IN THIS INQUISITIVE Q&A series, we gets a little personal with Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and CEO of The Hermitage Artist Retreat. So sit back and relax with a big bowl of ice cream and a can of Pepsi Zero to learn about what makes this creative leader tick.

A recent day in the life?  

No two days are alike. My colleagues are now confused if they find me in one place for too long. I try to find some time on the water each day – whether it be in the morning, on my dinner break, or late at night after dark. I tend to fill every minute of my calendar, though I am definitely not a morning person. If you get an email from me at 4am, it means I am still awake and energized from the day. A “typical” day in Florida might include back-to-back meetings, a Hermitage program and reception, and then sitting down at my desk late at night to tackle my

‘to do’ list after it’s quieted down. A “typical day” in New York (pre-pandemic) might include a full day of rehearsal, a dinner meeting, a show, then either work or social drinks after the show.

Your favorite virtue is. . . Kindness, passion, humor and high standards for excellence.

When you were a kid you dreamed of . . .never answering this question, because I don’t think anyone should give up on their dreams. I am still pursuing mine and plan to keep doing so indefinitely. 

Your guilty pleasure  . . .Ice Cream and Pepsi Zero –separately, not together!

Thought you had driving to work this morning . . . On Manasota Key, I prefer paddleboarding to work.

In our hometown, we do too much celebrating in an echo chamber and too little letting the world know what’s special about Sarasota.

Your favorite villains in real life . . . Anyone who prioritizes ‘rules’ over creative thinking. I believe in advancing good and making meaningful change. I do not believe in “the way it’s always been done” or “because it says so.”

My last supper would include . . .  BBQ ribs from Michael’s On East, coconut shrimp from Lock and Key in Englewood, and margaritas (my personal recipe!)

Words you use too often . . .  “puzzled.”

With two more hours in the day, I would . . .  try to figure out how to stretch it into 20 extra hours – and then dedicate some of those hours for some of my theater projects. There is never enough time in the day for everything I want to do!

Your favorite music artists . . . Pass – this is a dangerous one!

If not yourself, who would you be? Hal Prince. RIP, legend!

If you could undo one invention in the world, what would it be?  Social media —all of it.

What was the funniest thing you remember doing as a kid?  My sixth-grade teacher told me a story about a moment when I was in the Middle School Shakespeare production of As You Like It. I was dressed in a strange fur-coat costume (can’t remember why!), and chaos was ensuing because the cast had just been given prop swords for the first time, along with costumes/tights that let everyone slide around the gym where we were rehearsing. My teacher said he vividly remembers observing me watching quietly and taking a lot of mental notes on how disorganized everything was in that moment. He said he was pretty sure that was the moment I decided to be a director. Of course, I can’t remember anything past last week unless I’m reminded of it, too much else going on right now! So I guess the shorter version of this answer: I’m told I was hilarious as a kid. Period. Stop. Next question?!

Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button in your life?  Pause button. No regrets. Just always need more time.

What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?   I’m not easily scared. I suppose Bungee Jumping? But even then – super fun!

Your favorite food of the moment is . . .   Anything from Kojo—so good! 

What song best describes your life right now?  Can’t Stop Til You Get Enough, Shut Up and Dance and Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.

You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it, what would it be?   Hustle.