showcases the representation of Asians in mainstream film, luxury and a number of storylines from dating, shopping and meeting your loved ones parents!
We're introduced to Rachel and Nick, who have been dating for a while. This summer he wants to take her to his home in Singapore for a friend’s wedding as well as to meet his family. The couple has no worries about spending the summer traveling together. His family, who are “crazy rich” (ridiculously beyond rich) are concerned that Nick is going to propose to someone who they have not vetted and is not from a “good” family.
It's clear that the movie does justice to the book. For those that have seen the film and have yet to read the novel which is a trilogy, it's time to go back and pick up where it all began and then continue on to the other novels: China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People's Problems.
A few weeks ago, we met Chef Seamus Mullen at the Olive Oils from Spain where he kicked off the Olive Oil World Tour. Known for Spanish cooking and his love of olive oil, we talked with this restaurateur of Whirlybird + Greens and El Colmado and author of Real Food Heals. He shared why olive oil is so important to him, being a fitness enthusiast and his commitment to giving back via Chefs Cycle to ensure that he fights child hunger.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you got into cooking and decided this was a field that you wanted to work in.
CHEF SEAMUS MULLEN: Growing up on a farm I was always around really good ingredients, in fact both of my grandmothers were excellent cooks and I started cooking at a really young age with them. When I got into high school and needed a Summer job to earn money, I started working in a pizzeria and that was really the beginning of being around food for me professionally. After college, I threw myself into professional cooking and I’ve been doing it ever since.
AM: We love olive oil - tell us about how you embraced it from a cooking perspective?
CSM: Olive oil was something that we always had in the house, growing up, but we only used it for vinaigrettes. When I was 17 I went to Spain for a year abroad and lived with a Spanish family that was totally food-obsessed. Being in the kitchen with my host mother really turned me on to how fundamentally important olive oil is to Spanish cuisine and I totally fell in love.
AM: How did you connect with Olive Oils from Spain?
CSM: I’ve spent a fair amount of my career in Spain and I think it would be fair to say that Olive oil is really the foundation of Spanish cuisine. My early love for the olive oils of Spain has stayed with me throughout my career and I really can’t imagine cooking without it.
AM: What are the benefits of utilizing olive oil for health reasons?
CSM: There are so many health benefits of cooking with olive oil, from its anti-oxidant properties, to its naturally anti-inflammatory qualities, it’s a fundamental ingredient in the healthy kitchen. As an oil that is high in monounsaturated fat, olive oil helps the body produce healthy cholesterol. And most importantly, it’s incredibly delicious!
AM: Tell us about your restaurant in NYC and what are some of your favorite dishes that are perfect for the summer.
CSM: Summer in NYC is all about the produce. We get some remarkable fruits and vegetables this time of year. Lately I’ve really been into a very simple salad of sliced peaches with herbs, fresh ricotta cheese, a sprinkle of sea salt and a healthy dose of extra virgin olive oil from Spain.
AM: We have done various interviews with Chefs Cycle and know that you participated in this - how important is it for you to be involved in philanthropic/wellness events of this nature?
CSM: I think it’s really important to give back. As a chef, our job is to feed people and with 1 in 3 kids facing food insecurity in the US I feel compelled to work to fix what is a solvable problem. It also has the added benefit of getting chefs out and moving and healthier!
AM: What is it about cycling that you enjoy and what other workouts do you enjoy doing in addition to this?
CSM: Cycling has been a part of my life for a really long time and there’s so much I love about it. First and foremost, riding a bike is fun! It’s also a great way to get around, in fact I go pretty much every where in the city by bicycle. If I’m riding my mountain bike, it’s my meditation, I’m focused just on the moment, taking the woods, the trees, the outdoors. On the road bike it tends to be a bit more social, riding with friends, taking a break from the hectic pace of the city. And, of course, it’s the best way to see another country! I love cycling in Europe, riding through vineyards and olive orchards.
AM: If we were planning a culinary trip to Spain - where are 3 regions that we should go to and where/what should we eat?
CSM: I would definitely go to Catalunya, and not just Barcelona, but check out La Costa Brava, some of the most beautiful coastline in the world and delicious, delicious food.
Then head up into the Pyrenees for a completely different experience, it’s very alpine, the mountains are gorgeous and the food is hearty and delicious. And then I’d head down to the coast and take a trip west. Skip the Basque Country (because everyone knows how great the food is there) and head to Galicia for the best seafood in all of Spain.
AM: You made a simple dressing that was olive oil based, can you share this recipe with us?
CSM: I always make my dressings in this ration: 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 Olive oil. For this vinaigrette I whisked together 1/3 cup of sherry or red wine vinegar with the juice and zest of 1 lemon. Added a drizzle of honey, 1 clove of garlic grated on a micro plane, some sea salt and pepper. Then drizzle in 2/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain and you’ve got a delicious vinaigrette that is perfect on a simple salad or drizzled over some grilled vegetables.
In this month's Something You Should Know, we're focusing on Diabetes Awareness and how one of NASCAR's stars, Ryan Reed has navigated this disease and continues to advance in his sport, work with his doctor and to loop in his racing team.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We grew up watching motorsports and primarily Formula 1 as our Co-Founder is from Indianapolis and upon entering college, began enjoying watching NASCAR. How did you get into racing?
RYAN REED: My dad raced in NASCAR. I grew up in California which was kind of difference because racing wasn’t as popular there as it is in other parts of the country. There was still quite a bit of racing and of course, I loved it – love being at the track and being like dad. I started racing go carts and by the time I was 10 or 11, it was a lot more than just a hobby and it was something that I wanted to pursue as a career and to be a professional race car driver. I kind of kept climbing through racing and finally got to where I am today, which is a dream come true, being able to race fulltime in NASCAR.
AM: Can you tell us about the cars that race in NASCAR for those that may not be familar with the sport?
RR: In NASCAR, we have big heavy cars with not a lot of tire. So basically, we have a lot of horse power in our stock cars that don’t handle as good so our cornering speeds aren’t as high and our straight line speed is just as high because we don’t have a lot of force.
AM: What your next race?
RR: I have been racing fulltime in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for a number of years now so we’re a little past the half way point, about 2/3 with playoffs starting soon. So I'm getting ready for our playoffs to start and our post season. I'm getting ready for our Championship. Our season is far from over as we’re in the back half of it, but it’s in full swing right now and about to get even busier as our playoffs get here.
AM: How many hours do you spend when you’re training in the car versus fitness training outside of the car?
RR: I’d say on an average week, I don't really have that because each track is so different that a test session isn’t really applicable unless you go to that track and test it out. We do have like a Fri practice for a couple of hours, we qualify and then we race. It’s very important because it’s very limited time and our preparation before we get to the track whether the team side is preparing cars and running simulation and we have a lot of technology to set our race cars up and computer based information and as drivers, being in the gym as much as possible is about strength training and a lot of endurance training. Obviously, our races are 2.5 hours long and sometimes longer and having endurance based training is really important for us. We also have simulators that are like a video game, but a lot more advanced than that so that we can practice our craft. That’s something that has come along in the past 5-10 years that has helped everyone to get more seat time during the week.
AM: When were you diagnosed with diabetes?
RR: For me being diagnosed at 17 in 2011, so 7 years ago, I was a little different and it took me a little longer to get back in the car because when I was diagnosed, I was told that I would never race again. I had to find an endocrinologist that works with a lot of other athletes. She was the one that turned things around for me. She showed me a couple of things that I could still follow my dreams and how important it is to work with my doctor. Even today, she is a crucial part in my diabetes management and for sure, a critical part in getting me out there every weekend on the race track.
AM: What makes diabetes a challenge for someone that is participating in this sport?
RR: There is a lot going on that people don’t understand and for us, we have to deal with something that not many drivers have to deal with which is a changing blood sugar level. It’s all about preparation. Know you diet, know your body – use a Continuos Glucose Monitoring System that we can track where our blood sugar is going before the race and during the race as it mounted in the race car and we have a drink bottle with what we need in there if we need to use that. There are all kinds of things that we have that we can use to make sure everything is safe and that we’re as prepared as possible for the race ahead of us.
