DERRICK Interview with Heroes Haven Creator Mario Simone

May 15, 2016

MarioEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Mario Simone who founded Gotham City Films in 2009, where he has written and directed films with A-list talent such as Jessica Biel, Slash, Tony Hawk and Hilary Duff. Simone’s original comic book, Heroes Haven, was published by Gotham City Films and is now available for purchase.

D is for Dream: What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved? 

I have vast dreams and big vision which include running a full service entertainment company, and building a publishing division that can help other independent artists achieve their unique voice. I hope for Heroes Haven to reach audiences worldwide and inspire them with the poetry and passion of its character’s journey.

E is for Education: What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I studied intensely at Jesuit schools, Fordham Prep and Fairfield University, where I ventured deep into philosophy and art/film making. And in my world travels, I studied many cultures and intriguing philosophy’s that pushed my artistic voice to great depths.

I was able to pull from these experiences, and it helped me create Heroes Haven, and in my daily life I’m able to continue my philosophical quest through my writing and other art forms.

R is for Resources: What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

My resolve and willingness to bring my vision to fruition; my courage to take the risks to overcome fears and rejection. The fact that I have built my own entertainment/production company and have the ability and knowledge to now expand that into a full “small-press” publishing company as well.

R is for Ready: When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

Ever since I was a kid, I realized that I loved the arts and storytelling. I saw the world as paintings and wanted to experience life so I would have a better story to tell. I don’t know if we are ever really ready for what we are doing in any moment, but there are moments in life where we take the courage to jump into the abyss and face your fate.

I is for Individual: Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

I always enjoyed the stylistic flair of Frank Miller’s interpretation of Batman; or director, Christopher Nolen and his translocation of the story to the film, “The Dark Night”; or even the late actor, Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, where he pushed so far outside the normal constants of acting to create such a profound character.

C is for Challenges: What challenges have you had to overcome?

I arrived in LA with a backpack and $200 in my pocket and built a name for myself in the entertainment business as an author, producer, actor and director. Challenges were many along the way, and rejection and stumbles were a daily ritual. Perseverance and courage pushed me to achieve my vision.

K is for Keys: What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Never give up – but even more importantly, be true to yourself, be honest with your work and your art.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

Use your fears as a guide to see the path that will challenge you the most, and help you to live the life of your dreams.

Connect with Mario Simone on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Heroes Haven is now available on the official website and for pre-order on Amazon.

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DERRICK Interview with Daddy Everyday Author Delonso Barnes

September 30, 2013

DaddyEverydayEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Delonso Barnes, who is an author, filmmaker and marketing consultant based out of McDonough, Georgia, a city outside of Atlanta, Georgia. He is a graduate of The Art Institute of Atlanta and Thomas Edison State College in the fields of Music Entertainment Management and Marketing respectively. Barnes’ is a husband and father of two sons.

D is for Dream:  What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

My ultimate dream has always been to make a living (at least equal to what I am making now) in entertainment, music in specifically. However, when I became a father in 2005, the focus moved to assisting others in realizing their dreams. I guess being a father figure to my son shifted my professional aspirations. Now, using my creativity and marketing know -how is how I want to make my living and make my dream a reality

E is for Education:  What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

My educational background consists of an AA in Music Entertainment Management from The Art Institute of Atlanta and a BSBA in Marketing from Thomas Edison State College. Life itself have educated me rather assisting bands in their marketing and promotional efforts or brainstorming with small business owners on strategizing their businesses.

R is for Resource: What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

My resources are truly at their highest when I’m passionate about the project. When I’m passionate, my creativity, dedication, previous experiences and business sense really shine. I can develop simple marketing plans for projects but when my heart is in it, my strategizing is on another level.

R is for Ready: When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

Currently, I’m in the middle of marketing and promoting my first book entitled, Daddy Everyday. To be honest I wasn’t ready for this or even wanted to write it. The concept of writing a book about changing the negative perception of black fathers was placed on my heart from the Almighty and intensified by raising my two sons. In addition to Daddy Everyday, I’m in production of a documentary entitled, The East Atlanta Project, about the struggles and life of black hip-hop, punk and rock musicians performing in and out of Atlanta. Music is my roots and I have always been ready for this, just didn’t know my place. I actually had to stop production of the documentary because writing Daddy Everyday was my purpose and I couldn’t do anything else until it was written.

I is for Individual: Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

One individual in my network others should learn more about is Roy Cummings. His thirst for knowledge and then ability to turn that knowledge into know-how e.g. like photography, graphic design and communication , makes him a valuable asset to a network.

C is for Challenges: What challenges have you had to overcome?

The challenges I have experienced throughout my pursuit of happiness, happiness being working for myself, have been self-inflicted. Procrastination and fear have crippled my progress and focus. Only way to combat procrastination and fear is quite simple in theory, but can be complicated in execution. The solution is, take action. I simply started writing for the book and filming for the documentary. Then I reached out for a little assistance, which also forced accountability on my part. Once I got things rolling, my procrastination reduced, still around though. My fears have subsided and I’m courageous in my business dealings.

K is for Key: What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Research, plan and do it. Regardless of what people say, do it. If you fail, pivot your plan and try again. If you are passionate about your business, don’t let anything derail your focus and dedication.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

If you are looking for motivation or inspiration, you don’t have to look no farther than the person in the mirror. Envision yourself living your dream and let that be your inspiration.

Visit Delonso for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Playwrite Ty Martin

January 12, 2013

TY MartinEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Playwright Ty Martin. Now a world renowned playwright, T.Y. Martin’s stage plays have been performed all across the United States as well as Italy & Canada!  Some of his most famous stage productions, “Lord Why Me?”, “You’ve Abandoned Me”, “The Color of My Skin” & “Dead Beat Dad” are just a few that have gotten rave reviews across the country & there are plenty more where that came from!

