Welcome to The Broadway Bod: Your Sidekick for Optimizing Your Body for the Stage
Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Hello, my Name is Stephanie, and I'll be Auditioning for the Role of the Sidekick...
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie (you can call me Steph), and I have been performing on stage professionally for the last 12 years. I began performing in dance, gymnastics, and community theater at a very young age. I continued performing throughout grade school, and went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theater at California State University, Fullerton. Since then I have performed in numerous regional productions, toured for two years with Mamma Mia!, and moved to NYC, where I have continued to audition and receive performing opportunities across the country. Along the way I developed a love for health and fitness and how it compliments my career on the stage.
Being a dancer, gymnast, and competitive swimmer as a kid, I've always been somewhat active in my life, but I didn't truly become health conscious until I went on tour with my first major job. Touring can be taxing on the body, and in order to survive the 400 plus shows on the road, I had to adapt. I took a lot of inspiration from my fellow company members, many having previous experience touring with a show. I noticed several of them found a way to hit the gym almost everyday, even when some of our hotels didn't have gyms. They were diligent with their pre-show warm ups, and I even learned a lot of helpful diet tips and tricks from them, since we didn't have kitchens on the road.
It was during this time I started lifting weights (I learned from watching my friends in the gym), and eating more intuitively. I actually began to see amazing improvements in my strength, stamina, and physique, and how this manifested in my performances. I had significantly more energy on stage, I avoided much of the aches and pains that come
from sitting on a bus for hours, and I felt amazing in my costumes--which for Mamma Mia!, were rather revealing. Lastly, my castmates and I bonded over staying fit together, creating a community and a wonderfully healthy work environment (both physically and mentally).
In the few years since touring, I have managed to hold on to the enjoyment I found in fitness on the road, and I've continued my journey of researching and storing information about my own personal health and fitness in my brain. It is now time to take what I've learned and what I will learn in the future and put it in a location accessible to anyone who may find it useful. A one stop health, fitness, and wellness resource for the performer, if you will. So I've decided to start this blog--The Broadway Bod--to share my ever-growing knowledge with my fellow performers.
Cast trip to the gym. Backstage warmup. Cast hike in Colorado. Cast aerial yoga.
The Role of the Sidekick
As performers, we often find ourselves longing to play the lead, to be front and center in the spotlight, and sometimes refusing to settle for anything less. While that is wonderful--we should know our talent and our worth--I've always found secondary characters (or "sidekicks") to be much more interesting and fulfilling to dive into. Why? Firstly, sidekicks tend have more interesting personality traits! They are often comedic, sassy, nerdy, conniving, intelligent, deliberately unintelligent, quirky, overtly peppy, deeply depressed, and so much more. Lead characters can display these traits as well, however, they are most often depicted as naive, love-sick, stubborn, tunnel-visioned, impulsive, and even abusive. As a result, lead characters are nothing without their sidekicks! It us up to
secondary characters to help the leading roles along in their journeys, both directly and indirectly. They may aid lead characters in reaching their objectives, or they may add to the overall story by striving for their own personal goals and teaching other characters (and the audience) valuable lessons along the way. Therefore, a sidekick's arc in relationship to the story can be more complex, intriguing, and vital.
And the Role of the Sidekick Goes To....
My goal is for The Broadway Bod to be the sidekick in your story, your journey. May you find the information I share here valuable and useful in boosting your physical and mental health within your performing career. I plan to add posts on a variety of topics--anywhere from workouts to recipes, to breathing and meditation, to healthy audition practices and more--and how they relate to our well-being on the stage. I am beyond excited to take this journey with you! If you ever have questions, concerns, or requests, never hesitate to contact me.
For more on The Broadway Bod you can visit the about page HERE.
Now go forth, be healthy, and break a leg!