AM: Do you have to educate your crews that you work with and how does that work?
RR: I have worked with the same race team for 5 years now. My doctor spent a lot of time as I entered the world of NASCAR with Roush Fenway to get with the team and to work closely with NASCAR’s medical team to get them comfortable with what I was doing to get prepared to get in the race car each week. What I was doing while I was in the car to manage the diabetes and to work with the race team and the whole team knows what’s going on and knows a lot more about diabetes now than what they did before I came on. I think that all of that just shows how important my doctor is to my success and to my diabetes management.
AM: You have partnered with Eli Lilly for awhile now to share their Diabetes inititiave - what is that like?
RR: It’s been a cool program to be with as I won at Daytona and wore the Eli Lilly colors. A few years later, I was in the #teamdiabetes stories and people responded well to it. As a race car driver living this high intensity lifestyle that might be a little bit different then what people expect us to be doing and sharing it through the program is great.
AM: What should we keep an eye out for with this initiative?
RR: Eli Lilly will release a cool 5 part series on NASCAR’s YouTube channel and gives people a feel for my story. The Road to Road America is what it is called and you can find out more at DriveDownA1C.com.
Read more from the Aug Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | Living with Diabetes as an Athlete in mag.
Albert "Prodigy" Johnson of Mobb Deep passed away from his lifelong battle with Sickle Cell Anemia Blood Disorder last year and this six-part pocast series from WNYC Studios delves into how he got into the music industry, his talent, his fight for his health and the people that loved him that supported him professionally as well as keeping him well.
Throughout the podcast, you hear from Prodigy as well as his brother, former doctors, Big Twins and Roxanne Shante. Through his sicknes, this disease also shaped how he lived, his thoughts on life and eventually it left him to rap and times he battled the disease in order to perform.
Although he was in and out of the hospital to manage the disorder, Prodigy continued to tour in the last decade of his life despite feeling his bones were breaking and that he was on fire. The show takes you on his tours and shows how he navigated hip hop and had a series of people in his life that supported him in living his dream up to his last performance which would eventually begin his final hospital stay in Las Vegas.
S2. SLOW BURN
Slow Burn looks at what it was like going through political scandals. Last season, they focused on Watergate and the fall of Nixon from the infamous tapes to those that you may not have been familiar with the scandal who lent their voices to highlighting it.
This season, they focus on the Impeachment of Bill Clinton which includes a number of the -gate scandals and and of course Monica Lewinsky and the perfect storm that converged to bring all of these activities to light. The show covers the concern of Clinton's infidelities leading to his run for president, various women that were already known as well as how Linda Tripp cornered her "friend" Monica into talking with the FBI when she thought she was just meeting her for lunch.
We go behind the scenes with a number of people who worked with the Clintons as well as those who were on he investigation share their stories (even though Monica herself declined interviews for the podcast). Through the 8 episodes, listeners will revisit the events and see how it was framed.
ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE
Agatha Christie's novel is brought back to life again in Ordeal By Innocence. An aristocratic family looks to rebuild their life after the brutal death of their wealthy, philanthropic matriarch. With her death on her estate, the family looks at her adopted son Jack. Family wounds are reopened when a person arrives to provide an alibi for Jack who is accused and convicted of the murder.
When his name is cleared, there is the sobering reality that the murderer is still out there and has the potential to be one of them!
When you're listening to a number of your favorite anime shows, you're probably hearing the music that has been created by Tetsuro Oda - composer, artist, producer, and guitarist. In addition to his love of anime and being a soloist, he is also a huge fan of J-Pop and created a group to continue playing this genre of music and how Rock & Roll is an endangered species in Japan. We took a moment to chat about all of this prior to his tour with his band, Roll B Dinosaur.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you get into music and how has your journey been in becoming an artist, composer and producer?
TESTURO ODA: I was like kid who played any instruments like toys. I had been listening to music from radio every day.
AM: How did you become an anime composer and why do you like creating music for this genre?
TO: I think, I've been blessed with opportunities. As a result of taking the offers inspiring me, I have created numbers of anime songs.
I feel motivation to join in anime, because giving me a precious opportunity to compel people to enlarge their joys, excitements and memories with my songs.
AM: What has been your favorite anime show that you have composed?
TO: The theme song of SLAMDUNK: “Sekai ga owarumade ha - Until the world ends”.
AM: You have composed for a number of J-Pop bands, how is this different than creating music for anime shows?
TO: There are basically 2 cases when I am offered for composing anime songs. One is to create songs along the views of anime, another is to create songs upon the characters of singers.
I prioritize, how my songs can complement the anime when I originally compose new songs for anime programs.
AM: How would you describe J-Pop?
TO: J-Pop, to me is like “Makunouchi Bento”, which is Japanese tradition style lunch box containing rice and a variety of side dishes.
It seems deliciously decollated genre featuring “Tasty dishes” regardless of either western foods or Japanese one.
AM: Tell us about Roll B Dinosaur - how did this group come together, are you working on a new album and will you be touring?
TO: Rock’n Roll is now sort of “endangered spices” in Japan. So this “Roll-B Dinosaur” is preservation activity of “Rock’n Roll”. “It’s only rock’n’roll but I like it!” My initial dates for our upcoming shows are Billboard Osaka (Jan 18, 2019) and Nagoya Bluenote (Jan 19, 2019).
AM: When you're not performing or making music, where do you enjoy eating lunch or dinner, do you work out and if so - where and where do you enjoy shopping for clothes?
TO: I mainly enjoy eating dishes in Shibuya, Tokyo near my own studio. I do daily exercise after waking up. Currently, shopping either in Shibuya, or at Amazon.
Located in midtown, in a 20,000 state of the art fitness hub, Neo U Fitness is not only about housing a number of concepts within its walls, but it is a live streaming and on demand platform for top trainers and brands that make itself available to a worldwide audience. This fitness center uses cutting edge technology to link people to these elite trainers. The focus is to highlight great fitness methods while exposing and growing fitness brands. With a belief in fitness and wellness, both are integrated into the offerings provided.
There are 3 studios where guests can take boxing, yoga, bootcamp, dancing and more. Check out the schedule to see who or what method will be showcased on your date and time of interest. Each room is designed with interchangeable equipment and atmospheric projectors.
In addition to the studios, the cafes come along with premium amenities are available for its guests. There are plenty of showers, daily lockers, and a NEO Cafe serving juices, smoothies and acai bowls.
In a recent class, we enjoyed the lounge area where we were able to chat with our fitness host pre and post class. There is also a boutique to purchase apparel as well. With live streaming cameras available in the studio, Neo U is focused on being the Netflix or Amazon of fitness to truly provide access to their offerings worldwide.
The transition that takes place in August is always an interesting one as many are focusing on the last days of summer and getting ready for fall, some are going back to school (or are involved with little ones) and the clock begins to tick on planning for holiday. As we're all about preparation, we took some time to talk to Tia Mowry about the upcoming season as a working mom, her partnership with Office Depot and upcoming projects that we should keep an eye out for.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Back to School Season is like a moment in time where even those who may not be going to school are thinking about their home offices - how important is it to have the important tools to get your work done whether it's going back to school, setting up your home office or just doing a general refresh?
TIA MOWRY: As a working mother of two, you can imagine how chaotic life gets at times. The only way I accomplish all the tasks I need to get done during the day is by staying organized - and the best way to do that is to have fun with it. I usually have endless to-do lists laying around my house, however I just discovered my new favorite organization “tool” – Office Depot’s customizable TUL planner. It’s so cute and comes with a bunch of fun stickers and built-in accessories that make each to-do list fun to create and check off.
When Cree and I go back to school shopping, I can’t help but think about students and families who cannot afford the school supplies they need. I think that having the proper supplies helps students succeed in school and every student deserves a fair chance to succeed in the classroom. I love that Office Depot is committed to supporting education and makes it so easy to give back.
This year, Office Depot has two great ways that everyone can participate in giving back to the community. Their “Give Back to Schools” program lets you give 5% of your qualifying purchase back in credits towards supplies to a school of your choice, or the Office Depot School Supply Drive lets you purchase extra supplies at a local store that will go to a local Title 1 school at the beginning of the 2018 school year.
