Who's this guy?
SEVEN QUESTIONS WITH DEREK
Q: How did you get into acting? A: My mom took me to The Ladybug Theatre in Portland, Oregon all the time. I loved sitting on the floor and watching the actors perform and would go back home to reenact what I saw. It wasn't until I saw my first show at Northwest Children's Theatre that I knew that performing was something I wanted to do. After taking classes, I auditioned for their main stage season when I was 10, and then booked my first show, and as the lead! I was playing Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story. On opening night, I fell off the stage, but I got back up and continued going, and haven't stopped performing since. Q: Which movie would you most like to have been in and in which role? A: There was an open casting call for a film called Thumbsucker starring Keanu Reaves that I stood in line for as a kid growing up in Portland, Oregon. It was for the role of the lead actor as a kid. This boy I knew from my time in the theatre saw me in line and started talking to me. He then stood in front of me as they were making a cut for the last in line! Guess where they ended it? Yup. So, who knows how far I would have gotten but there's always that wonder. He didn't book it. Q: On top of being an actor, you have a background in teaching. Tell us about it. A: I went to NYU for Graduate School where I got my master's degree in Theatre Education for Colleges and Communities. I taught for eight summers at the Cherubs program at Northwestern University, the Chicago High School for the Arts, and the NYU Youth Ensemble, and newly at Waterwell, PPAS's Acting Conservatory. Teaching is what fills my soul. Acting is what fills my ego. In order to be a good teacher, I believe you must be actively performing and relevant. Acting is the Field Work that helps me carry lessons into the classroom. Q: What would you say is some of the best advice about the industry you’ve ever received and why? A: That the Casting Director/Manager/Agent are all rooting for you! It's so easy to see failure in this industry when there can be a lot of success. If you're getting called back by that same CD for that same show, chances are they are trying to find a role for you. Stay positive. Look for the good. And my additional favorite piece of advice: no one cares. Q: What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage/the camera goes up? A: It truly depends on the project. I'm a huge fan of making a playlist that is relevant to the character I'm playing and that hypes me up or gets me where I need to be emotionally. I'm a fan of a roll-up the spine because it is a way to physicalize stepping into the spine of another character. Or taking a deep breath and putting my game face on. Q: What do you do when you’re not acting? A: I'm either teaching or directing or writing/adapting a script for young audiences. If not that, I can be found at a Barry's Bootcamp class, taking myself on a historic walk around New York, or listening/telling someone what Chani Nicholas (my favorite astrologer) said. Q: Where do you see your career in five years as an actor? A: I'd love to have been in a show at a theatre in New York like the Public, 2nd Stage, or Signature Theatre in the first cast of a new show, or a revival of a classic. I would have hoped to mark off being on Law & Order off my actor's bingo card. I would have had a couple of co-star credits on a streaming series on HBO or Netflix or something. Also, there is a one-person show that I began work on in Anna Deavere Smith's class at NYU that I'd like to continue working on. Ultimately, engaging in the world as a civic artist.
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MAX - Working For The Weekend (feat. bbno$) [prod. AJR] Official Video
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Artists Repertory Theatre - Portland, OR.
Lenfest Center for the Arts
"The wholly unexpected return of his son, Ronnie (a spot-on turn by Derek Herman), a young soldier who was to have gone to Vietnam but instead has gone AWOL."