Ericka Hunter is a Broadway performer and co-star on NBC’s “Smash”. She has performed on Broadway in plays such as “Rock of Ages” and she even started out as a Radio City Rockette. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Ericka about her Broadway work and also working on NBC’s “Smash”.
Mike Gencarelli: Give us some background on your music singles and when can we expect more?
Ericka Hunter: It’s so funny and seems so backwards that I’ve made this transition into Electronic Dance Music, but it’s a HUGE passion of mine. I’ve spent my entire adult life growing up in NYC I found myself with so much energy after performing nightly on Broadway, that I would go out to nightclubs and dance! That’s where I really grew to love that club culture. I started writing and recording a few years back and it’s been such an amazing outlet for me. Recently, as well as working on my solo singing career, I’ve been collaborating with some incredible DJ’s; Cedric Gervais, Vice, Betatraxx and Kemal Golden, to name a few. My most current single was released in France with a well known DJ, Morgan Nagoya. It’s called Promised Land and you can find it on iTunes France. I will be releasing some new collaborations in the new few months which I’m super amped about. I always announce those on my website and through ALL the social media outlets!
MG: What do you enjoy most about working on Broadway?
EH: What I enjoy about Broadway may actually be what other people hate. The schedule. 8 shows a week is tough, but the reward is amazing. Standing ovations every night are priceless and the appreciation the audiences show for your hard work can be pretty mind blowing. Really, at the end of the day, it’s a privilege. And the reason I was in dance and singing lessons 4 hours or more a day
MG:The music in “Rock of Ages” is so charged and fun, tell us about performing on this show?growing up!
EH: YES! The music in Rock Of Ages is definitely a huge reason the show is so successful! 80’s rock music is like a religion for some people! It’s actually really fun to look out into the audience and see people singing along, sometimes even loud enough for us to hear on stage! This show is unlike any other show I’ve ever been a part of and the patrons have a lot to do with it. They get so involved in the story and music. We have so much fun onstage and getting to play and flirt with the audience. A lot of other shows I’ve been in don’t allow for that kind of interaction. It’s definitely a super cool thing.
MG:What has been your most challenging role on Broadway?
EH: I’d say my most challenging role is to be an understudy of a role! Early on in my career, I did a lot of understudying. It’s essentially being “on call” for a role or many roles that you don’t normally play and you can be called to go in on a moments notice. It’s pretty intense and can be scary, but with my experience it’s always been really rewarding.
MG:Tell us about how to was going from broadway to TV in NBC’s “Smash”?
EH: SMASH is a really cool experience. It is so similar to doing a Broadway show, yet you’re performing for cameras! I’ve always wanted to do TV and I’m so happy a show like this came along that allows us Broadway folk to reach more than just the seats in a theater. I also think the viewers really enjoying a backstage look at what goes on behind the curtain, because it’s pretty darn entertaining!
MG:Tell us about your experience being a Radio City Rockette?
EH: Being a Radio City Rockette is unlike any other job I’ve ever had. It was especially unique for me because I was 18 and it was my first professional dancing job. Also, the title of “Rockette” isn’t one they just hand out. It’s a prestigious and coveted job that I was SO lucky to have. It’s no joke though! Haha. Rehearsals are grueling so the precision is on point. It’s like the army for dancers. I have to say, I love being a part of something that felt like a real team. You had to be on your game and your mark or you’d be letting all the other girls down. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of. Even though I haven’t been a the show for a few years, I go to Radio City every year during the holidays to cheer the Rockettes on!