In light of Empower Week on Fit for Broadway (leading up to THIS), I wanted to celebrate relationships as one of the great sources of empowerment. When we find someone who helps mirror our strengths, weaknesses, dreams, fears, and so much more, we are able to understand ourselves in a new light. After spending only an afternoon with Chris and Clay, it was apparent these two are incredibly supportive of one another and that they understand how to empower their relationship. I loved hearing how they help encourage each other in the gym, on stage, and in life. I asked Chris and Clay to share a little bit about their background and how they empower each other to be FIT FOR BROADWAY!
Clay Thomson: Hi, my name is Clay Thomson and I am from a small town near Rochester, New York. After I toured the world with the national tours of Oliver and West Side Story, I moved to New York City. Since I’ve been in NYC, I have done Newsies and Matilda on Broadway, as well as Little Me and Most Happy Fella at New York City Center’s Encores. For me information about me visit www.claythomson.com and follow me on social media @ClayThomson.
Chris Rice: Hi, my name is Chris Rice and I am originally from Edmond, Oklahoma. I am currently in The Book of Mormon on Broadway and have toured with West Side Story and White Christmas. I also create viral tap dance videos (like THIS one) that have been featured on TV shows and in magazines. I love working out, dancing, spending time with friends, and experiencing life in NYC. Follow me on social media @ChrisRiceNY.INTERVIEW
Q: How did you meet?
Clay: We met at the audition for the National Tour of West Side Story. We got paired to read together at the end of the day and became friends right away.
Chris: Once on the road, we became roommates and realized we really hit it off!
Q: What’s it like performing together?
Chris: Amazing! It’s like getting to perform with your best friend. We both love watching each other perform and seeing the other in their element.
Q: How have you influenced each other’s fitness and health lifestyles?
Clay: I did not really work out very often until I met Chris. When we got on tour, I would go to the gym with Chris and lift weights half the size he would, but I worked hard and eventually moved up to being able to lift as much as him. It definitely took time to get as strong as Chris but he pushed me to get stronger every time we worked out.
Chris: I have been really inspired by Clay’s hard work and his drastic growth. It motivates me to work even harder and push myself. Now people think he trains me. ha
Q: How do you help each other feel empowered (fitness, health, and Broadway)?
Clay: We’re always pushing each other at the gym and in life. At the gym, we encourage each other to use higher weights or do more reps. We definitely push each other artistically as well. We’re both always willing to help the other out with classes and projects.
Chris: A performer’s life is extremely tough. At the end of the day it is just great to have someone in your life who knows exactly what you are going through, how bad you want it, and how hard you have to work. I can’t imagine being with someone who didn’t understand the business from the inside.
Q: What is your favorite healthy meal to cook together?
Chris: Clay doesn’t eat healthy. There I said it. ha But I am working on that! I am getting him to try more and more foods that benefit his health. It is a work in progress. We do love to make fruit smoothies together though.
Clay: We mix and match different fruit with egg whites (for protein), yogurt, and juices. They are really good! But we also saw the fruit popsicles on the fit for Broadway blog.. so we’re gonna have to try those out soon!Q: Describe each other in 3 words?
Clay: Chris is Determined. Present. Caring.
Chris: Clay is Special. Adorable. Wonderful.
Q: What’s the best advice for finding balance between focusing on yourselves and supporting each other?
Clay: It’s important to remember that everyone’s path is different. So even if you’re not accomplishing the same goals at the same time, realize that with hard work, you will get there too!
Chris: Set your goals and see how you can help the other accomplish theirs! What goes around comes around and when you need support, if you have planted those seeds, then that support will be there for you!
Q: #1 tip for creating an empowering relationship.
Clay: Believe in yourself AND each other.
Chris: Learn how to say you were wrong and you are sorry. I am still working on this one.