“My mom forced me into dance classes, and when I was six, I gave in, sure, whatever, I’ll do it. I started tap dancing once a week, just a little thing to do Tuesdays at four. I stuck with it because I really wanted a trophy and you only got it after five years.” At 10 years old, Alec Varcas (he/him/his) told himself he was going to quit dance classes. But that summer he went to a theatre camp and that all spiraled into him continuing to do theatre productions and competition dance team until he graduated high school. Alec thought about studying theatre or dance in college, but ended up graduating from Quinnipiac University with a business degree while doing community theatre and teaching dance classes. He quickly realized he was good at business but didn’t love it. Soon he got a cubicle desk job and decided it wasn’t for him.
“I was doing community theatre and I was told I should go to New York and audition and I was like no, never.” Alec recalls, but nevertheless, him and a group of his colleagues went down to audition for a professional production in Westchester. Alec made it to the end of auditions but didn’t get a part. He soon, however, got an email about a production of Legally Blonde which had an opening because someone dropped out. Next thing he knew, Alec had 10 days to prepare for a six-week run. He loved it and decided to pursue theatre further. Alec auditioned for The Addams Family tour. Didn’t get the part but was called for the Spamalot non-equity tour. “A non-equity tour is a very different schedule. I would stay up late so I could sleep while we traveled during the day. I think I cried 10 days on that tour. Most exhausting experience of my life, but I’m still friends with a lot of those people.”
After that, Alec decided he needed a break. He joked that he continued to not get the roles he auditioned for when he auditioned for a regional production of Cats, but got invited instead to try for the Off-Broadway parody version of 50 Shades! The Musical. Alec got the part and did that role for a year and a half, and then continued to do other regional shows while auditioning for Aladdin. He had made it to the end of those auditions three or four times, but the last time they asked him to come in, he wasn’t available. Fortunately, by that point they all knew him well enough and had seen him audition six times.
“A week later I was supposed to choreograph a show in Connecticut. My agent called me when I was at the [audition] table and told me I got the part and that they need me in five days. I went out on tour, met up with them in Pittsburgh, and that’s when I found out I was a Swing.” Alec covered ten different tracks or roles in the show, but only went on for five or six. He was a Vacation Swing, so he would cover a role for somebody when they knew they would be out of the show, which meant he often knew which role he would be playing in advance. “I started learning two roles, did them and then got sent home, and I didn’t know the next time they were going to call me. But they kept calling me. I was out on tour a lot and got to do a lot of roles, did one for a total of six months. I left the tour in Memphis not knowing if I was going back or not because the tour was supposed to close in April, but a week later all of the [COVID shutdowns happened] and the tour closed.”
Where did fitness come into all of this? Alec has been a certified personal trainer for over six years. People were always approaching him about it and it seemed like something he should do. He started training a few clients who were flexible with having a trainer who didn’t know when he would be called back on tour. “It’s physical and I love moving, and it’s way more exciting than sitting behind a desk.”
What is RippT (pronounced: ripped)? “The whole reason I created Get RippT was to create a community that supports each other, makes fitness fun, and makes fitness accessible to help people stay accountable and help people find their journey. It’s something I’ve had on the back of my mind for a while and didn’t have time to put into before.” Alec started just posting videos and hosting Live workouts on Instagram, and people were saying they were getting results. Eventually it snowballed into a website and business that has a library of videos that you can subscribe to for a low fee. “The idea is to hopefully have this company grow and hire more people to get involved who are personal trainers. I want to support personal trainers with their education and personal businesses and help them get clients. I also want people to know fitness can be affordable.” Hence why you can access all the videos for just $25 a month, or pay a small fee if you just want to purchase one or two videos a la carte. “I hate that finances can be a reason someone doesn’t think about their health. It’s something that we all need and should be accessible.” Other than affordable pricing, Alec continues to host Live video workouts on his Instagram page and leaves the videos up on the page for a few days. And Alec has developed a bit of a reputation for doing fun dancing at the beginning of his Live videos to get everyone excited and ready to go!
“You’re not doing it alone. I program them hard for a reason, because I want to challenge you, but I also give modifications. But one of the big differences is that I’m doing the entire thing with you. I’m not yelling at you, but we are both going to do it together and we are not going to stop. We are holding each other accountable.”
Alec has also released and is continuing to release more specific programs geared towards different goals, from programs for beginners to advanced to more specific scenarios such as for those who are not beginners but trying to get back into fitness after a break or for those who have plateaued with their fitness goals. These are written plans but will eventually evolve into full-fledged videos as well. They are all meant to be something anyone can follow.
What has Alec been up to the past several months? Beyond watching a movie a day during quarantine (huge Titanic fan!), Alec has been thinking a lot lately about something that he lives by: “Never get comfortable. When you get comfortable, that’s when you get complacent, and that’s when you stop learning and stop testing yourself, which is how you grow. When you’re comfortable, you feel safe, and there is happiness in being comfortable, but this business has taught me to not be afraid of failing. We do that every day with auditioning. You’ll probably fail, but when it does happen and you don’t fail, it’s amazing! You can always pick up the pieces again when it doesn’t work. Now is the perfect time to discover new things about yourself, even if it isn’t your forever thing. Work on something else you’ve maybe always wanted to try or study something new. Always be trying to do something to improve your life, yourself, and try to keep growing. As long as you have a strong support system, if you do fail, you’ll never get completely lost.” •