Of Norwegian descent, Erik was raised in Minnesota where his mother was a singer and choir director and his father was head of the fine Arts Department and Orchestra Director at St. Olaf College. Growing up in an artistic household, Erik was active in everything from puppetry and film making to drama and painting. Musically, he played piano, violin and sang. Erik toured Norway, playing the violin in his father's orchestra. He also toured the United States and Europe as a member of the St. Olaf Choir. Erik moved to New York City to pursue his various artistic talents. He worked for Tomlin films on educational productions; taught mime at the Richard Morse Mime Academy; drew portraits; acted in off-off Broadway Theatre; and co-wrote and performed puppet musicals in conjunction with the Children's Museum of the Native American. He gave voice lessons, voice workshops and also sang and played violin in the folk-rock group Open-Air-Carriage.