10 Questions with ... Eric & Erica
April 23, 2012
1) What led you guys to careers in radio?
Eric: Falling asleep listening to AM radio. I was a teenager in Maryland listening to Henry Bogan on WBT in Charlotte and Big John Tremble in Richmond. These guys were having conversations in the middle of the night with truckers. All I could picture was these guys in their big rigs talking to John. Radio got under my skin from an early age. I got my first job in radio when I was 15.
Erica: I still remember seeing the caller ID on my phone. WRCM! Gary Morland was calling to invite me on his morning show. He wanted me to talk about the articles I was writing in our city's Christian newspaper. From the moment I sat behind the microphone, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Something inside me came alive in that moment and I knew God had wired me to do this. I was hooked. Radio had me at hello.
2) How long have you been together as a morning team?
Three stretching, fulfilling years
3) What makes your show unique?
Stories. "Stories are gifts." That's what Starbucks printed on their cardboard coffee wraps one holiday season. And that's what we believe. We share our stories, they share theirs, and something happens! God can use a story and everyone's got one. The defining moment came for us one morning when a lady joined our conversation about Christmas trees. She said, "I've been waiting for you to ask the right question so I could share my story! Today's the day!" It was Christmas, and she and her mother were so poor that all they could do was go and buy little red bows to put on the tree. It was her best Christmas ever. We believe stories connect human beings to other human beings. And that God is in the thread.
4) Erica, what's the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Erica: These words are framed in our office: "Closing your laptop is an act of faith." My mentor, Gary Morland, shared them with me one day when I was working late. I am extremely passionate about radio and I tend to go through life with a mental butterfly net in hand, collecting things to share on the air. It takes great discipline for me to be completely present with the people I love in my life, to stop thinking about my job and live fully in the moment. So, my goal every day is to live out those wise words when I can.
5) And Eric, how about you? Best piece of advice?
Eric: There was a time in my life when I was doing radio by day and loading boxes off trucks at a Kohls' distribution center at night. Clarke became a buddy of mine. My work there was temporary, but this guy had been there for years (and may still be there today). He had agreat attitude about life and it was contagious. Every shift, before he ever loaded a box, he would look at me and say, "Expect great things!" I never forgot that.
6) What was the biggest radio gaffe you've made?
It was actually an off-air gaffe that we still regret to this day. Oh, it was mortifying! We forgot about our scheduled interview with former lead singer of the Newsboys, Peter Furler. He called right in the middle of a show and, clueless, we put poor Peter on hold. We had no idea why he was calling us. So, we went with the Newsboys angle, assuming it was something about the Music Boat. Later, we learned that Peter was, of course, on fire about his new solo singing career. Sorry, Peter!
7) Who are some of your favorite on-air personalities at other stations?
Erica: Brant Hansen. One minute he's Gandalf from Lord of the Rings standing high atop Mt. Prize and throwing people down an imaginary bottomless chasm, and the next minute he's talking about a guy who has made the decision to remain chaste his entire life. He's comfortable in both the shallow and deep ends of the pool. Brant is at peace with his asperger syndrome, at peace with God, and at peace with the fact that life is a conversation and that there are no real feel-good answers - just the Good News that's really good.
Eric: "The Bert Show" in Atlanta and Danny and Zack in Roanoke, because these guys are real. Bert makes you think about your life. Danny and Zack - that's just flat out entertainment. It doesn't get any better than that for me.
8) If you could have any other job outside radio or the music industry, what would it be?
Erica: The person who names nail polishes and lipsticks or a Hallmark card writer
Eric: Pro golfer (even with an 18 handicap)
9) If you could have any guest from any time past or present join you for a show, who would you have and why?
Erica: Corrie ten Boom. She was a woman who wrestled with her faith; her Christianity was not clean and tidy. It was messy and effective. Her family hid Jewish people from the Nazis and her father and sister paid with their lives. Corrie saw miracles in the camps. She fought to forgive and won. And I love that she called herself "Tramp for the Lord."
Eric: Keith Green. Any time a life is cut short, you're drawn to the story. He drew a line in the sand - you either believe or you don't believe. There was no straddling the fence, no gray area with him. That has always affected me. I can say I'm a Christian all day long, but if I'm not living it, it doesn't matter. Keith lived what he believed.
10) What do you guys enjoy outside of work? Any special hobbies?
Erica: Walking on the wooded, peaceful trails in my neighborhood, reading, throwing the football with my son, and watching my daughter play volleyball. Hobbies I want to have: to learn to speak Italian and how to cross country ski.
Eric: I play golf with my brother and his boys back where I grew up. On weekends, I help coach my son's little league team. I've got muscles I never knew existed, thanks to my last stint as catcher. And I love baseball - watching it on TV and going to see minor league games with my family.
1) Do you read everything or nothing? Magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.
Erica: Sometimes I'll buy a cup of coffee and stroll through the bookstore and just breathe. The words of a book have to snag me; the cover has to pull me in. Historical fiction is my favorite genre; Bodie Thoene is the master. I also love Good Housekeeping.
Eric: My dad finds great books at yard sales and he loves to give them to me. I like to read about people, especially athletes, and figure out what drives them.
2) Cat or dog person?
Erica: I never liked cats until we rescued Biscuit last year. His white paws and innocent eyes stole my heart. Someone once said it is impossible to be tense around a sleeping cat. And cats sleep a lot. So Biscuit lowers my blood pressure, except when he pounces on the pork loin or jumps in the toilet bowl.
Eric: We had a collie growing up named Smokey. He was really my sister's dog (she's the favored child), but we used to put eyeglasses on him and make it look like he was reading the newspaper.
3) Describe your favorite meal.
Erica: Sauerbraten nestled beside a bed of spaetzle noodles at the Black Forest restaurant in Highland Mills, NY. And Poppy at the table, who has long been in heaven.
Eric: There's a little place right on Vero Beach. I had a plate of red snapper one night, covered with this rich cream sauce. The fish and the sauce made it taste like steak.
4) If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?
Erica: Fully loaded and charged up Kindle, an endless supply of club soda, and a bocce ball set.
Eric: A boat, a motor, and a dozen pepperoni rolls.