Photography by Joan Marcus
Ever imagine what it’s like to tour the country, live in hotels and appear on stage night after night? We asked Gerianne Perez who portrays Catherine of Aragon in the national tour of SIX ten questions about her ‘royal’ life.
What was your path to becoming a professional actor?
It was a long one! I started acting in middle school and high school and quickly got bit with the performing bug. My mom would take me to see whatever national tour was coming through town so I got to see iconic shows like Oliver!, Mamma Mia, and Phantom of the Opera. By my senior year of high school I decided to pursue a career in the arts and attend the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. I worked unbelievably hard in school, performed in as many mainstage productions as I could, even dabbling in being associate choreographer for some student-led productions. After graduation, it took years of hustling and then I finally booked my Broadway debut in 2016!
What was the audition process like for SIX?
Also, a very long one! I’d been taping for the show since 2019 and was finally brought in in person in the fall of 2021. I went to multiple callback rounds that included learning and performing different dance numbers from the show for the creatives, work sessions with the team where we worked in depth on the material and exactly what they were looking for in my specific portrayal of Aragon, and finals which was where the magic happened. By spring of 2022, I found out I had been cast in the Boleyn tour and the rest was history. (Or…HERstory)
What is your favorite part about touring the country with SIX?
I think it’s knowing the positive impact I’m having on the audiences every night. I get people at the stage door or who message me on social media expressing such gratitude for the show. It’s incredibly empowering to many people so it feels good to be conveying such a beautiful message and lifting people up.
What do you enjoy the most about performing in the show every night?
My girls on that stage! We really do have a blast with each other, my fellow Queens never cease to make me laugh and inspire me on the daily so I think it’s gotta be hands down that.
Why do you think SIX resonates with audiences?
I think there’s something so empowering about knowing that you can rewrite your own story. No matter what you’ve been through, no matter what preconceived notions others may have about you, you can be in charge of changing the narrative. You can say “No, this is my story and this is how I’d like to tell it.” These queens have such stereotypes about who they were historically, but in the realm of our show we tell it from their perspective. How cool is it to know you can also do that about yourself in real life, right?
If you weren’t an actor, what profession would you pursue?
I feel like I’d really love to be a child therapist. At NYU, I got a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health studies so I feel like that may have been my alternate path if in another life.
What item can you not live without while on tour?
My ice packs! But honestly, all of my self-care tools are essential for this show and on the road. SIX is an incredibly athletic piece so it requires a ton of recovery in order to stay safe and healthy. I have ice packs, a vocal steamer, a theragun, and an infrared wrap that I really couldn’t live without!
What is something that would surprise audiences about SIX and why should they see it?
It’s just simply not your typical musical. It’s 80 min, no intermission, and completely action packed. It’s closer to what you’d see on an arena tour of your favorite pop diva icon than what you’re used to seeing in a Broadway national tour. I feel like you should see it because you’d be hard-pressed to leave not feeling a bit more empowered and with a smile on your face. Regardless of your background, there’s something in this story for everybody.
What is your dream role?
I really would love to play Evita!
Do you have a favorite Queen in the show?
Well, I don’t mean to be biased….but Catherine of Aragon, of course.