Callan and I have been supportive pals of each other over social media for quite some time and aligned within three weeks to finally schedule his FFB feature before essentially swapping spots across the pond. He is constantly a rockin’ FFB example and also one of the happiest, spread-that-positive-awesome-energy people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Callan is as inspiring as they come so soak up as much as you can from his advice and experience of being FIT FOR BROADWAY!
NOTE FROM CALLAN: Hi Fit for Broadway! I’m Callan Bergmann and I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog! Big FFB fan, as it highlights two things that I am truly passionate about: Broadway and staying fit! I’m a small town boy at heart, who now has a few years of big city experience under my belt. Outside of theatre, I enjoy traveling, eating, taking walks through Central Park, eating, my dog (not eating him), and being silly. [[You can currently see me performing full-time on the audition circuit. Usually at Pearl, Ripley Grier, and Chelsea Studios (Just kidding. No one auditions at Chelsea Studios anymore!)
Q: Callan! I’m a big fan of yours and so pumped you’re on the blog. How did this all start for you? What was your journey to Broadway and beyond?
A: First off, yay! So happy to be a part of Fit for Broadway! Thanks! It all started for me as a little boy in a small town called Gowanda, NY (outside of Buffalo). Everyone here in NYC calls it Upstate, but we call it Western New York. I started doing gymnastics when I was about 5 years old and fell in love with it. I distinctly remember my teacher telling me to never just sit on the couch while watching TV, but to get down on the floor and stretch. It’s a habit that has stuck with me my whole life. My roommate will attest to it! Cut to a few years down the road when I discovered my love for singing. I was about 11 years old and discovered that I had a lovely, high, boy soprano voice. This voice would, of course, be stolen away from me by puberty, but my love for singing stuck. These two hobbies lent themselves very well to musical theatre and throughout junior high and high school I was a part of every single play and musical. Not only a part of them, but since I was from a small town and overly passionate about it I usually got cast as the lead in all the shows (which kind of gave me unrealistic expectations about how this whole business really works, but that’s another story!) It wasn’t until my senior year that I fully committed to pursuing theatre after high school, but once I made that choice I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I went to college at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and for the next four years I immersed myself in all things theatre and dance. Point Park is a top notch program and I give them a lot of credit for honing my dance abilities and strengthening my singing and acting. During the summers of my college years I worked at Pittsburgh CLO and the MUNY and was very lucky to join Actors Equity before making my big move to NYC. After college I spent one more summer at Pittsburgh CLO, made my move to the Big Apple, and the rest is history. I have worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, toured the country twice, and worked at many regional theaters around the US. Plus some film, television, late night talk shows, a commercial, and even some modeling. The most exciting and most recent thing I have done is work on Mary Poppins in Vienna, Austria. I spent six amazing months in this beautiful, historic city getting to perform AND have an amazing cultural experience. Oh, and did I mention the show was in German!? Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch jetzt!
Q: How has fitness been incorporated along the way?
A: Growing up I was always active, but wasn’t overly conscious about fitness. It all started for me toward the end of my freshman year of college. I was living in the dorms and that meant having a meal plan… a buffet style meal plan… and I really like to eat! So toward the end of that year I realised that I had gained about ten of those infamous “Freshman Fifteen” pounds. WELL, that just wasn’t going to fly, so for the first time in my life I decided to go to the gym. I was, of course, clueless, but committed! I eventually gained more knowledge about working out through friends, gym buddies, and even just friendly strangers at the gym who looked like they knew what they were doing. Some people find going to the gym really difficult, but if you allow yourself to make it a habit in your life it will go from being a burden to being a necessity.
Q: Can we play “My Workout Week?”
A: This question is TOUGH. As a performer I have many kinds of weeks. Maybe I’m in the “rehearsal process” week, or the “8 shows a week” week, or even the dreaded “unemployed” week! Since I am freshly back from Vienna I am in *coughcough* that last one, so I’ll give you a taste of what an “unemployed” week looks like:
- M: Theatre audition in the am. Got cut. Bummer. Gym in the afternoon (upper body + light abs and cardio)
- T: Soul cycle in the late morning or early afternoon. Love to spin!