It’s a great feeling buying all Cree’s school supplies in one place, but it’s even more rewarding being able to give back to support local schools while shopping, and I am glad that Cree is getting that experience at such a young age.
AM: What tools should we always buy to make sure that we can replenish them without having to make another order?
TM: I’m all about pens! I think it is important to always have fresh pens on hand. Nothing is more annoying then writing a note or list or helping Cree out with a project and running out of ink. So for me, I have packs and packs of pens in every color and of course, my favorite – gel pens (especially Office Depot’s TUL retractable gel pens)! For back to school, Office Depot also has these adorable jewel top pencils and windmill pens and I am obsessed! They make writing anything much more fun.
AM: Why did you partner with Office Depot?
TM: Education and giving back to the community are two things I fully support and stand by. Office Depot has been committed to this for over 30 years, so partnering with the company was an easy decision for me.
Office Depot makes it easy for me and my family to send Cree to school with everything he needs, and I know I can rely on them to have exactly what we want –fun and stylish (what Cree wants!) and functional so I know he’ll be prepared for anything.
AM: How do you make lunches fun - do you change up the options, add special utensils?
TM: When I was in school, I used to love opening up my lunch and getting surprise notes from my mom. Every note would be different and would brighten my day. I make sure Cree has something (besides food) to look forward to at lunch, like a note or some cool stickers.
Kids get bored of things so easily, so I try my best to change up Cree’s lunches as much as possible. Whether it’s a different type of sandwich or fruit, I think it’s important to mix it up and provide a variety. It also helps to plan ahead for the week and of course I ask Cree if he has any preferences (this makes it easier on me). His favorite are these yummy turkey meatballs I make so I try to pack those often. The Bentology Bento Box Set from Office Depot makes packing lunches so easy and also fun, and since Cree is obsessed with the Slime lunch box and loves showing it off, I pack the bento box set in it and we’re both happy
AM: Tell us about Tia Mowry Quick Fix and what we can expect to find there.
TM: Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix is all about life hacks that make everyday things that we do easier! Hence the “Quick Fix”! You’ll find recipe hacks, beauty hacks, and Q&A's so my viewers can learn more about my life and family.
It’s really a community that I have created that helps people get through their day to day life easier.
AM: Tell us about projects that you are working on that we should keep an eye out for as we have been fans of your work for years?
TM: I am doing more tv/movies in the future, so keep an eye out for that! Look out for new episodes of Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix as well.
PHOTO COURTESY | Office Depot
Founded in 2013, Sourced Adventures’ mission is to make the outdoor accessible and affordable to anyone and everyone who lives in New York City. Since then, they have expanded to more than 5 different US cities and now offer a suite of international destinations as well.
Sourced Adventures has its roots in the travel industry. The brand’s founder, Kyle Davidson was an Adventure Tour Guide in a previous life. Now, that same commitment to a great customer experience is embodied by the company’s tour guide feels as a central sentiment within the company culture. The SA Management team now consists of a diverse group of travel professionals with varied experience including the Ski industry and Outdoor Education.
We had the pleasure of attending a recent trip that left NYC and combined yoga in a vineyard, a wine tasting and some free time to enjoy the space as well as to continue drinking more wine. Day trips include your transportation, lunch on site and the opportunity to bring a group with you or to meet new people. Trips leave from two locations in the city earlier in the morning and return early evening which allows you to go home and continue your night.
Sourced Adventures has three main product offerings. The flagship products are local adventure day trips out of several US cities including NYC, DC, Boston and Chicago. The goal with these products is to make it easy for absolutely anyone to escape the city and get into the outdoors. They also have several guided and unguided international trips to destinations such as Iceland, Mexico, Scotland and more. Finally, they work with corporate and private clients to build tailor-made international itineraries or custom corporate retreats.
Feedback is an integral part when it comes to adding new adventures to the offerings at Sourced Adventures. When we attended our adventure, we noticed that a number of people had attended their Hiking and Brewing Program or had planned to do so. According to the Sourced Adventure team, this trip was included due to repeated requests from the community of travelers for a hiking trip to be offered.
This month's cover is a 2 X Team USA Olympian, Dagmara Wozniak who won a Bronze Medal in fencing as a member of the Women's Saber team. With the the Olympics a little less than 2 years away, Athleisure Mag is excited to turn our attention to the upcoming summer Olympic games that will take place in Tokyo 2020. Our shoot took place at the Manhattan Fencing Center where she has trained with her coach since 2005, and we talked about her goals for the upcoming season, what drew her to the sport and the importance of bringing positivity to the game.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When we met you at your shoot, you made a great analogy to what fencing is - can you share with our readers?
DAGMARA WOZNIAK: I look at fencing as a sport with three different weapons (Epee, Foil and Saber) and you specialize in one because the tactics and training is so different in an of itself. I compare Saber, the one that I do as the Sprinter of the sport. If you look at the sport like Track & Field you have sprinting, hurdles and marathon, it’s completely different. You may have some athletes that do both, but you’re working on specific techniques for the sport itself which is very similar to fencing. People think it’s one sport and that we just change weapons, but it’s like 3 mini sports within the sport. It differs by target area, differs by tactic, and differs by training, so it’s very specific and different then what most people think.
AM: What drew you to fencing initially and then the discipline of saber?
DW: I actually started off with the original weapon which is Epee when I came first. My dad just took me to a fencing class one day and it was at the Polish Cultural Foundation and I think it was more to keep me busy and to help me practice the language as my coach was Polish. It was an after school program kind of thing and I did it once or twice a week and I just started falling in love with it.
AM: What did you like about it after you started playing in the sport?
DW: I liked how different it was. People laugh, but I was definitely a tomboy, still am and beatng up kids and not getting in trouble was great. I did karate before that and I had a lot of fun with that. I had friends who were in it with me and when I had to go up to get a new belt or whatever, they would say, “don’t hit me too hard.” I was very ready to go all out. There is something on the line, “sorry we’re not friends right now.” The whole aspect of combat sport is just very appealing to me and I liked it a lot and it’s challenging. One of the things that I have grown to like about it is that there’s a lot of unpredictable factors. You might know what someone generally does and let’s say they are having a bad day or they’re fencing much better than they have ever done before, you need to be able to adjust to things like that. So the fact that you’re not sure how someone is going to necessarily compete, you can make a plan, but that’s not what’s going on and you need to adjust or you are going to lose.
So not to take away from swimming or track and field, but the ground is never going to move from you, the water is never going to dip and become a crazy wave. It’s the fact that it’s really a battle against you and yourself. And fencing and combat sports is a battle against you and yourself and you have the variable of someone else who also has a brain and can adapt to situations and make mistakes as well and capitalize on your mistakes. I like the cliché way of explaining fencing that it’s a physical chess game and it’s spot on. I love that about it.
AM: So what was the moment that you went from enjoying this personally to realizing that you could compete professionally and go to an Olympic stage?
DW: It came very late for me I guess! It was only when I qualified as an alternate for the Beijing Olympics that I even thought about it because people said that that would be my next step to go to the games and I would say, “you’re crazy.” But in the end it was like, if I wasn’t gunning for the Olympics then why the hell was I training so hard? For me it was the whole idea of wanting to be the best and doing something that I was good at and I loved it. I was nev-er upset or felt forced that I was going to practice – I was excited. The losses were so personal for me that I would cry for hours and keep telling my mom that it would never happen again, but even though it did – I was just driven to it without having a goal. I just wanted to win and that was the first goal. But then when I was graduating highschool, I had some teachers that were like, “you know what’s next – the Olympics,” and I was like, “no my God, don’t push it.” But shortly after that, my coach was like you should start thinking about it and I thought, “wow I didn’t know that this was possible for me.” Once my coach and I kind of made a plan, it was up from there.
AM: Your first trip to the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 was as an alternate, how did that affect 2012?
