An Entrepreneurial Actor in NYC: Eric Emerick
Life as a professional artist inherently demands entrepreneurial prowess, particularly when it comes to acting. As an actor, you are your product, brand, CEO, and lead sales person. Much like developing an elevator pitch for a new venture, an actor needs to communicate who they are to an audience in a matter of seconds. It can be thrilling or terrifying depending on one’s preparation and confidence. Eric Emerick, a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation alumnus, who is making a career in film & television, recognizes that he has to “control his controllables,” and create his own luck as much as possible.
Eric is a 2017 alumni of the College of Liberal Arts with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre. Today, he works as an actor, model, theater technician, sailing instructor, and carpenter in New York City (https://www.ericemerick.com/). In 2019, he completed his training at Maggie Flannigan where he focused on the Meisner technique, developed by Sanford Meisner, whereby the actor achieves spontaneity by reacting more to in-the-moment cues and responses from actors than by relying on rehearsed performance. Eric says he is often told that he looks like Bradley Cooper, which is a marketable asset!
Eric credits Purdue for several dramatic pivots in his life. He began his freshman year as a student in Agricultural & Biological Engineering, where he realized that he was more passionate about communicating with engineers than being one. He changed his major to Management on his way to becoming a Theatre major. The one aspect of his degree objective that never changed in those years was his pursuit of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. He never doubted that entrepreneurship was the right skill set to develop. The confidence instilled in him by the ENTR program, particularly the belief that he could create his own success, allows him to continually zoom out from his immediate reality to the widest image of what he hopes to achieve in life. It also gives him the drive to go after what he envisions.
Eric’s biggest takeaway from the ENTR program is the ability to evaluate ideas and ventures. He believes that SWOT analyses and the Business Model Canvas are very helpful tools for artists, who often make decisions based on emotion and external influences. Eric has a business plan and a mission statement. In an environment where many actors have difficulty knowing or standing up for their actual value, he credits the ENTR program with his strong sense of his identity and self-worth.
When asked what he would tell prospective ENTR students, Eric says “Do it – there is no downside. No matter what you do in your life, the ENTR Program teaches you skills that only benefit you. Entrepreneurial skills are marketable to employers and priceless when you pursue your own path. Any major, from Engineering to Theatre, is augmented by this program.”