Updated: Aug 23, 2018
Alex Wilfand is a former professional ice skater and the creator of Ice Creative Entertainment, also known as I.C.E. I.C.E. provides ice and stage shows for venues like Disney Parks & Resorts, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, The Ritz Carlton, & Dolly Parton to name a few. With his awesome sizzler video reels and constant casting calls, you know he is up to something good. Alex first started skating when he was 10 years old and worked hard to move his way up the ranks. He is passionate about fair treatment and respect for all performers as working professionals. He offers some great insight on men in figure skating and setting entrepreneurial goals.
Tell us a bit about I.C.E. and the goals when creating this business.
Alex: I.C.E is a new age ice and stage show company creating bespoke entertainment offerings to virtually any venue anywhere in the world. I created I.C.E because after previously working for other companies, I wanted to create a company that truly respects their performers as artists and is known for a family atmosphere.
How do you see the future of professional ice shows?
Alex: I always want to see professional ice shows more mainstream. I feel like the ice show world is slowly moving back into that direction.
What are ways you believe professional skaters and performers may be mistreated as working professionals?
Alex: Witnessing it first hand as a performer; I felt like just a number and not of any true value. At I.C.E, we truly strive to make a positive, light hearted work environment for our performers. I know you cannot please every performer, but I try my very best to put performers salaries, housing, scheduling, and overall care number one always. I always think about that saying "Happy wife = happy life". When performers are treated better, they work better.
What are specific ways I.C.E. has consciously created a more family-friendly environment and overall better treatment for skaters?
Alex: We always welcome our casts with a "rehearsal recover bag" which usually includes items that can help during long rehearsal days such as power bars, personalized water bottles, I.C.E clothing, Icy hot, and Emergen-c vitamins. Its important to me to make sure the new cast is comfortable and knows they are in good hands upon their arrival to their contracts.
Could you shed some light on the life of a performing ice skater and some misconceptions.
Alex: I think the biggest misconception is the pay. I was always asked as a performer "wow you must make so much money?!"- Yes we make money but we aren't paid like basketball players. At I.C.E we do our very best to pay top dollar when we can. I also appreciate performers who appreciate passion over pennies. We want to work with people that of course do it to pay their bills but also because they love performing and have passion about what they do!
What do you look for when casting skaters?
Alex: Attitude trumps talent for me. I like to hire professionals that have a positive attitude on and off the ice.
What advice do you have for men in the sport of figure skating?
Alex: As a man in a sport driven more by women, you have the opportunity to make it far! Work hard and never give up because if you do, you have a bigger chance to "make it big”.
What is a common misconception about men in figure skating?
Alex: That they are all interested in men. I have met and hired more straight male figure skaters in my career than gay males.
What has been the biggest obstacle when creating your own ice show production company?
Alex: Getting people to believe in me and my product.
What has been the biggest reward when creating your own ice show production company?
Alex: I will never forget the moment I walked into Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios for my first theme park show. We partnered with Disney for Frozen Summer Fun and had the first ever professional ice show in a Disney theme park. That was a big win for us! I am also so lucky for so many other venues we have been able to play as well. It is an amazing feeling to have your product seen by so many people.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Alex: Never give up, always hustle, and most importantly have integrity. Integrity will get you further than your resume.
What would you be doing if you weren't an ice skater?
Alex: I would probably be an actor or something else in the entertainment industry.
What is a must-have product in your skate bag or suitcase?
Alex: Floquiya tights of course! Or probably a sweet stick for last minute skate sharpening.
What is your spirit animal?
Alex: My zodiac sign, a tiger. Rawr!
What is your funniest moment while being on the road?
Alex: When I was a performer with Disney On Ice (years ago), the cast always loved to prank me and I always loved to prank them back. There were so many funny moments, but one that stands out is being tied up by tape and thrown into a zamboni pit at intermission.