DW: I qualified in 2008 as a replacement athlete and the only way that I was able to compete is if someone from my team got injured. That didn’t happen and they got the Bronze medal and because I never set foot on the actual playing field, I went home with nothing. I remember a lot of people were saying that that was as far as where I could potentially reach and what was I expecting and why I was so upset. They kind of wrote me off from ever being an actual Olympic athlete and I told my mom, "I was there for the experience and I saw how it was and these next 4 years it will be different.” I made sure that I made a plan that was going to get me there as an actual competing athlete. So qualifying for the team for the Olympic Games in London 2012 was a highlight and so much more meaningful because of the people that said I couldn’t do it.
AM: We know that you have a 4 year gap between each Summer Games. There are a number of championships and tournaments that you do in a given period of time to get onto the team for your sport (the process is different for each of the Olympic sports). What is that snapshot like for you in terms of qualifying when you are getting into the next Team USA as we’re looking for The Road to Tokyo 2020?
DW: Right so there are many sports that just went to one competition closer to Rio and it could be as soon as just a month out! But that’s just what they are used to and it’s a completely different stressful situation. For us, it’s a year long process so when we start the actual Olympic year, we go to about 10 International competitions where we compete and we get points based off of that. Because now, all the team events are allotted under one big medal, before in 2012, our team event was rotated out so the IOC didn’t allow all of the events to compete at the Olympics so 2 of the team events – all of the individual team events were there so that’s 6 events and then we only received 4 team events the - relay. So in 2012, Women’s Saber got rotated out and we only got to qualify individually. In 2016, we had the opportunity to qualify as a team and we did. It’s a different qualification process, but now we have team events for everyone which is amazing and everyone has the opportunity which is more chances for Team USA as we’re doing well right now and we can bring more medals home, and it’s great for fencing, the sport and the development.
The qualification process is different. We go to competitions, we get points based on how high we rank and it’s the first 4 teams that qualify automatically and then to finish the bracket it goes by zone!
AM: So your Olympic year would start summer of next year. But yet, you are still doing championships and competitions leading into that.
AM: You’re having a well deserved rest.
DW: Right. Our season typically started in Oct and then we have 1 competition every month. It was ok, but then I felt like it never gave me an opportunity to necessarily peak. Now, they're giving us quite a bit of an off season which is going to let us have more competitions condensed together, but right now there is an opportunity to kind of change the training style, to change the schedule and to be able to capitalize physically and mentally and then just to ride out how much work you have put in through the season. You won't feel the need to play catch up and your peeked and you're ready to go.
AM: What is your training like when you’re preparing for a typical tournament, an Olympic one and then just maintaining in general?
DW: I don’t necessarily treat the Olympics any different then any other competition. I just think that you can’t treat it differently because of the environment because that is when you are going to put the pressure on yourself and I know that there are differences as there are more people, there’s more press and more points – everything that’s for sure. That’s why going into the Olympics for London 2012 which was my first time competing, I told myself that I wasn’t going to do a lot of interviews because we don’t usually get a lot of that stuff usually during the competition and I know that that’s at least how I work as an athlete as I would get distracted by trying to give everyone a story and all of that. I felt that if the result was going to be there, then people would want to talk to me after.
I focus on preparing just like I would for any other competition. I know that a lot of people function better when they are exposed to something for the first time. I’m not going to say beginner’s luck as they go in with no expectation and for me, it’s the opposite I put more expectation in when I am doing something for the first time. Now if I qualify for Tokyo which I am very confident that I will and that it’s going that way.
I feel more confident the more times that I have been on the Olympic stage. Through loss, through heartbreak, through everything all together it’s learning experiences that make me stronger.
AM: What does your workout look like?
DW: Right now, I’m not fencing so I am taking a small break from that, but I am working with my trainer on capitalizing on endurance. Fencing during competitions lasts throughout a whole day. There is a lot of stop and go! You compete and sit around for an hour and a half, then compete and sit around for another hour and a half. Not necessarily until you get into the finals you win and keep going and you have about an hour and a half and maybe even 2-3 hours before the next match. So it gets tedious in terms of keeping up the endurance, the stamina and the focus. What we have been doing right now as you can’t really simulate an actual competition, but we have been training really early in the morning, I have been doing a lot of crossfit lately and catering more to fencing specific stuff. I’m not going really crazy with the weight, but focusing on building short muscle and fast push muscle – going down and up. I am driving really fast up and again focusing specifically on what will benefit me and my sport, but at the same time, having the intensity of the class and the timer. The repetitiveness is all there and that benefits me. I like to change things up when I feel that I am pushing myself a little too hard. There was a good portion of the time that I was doing pilates with the reformer and some mat work. What’s great about fencing and in fitness in general. Your body is always changing whether you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, a women, a male, come down with a sickness etc – there are so many things that are constantly changing. I never really like to stick to something all the time and kind of plateau. Keeping the body not in a rhythm in terms of a workout which is why I like crossfit so much as there is always a way to challenge yourself. It’s not more weight in terms of taking more time if there is a 12 minute gap, so maybe you get less rounds in or you put less weight and you gauge how many rounds you get in and next time you can keep the same weight and just try to push how many things you can do to fit in the time frame.
I like pilates, I was spinning for awhile but it’s about more sport specific stuff. Making sure that the right muscles are firing.
AM: What are three go to foods for the gym and what are your splurges?
DW: You say splurge foods and it’s the first thing that comes to my mind! I love donuts – I have loved donuts forever and if you give me one, I can’t resist. The homemade ones are amazing. I love how pretty they are and how creative they can be. I’m not a fan of cupcakes or cake, but donuts – yes donuts are my thing. It’s first, second and third. I can’t choose ha!
My go-to in terms of what I’m eating when training. I like protein shakes. They are something that I definitely include post workout as a meal replacement. There is a company I like, Athletic Greens and they are safe for athletes to use and they have dehydrated greens that you can throw in your smoothie as well or in your shakes and it’s easy on your stomach and doesn’t have a metallic aftertaste like most of them do. I’m all about safety and a clean sport. Having a trusted product like that makes me feel great and since I started using that which has been awhile now – maybe a year. I have really decreased how much coffee I have been drinking. I love the taste of coffee but sometimes I forget when the last time was that I had it because the proteins and the greens give me so much energy. Thats what I'm about.
Clean food yes – I think I’d have to say that I am a Paleo/Ketogenic diet – obviously not Keto like what people are doing out there limiting carbs etc., as I think after what I have read a lot about as athletes, it's not the best things especially for women. But keeping high protein and high fat and carbs is something that I have found has given me the optimal training and recovery.
AM: We enjoyed shooting at the Manhattan Fencing Center. How long have you trained here and do you have responsibilities there as well?
DW: There aren’t necessarily responsibilities, but I do think of it as a helping hand in terms of talking to my coach about athletes and my opinion. I am more of a mentor. My fencing gym is my second home. I’m a big stickler for organization, cleaning up after or organizing the lost and found and even small tasks. I love to be respectful of it and take care of it. I hope that others do the same.
I’ve been with my coach since 2005!
AM: Beyond your sport, what else are you interested in doing?
DW: For me, I feel like I have definitely gotten involved in and interested in clean eating and watching documentaries about processed items that are in our foods and how we are slowly killing ourselves with the items that are in our foods. Like a bunch of fries that are really filling is $1 but healthy vegetables for a little snack pack is $6 or $7. A family that can’t really afford too much will go for McDonald’s and fast food stuff. It breaks my heart that there are all these monsters in our country that are destroying food. So healthy food has been a huge working area for me. I love learning about it and I am very intuitive with my body. The second I eat something, I can feel how upset my stomach is and I know it's not good for me. It sucks because donuts have a lot of sugar, not just in terms of weight gain, but it upsets my gut bacteria and I am in tons of pain. Just seeing that I want to spread the knowledge because even healthy peanut butters are actually not healthy. People think that they always have to work out and work out to do so 2-3 times a day to get to whatever your fitness is, but there is so much that can be achieved through diet and what you put into your body. I’m passionate about that.
In terms of athlete preparation, I would like to be a strength and conditioning coach myself and it has become dear to me. Not necessarily just for fencing. I think being able to compete at the highest level mentally and physically – I may not always do it, but being there and known what it takes, and having that knowledge because of my experience, I would like to take that step and prepare those athletes that want to take it to this level and if not higher.
AM: You travel a lot. What have been your favorite places?
