A Bear At The Ballet: Catching up with Reality TV/Fitness Star Craig Ramsay

Reality TV and fitness star Craig Ramsay is a friend of Bear World Magazine and we love the chance to catch up with him on his latest projects. 

Having appeared on nearly every major entertainment outlet with his celebrity fitness expertise, he and husband Brandon Liberati become the focus on Bravo TV’s Newlyweds – in which they shared their experiences in their first year of marriage and the ups and downs of being a married couple with all the world to see and quickly became fan favorites.  The show has gone on to syndication in other countries and the couple have also made appearances on Bravo TV’s Shahs of Sunset and The Real Housewives. 

Last year we reported that Craig had returned to his theater roots appearing as one of the potential fathers in Mamma Mia – years after appearing in the first production of Mamma Mia as an ensemble member.  Now Craig is celebrating his earlier career – in ballet! 

Craig has retrained his body and donned a pair of tights to play Lord Capulet in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet – 20 years after attending school there.  Why?  He is joining his close friend Catherine Reford, whom he met at the school, while she battles her six-year battle with brain cancer.  The two have lived together in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles but have never appeared on stage together.

Craig has also teamed with Jonny McGovern on Hey Queen! Network for “He’s Fit!” – a webseries celebrating the male form and fitness. 

I sat down with Craig to get the scoop:

You are returning to your roots in dance with this ballet – did you ever think you’d appear in ballet again?

The hardest decision I ever had to make professionally was to take my career from Ballet to Broadway. I expected this choice to end my ballet dreams.

I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to be back dancing with the world renown Royal Winnipeg Ballet nearly 20 years later.

What are the most challenging aspects of returning to this type of movement?

My muscularity and physical size were my main concern heading into rehearsals. To achieve proper ballet technique, the body must be able to get into ballet positions.  Thankfully I had a couple of months  to healthily and responsibly lose nearly 20 pounds. Taking my body frame from 200lbs down to 182lbs. I’m still a large, muscular presence on stage but it works for the role of “Lord Capulet”.

How have you had to retrain your body from going from your regular muscle routine to streamlined movement?  How has your diet changed?

I immediately laid off heavy weight training which made limiting my caloric intake possible. I added more cardio into my workout program and for the first time ever with the support of my yogi friend, American Horror Story’s Naomi Grossman, I started taking flow yoga classes to ease my body into ballet classes.

Performing with this production also comes with a big emotional component as well.  Tell me how being on stage with Catherine has affected your approach to the role?

I met Catherine Wreford Ledlow at the Royal Winnipeg ballet school 20 years ago, we stayed close friends ever since.

Catherine was diagnosed with a cancerous grapefruit size brain tumor nearly 6 years ago and was given 2 to 6 years to live. This June is her 6 year mark.

We surprisingly have never performed onstage together so this experience while she is thankfully still with us is very special. No disrespect to her wonderful husband Joel Ledlow but Cath & I somewhat act like an old married couple already so us playing one onstage as “Lord & Lady Capulet” works.

Except she tells me often I’m “Lady Capulet”! Lol

You have lived with Catherine in Toronto, New York,  and Los Angeles each performing in shows (though never together before!) – I can imagine you have many stories.  Any story that sticks out particularly?

While living in Toronto in a studio apartment together Catherine’s Cat took a “special” liking to me and needed to get spayed not once but twice, as the first time apparently didn’t take. Before the second spaying, I was furious one night at 2am and told Catherine that her Cat had to stop meowing and rubbing its private’s in my face. Catherine escaped into the bathroom and an hour later and an empty Q-Tip box the Cat was completely quiet. There is NOTHING Catherine Wreford hasn’t or wouldn’t do for me. 

Catherine’s journey is an inspiring one.  What has she taught you the most about life?  About career?

She wakes up every morning with gratitude and doesn’t stress about the little things. She looks at her illness as a necessary element in her life to get her priorities and health on track. Which she has. I simple cannot complain about anything right now in my life when I see how Catherine looks at the world and her situation. We should all live our life without fear and love every morning we wake up to.

Were you nervous about leaving your LA career for a bit to perform in the show?

No, not nervous at all, actually. The decision was easy.

When I got that invite from Tara Birtwhistle Associate Artistic Director & Andre Lewis Artistic Director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Nov 2018 it felt like a received an artistic invite home.

Of all the areas of the entertainment industry, I have been so fortunate to experience ballet has always been the most fulfilling. This decision effects my husband, Brandon Liberati, the most and I feel closer than ever to him for his support and love throughout this.

“He’s Fit” on HeyQueen is heating thing’s up in entertainment!  What was it like filming the show?  What was your favorite part as playing host?

Oh my!!! Jonny McGovern is very cleaver and is genius at creating concept and content so I was in good hands with him formatting the hilarious show. There was more script than I anticipated, and I struggled with being able to properly host the guests who are porn professionals. Not because I was uncomfortable or don’t respect their work, I’ve definitely enjoyed some of their work!… but learning their porn credentials is not part of my vocabulary and I struggled holding onto those details in my short term memory. I’m sure it was more frustrating for production than for me. Plus, I have never been so purposely self exposed in my professional career. To be honest seeing my own “Ball Ball Shaft Head” through my short shorts in the monitor stressed me out!

We know you performed in CATS the musical – what do you think about the movie coming out?

I think I need a Q-tip!!!

Very exciting. I just wish I was in it!

What is going to be the first thing you do when you get back to LA?

Dirty the sheets with my Husbear.

What would you tell your Broadway performing self from the past as you now?

I’d tell him to bring more of himself to the roles you are auditioning for. That’s what will make your interpretation unique and appealing. When I was first on Broadway I auditioned for roles the way I thought people in power would want to see it performed. Now I audition & perform a role from a place of authenticity because I’m more comfortable with who I am and I accept that probably won’t bring me every gig but it will provide me the appropriate ones I’m going to do a damn good job on.


Royal Winnipeg Ballet

“Romeo & Juliet” Feb 13th to the 17th at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

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Alexander Rodriguez

Alexander is the host of iHeartRadio/Universal Broadcasting Network's 'On the Rocks' Radio Show. He's the love child of Chelsea Handler, Johnny Carson, Graham Norton and Judy Garland and is addicted to everything entertainment.