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

MY DREAM IS TO BE A PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR THAT NOT ONLY DOES GREAT WORK BUT ONE THAT WILL BE THERE FOR YOU IN THE TIME OF NEED…AND ONE THAT WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE THROUGH GOD..ITS NOT OURS ANYWAYS SO I WILL GIVE IT TO YOU AS A GIFT..MY GOALS ARE TO DO WHAT GOD WANTS ME TO DO

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

IM ENCOURAGED BY THE GIFTS I HAVE RECEIVED

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

I BRING THE RESOURCE OF CREATIVITY

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

WHEN I HEARD THE LORD SAY THIS I DID WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO BE DOING…HEARD THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE THEN I KNEW

I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

JESUS…BECAUSE HE IS THE ANSWER

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue?

PRAYER MAKES ME CONTINUE..BECAUSE GOD DID IT FOR E BEFORE AND HE WILL DO IT FOR ME AGAIN

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

THE KEYS ARE TO WORK HARD…PRAY HARDER AND BE PASSIONATE ETC

Visit Ty Martin for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Designer Steph Calvert

October 18, 2012

The #1 Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Steph Calvert who is the owner of Hearts and Laserbeams an Art and Design studio that offers everything from t-shirt illustrations to web design to logos and branding. 12 years of professional design experience, art seen worldwide, and friendly customer service combine to create projects that resonate with clients and their customers.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

My dream is for my art and design business to help everyone get to where they’re going with their own businesses, while still giving me the creative freedom that makes me so happy. I want my own personal art to touch others and make their days a little brighter, and I’m always looking for way to broaden that audience. I’ve got some great style guides of cartoon characters that are just chomping at the bit to be put into action with some licensing deals!

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

The increasingly positive feedback I receive from friends, family and clients is such great encouragement! It’s also extremely fulfilling to see a progression in my design work. Designs I completed 10 years ago still look great, but the things I’m designing, coding and creating today are just so much better thanks to the experience and continued education under my belt.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

There’s lots of artists and illustrators out there, there’s lots of print graphic designers. There’s lots of folks that can build a WordPress site. But the truth is there’s NOT a lot of creatives that can do all of that, and do it well. I’ve got a dozen years of professional work experience in a wide variety of art, graphic design and web design, and have worked with large corporations like OshKosh B’Gosh and Kohl’s as well as small indie brands like Sweet Perversion .

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

My past full time permanent art and design positions have all prepared me to be the best self employed graphic designer I can possibly be. Couple that with my extensive customer service background working retail before that, and you get an illustrator and designer that is easy to work with, understands the needs of the customer, and communicates well.  All of my past career pieces fit the “become self employed” puzzle when I came back from maternity leave after having my son Phil. The job had changed drastically while I was out, and it was immediately clear that it was just not going to work. Rather than stay in a suddenly-stressful job and let that negatively affect my family and our newborn, I emailed everyone I could think of to see what freelance work was out there. Three days after I returned from maternity leave, I was self employed. It was the right move, at the right time. Two years later, business is still going like gangbusters and shows no signs of slowing. Clients are ecstatic with my work, and I absolutely love what I do.

I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

I know I have to keep it to one, but I’m naming two! Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson are the ladies behind Craftcation Conference.  They’re amazing creative powerhouses, and have been super supportive of my journey to self-employed success. Also, I am constantly and consistently amazed by the work coming from Remy Holwick. The progress she’s made in launching her fashion line is nothing short of inspiring.

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic  what makes you want to continue?

I keep going because there’s no other choice. Number one, there’s bills to be paid. If I stop doing what I’m doing, I can’t do my part to support my family anymore. Then Phil has to go to daycare, I have to get a job in an office, most of that check goes to pay for daycare, and we’re screwed. But more  importantly – I have to create. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon when I was little. When things look bad, step away from the project. But then come back to it, and push yourself forward. You’ll get through it, and the truth is everything is going to be okay.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Be grateful for everything you have, and where you’re at in life. Don’t spend your time wallowing in how much something in the past sucked. That bad stuff made you stronger and you have to be at least a little grateful for that, too. While I’m obviously not at any of my past jobs anymore, I’ve gotten something great from all of them, and they’ve all contributed to the designer I am today.

Visit Steph Calvert for more information


ICE CUBE Is The Daily Derricknym

June 5, 2012

Derricknym is an acronym with a touch of Derrick where words are messages of encouragement.

ICE CUBE (Introduce Creative Energy to Cook Up Blessings Everyday).

Bring a Derricknym signing to your event or Order a Personalized Derricknym


Welcome To Santa Monica, California

May 29, 2012

Alka Dalal  would like to “Welcome to the Paradise on Earth”, City of Santa Monica, California.

I was told these words when I moved to Santa Monica more than 4 years ago from the east coast. It is one of the cleanest and the most vibrant and creative city I have seen. I can walk to the beautiful beach of Santa Monica, walk to eat at many fabulous restaurants and enjoy the walk on 3rd street Promenade.

The Yoga places are just around the corners and they are many. My creativity has flourished here and met most interesting and wonderful people to hang out with. My friends range in the age from 30-90 and it is because of the vibrancy of the city.

The weather is just perfect, you could not ask for anymore. Above all I have witnessed numerous, colorful sunsets and captured them on my camera.

Visit Santa Monica, California for more information.


CIROC Is The Derricknym Of The Day

April 19, 2012

A Derricknym is an acronym with a touch of Derrick where words are messages of encouragement.

CIROC (Creating Ideas Raises Our Confidence) Your Walk.

Bring a Derricknym signing to your event or Order a Personalized Derricknym