DW: I get that question a lot and people are always surprised at my answer. I have fallen in love with Belgium. I’ve never said that I could retire and live in Europe but it’s the first place I went to when I was like, I could see myself living there in terms of the food, the culture, the people are so nice and the architecture is beautiful. There’s a coffee shop and then there is a castle around the corner, you don’t get that in the United States. It’s very interesting to see that kind of setup. This past summer, we had a training camp in Japan before our World Championships in China and I have to say that Japan is such a cool place. The people are so cool and it's just a different world over there! I enjoyed my time in Japan and you know, my heart is in Cuba and I love that place and it's the top three of where I would love to go to.
AM: Where can we find you eating and shopping?
DW: The things that I love about Jersey City and Hoboken is that there are a lot of boutique places in terms of clothing that you can find great stuff and I'm not into labels, but when I do shop for that, I love All Saints - they're rugged and raw with colors that aren't too bright. I love denim with raw materials in terms of dressing up. So I love jean shorts and a black tank top which is my go to. I'm about comfort while still being able to express myself.
There are a lot of cool cafés here. Recently, my boyfriend and I got interested in some refreshing drinks, cheese and meat platters which I love. There is a place called The Archer which has a great selection of this. Down by Grove there are a lot of cool restaurants. We don’t go out too much because we try to just focus on eating healthy and when we go out, I love outside dining and the gardens. There is a lot of that here and it’s fun to jump around.
AM: Do you do any philanthropy?
DW: I find myself getting involved with the athletes in my club and giving advice. I have worked one on one with girls in my club. The pressure of being a female athlete and it’s interesting as everyone always deals with their problems and I don’t necessarily showcase what is going on with me as I have gone through some troubled times. When they talk to me and say, "how do you seem so calm and confident?" I'm like, "woo you have no idea! That's so far from the truth." I am a thankful that I come across that way and everyone is dealing with their issues and I try to impart some wisdom on the girls and the guys at the club.
I talk to my middle school in Avenel, NJ and I have done a few high school talks in terms of setting goals and how many times that people have come and said I couldn't do something. If you listen to what people say, you're just going to dig your own hole and never crawl out of there. Especially when you're doing well, people seem to have more things to say. I think I did a lot of listening to those people for a long time and at 21, I thought that I had it all figured out, by 26 I thought I knew more and now at 30 I'm like, "damn I'm so far from when I thought I did have it figured out!" Life is a constant learning experience and being able to walk away from people that aren't good for you and are negative – I just get involved with the kids at my club. I have had the harsh talks with other coaches on what I am capable of and am supposed to do but when you follow your own plan, that’s when you can really blossom!
AM: What are your goals for the Summer Games?
DW: I’ve set the goal of coming home with 2 gold medals for individual and the team. It’s that goal or no goal for me. Maybe it’s my last time competing or I go another 4 years, who knows. I’m doing everything I can now and not looking back to say shoulda, coulda, woulda and I have a new game plan now. I don’t have injuries, there are a lot of things that are different then when I was training for Rio than how it is now. I may not be the kid that went to every Olympics and medaled in every one, but I have the opportunity to go out there and do some damage with an individual gold medal and team gold medal - even if it's one time. That's very important to me and that puts the icing on my cake in terms of a career.
There are shows that give us the chills because it draws you in, you're trying to figure out how it all comes together and when they're limited edition series, you hope it comes back again. That's how we feel about USA Network's The Sinner which is back for its second season to show us a crime that you couldn't believe that took place and then retraces its steps to tell you why it went down and how people and experiences are a lot more connected than you can imagine.
The cult following of the show comes through based on actors who play characters that don't have clear lines on being either good or bad. Ellen Adair who you have seen on HBO's Veep, NBC's The Slap, Showtime's Homeland and Billions, and currently plays Bess McTeer in The Sinner. She sat down with us to talk about her process as an actor, the scene that had everyone shocked within the first 10 minutes of the first episode (the second scene if you haven't seen it spoilers - you've been warned), character island and the Phillies!
ATHLEISURE MAG: So excited to talk to you. I was obsessed with The Slap. When that came out -
ELLEN ADAIR: Oh wow! You’re the only person in America!
AM: Truly loved it. That show was just riveting and then, I’m just going to say it, the scene from The Sinner, was beyond!
EA: Oh thanks!
AM: Everyone who has watched that has been left with – what? So we’ll delve into that. There are scenes that are in cinema and TV and you think of the horse’s head in The Godfather, but you’re 10 minute situation was like that kind of scene in my opinion.
EA: Oh my goodness, thanks – I mean like, move over dead horse's head.
AM: I mean, you were still going.
EA: What a great compliment – thanks!
AM: Can you tell us about your background and how you got into acting. You’ve been in a lot of things, like Homeland.
EA: So I wanted to be an actress since I was like a tiny child which belies some type of personal development I guess. But it was just like children’s theater that I did. I wasn’t a professional child actor and I think that really my love was the theater and I think that that was partly because both of my parents were college professors and are staunchly (less so now, particularly my mom) anti-TV. So I didn’t have a TV growing up. So we would go out to see movies, but I think that my parents had this real thought about it being in the house as a source of a constant distraction. I read a lot and we went to theater and I saw TV at friends’ houses. When I was 10 years old, I said I wanted to be a stage actor and it wasn’t until I got into the professional world that I started working on camera a little bit and I was like, “oh I love this, I love this SO much.”
For me, I actually did Shakespeare at an early age. I did my first Shakespeare at the age of 12. My first professional/semi-professional thing when I was 15. That was also Shakespeare. What I love so much about Shakespeare is that there is so much that is technical about it that it allows my artist brain to just free up because there is this great sense of being like on a train, I don’t have to get on a boat, I just get on the train and take it to the end of the play. I just kind of say, ooo what I ride!
I feel kind of similarly about on camera stuff. In that there is so much stuff that is technical about it that part of my brain is able to be free and spontaneous about it. That way, I can be completely real about it.
AM: What is your process when you are looking at a character that you want to play? Once again, I loved you in Billions (Showtime) – especially when these characters are so different. You have played a number of characters across shows and although I know it’s you – you bring such a different approach to each one. Some people when they portray roles, still bring a lot of themselves into each one – do you get what we’re trying to say?
EA: Yes I do know what you are trying to say and I’m really touched that you say that because I think that is – it’s not a part of my mindful process so much as I guess, I don’t know coming from my sort of life reading a lot, and I was an English and Theater major in college and so I really love text. I love textual analysis so for me I guess, it all just comes from me really looking at the script and looking at what the writer is doing and then just imagining if I was that person in that place. So I don’t think about, “oh this is – I don’t judge my character in any sort of way" and I really feel that I am just playing myself, but if it were me and my entire life was different and my development was different and I did this thing and these were the words that I say or at least that is 100% of my process for on camera stuff.
For theater, it’s a little different. Sometimes I will mostly think about how would this character sort of hold themselves physically different or how their voice would be physically different then mine. So it’s also sort of like, technical things that show up. But, then there’s – I don’t know – why I do the thing as there is some kind of magical thing that happens and if I just put myself in the situation then I am just suddenly this totally different person. So on my – I remember on The Slap, one of the producers, because it was like the first big thing that I did for TV. I had done a couple of small reoccurring things before. But a producer came up
to me and we were in the middle of filming and really quickly he said, “I love your performance on this” and I thought, “I have a performance?” I mean I was just so focused on the thought of, what if I was a lawyer, a D.A. and got some wonderful thoughts from Ken Olin (Dir/Exec Producer - This is Us) – one of my favorite directors that I have ever worked with – I adore him. I incorporated those into thinking about what would be my life goals and what I would want to be. But I didn’t think of it as a performance and similarly, when I came in on my first day, I thought that I was just going to say the words and everybody was like, “oh I really love what you’re doing,” and I thought, “I’m doing something? Great, I’ll keep doing it.”
Working on The Sinner was just incredible – it was one of the greatest blessings on my life so far and part of what was so much fun about that was just that – the circumstance that Bess is in – it’s so extreme and different than the circumstance of other people that I have played. It was just that a whole new person just came out.
