Interview with Broadway Actor & CrossFit Trainer, Sam Leicht
If you have the pleasure of meeting Sam Leicht, chances are he’ll leave you with the giggles and a grin. But don’t let that pretty face fool you – there’s a whole lot of brawn behind that big, beautiful smile.
Currently making his Broadway debut in The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Sam understudies the lead role of Percy Jackson.
Despite a busy performance schedule, this CrossFit Level 1 Trainer isn’t about to let his workout regimen lapse while on The Great White Way. We sat down with Sam to learn more about his background with CrossFit and how it keeps him in top shape for the Broadway stage.
Catch us up. What’s your CrossFit story?
Hailing from Wisconsin, Sam grew up dancing between sports and musical theatre. When he wasn’t on stage, this active actor was a high school hurdler. After moving to New York City, he knew he needed something that would speak to both his inner athlete while he honed his craft as a dancer and actor. Enter CrossFit.
“My days started with the 5:45AM CrossFit class followed by hours of ballet practice before going to my job as a lifeguard. The workouts were hard, but got me so excited. Soon I started building muscle on this tall, lanky frame…and I was hooked.”
Eventually, Sam’s CrossFit journey of heart, health and skill brought him to the noon squad at CrossFit NYC. There he met (soon-to-be) Rhapsody CrossFit Co-Founders Alan Shaw, Trinity Wheeler and Stan Tsoy.
“I look back on that time as one of great strides – in relationships, strength, technique, nutrition and personal growth.”
What role does CrossFit play in your life today?
“CrossFit grounds me – especially during auditions.”
Sam went on to say that he often feels a cognitive dissonance with being an actor. Although he loves being on stage, the surrounding scene can sometimes feel superficial.
“I always needed something bigger. Something else that allowed me to help others and give back. Being a personal trainer gives me that sense of fulfillment because I can help people become better through CrossFit.”
Coming back to the overlap of fitness and performance, Sam finds people often get it backwards believing that a fitness regimen is all about getting “the look to book”, but this is shortsighted at best.
“So much of your responsibility as a performer is staying fit – mind and body – to kick ass eight times a week onstage. Doing this the right way takes the proper perspective and needs to be driven by a genuine interest in your health, not how you look in the mirror.”
Peek behind the curtain. What does it take physically to be an actor on Broadway?
“When you’re a dancer, a major part of your job is maintenance which requires going to the gym regularly, bodywork and massage therapy on top of practice and rehearsals.”
From proper warm-ups and cool downs to literally being in fighting shape for fight choreography, Sam stays at the top of his game as a performer by sustaining the strength and stamina he trains through CrossFit.
Whether he’s giving his all under stage lights or on the gym floor, Sam understands that showing up starts with both a strong body and mindset. Taking lessons from Broadway and the barbell, he has learned that success comes from being hungry to improve, humble in the face of hard work and happy for the chance to pursue his passions.
Follow Sam’s journey on Touring CrossFit.
Ready to get this show on the road? Join us for Sweaty Saturday at Rhapsody CrossFit in Charleston – your first class is on us!