Voice of Heivy: Meet & Greet Riccardo Cerato
By Jill Preston
Hey Heivy readers, thanks for joining us for another edition of Heivy’s Meet & Greet series! This time, we’re speaking with Riccardo Cerato, a performing artist, director and writer who talks to us about starring in Broadway, Taylor Swift music videos, commercials, staying healthy during quarantine, and more.
Heivy: Hi Riccardo, thanks for speaking with us today and welcome to the blog.
Riccardo: Hey Heivy, thanks for having me.
Heivy: To start, will you tell us a little about yourself?
Riccardo: Of course. I’m Richard Cerato, but you can call me, Riccardo. I’m a Leo and was born in the year of the Tiger. I’m an actor, director, choreographer, dancer and singer. Washington Heights is my home.
Heivy: Are you from New York?
Riccardo: Actually, no. I grew up in Laguna Beach, California with my family. My family is full of surfers and dancers, so I chose to dance, studying at Ballet Pacifica and Laguna Beach Ballet before moving to the east coast to continue my training.
Heivy: Very cool. New York is definitely the place to sharpen those skills. And how long have you been in the city?
Riccardo: About 10 years ago I was cast in an off-Broadway musical and finally made the jump to the city. I loved it so much I never left, and now it’s going on a decade.
Heivy: You’re officially a New Yorker! We know you’re an avid performer, what have you been working on these days?
Riccardo: Professionally I dabble in many disciplines within the performing arts. I’ve acted in original casts on Broadway and in touring companies, directed plays and musicals internationally, and most recently have turned to playwriting and opera studies during quarantine. New York is a great home base for theatre makers who want to embark on a variety of gigs across the globe.
Heivy: How exciting. Any favorite performance moments, past, present or future?
Riccardo: A career highlight of mine was when I toured in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. My entire family came to the opening night in Los Angeles. All the surfers and dancers, absolutely everybody showed up and it was a party! I also loved working on Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off music video, which was my first time on a large film set. Behind the scenes was masterclass in creative work ethic and how to plan it on a large scale.
Heivy: Sounds like a lot of hard work and fun. As a performer who relies heavily on your body, how do you stay healthy?
"I can mix it up depending on my mood, workout or sleep needs."
Riccardo: I definitely watch what I eat. My diet is based on fish, vegetables, fruits, and of course, lots of water to keep my voice hydrated for singing. Water also helps my muscles stay energized and balanced for dance. I also make it to my yoga mat at least once a day. Even if it’s only for ten minutes, I’ll find a moment to connect my body to my breath. Twice a week I’ll bike to a park to play tennis or soccer.
Heivy: Seems like you focus on both internal and external health. Do you take any supplements?
Riccardo: Oh yes. I take vitamins, protein powder, manuka honey, oil of oregano and Heivy’s collagen drinks. I’m a big fan of fruity flavors and really enjoy Heivy drinks because they give my body that extra boost and extra glow. I also really like how portable they are. When I’m ready to pop out to a performance or activity, they are ready to go with me.
I think it’s really cool there are a variety of products and flavors to choose from so I can mix it up depending on my mood, workout or sleep needs.
Heivy: What’s important for you in supplements and health products?
Riccardo: I look for transparency and authenticity with branding. Organic is always preferred, and I need to be able to pronounce the list of ingredients. Heivy’s drinks have plant-based extracts and nutrients I’m familiar with, so I trust it.
Heivy: Speaking of health, how are you staying inspired to perform during quarantine?
Riccardo: To keep me afloat during quarantine, I’ve benefited from commercial and print work. I’m in a national commercial that started airing this month so be on the look out for a friendly beekeeper in a commercial. As for the future, I’m mostly developing work for the virtual space. I have a few projects in motion and have signed on to direct and choreograph one piece next year.
Heivy: That’s awesome. We’ll definitely look out for you in the commercial. For young performers aspiring to make it in the business, do you have any advice?
Riccardo: My advice is personal and professional. I’d say focus on your health and not just your hustle: eat well, stretch, make a lot of friends. And for every creative job you take, make something of your own. It’s great to collaborate with your contemporaries and generate original material to put out into the world.
"Heivy’s drinks have plant-based extracts and nutrients I’m familiar with, so I trust it."
Heivy: That’s good advice. We’re so glad you spoke to us today, Riccardo, and hope to speak with you again soon.
Riccardo: Thank you for having me Heivy! Take care.
Catch Riccardo and his performing arts adventures at @riccardinoceratino