Eric & Gerianne
By Steven O. Evans, PhD
Not one, but two dynamic performers make up the Dynamic Duo – Gerianne and Eric. They’ll play, sing, and entertain their way right into your hearts. Join them for an unbelievable night of sing alongs that include show tunes, old favorites, and current classics Their spirit and energy is one that will leave you with a smile. Don’t miss their act as they tour Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Vero Beach, Naples, and Key West. Check out their list of shows at www.DynamicDuoAct.com.
First, tell our readers about how you started the Dynamic Duo.
Eric: Honestly, the act was inspired by a night out while I was in New York City back in 2014. A few friends took me to Marie’s Crisis, the famous piano bar. There, I saw a room full of people just belting out their favorite showtunes, making requests, and a fun piano guy (Kenney Green) working the crowd like I had never seen! I was so inspired and I had never seen anything like that before. So, I came home and thought, “This is it. This is how Gerianne and I can put our heads together and do something that brings a new piece of Cabaret culture to Detroit.”
Gerianne: Our Duo really began as a living room jam session way back in college, circa 2003. We both attended the same college, Adrian College, and were music majors that practiced in the same music hall. Our building was an old frat house that had classrooms, practice rooms, and in the main living room, a baby grand piano. Eric and I both would sit and play for tons of other music majors, lead the groups in songs, and try tons of repertoire that we just wanted to sing for fun. It was here that the Duo was born, but it was over a decade before it would be fully realized as an act with name and brand; literally the week after Eric got back from NYC!
What can people expect from your shows?
Eric: People can expect to sing! We try really hard to pick songs from the golden era of Broadway all the way to currently running productions like Hamilton, while also touching on the classic Disney tunes of our past. The audience can also expect to learn a little about us like funny growing up stories and get a glimpse of what happens when two best friends work together! Our shows are different each time because each audience is different! We have our staples that we always perform, but we really try to let the audience and vibe of the night guide the show.
Gerianne: Eric starts with some classic warm up songs for each audience, ones that most people will know. He kind of hosts the night while I play the majority of the shows. We do play a bit of musical chairs though and I get a few times to show what I can do vocally and Eric gets to show you his keyboard skills as well. It took us a while to figure out that this format works best, but it really works now!
What is your favorite song to perform and why?
Eric: My favorite song to perform, personally is, “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles. It doesn’t get much more Broadway than that, but the song also has an extremely deep meaning to me. You’ll have to come to the show to hear the story!
Gerianne: Well I am the ballad queen, a title I received from our home bar in Detroit (shout out to Pronto Video Bar!), so naturally I go with a ballad titled, “She Used to be Mine” from Waitress. It’s a simple song in regards to it’s accompaniment but the lyrics speak to me on a new level each time I sing it. I talk a bit about it in the show as well. But, in classic Gemini form, I have to choose two and be contrasting.I love singing “Whatever Happened to My Part” from Spamalot because I can just let ‘er rip and play with the audience a bit more!
Eric: Well now I have to add on because in Virgo form, I need the last word. Ok, the favorite group song we do is probably “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. We do it as a diva tag which is a fun singer’s game born in NYC. It’s kind of an epic way to hear and perform the song and the audience usually gets way into it.
Do you ever get nervous performing on stage?
Eric: I don’t think we do as much in certain situations. Bars are a much more relaxed vibe because most people are kind of only half listening and half socializing. When we are in dinner theatres and more country club atmospheres, I personally get more nervous because we are the touring act they have likely never heard of. Definitely need to impress and entertain.
Gerianne: I used to get real nervous. But really, I am just back in Adrian College in the living room every time when I take the stage with Eric. He usually breaks the ice and takes the audience’s temperature before I have to do some things on my own. But really, in my head and heart, I am just back in college reliving the good ol days and I feel fine!
Tell us one “secret” about you all that most don’t know, but you aren’t afraid to print in a magazine!
Eric: Oh man, what a great question. I really love working with recording artists and originating music. I have had an amazing career so far that has taken me to NYC, on the set of X-Factor, to LA, and soon to be overseas. I was also a choir teacher for 5 years (go Roeper School!) and loved every moment of teaching my 6th-12th graders!
Gerianne: Awesome question! I don’t think most people know that I have several unpublished albums and that I compose for a ton of projects on a rotating basis. Music is tremendously personal and I just haven’t found the project that I wanted to put out and share with the world on blast! I am also a cancer survivor that learned early on, you have to keep moving on and really not sweat the small stuff so much.
What is the next step for the Dynamic Duo?
Eric: We are hoping, praying, wishing, and waiting for a cruise ship deal. Every time we play on tour, most people come up and say that we would be a great fit for a piano bar on a ship. We know our market well so we do think a cruise catering to our LGBTQ+ audiences would be the best fit, but we would be open to all options; who wouldn’t? Right now, we are also focusing on tour and being grateful for that! When we started in Florida three years ago, we played three cities and eight shows in nine days. Now we play multiple cities in eight weeks. So there is growth and brand building we are so grateful for.
Gerianne: I am much more in the organic growth. I believe things will happen when they are supposed to and you just can’t rush things. We tried to build other musical projects before and were sure we were going to be successful, but they eventually fizzled. We took a much more relaxed vibe with the Duo and allowed ourselves to be the most true to ourselves and serve our audience in an authentic way. Only then did we get to the places we have always wanted. It will happen when it’s supposed to happen.