The “Broadway Full Out” sequence below pretty much sums up Mike completely– SO fun & full of life! 🙂 We spent the entire photoshoot chatting nonstop and Mike has navigated everything from allergies, to sports, to injuries, to vocal health. Mike’s journey proves being in tune with our authenticity and unique experiences is the best way to grow, learn and propel forward! He understands the ins and outs of living life full out AND Fit for Broadway!
Note from Mike: HI! My name is Mike (some friends call me Schwitty) and I’m currently living the dream in the greatest city in the world. I toured with Mormons, debuted on Broadway in the the circus last year, and now I’m looking for the next big adventure. I like belting, whiskey, and nailing it.
“Broadway Full Out” from Fit for Broadway Apparel
Click the picture or HERE!
Q: I came to the conclusion during our photoshoot that you’re perfect and I told all of Instagram so the pressure is on with these answers haha just kidding 😉 Let’s start from the beginning how did you get into this wonderful world of Broadway? You mentioned having a background in athletics!
A: Oh great, NO PRESSURE! I’m honored you even had me along in the first place! Yes, I’m the middle of 5 kids, and we all grew up playing sports in northern New Jersey. I dabbled in basketball, baseball, ice hockey, track, swimming, golf, tennis, and soccer. I started taking voice lessons in seventh grade and loved it (and also realized I was better at singing than sports), so I focused on music and ended up going to a performing arts high school program at the Bergen County Academies. From there I auditioned for colleges and ultimately went to College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Senior year I auditioned for the 1st Book of Mormon tour and got the job as a Swing, and after graduating I toured with that show for a little over a year.
Q: How was the transition from athletics to singing and dancing? Did you make a lot of adjustments physically?
A: I think having grown up playing sports, the transition into dance and movement was pretty easy. I’ve always been thin and flexible, and I used to make up the weirdest physicalities for different characters. I continued running and started lifting toward the end of high school, but mostly just to stay in shape, rather than competing in a sport like the other guys I went to school with (or my younger sisters who could probably kick my ass if it came down to it).
Q: For Pippin you mentioned loving the whole side of acrobats!! How was that on your body?
A: Working on a circus show was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Half the cast were actors, and the other half were acrobats from all over the world. Not only do the acrobats have to warm up a full hour before the show starts (already in costume and makeup), but unlike a Cirque show for example, they perform in every number- not just one “specialty act.” So these men and women were machines. So that, combined with every actor in the show also doing tricks and nailing the complicated Fosse choreography, set the bar pretty high. Everyone in that building was on their A game. (No matter where I looked Charlotte d’Amboise would be doing crunches backstage. Made the rest of us look bad!)
Q: You mentioned experiencing a very bad injury. What has the healing process been like and any advice for performers who are recovering from an injury?
A: About 2 weeks into rehearsal, I started feeling pain in my arms from learning how to climb the Chinese Pole (which is like a fireman’s pole with a grip on it.) The tendonitis ended up being bad enough that I couldn’t open doors or even hold my phone in my hands. So I had to adjust my part of the show, ice my arms every night, etc. Now, over a year later, I’m still in PT and just started acupuncture about a month ago. I’ve lost a lot of weight from not being able to lift, and it’s hard to keep my energy/self esteem up. My advice is to just be patient with injuries and the recovery process; I’ve re-injured myself a few times in an attempt to get better. Slow and steady wins the race.
Q: How have your eating habits changed over the years as a performer and in various roles?
A: Like I said, I’ve always been skinny, so (don’t hate me for this) I used to basically eat whatever I want and stay small. But I guess the grass is always greener; I WANT to be bigger! So much of our industry is based on looks and “types,” and it can be demanding with shows where there’s a lot of dancing (or circus acts!). My personal goal is to eat more, but it’s better to eat well than eat a lot of crap. In college I had a temporary battle with food allergies and went on a VERY strict detox for 6 months, and that helped me be smarter about the foods I eat. (Although I’m a horrible cook, I eat 99% of my meals out.)
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: Winners. Which sounds weird, but I love people who just go for it. Striving to be the best version of yourself, and doing it with positivity and light, is very infectious and inspiring to those around you. I like people who don’t look left and right. I like people who don’t make excuses. I like people who like people! And I like people who believe in what they do, whether it’s theater or writing or growing their own kombucha.
Q: What is your advice for aspiring performers who are pursuing a career on Broadway?
A: JUST GO FOR IT! (see above answer) Here’s the thing: Theater is an amazing business, full of music and heart and some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. But it’s hard. And at the end of the day, it’s a job. And you have to love your job. You have to find something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and be the best at it, no matter where or what it is. Whatever you want to do, GO FOR IT!
Q: Fill in the blanks:
A: The best part about being on Broadway is… Making people happy. Even if you have a crummy day, and it’s raining, and you burned the toast, and your phone screen is cracked, and you think you have a bad show…having someone say to you afterward “that was the most fun I’ve had in a long time” or “my face hurts from smiling!” makes it all worth it.
The biggest challenge about being on Broadway is… A lot of people don’t realize how much you miss when you’re in a show. Shows can require a lot of your time. Sometimes you’re in rehearsals all day, and then you work all night. Or sometimes you’re traveling with a tour. I’ve missed weddings, holidays, birthdays, dinners, trips, etc. But that’s the trade for doing what you love.
Q: Top 3 health/fitness tips for performer:
A: Top 3…
- DRINK WATER!
- Finding a solid routine works for me. Consistency.
- Plenty of sleep. And then DRINK SOME MORE WATER!