Shake­speare, su­per­heroes and sci-fi

Per­form­ers Lisa Berry and Dion John­stone on long-dis­tance love

Bayview Post - - Life -

and star and Rich­mond Hill na­tive Lisa Berry met her match in Dion John­stone. The two share a love of Shake­speare, act­ing and comic books. John­stone re­cently starred in of­fBroad­way, and Berry will per­form in and

at the Shaw Fes­ti­val this sum­mer. Al­though con­stantly on the move, the pair has set­tled in Toronto, for now. Lisa: We met at Strat­ford, on the first day of re­hearsals for

but I feel as though our souls were align­ing with each other long be­fore that. My friends had floated his name to me in the past, say­ing I needed to meet him, but I’d been given the ad­vice to be the per­son I wanted to be with if I wanted to find last­ing love, so I didn’t want to date any­one. A year later when I walked into that re­hearsal hall and looked up to see this tall, sexy black man stand­ing across the room, I thought to my­self, “Now I de­serve you.” Only to find out it was Dion. Full cir­cle. Dion: Our first date was in Van­cou­ver. We were al­ready in a long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship af­ter de­cid­ing to get to­gether while I was vis­it­ing Toronto on a brief trip. Lisa flew into Van­cou­ver for her first time to spend a few days with me, and I took her to see as many sites as I could. We hit Granville Is­land, down­town Dion: Our courtship ini­tially be­gan with a year long-dis­tance. We got very good at FaceTime dates. We would make pop­corn, call each other via FaceTime, choose a film, sync the start and watch it to­gether. Our first movie was Af­ter that year, I re­turned to Strat­ford and did a num­ber of sea­sons back-to-back. We’d FaceTime a lot through­out the week and then spend the day off in ei­ther Toronto, where Lisa was, or in Strat­ford where I was. Dion: I had been plan­ning to pro­pose for months and rack­ing my brain for the best way to do it. I wanted to give Lisa an ex­pe­ri­ence she would never for­get. I’d brought her to Whistler once be­fore, but we only ex­plored the vil­lage. I guessed that, if we went a sec­ond time to get a photo op we’d missed the first time by the Olympic rings, she wouldn’t sus­pect I was go­ing to pro­pose. I took her up the glass bot­tom Peak 2 Peak Gon­dola from Whistler Moun­tain to Black­comb Moun­tain. When we got there, I con­vinced her to walk around the edge of the moun­tain sum­mit for a bet­ter view for some pho­tos. Lisa: I didn’t ex­pect it. He’s such a ro­man­tic guy. We were in Van­cou­ver be­cause Dion was do­ing a show, and once he was done, he would take me around the city, then walks on the beach and nice din­ners on the wa­ter as the sun set. So when he said he planned a trip for us to go up to Whistler, I was all for it. He brought me to the top of Black­comb Moun­tain. I was ner­vous I’d fall down the hill, but he took my hand and kept say­ing, “I got you” the en­tire time. Next thing I knew, he was on bended knee with a jew­ellery box in his hand. It was the most per­fect ring. I squealed, then said yes. Dion: We are both su­per­hero nerds and love all things DC and Mar­vel. Lisa ex­pertly cre­ated a mo­tion comic ver­sion of a Su­per­man Won­der Woman comic she loves and cast me as Clark (Su­per­man) while she voiced Princess Diana (Won­der Woman). She cast two of our friends as other ma­jor voices as well. The film was met with both fan and DC cre­ator ap­proval. Lisa: We love to cud­dle on the couch and binge watch our favourite shows. We love trav­el­ling to­gether and share a love for fit­ness and mar­tial arts. Dion: We have found that things work best when we fol­low our own mo­men­tum and not the ideas and be­lief struc­tures of peo­ple around us. That means our re­la­tion­ship hasn’t fol­lowed the tra­di­tional path. We’ve made up our own rules along the way.

Dion John­stone pro­posed to Lisa Berry at the top of Whistler’s Black­comb Moun­tain

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