AM: Tell us about the process of getting on the show, what it was like working with Bill Pullman and the idea that The Sinner tells you what happens, but why did it happen and what are the circumstances around it that made it happen. Which reminds me of elements of The Slap.
EA: There’s so many wonderful things to unpack in what you just said! For me, a real comparison between the works The Sinner and The Slap is that we’re always talking in both cases, that there are sets of characters that have some sense of redeeming qualities and some less attractive qualities to put it politically. That’s my favorite kind of story, favorite kind of TV, favorite kind of movie, book whatever. I think that some people, it’s not their favorite.
They want it to be where this is the good guy and this is the bad guy. But I really enjoy digging into that kind of stuff. In terms of my experience with The Sinner, I had watched it because actually, a lot of the crew is the same from Billions – the genius Director of Photography Radium Cheung – some of the A.D.s that I knew from Billions said they were working on this and I watched it. But then I rewatched it when I was going in to audition for it, and having just done Homeland for 5 months, what I was struck with so much was how much everyone and all the characters take their time. How much space for human life is allowed versus the kind of person that I normally play that is very talky, journalists, lawyers, political animals – just be kind to Janet because she is so wonderful.
That was a conversation that I had with Bill at the very first Table Read. When I just sort of fangirled him and talked to him about how amazing his performance was in the first season.
What I loved about the show was that it is really populated with humans that are always saying something but not speaking. There is so much clearer speech that is not articulated in this show and it’s something a little more like indie film and Antonio Campos (Director + Executive Producer) one of the really big geniuses behind the first and second season has a background in indie film and he just brought that sensibility to the show. I found that also working on it that I am so hard wired to just pick up the pace and even though I knew that from watching the show not to do it - but ke kept reminding me that, no no - you can take it as long as it wants to take - if you want to say something else, just throw it in” and I thought, “oh this is a new fun thing to work on.”
AM: How long did you film this and are there any snippets that you may be able
to share with us for our readers at Athleisure Mag.
EA: We started filming in May.
EA: Yeah and we wrapped … my last day on set was a week before production wrapped. So the first 2 episodes were filmed in tandem which is the right phrase. Which sometimes there were tandem crews, 2 things filming at the same time, because the aesthetic of the show is to film a certain amount of coverage, but they also had to do it within a TV schedule. It was cross-boarded which is the phrase I was looking for because there were so many locations that were the same. That motel room was built on the stage so all of those shots were not on location, there were just a few things that we shot as the motel which includes the scene with the motel manager and things like that. So what can I tell you – I mean I can say I guess, that you will see more of Bess and that what’s really fun is that the flashbacks go back pretty far back. That was certainly fun to remember what human being I was in 2004 and what that meant. The mystery is really the whole thing so I can’t really …
AM: I know but we had to try! So the whole death scene with Bess – how many takes did it take. How much of it came from what the script stated and what part was what you added into it. It just seemed so raw and so much – but so good.
EA: There were many takes and we worked on that scene for a whole filming day.
EA: Yes just the death scene. Not really much in terms of dialogue. Now that includes the stuff that Adam who plays Adam had to do, which includes the stunt stuff that he did which has the incredible shot of him falling out of the shower. That element will add more, but getting the shots from all the different angles and the special effects things – that still to me seemed fairly early in the process was indicative to me of the level of artistry in the production. So normally, an average filming day and you probably know this is 6-8 pages. So as a script page, the death scene is maybe a page or ¾ of a page but we spent a whole day working on it and we also actually had a day of rehearsal before we had even started filming so we could figure out basically what it was going to be and I talked with Antonio and I said, "you know, I have been watching everything that I can find of videos of film scenes where people are poisoned. Is there anything you can think of where this seems more of the thing and not this." I watched some ridiculous thing where a woman was throwing herself around to every piece of furniture in the room and I thought, “that doesn’t seem like something I should do.” He was like, “no, nothing really comes to mind,” but he said, “you might want to look at videos of people having seizures,” and I’m always dutiful about my homework and I went home and looked at a lot of people on YouTube who were having seizures at home – not film of this. It exists and it’s strange what people will put up on YouTube. In my life an as actor, my YouTube searches are so weird that whatever the computer thinks about me … “I don’t know what they should market to her” – I see a lot of weird ads.
I watched a lot of videos and I was interested in what people’s hands did and that violent convulsion thing is where we ultimately decided to take it. Then the rest of it, we sort of in rehearsal just old school rehearsed it to see what if I would fall to the bed and then the door of the bathroom and then try to save Adam – so it was basically being specific to what was happening in my body every single moment. Now I’m trying to save Adam and now I’m going to vomit and turn away and here’s the moment where I realize that Julian must have had something to do with this. It was a tough day of filming because 3 days before, for the first time in my life, I had developed Vertigo. So actually, it’s just Benign Positional Vertigo – it’s still with me when I lay down to go to sleep. Whenever I would change positions or elevations, I’d get really dizzy. So I thought on that day, I was lucky that it wasn’t a fight scene where I have to do this and look like I'm in control - I feel awful and I am dying so I guess I'll #useit which is what we said all day. And even by the end I would just lie down on the floor really quickly and then I would stand up to feel really awful.
AM: That is dedication!
EA: Well you know it’s just like, this is not a great situation and I wish I had felt well so that I could be in control of my body. As long as it was happening, I may as well take the roses along with the thorns or make lemons out of lemonade – whatever cliché term you’d like to use. It was a trying day, but at the end of the day I felt like I had died and come back to life.
AM: Is it easy for you when you’re done filming to come back to you the person? Some people are so into their characters that it takes them 2-3 months to leave that character. How is that for you and how do you keep that separation?
EA: Hmm it’s a really great question. I think it’s been more challenging for me in my life with theater where you're working on something every single day that’s probably also more of a challenge for people who are doing say a film that they are doing every single day. Whereas, I think that the most days in a week that I worked on the show was like 3 days in a week. So it wasn't every single day and then I wouldn't be working at all the following week. That said, I feel like I always miss my characters when they are not around anymore. Like a Quixotic small victimless tragedy for me as there is nothing that I can hug, there is no person that I can embrace. I really feel like there is this other person that I am in communication with when I am acting and it shows up for me the most very organically and this happened – where my characters have different gestures and little things that they do that that is a residue that will stick around. I’ll do that thing that that character did and I’m like, “oh” it feels like finding a loved one who has passed and seeing their shirt. It’s not that sad as I don’t want to compare it like that –
AM: Totally understand, as a fashion stylist, when I am working on clients or moodboards that it’s in your head so much much that when it’s done, I’ll see something and then have to remind myself that I don’t need it because it’s done and the project is done.
EA: I feel that as soon as I get a character, it’s the little piece of sand in like the oyster of my heart that I am always adding layers to that pearl that everything I see in the world is part of that person. When I don’t need it anymore, I still kind of keep adding to that pearl.
To a certain extent, one way in which characters will revisit is I will play a new one and I sort of feel – and this is a metaphor – that the angelic spirit of the other character will say, “let me lend you these things that were helpful for me” so that I can use them again. I am such a nerd. I have a book of poetry which will be published this fall and most of the poems I wrote are from awhile ago, but they’re about being an actor and a life in the theater and it is mostly about characters. Very much so about this thing that we’re talking about. The relationship between the actor and the character that are like this friend and what I have really come to love and have a relationship with them although we are sort of the same. And in one of them, I sort of create this metaphor where I am an island where all of my past characters live and that when a new character comes and sort of materializes, on the island and asks what this place is – all the other characters are like, “here you can use this” and that’s a poetic metaphor, but in a sense that’s all the people still living on that island.
AM: When is this book coming out and what is the name of it?
EA: The name of the book is Curtain Speech. I was trying to come up with a name that is actually sort of private – being backstage and that is where the conversation between the character and the actor takes place. Or it’s in your trailer or the moments before the take. When you step on stage or when filming starts, you’re one person and you can’t have that conversation again. Curtain Speech is actually the thing that someone will come out and say, “please turn off your cellphones, here are the exits and thank you for coming.” It’s the title I came up with and I don’t have an exact date when it will be coming out, but it might be available for pre-order on Amazon now – I can check with my publisher.
