Meet NYU drama major Dan Gershaw – or as some know him as singer and performer Danny Blu. He has been successfully fulfilling his dreams since day one.
Gershaw started acting and singing in middle school and never took vocal lessons until he begun to professionally pursue drama.
“I kinda just started acting and singing together,” said Gershaw. “I didn’t have any training I just started doing it. Always as a hobby first and then it kinda progressed into something professional.”
In high school, while he was involved in extra curriculars, focusing on performance in musicals, marching band, chorus, chorale and madrigals, he dreamt of studying architecture.
After getting accepted to Syracuse University for architecture, he completely changed his mind, and after high school he took a year off to follow his passion and live in New York.
“I took a year off and started auditioning to see if it would work, and it did,” said Gershaw.
While he was in New York, he successfully took part in numerous plays until he auditioned for NYU’s theatre program and got accepted.
Even before he pursued theatre professionally, people have always loved working with him.
Anouska Swaray, a friend and former performer first started working together in their freshman year of high school.
“Neither of us really knew what we were doing to be honest, just that we loved performing,” said Swaray. “It’s crazy seeing him from that starting point to what he has become now; I think a lot of performers take a while to find their autonomy, and I think Dan has really just come into his own and really embraced his image. It’s hard to believe that he even considered another route.”
Gershaw still does non-school related musicals on the side. Other cast members of the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, has nothing but good things to say about Gershaw.
“Working with somebody that that’s talented and that devoted has been a blessing,” said Cay Moore, one of his cast members.
Another younger cast member of Jesus Christ Superstar looks up to Gershaw for her own future acting endeavors.
“He’s an amazing singer and actor and dancer, and it takes a lot to do that,” said Lacey Hickey. “Most people can only do one or two.”
Along with his drama career, Gershaw also has a solo project. In the singing world, he is known as Danny Blu. He’s inspired by a lot of 90’s rock, Marilyn Manson, Alice In Chains, Nirvana and more.
Live shows and lyrics from other artists inspire his music. His music is sexually driven, and it’s what Gershaw feels people will respond to.
Danny Blu has the voice, but he also has a band that plays the music for him. The Danny Blu family is made up of drummer Billy Long, bassist Eric Malive, and guitarist Thomas Murphy.
Gershaw works with Rich Labbadia, the president and CEO of L2 Entertainment, who helps him develop his musical direction.
“With Danny Blu, what you see is what you get,” said Labbadia. “He is a true visionary with his artistic uniqueness, and L2 Entertainment is excited to be involved with that vision! Together we have been able to carve out a distinct sound that defines Danny Blu as a pure statement of self expression.”
He also he has a choreographer, named Kayla Jacobs who is a dance student at NYU.
“She’s incredible, said Gershaw, “Her work is amazing.”
He also has two people create all of the looks that he wears.
Like Andy Warhol’s factory or like Lady Gaga’s Haus of Gaga, Gershaw wants a factory where people work together and support each other and make good music. Now he has a number of people working for him musically and even stylistically. He calls it, the Factory Blu.
“Right now that’s the Danny Blu factory that we have going. It’s the Factory Blu,” said Gershaw.
Dan is always looking to collaborate with fellow musicians. He has worked his friend DJ Reidiculous who remixed “Set Me On Fire” and “Pulse.”
“I love collaborations,” said Gershaw.
Gershaw is always trying to get the word out about his singing career. He puts posters on display and postcards for his audience to take during intermission. During intermission and after he performed in Jesus Christ Superstar, everyone had a postcard in hand walking out talking about the singer and performer.
Gershaw is all about the exposure and gaining as much as he possibly can. He currently has a Danny Blu Facebook advertisement going on around the most popular social networking website for less than five dollars a day.
“It reaches a whole bunch of market,” said Gershaw.
Dan is always looking to collaborate with fellow musicians, so if you’re interested hit him up!
This summer, you can catch him perform live at the free, full day event, the Pride Rally on Saturday, June 18 at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.
To learn more about his acting career, check out his website.
Watch and learn more in my interview about what Danny’s fellow cast members think about working with him, and more about the singer and actor here: