“You can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” (Jim Carrey)
When Derrick was young, he dreamed about being an actor. He loved entertaining people with his comedy, impersonations, and eventual stage performances. However, as he grew, he did not know how to pursue his dream, nor did he have the network for it, so his life took him in a strange direction.
In 2005, while attending Columbus State University, Derrick received an opportunity to study at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. Thankfully, scholarships funded his adventure, and he set off to a land he had only dreamed of without even speaking the language. During his time in Japan, Derrick fell in love with the country, the culture, and the people of Japan. One of the hardest things he ever had to do was return to the United States when his time was over, but everyone he knew said the experience had irrevocably changed him.
Derrick returned to the US, graduated with a B.A. in Communications, when his life then took another strange turn. Since 2001, Derrick had been studying Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiujitsu, and MMA in Georgia. After he graduated, a fortuitous opportunity would introduce Derrick to one of his heroes, Wanderlei Silva. After briefly training with Wanderlei in Atlanta, GA, the MMA legend asked Derrick to move to Las Vegas, Nevada, where Wanderlei’s gym was located. After getting married in 2010, Derrick and his wife moved to Las Vegas to fight for Wanderlei and begin the next chapter of their life.Derrick trained for several years under Wanderlei’s tutelage, but in a tragic turn of events, Derrick’s career soon ended after a training accident. However, this opened yet another door for Derrick, as he took a chance at a casting for a movie that was filming in Las Vegas. After meeting the casting director, he was invited to come and work in the casting department for Steven Soderbergh’s HBO film, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA.
Finally, Derrick was in the industry he had always dreamed of. For the next few years, Derrick worked as a casting director and associate for projects like CBS Films’ LAST VEGAS, Amazon’s SIN CITY SAINTS, and USA’s ROYAL PAINS. After gaining a great deal of experience in casting, Derrick realized the problem with his new direction. Why cast for movies when you can be in them? Next stop, Hollywood, CA.
Thanks to the wonderful industry friends he had made and network Derrick had build for himself through casting, he was able to hit the ground running when he landed in Hollywood. Derrick quickly found success being cast in several independent films and finding small parts on larger productions. The first major role of his career came when Derrick was cast in Warner Bros’ LIVE BY NIGHT, directed by Ben Affleck.
Derrick also gained a great deal of experience working as second team for various productions, but the best opportunity in this regard was working several seasons with ABC’s STATION 19, under the direction of the former President of the Director’s Guild, Paris Barclay, as well as working with countless other incredible directors, writers, producers, and actors for the hit show. It was during this time that Derrick sharpened his skills as an aspiring screenwriter and director, as he watched and learned from the industry’s best.
Then in March of 2020, just as Derrick had left Station 19, signed with a new talent agency, and was being cast for major roles, COVID 19 rocked the world. While this horrendous virus ravaged the world, he took the opportunity to study, learn, and hone his screenwriting and filmmaking skills. In the beginning of 2021, Derrick finally decided to start his production company, PACIFIC MOTION PICTURES, LTD. At the end of 2021, he decided once again to pursue another wild opportunity that presented itself. He was once again returning to Japan.
Derrick’s initial plan was to move to Japan for a few months to try and find work in the film industry, since the industry in Japan was still up and running. Surprisingly, he found an incredible opportunity that he had not anticipated. In his first two months, Derrick was cast as the lead for a major motion picture for SONY, which has yet to be officially announced. Following this shocking opportunity, Derrick and his wife decided to stay in Japan and see what else might come their way. After this, he was cast in several series for Japan’s largest production and broadcasting company, NHK, including: WAGEMON 「わげもん」, REACH BEYOND THE BLUE SKY 「青天を衝け」, and COSMIC FRONT 「コズミック フロント」where he starred in an episode alongside the world-famous model and actress, Kiko Mizuhara.
Derrick is charging forward with his career in Japan has no plans of slowing down. Recently, he was cast in an exciting new series for NETFLIX and began production on his own films through Pacific Motion Pictures.
The future is bright in the Land of the Rising Sun.