AM: What other projects do you have coming out that you can tell us about?
EA: Well, I will be in Season 7 of Chicago Fire! Other than that, I am working on writing a series like many an actor is. In terms of the little people of sand, it’s always around that series and that character and I developed the idea with a friend of mine, Chris Carfizzi from Billions who plays Rudy and so we wanted to work on something together. But he has a small baby and I sort of took the lead on writing it. We also want to – when our lives are sane enough – probably think about filming a scene so we can shop it around.
AM: So you’re based in NY, where do you love to eat, shop here, workout etc?
EA: So I love Vietnamese food and I can eat it everyday! Probably one of my favorite restaurants is probably OBAO in Hell’s Kitchen. Whenever anyone wants to get lunch, I’m like, “Oh do you like Vietnamese food?” I also really Asian food in general – I’m a big lover of sushi and a friend of mine have had a date for 3 months that we have kept moving to go to Nakazawa, but you have to make a reservation way in advance. Everytime we have made one, I always end up working on a show. I mean in this week, this is the one day that I am filming so that hasn't happened yet. I really love Koreatown because it's right in the middle of the city so it’s not like you have to go all the way down to Chinatown. I also live in Queens and I live in Jackson Heights and I love the Indian food there and Tibetan food, so good! There’s this place Faul. It’s impossible to find as there is no storefront and you go up a random staircase, but it is very close to the Jackson Heights stop. Lassa Fast Food is behind a cellphone store - if you didn't know it was there, you’d never see it. I love living so close to Flushing because my husband and I will just hop on a train and feel like we’re going to another country and that’s really how Flushing feels.
I tend to workout at my local gym and I can’t run outside anymore. I can run on a treadmill and that’s about it.
AM: We know that you’re a huge Phillies fan as we have seen your Instagram - so are you from Philadelphia originally?
EA: Yes nobody chooses the Phillies. But I’m from there originally and neither of my parents are from Philadelphia actually, my mom’s from Virginia and my dad’s from Oregon – they were like, we’ll adopt the Phillies. I went to games in utero and then as a babe in arms. Someone asked me if I remembered my first baseball game and I was like, “no, I’ve been going for as long as I can remember.” They’re my life partner as I like to say.
AM: Do you have season tickets or do you go when they’re always here?
EA: I make sure I see them pretty much when I am here. Season tickets are not super practical living in NY, but I do try to see a couple of games in Philly every season. Last season I didn’t because I was doing an Off Broadway show that was basically all of baseball season and that was tough for me emotionally. There are a few Mon games I went to. So in 2016, I saw 16 games and so I knew that that would be my goal. And what I like about this is that I can move the goal post in a good way every year. This year, I have already seen 18 games and there is still a bit of the baseball season left and I am going to a Phillies game next week.
AM: Are you an Eagles fan too?
EA: Um, sure, is the most accurate answer and I was not raised on the religion of football at all. So definitely supported the Eagles this season and not in any sort of a bandwagon way. Did I want them to defeat the Patriots as they are the Yankees of football, absolutely I do. Actually, I watched the Super Bowl with Dylan Baker in Virginia as we were there shooting Homeland and he’s a big football fan. I know the marquee names of football – I definitely enjoy watching it with friends, it’s not something that I would sit down myself and do. I will sit down and watch baseball because it’s unhealthy but I really loved sitting down and watching it with Dylan. Everybody except for one table in this hotel bar was clearly rooting for the Eagles and that made it more delightful. I was wearing an Aaron Nola shirt because I was like, this is how I know how to support – just wear a Phillies shirt.
AM: So how do you give back in a philanthropic/charitable way?
EA: It’s more monetary than it is time. I would love to figure out how my time would be valuable to a particular organization but there are a lot of charities that I care about. One that I have supported for years is City Harvest – I’d like to give my time to them as well. But in the world that we’re living in right now, it feels like there are so many things to keep tabs on there is more then the hours in the day! But, I feel like if I am a monthly contributor to a cause it helps. I care a lot about the environment so I support the Natural Resources Defense Council. I traveled a lot as a child so I think I have a real appreciation for other countries and other cultures. If I had to say the most right now in terms of America, one thing that sticks out there, it’s protecting immigrants and Muslims. I spent a lot of time in Turkey and so like I grew up being like, these are some of the nicest people in the world – I support the Council For American Islamic Relations and National Immigration Forum and United We Dream – I got connected to them because they send text messages where if someone in your area is going to get deported, you can come and help. It’s a service that I guess I signed up for and I was like, I like what they do. The Center for Popular Democracy is also important to me. It’s 10 – 12 that I am monthly donors to and obviously the big ones, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP – I’m forgetting somebody I’m sure.
Journalism is important. I have a subscription to the NY Times, Washington Post and I support NPR. Also that’s a service and for a little while, there was a grassroots organization of women that I was working for a friend who had founded it and she was trying to get it to expand across the country and she decided to start something different called Candidates and Coffee. So she interviews people for local elections because the information isn’t always there as it’s not in the national stream. You’re not going to see people in your local elections talking on CNN about stuff. There should be a way that millennials can connect so I was just meeting with her last night and I might end up and hope to help her work on that a little bit as well. Voting is super important! The 2016 election certainly taught us that.
I have been thinking about and I haven’t done this before – kind of getting on a bus from NY to PA a swing state close to the election to get out the vote. It’s close and I was registered to vote in PA for a long time.
AM: Is there a director or a role that you’d like to work with or be with?
EA: Such a great question wow. It’s easier for theater because the roles exist already. That's the great thing about TV/film - you don’t know who that person will be until you go off and really create what that is definitively. So, that’s hard to say on camera. I’ve done in theater, a lot of period stuff like old time timey people. It would be really fun to be able to get to do that on camera. I played Marie Antoinette in a play about Marie Antoinette and that was really fun to get to play a historical figure like that. In terms of a play that I read and really fell in love with and knew that that was what I wanted to do, there is this play called the Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence, by Madeleine George. It’s great. A dream role is the one that I am writing for myself.
AM: That’s what I was thinking!
EA: I know I’m sorry Erin for forgetting about you for a second! In terms of a director, I don’t think I have an answer because there are so many that I really admire their work. Sometimes your favorite ones are the ones that were unexpected, because it’s the chemistry between the two of you as people is really great. That’s hard to know, but I’d love to discover that. Note that if Paul Thomas Anderson wants me to – I mean we’d have great chemistry that would be awesome. Also, Antonio was one of my favorite directors to work with and part of the reason for that is that I felt like his eye is so meticulous that when he sees something he is willing to comm unicate that to the actor. So, I felt that absolutely my performance was 100 times better because I was working with him and it’s always going to be better when you work with the director then just doing it in a vac um. He so often had a thought for me like – this time try this or this is so small but I remember it so clearly that in the first episode there is a shot where I get up from the bed and I realize that Julian is missing and he’s at the breakfast bar and I go to the window. That was of course in the studio and when I was looking out the window, I wasn't looking at anything, it was just black. The first few times that we did the take, I said to myself, imagine what you’re seeing as we had not shot in the motel yet so I didn’t know what I was looking at. I had to just make it up and imagine I was seeing cars, whether I was seeing the kid – but I wasn’t, but then we did it so many times that I was doing the movement without doing anything. A couple of times after doing it, Antonio said, “oh it doesn’t look like you’re seeing anything.” I was like thank you because most directors would not give you a note that was that detailed and it has to do with your own internal process. I have a hard time remembering exactly what he said to me that day when we were filming the death scene, because I was going through it physically but I know that he was coaching me and saying we need a little of this and that or that I had this ball in the air, but I was also dealing with this. But he’s the greatest!
AM: I think what makes that scene so impactful is like in sex scenes you know that there are various movements that they do to create the illusion of the act which can come off as very technical looking. The arm is here and then there, 1-2-3. But when watching your scene it doesn’t look like Twister and technical, it falls seamlessly and makes you think it happened in one take when it in fact wasn't. It doesn't look like you're thinking, it's just a flawless flow. Which is why it has really stunned everyone.