- W: Commercial audition in the am. Theatre audition in the afternoon. Made it to the end. Yay! Evening gym session (leg day + light abs)
- T: Callback in the am. Gym in the evening (upper body + light abs and cardio)
- F: Teaching a dance class in the late morning. Maybe take an evening yoga class. YTTP (Yoga to the People) is my jam!
- S: Gym at some point (leg day + light abs)
- S: REST
“Built for Broadway” from Fit for Broadway Apparel
(click HERE or click the picture)
Q: How did you relationship to food evolve alongside your new found passion and dedication to working out?
A: I believe that food and diet is something that each person needs to figure out for themselves. We are all different. We have different needs. Different cravings. Different goals. Around the time I started hitting the gym my freshman year of college I also began learning about diet and how important it is. I started with a low carb diet. Something that gave me great results, but also made me quite honestly, miserable. After 8 months of that I stopped, but equipped myself with a greater understanding of how to transform my body. Throughout the last seven or eight years I’ve experimented with different diets and habits. I’ve learned something from each of them and with this knowledge I have discovered what works for me. I have my own “Callan diet” which allows me to eat a little bit of the bad things that I crave like chocolate and ice cream, but also pays attention to important things for me, like keeping my sugar intake low and getting a lot of protein and veggies. I keep my body in the “I need one week to feel totally comfortable shirtless” zone. This means that if I have a photoshoot or a performing job that requires me to be shirtless I need one week of very healthy living and eating to get totally comfortable. This all sounds a bit silly, but it allows me to live my life to the fullest while still remaining conscious about my appearance.
Q: Can we play “What I Ate Yesterday”?
A: I Ate…
- Breakfast: Two links of Trader Joes chicken sausage, 2-3 eggs over easy, half an avocado, a piece of sprouted multi-grain toast, and some cheese melted on top. Oh, and Frank’s Hot Sauce. Breakfast is important ya’ll!
- Snack: Protein shake after the gym. 30g of whey protein. I like Optimum Nutrition’s extreme milk chocolate!
- Lunch: A turkey and cheddar cheese sandwich with hummus instead of mayo. Try it! (Sometimes a toasted PB&J+banana sandwich. I LOVE peanut butter!)
- Snacks: Nuts. Nuts are my go-to snack. I also love spicy hummus with carrots and/or cucumber.
- Dinner: A big, grilled chicken breast + quinoa + brussel sprouts. (Brussel sprouts are my favorite vegetable. First I steam them in the microwave, then sauté them with olive oil and a little salt and pepper until the outsides are crispy. Mmmmm!)
- Miscellaneous: Maybe I had a little dark chocolate and a small bowl of ice cream… Maybe. 😛
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: #1 inspiration. My mom. I’m also highly inspired by my peers who give themselves completely to this crazy life of theatre. I was recently at an audition and was so moved by the blood, sweat, and tears that we all pour into doing this for a living. It’s not an easy life, but getting to do what you love makes it all worth it.
Q: Do you have any practices or advice to stay centered/ grounded as a performer?
A: What I constantly have to do is remind myself to only focus on ME. It’s really easy to look at the people “ahead” of you or “behind” you and compare yourself to them, but that really isn’t helpful in this business. I like to set little personal goals for myself and work my butt off until I achieve them. It feels great when you reach one of your goals and get to set a new one. I’ve been doing it ever since college. I won’t tell you what my current goal is… that’s bad luck.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who are working towards a career on Broadway?
A: Be YOU! I think we all get caught up in trying to be what we THINK other people want us to be. BUT what people actually want from us is our real personalities. KNOW who you are, and be YOU! Also, continuing to learn and grow is so important. Keep taking class, keep taking voice lessons, keep seeing new and exciting theatre, keep bettering yourself!