Guys, if we gave BE Way Awards on FFB, Stephen Carrasco would get Best Personality, Most Funny, Sweetest Spirit, Most Likely to Make You Feel Amazing, and after our photoshoot together, absolutely Best Partner in Crime for a Selfie. You get it… He’s amazing and my love for him runs deep. It’s moments like my photoshoot with him that I feel most grateful for having the community of FFB and getting to exchange energy with the most wonderful people in New York. He’s the real deal, buddies so snag your golden ticket for a 101 Guide to being Fit for Broadway!
NOTE FROM STEPHEN: Hi My name is Stephen, and I’m a Broadway performer (I still pinch myself that I can even write that). I’m 32 years young and THRIVING (yas gawd). I love my life, I love my job, and I love Jane Jourdan. She’s my fave!
The vintage “Spotlight” Tank from Fit for Broadway Apparel
Q: Can we start from the beginning… What’s been your journey to Broadway?
A: I grew up in Michigan, and I did some summer arts stuff through high school, but most notably I attended Carnegie Mellon’s pre-college summer program. That program solidified my desire to pursue a career in performance. After graduating high school, I ended up at Syracuse University where I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater. From there I moved to NYC and began the full time, yet shockingly unpaid job of auditioning. After two years of summer stock and regional gigs, I landed my first job on Broadway in the ensemble of White Christmas.
Q: How have health and fitness been intertwined into your journey as a performer?
A: They haven’t always been intertwined. Though I wish they would’ve captivated me sooner rather than later. Shortly before my first Broadway show, I broke my foot in a production of Kiss Me Kate. It was devastating. Up until that point, I had never really worked out. “Dancing is my workout” I used to say. Well now I was laid up, and I couldn’t dance. I began to panic at the idea of my body changing. So I started to lift weights at the gym. When I came back to auditioning from my injury, many friends commented on how great my body looked from my time in the gym. Then I landed my first Broadway show. From there, fitness and success were perfectly paired and positively reinforced. I was hooked. Through that experience I learned so much; You don’t have to be a fitness model, but you do have to take care of your body. That discipline and dedication to your instrument shows confidence and power in the audition room. Now I can’t live without it.
Q: Top 3 tips for staying FFB?
- You can’t out train your diet.
- Your body is your instrument. Take care of it and treat it like the most priceless piece of art in existence.
- Fun and variety are the keys to an eternal fitness interest. Don’t be afraid to try anything and everything. Educate yourself in proper form and technique, and explore all avenues of fitness. The possibilities are never ending.
Q: Best piece of advice you’ve received in this industry?
A: No one can be you better than you can. And you can’t be anyone else better than you can be yourself.
Q: Any other holistic practices to stay #BalancedOnBroadway?
A: I’m not really a holistic person. That’s not my ministry. But to each their own. I will absolutely acknowledge the massive benefits it brings to tons of people.
Q: Occasionally I get asked by readers about survival jobs for aspiring Broadway performers… did you have any?
A: I worked at Urban Outfitters over my first 6 months in NYC. It was pretty horrible. Retail isn’t for me, ESPECIALLY retail in manhattan. Plus I spent almost all the money I made on clothes there. Thanks employee discount!
Q: Fill in the blanks…
A: The best part of working on Broadway is… THE COMMUNITY.
The most challenging part of working on Broadway is… THE SCHEDULE.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: The people working around me. Performance artists are a rare breed, and we never stop. Even if we’re in a show, we’re starting a small business on the side, we’re coaching, we’re continuing to audition…. etc. That drive and dedication is incredibly inspiring. What’s that saying? “Beyoncé has the same amount of hours in the day as you.” (Tongue pop)
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who have their sights set on Broadway?
A: Now is the time for you to drown yourself in education. Soak up everything you can in all the disciplines. Hopefully your finances and success later in life will allow you to continue your education, but now is the time to immerse yourself in everything. Do the things you love, the things you hate, the things that excite you, and the things that scare you. Do it all. That life experience will enable you to bring as many different tools to your performance career as possible.
Q: BROADWAY INSPIRES ME TO BE __FEARLESS.
A: if you can survive auditioning and the crazy ups and downs of show business, you can survive ANYTHING. No matter where my life takes me from here, I know I’m more than prepared to take on anything that comes my way. I am enough, and I am fearless.