On Thursday, March 5, Chris Mike and Teddy Z of The Chippendales sat down and chatted with Senior Editor Markos Papadatos at The Paramount in Huntington on Long Island, as part of their “Get Naughty” World Tour. They both opened up about how they have found their family with The Chippendales.
“It’s always great to be back at The Paramount,” Chris Mike said. “It comes with a lot of great energy and I am looking forward to tonight.”
“This is my first time doing the touring cast,” emcee Teddy Z said.
Chris Mike added that they have a lot of new talent on the “Get Naughty” Tour this year, and he considers that a good thing. “New singers and new dancers. You can look forward to an awesome show,” Teddy Z added.
On his daily motivations, Teddy Z said, “I am inspired by my passion for my craft. I like to put on the best show possible for the audience. We are representing ourselves and The Chippendales as well. We all care.”
Chris Mike noted that he is motivated by his fellow cast-mates, who he considers his “brothers.” “I have a really good relationship with the cast, and they motivate me as well,” he said.
Both performers are drawn to The Chippendales due to its camaraderie, and they consider it a “bonding experience.” “The brotherhood that comes along with traveling and living together: we rehearse, dance, work out, eat and sleep, and do it all over again. It’s more of a family,” Chris Mike said.
“When you travel, you get to experience different cultures and traditions,” Chris Mike explained. “We also enjoy experiencing the different festivals around the world,” Teddy Z added.
For Chris Mike, the hardest part of his job is living a healthy lifestyle while out on the road due to the extensive travel. “You have an inconsistent amount of food each day and you don’t have the same regimen each day,” he explained. “It’s hard to develop a rhythm,” Teddy Z admitted.
Over the last four years, Chris Mike has experienced a lot of growth and maturity, especially through his travels around the world. “You get to see how people live their lives in all of these different countries and you really get to be grateful for a lot of things. It really opens your eyes,” Chris Mike said.
Teddy Z echoes Chris Mike’s remarks about personal growth over the last four years, and he noted that it has been a time of self-reflection for him. “You can grow from your mistakes, triumphs and your successes,” he said. “Even my body has changed. I have gained 30 pounds since I started.”
For young and aspiring performers, Chris Mike encouraged them to follow their dreams since “anything is possible.” “I’ve always been an aspiring artist and it afforded me the opportunity to travel the world and meet so many amazing people around the world,” he said. “This has allowed me to practice my craft, whether it’s dancing, fitness or even being an artist since some of us make music. Follow your dreams and don’t stop. Perseverance is key to your success.”
“Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Try to be better than you were yesterday. Just try to grow. You will see the growth if you trust the process and if you work hard. Be better than you were yesterday and you will see the long-term success,” Teddy Z said, offering his advice for young and aspiring artists.
When asked if there were any moments that helped define him, Chris Mike said, “I am really close to my family. I love being with my family and I love being with The Chippendales. I miss getting to be at some family functions that I get to miss when I travel.”
On the title of the current chapter of his life, Chris Mike revealed, “To Serve.” “As I grow as a man and a professional, my value comes from serving others, transferring energy and serving as many people as I can. It’s about serving and giving value to others in an effort to make an impact on their lives,” he said.
“I would call my chapter, ‘The Fork in the Road’,” said Teddy Z. “I am at a crossroads right now since I am in the undecided phase. There are a lot of things in the air right now.”
For Chippendales fans and supporters, Chris Mike said, “Thank you to each and every one of you. We love you and we support you as well. It has been an incredible journey, and it will continue to be an incredible journey. I am forever grateful.”
“Thank you for the support and for having faith in my ability to impact your lives in a way where you become a fan. Thank you so much for supporting the show, the craft, and the hard work that we put in. The positivity really means a lot,” said Teddy Z.
Regarding his definition of the word success, Chris Mike said, “Success is to live a balanced life. Depending on what your balance is, I ultimately want to give value and to serve others. Also, leadership is important. I want to give value and I want to make everyone around me better. I want people to leave with a smile and with more confidence.”
“I want to have a positive impact on people and to empower them. I want them to leave our show feeling empowered. I want people to feel important and I want everyone to feel special,” Teddy Z concluded.