I’m pretty obsessed with this positive ray of light. 🙂 Danny is such a treasure and the ultimate example of the energy I hope to spread through FFB. I’m most inspired by the people who hold themselves to the highest standard of positivity and reflect light and love to everyone around them which totally describes Danny. We bonded over our belief that fitness is therapy and you are in control of manifesting positivity and opportunity in your life. I’m so excited to announce Danny is also going to be part of the October FFB Workshop in NYC sharing more about what it takes to be Fit for Broadway! Save the Date to come hang with Danny: October 15!
NOTE FROM DANNY: Hi! I’m Danny, I’m 24 and I’m currently in Wicked the Musical on Broadway. I grew up on Long Island and now have been living here in NYC for almost 6 years full time. I have a little cavapoo puppy named Jackson who is my absolute love and don’t know what I would do without him! I am a firm believer in manifesting good energy and vibes into the universe and after living in New York you can loose sight of that but it’s always nice to give yourself constant reminders about (#hamiltonquote) how lucky we are to be alive right now!
Q: Danny, literally you are gold. I am so excited to have you on the blog today and you have an INCREDIBLE Broadway story… can you explain the journey to Broadway? 🙂
A: You are the sweetest and I’m so excited to be on the Blog. I’m an avid reader of FFB! My journey to Broadway and this business started at the end of my junior year in HS when I went to an open call for the roundabout theatre company’s production of Bye Bye Birdie. I ended up singing in a storage closet with a piano shoved in there and the rest…history (kidding, but I actually did sing in a storage closet). I ended up getting a callback and after six more auditions I found out I’d make my Broadway debut as an 18 year old which seemed very surreal. I didn’t know what or how it was actually going to happen!
Fast forward a few months, I was on my first Broadway stage extremely wide eyed and green to the entire business- granted the show didn’t run very long and the reviews weren’t the greatest, it was one of the most magical and life changing experiences in my entire life. After Birdie closed I quickly learned the lows of this business and how months and years can go by and things happen. Auditioning is such a full time job which has a big learning curve to it. Once I got the hang of that, things became easier and I started college at PACE University for MT. After a 4 year hiatus and (24 auditions for NEWSIES later) I finally got the job and did the show for the last year of the run. NEWSIES was something I had my eye on ever since it came out. After auditioning so many times and being told not right now, or work on my technique instead of giving up, it lit a fire under my butt and made me work even harder to achieve that goal and make a dream come true. Whenever anyone asks I always say “it’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when!”
Q: #Obsessed. You have so much positive energy and after hearing your story, I seems like the driving force in your entire journey. What are some tips for staying positive even when the going gets tough?
A: Thank you! It’s definitely not an easy thing to do or “have” and I absolutely have some down days. But whenever I am feeling a little down I always think of why I am doing what I am doing and the fact that I get to perform every day for a living and maybe help people realize they want to perform. It’s all the motivation I need. I save every letter, and read every tweet and post someone sends me or tags me in and it truly helps to know that people out there are touched and impacted by what I am doing. (Just like I was and still am to this day inspired by so many Performers and Theatre experiences.)
My sensibility, vibes and energy have stemmed from a bunch of different books…
Also, life experiences that have happened to me. Everything that is put in my way, I try to overcome, use, and spin it in a positive way.
Q: How has fitness become integrated into your career on Broadway?
A: Fitness has become such a big part of my everyday life and my career because it’s what keeps me “sane” in this business. I use my day to motivate me at the gym through my workouts. I first started working out consistently after a bad breakup and used it as my type of “therapy” to get over my broken heart. Once I started, it totally engulfed me and I was hungry for more results and feeling good. To me, it’s not all about how I look.. it’s about how I feel. Those are the true results that I love- finishing a workout and feeling like a weight (sometimes quite literally) has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I can start my day a little clearer because in a way, I am working out and through my feelings and emotions.
Q: Does food play a role in helping you stay Fit for Broadway?
A: I LOVE TO EAT – A LOT! Food is a huge part of and role in staying “Fit for Broadway”. I recently did a 5-day juice cleanse with my amazing kickass castmate Io Alfonso and she coached me through the entire thing. I wanted to “reset” my stomach because I have severe food intolerances and wanted to get to the bottom of it. After the 5 days, I wasn’t craving cookies and candy but I was craving GOOD clean healthy foods rich in protein and naturally fueling for me. (Not to say I don’t have a cheat day to eat total crap and not apologize about it!) I try to eat clean and very “basic” because that is the kind of food that fills me up. An ideal post show meal for me is a a nice piece or 2 of grilled chicken and some steamed veggies which really hit the spot. If I am craving something sweet and absolutely need it, I have my guilty pleasure of “so delicious” coconut milk ice cream.
Q: Can we play What I Ate Yesterday?
- Breakfast– Some Greek yogurt, and a hard boiled egg
- Lunch– pesto portobello from sweet green
- Dinner– harvest bowl from sweet green (yes I went twice …PLEASE judge me)
- Miscellaneous– oh and I finally gave into the fall goodness and had a pumpkin iced coffee from Dunkin and tried very hard to resit the doughnuts at rehearsal and ended up eating one. (Guilty)
- Snacks– snacked on some trail mix and had a a green juice and my favorite juice from juice press “GLOW” which is a citrus blend and makes me FEEL ALIVE
Q: Do you have a pre-show ritual?
A: My pre show rituals include -steaming, listening to my favorite music or whatever’s fueling me to get pumped up. Right now it’s a song called “False Alarm” which is my ultimate JAM and kehlani’s ALIVE. I warm up my voice and body.. nothing too crazy. My most important ritual though is making sure I see everyone in the building before the show starts to check in with everyone to see how they are doing. Our theatre is so big, I could go onstage sometimes and see people for the first time during a number.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: I think what inspires me changes based on what I am doing and what is going on in my life at that particular moment. Constantly staying inspired is something I strive for. I love reading positive affirmations and staying in touch with my emotions and drive and family and friends and their drive.. it feeds my inspiration. I am constantly so inspired by watching my friends and family do what they love. I’m also constantly inspired by the talent I’m surrounded by every day. Especially being an understudy and watching a fellow one go on- I tend to watch as much of the show as I can from the wings because I am just so proud to be able to call these people not just my friends but family.
Q: Do you have any wellness practices that keep your mind, body, and spirit centered in this crazy (and amazing!) industry?
A: I try to devote my days to doing something I love besides theatre when I can. Besides the gym, I love taking my pup to the park, catching up with friends, writing music, trying new activities and staying positive in all aspects of my life not just in the biz.
Q: Top 3 pieces of advice for someone who’s interested in integrating fitness and health into their performance lifestyle?
- If something doesn’t seem to work for you don’t give up. Try something different.
- Use your emotions and your drive to further your career and have it motivate you to get yourself in shape physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Sounds cliche but if you don’t put your entire heart and soul into it, what’s the point. HAVE FUN, feed yourself and learn to love yourself and all your imperfections.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who have their sights set on Broadway?
A: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this. No matter what you do in your life. It’s your own and you have control over your own destiny. See what you want and go get it. Don’t stop until you do. Let everything that happens guide your journey. Everything happens for a reason… like my dad told me and continues to tell me whenever I need to hear it, “It’s not if, it’s when”.