Jersey City-based actor and model, Derrick Arzu, took the time to chat with ActorParlor about his background and current pursuits.
Derrick, what led you to pursue a career in acting/modeling? Had such professions always been your passions?
I was very impressionable as a child. When watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Family Matters, I envisioned myself being on camera and entertaining. I would watch Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Eddie Murphy movies to study their acting, and would work on my own impressions of them at home, at school, and pretty much everywhere.
I began modeling during a simple photoshoot for a friend of mine. I posted a photo from the shoot on Instagram, and then had a few photographers wanting to work with me. From there, I decided to continue modeling. Overall, it has been a passion of mine since I was five years old. I couldn’t see myself doing anything but what I love, which is bringing entertainment and joy to everyone.
You mentioned having worked with plenty of celebrities, including Lil Kim, Fabolous, Wyclef Jean, Eva Marcielle, Steve Harvey, and Daya. How did those jobs come about, and were there any that were particularly memorable?
Well, all of them were for different reasons, whether I was a production assistant, background actor, or dancer. The most memorable was working with Lil Kim and Fabolous for the Spicy music video back in April. I was a backup dancer for Lil Kim, and just being on set with hip-hop greats was amazing. I enjoyed every minute of it; when you grow up listening to them and watching their music videos, to actually work with them is really lit. Everyone on set was a pleasure to be around, and it was great working with them.
What has been the most difficult part of being an actor/model? Have there been any periods or experiences that were particularly challenging?
The most difficult part would be consistency. You always have to keep grinding and pushing in this industry due to the competition. Keeping up with everything can be crazy sometimes because trends, music, and fashion move fast nowadays, so you need to be on top of everything. It’s something I love to do though, so its all about mind over matter.
What are your near-term goals? And long-term?
My near-term goals would be to start up a podcast I’ve been planning for quite some time now, and use it as a platform for artists of all talents to showcase themselves and have their voices be heard. My long-term goals would be to move to either Atlanta or Los Angeles to venture out and do more films and shows. I’d also eventually start up my own media production center.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
Yes. I would like to let the readers know to do what they love and believe in themselves. If you have a burning passion for something, don’t hold yourself back; that’s the worst thing you can do. Be yourself and flourish. People never want you to be better than them, so don’t be intimidated in this cold world. Focus on your goals.