Jaysen Cryer is a talented actor and improviser. Jaysen Cryer lives his life the way he wants. Jaysen Cryer came to the U.S. with only the shirt on his back. I mean, he had a bunch of other belongings, but the only thing on his back was his shirt. He’s funny, super smart, thoughtful and thought-full, and he has a British accent, ladies.
Note: Please read in British accent, ladies (and gentlemen).
Meet Jaysen Cryer.
How long have you been a non-vegan?
I have been a non-vegan for almost 34 years. I ate vegan for a year, and remained essentially eating “vegan-ish” for another year – and still do not eat meat, and mostly avoid dairy.
Why have you decided not to be vegan? Describe your journey to veganism and where you got stalled?
Three years ago, I decided I was unhappy with my appearance, weight, general level of health and diet. I began what I call my “Awareness Diet,” which really consisted of me just A) being aware of what I ate (e.g. portion control and cutting out high levels of sodium and fat), and B) weighing myself and writing it down every day. Somehow, through many twists and turns, it led me to cut out dairy. Then I watched a few documentaries, like Forks Over Knives and such. I decided to say, “Why not try it?” – a whole foods, plant based diet. I made the switch and felt great almost immediately, including losing 20 lbs after the first two weeks.
I can’t say I was really vegan though, as I still continued to eat honey, and the occasional gummy bear. This was all well and good until I started to find ways to cheat. There’s a LOT of vegan junk food out there. Almost a year in, I visited Seattle for the first time and decided I should allow myself to eat fish while there. After a year of vegan eating, I also added eggs back into my diet. I don’t miss other meat really, but I always knew cheese would be my downfall. I recently succumbed to a big ol’ slice of delicious vegetarian pizza (dripping with delicious cheese) and I’ve kind of been off the wagon since then.
If you had to take one step toward becoming vegan, what would it be and why only one?
I think what helped me in the early days was that I bought a Bullet style food mixer, so I was excited to make smoothies and soak raw cashews to make exciting things. Maybe dusting that off (or buying a new one – as it’s kind of been broken for a while) would be the step. I can stop eating cheese easily. I can. Just don’t make me give up alcohol too.
Which fad diet or meat-eating celebrity made you want to eat animals?
As mentioned, I only eat fish, fish-like things and insignificant parts of horses if they’re in delicious candy. I chose to do these things myself. I’m a man.
What vegan food do you fear you’re missing out on as a non-vegan?
That’s the awesome thing about mostly eating vegan. I don’t get to miss out on anything. It’s difficult to say what my favorite thing is though.
Do you eat fish? You eat fish, right?
I’ve been in Florida for a week on vacation. Fish is pretty much the vegetarian option on menus here. It was a real challenge when I was eating more vegan. It’s criminal how bad some vegetarian food (in these parts) can taste if you ask for it without cheese. But yes, I already discussed the fish I eat. I do like to name them so I feel more guilty, and imagine their families, looking for them. Like in Finding Nemo.
Are there any animals in your life, such as pets or funny neighborhood squirrels? Tell us a story about them.
My furry son, Lord Squeaker Grayson. He is a cat. He once randomly brought back a toy I’d thrown to him and dropped it in front of me. I was so excited, I spent the next hour trying to get him to do it again. He never has.
What do you do for fun besides eating meat and dairy?
I used to think improv took up all my spare time, but I find myself running out of time for that too, and I have no idea why. I guess it is still improv. Outside of practicing and performing with “Empty, Full of Donuts” and coaching “The Mighty DACCKS,” I also like to hang out with friends, ride my bike around and drink more than is recommended by most medical specialists.
Do you have any upcoming projects you want to plug? Tell us about them.
Well, there are a few irons in the fire (as always with me). There’s the Halloween Sketch Show, which is being directed by John Langen, and goes up October 18th, 25th and 31st at The Improv Shop. So far that has been a lot of fun, and should be very funny. I started working on a podcast, but it’s been too hot to make it as I don’t have central air and need to turn my window unit off to record anything of use. So look for that in the Fall/Winter. Burger Shots, the short film we raised money for last year, is crawling towards completion. At some point I want to bring my little improv experiment “Left Hand Blue” to The Improv Shop stage, but that’s on hold until I can figure out how to make it seen. Those are probably the main ones.