EA: What you’re talking about is the whole deal. That the difference is just inhabiting it than just doing the things. I think that there were physical marks I had to hit but the freedom within the technicality I could experience “oh my gosh I’m losing control – I can’t talk, I’m feeling nauseated, where does that live in my body?" I feel it is very similar when you have dialogue and in my transition of doing more on camera stuff and not just theater, is that I learn text in a completely different way. In theater, I know that this is the text and then I have a rehearsal process and I want to spare myself the personalization so I can discover it in a room with other people so that it’s not totally stale when I get to performance. But the way I memorize things for on camera is I do the thought verse and then the words. If you look at someone and it looks like they are saying words not about anticipating – but if they are thinking words and not thoughts, you can see it. You can have very good competent acting where it’s obvious that the person is thinking of words and not a person’s thoughts but my goal is to just be thinking of the person’s thoughts rather than the technical thing whether that be my hand goes here, I stumble over here or I have this political or legal gobbly gook. I’m always like, what’s the thought behind this? That’s what makes it fun.
PHOTO COURTESY | PG 86 + 90 Peter Kramer/USA Network | PG 82, 85, 88, 93, 94 Ambi Williams |
If you're a BRAVO viewer, you're aware of Below Deck, their franchise that focuses on yachting and what takes place on luxury boats, from the craziness of the staff to those who book their trips. The show has a number of crew members and the chef is always a highlight worth noting from keeping up with guests' demands, transforming meals and keeping the crew balanced while they preside over their domain in the galley. We hung out with Chef Adam Glick of Below Deck Mediterranean to find out about how he got into yachting, what it means to be an Adventure Chef and what's next for him with his partnership with Jazz Apples.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We have a number of questions as our readers are avid fans of the show. But first, can you tell us about your style of cooking as we have seen you as a yachting chef.
CHEF ADAM GLICK: I believe in a cooking style that is very simple and not over doing it. I’m not a big fan of over doing food. A lot of chefs kind of push the limit too far. I just don’t think that it’s good to do. I call myself an Adventure Chef. I believe in a rustic style of cooking that is the exact opposite of a yachting chef.
I want to live my life in a way that I am passionate about. I believe that it is inherent in our DNA to want to eat outdoors and to eat food that is cooked over a fire. We are the only species that have the ability to do that on the planet!
When you go to any other country and eat street food, which is 99.9% of what the world eats, it's not about sitting in a restaurant. It's about getting a stick, meat and fire! In all my travels that was when I was the most satisfied. When I'm in Hawaii, I grab a pineapple and chicken and I'm so pumped! I have the chills now because there is something about just talking and enjoying simple food! I don't want to have to have a team of employees to plate a dish and I want to take a stand for this style of cooking. I am convinced that there is a client for me in the way that I want to present my food.
AM: From the show, we would have never expected that. Can you go back and tell us how you got into yachting?
CAG: I was cooking in San Diego at a restaurant at a nice hotel and I was peeling a bag of 50 pound onions and got an email that said, "Hey Adam do you want to cook on a boat?" I quit my job that day. I put the onions down, walked to the chef and said I was done. I was 21, I interviewed and got the job and I have been on a boat ever since and have never looked back.
AM: With your years on the yacht, how did you get onto Below Deck Mediterranean?
CAG: During my 20’s it was the peak of yachting for me. I did get kicked around and beat up a bit, but the end of my 20's I was fired up. It was a Russian Charter that I was on that drove me - a grown ass man to the top of the deck crying as I hated my job. I kid you not, but the same way I got the yachting job initially is how the production crew of the show reached out to me. They had called me 2 years in a row and I turned them down because I didn't want to ruin my career. But on that day with everything going on and knowing that this was going to be the last time that they would call me, I said yes.
I don't yacht like I used to in terms of jobs. I may do 6 weeks a year. I have a few calls from time to time asking me to come back and right now it's about being the Adventure Chef and of course coming to Below Deck which is a different yachting experience.
AM: As someone working on the Below Deck Mediterranean cast, what is that like?
CAG: It's very different than traditional yachting. We sign our lives away for 45 days straight - that's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and knowing that a camera is always there!
My role on the show is to show how I am able to adjust when the guests change their minds with food choices and how to interact with the rest of the crew. I learned to just keep my head down and make great food confidently that I can be proud of! I'm not the captain and I can't say no. I also know since I have been on for a few seasons, that the production team can be interesting and they can put together whole sentences that you never said and literally, put words in your mouth.
I called them out on one the other day and said, "I never said that – I know I didn’t." They sent me back an emoji. That was seriously the response that I got! On the opposite side, there are times when the storylines are going your way! This season, I didn’t give them a lot to jumble up, I kept it clean and I just cooked good food the whole time. I didn’t get involved with anyone. I should have watched my language better, but they wouldn’t hire me if I wasn’t going to say those things.
AM: What makes the show so successful?
CAG: People are curious about yachting. On a traditional boat, people will pay up to 1 million dollars for these kinds of trips. Most people are not booking these charters and they want to be able to behind the scenes which is why the ratings of this show on a Tues. night are doing so well!
AM: You definitely stayed out of the drama this season, but it seems that Conrad has really had a rough go of this season!
CAG: I remember the first day that Conrad started dating Hannah, I told him it was a bad idea and that he needed to nip it in the bud. I took him to an area where they weren't filming so I could just talk to him. I guess he's young and there's only so much you can tell people before they have to learn the hard way. You'll see that as you go through the season that it's a bad idea.
AM: As the Adventure Chef, does that mean we won't see you on Below Deck Mediterranean next season?
CAG: Oh no, I am actually going to fly to the South of France as the next season is filming soon - so that's another 6 weeks with the team.
AM: How big is the production crew?
CAG: Commonly when you watch, you’ll see a sailboat with 2 masts and looks very old school, it’s in all the shots - they're on that boat. Every morning they shuttle between the second boat and the hotels. There are 70 people in that crew. All on location at any time 20-30 are on the boat. Whatever union rules are, as they are union, you can only handle the camera for X amount of hours a day and then they swap.
They work as hard as we do for sure. They’re on the boat and it’s not a lot of room.
AM: The show has been a great spring board. Tell us about your Jazz Apples.
CAG: It's been a cool ride and there have been a lot of cool opportunities that have come out of it like the Jazz Apples. They called me and asked if I wanted to do a roadtrip. I was in as that’s what I do. I’m promoting myself as the Adventure Chef and these guys are promoting themselves as the Adventure Apple – it’s an apple that you would take a picture with on the side of the cliff and I like to be on the side of a cliff with my van. They gave me a case of
the apples to see what I would do with it. That’s how Jazz Apples and I came together through this great brand alignment.
AM: We can't wait to see more of you as the Adventure Chef.
CAG: Seeing brands like REI, Patagonia, Outdoor World etc. that are pushing for outdoor cooking - it's where it's headed and I'm thankful to be on the forefront of it.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Zev Schmitz/BRAVO (Adam Glick + Hannah Ferrier)
Our issue is covered by Dagmara Wozniak, who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic games and received the bronze medal in Rio. As she prepares to return to the Team USA team in Tokyo, we shot our cover girl at the Manhattan Fencing Center. We talk about her Olympic journey, how she fell in love with the sport, and where she has enjoyed traveling around the world.
Additional interviews include NASCAR's Ryan Reed and how he manages his diabetes; we sit down with Louisville based interior designer Natalie Officer; the power of olive oil and health is shared by restaurateur and author Chef Seamus Mullen; we talk about yachting with Adventure Chef and star of BRAVO's Below Deck Mediterranean's Chef Adam Glick; composer, guitarist, producer and entertainer Tetsuro Oda shares his love for creating music for anime as well as Rock & Roll; for fans of USA Network's The Sinner - we talk with Ellen Adair about acting, the scene of scenes in the show and how she gives back to a number of great causes; and we chat with Tia Mowry about how she and her family stays organized.
We have a number of features that are in each month's issues including The Art of the Snack - focusing on NYC's City Kitchen, Bingely Books, Bingely Streaming, Something You Should Know, Athleisure List, Athleisure Beauty and more roundups that focus on how to dress for Labor Day Weekend, 5 must have sneakers to wear in and out of the gym.
Read more from the Aug Issue here.