While the website is called theDerekRobertson.com it is technically not THE Derek Robertson… it’s just a website.
The Derek in question is slightly more human than the jumble of HTML before you (no offense website). That’s the thesis here anyway, let’s see if we can prove it.
On an August Sunday in 1985 Derek Robertson was born in Toronto, Canada.
With a father in publishing and a mother who reads at a rate like no other, Derek and his siblings grew up surrounded by bookshelves full of the rich lives of fictional characters and historic figures.
Before he could spell (let alone write) Derek became enthralled by his Playmobil toy collection, creating elaborate diorama’s with a story he’d excitedly explain in-depth for as long as anyone would listen.
Soon he was causing mischief with his imagination through tall tales about other classmates or enthralling them with various Santa Claus catching schemes and devices.
At the age of ten he imagined he could buy the former home of the Toronto Blue Jays, Exhibition Stadium, where he had seen his first Major League Baseball game years earlier. Calling the head office he left a message informing the owners he was interested in purchasing the property.
They called back but alas, Derek’s mother blocked negotiations.
Around the same time Derek developed his first crush on a girl and instantly found himself jealous of her crush on Home Improvement actor Johnathan Taylor Thomas. He decided he wanted to become an actor, a desire that lasted only a few short months.
As Derek began to research acting and sitcoms he discovered the writer’s behind the things that made him laugh. By the time he was a pre-teen he was making regular pilgrimages to a small shop that sold old screenplays. Soaking them in he began to write his own poorly formated, poorly spell checked, and rather unoriginal sitcom scripts.
He had not yet found his voice…
At the age of sixteen Derek Robertson dated a girl who would go on to break up with him because, she informed him, God had told her to. Devastated and rather confused by her reasoning he went away from the city for the weekend.
The next night while at a friends cottage near Minden, Ontario Derek would take to the stage to try stand-up comedy for the first time, an outlet he would come to describe as therapy with a laugh track.
Performing at various comedy clubs, bars, college campus’, as well as your odd Mexican restaurant or youth hostel, Derek used his stage time to find his comedic voice.
At first more of a hobby and a way to get instant audience feedback on his writing, Derek would not get serious about the art form of stand-up comedy till seven years later when he became influenced by Massachusetts born comic Mike Birbiglia.
Impressed with Birbiglia’s ability to interweave funny stories that range from inane incidents to the deeply personal and pepper them all with a dose Seinfeld-esq observations, Derek Robertson became enthralled with putting his own biographical bad decisions and misadventures on stage.
Throughout High School Derek continued writing his own scripts, gradually learning the format and rhythm. A hobby through the four years Derek soon found himself turning down offers from universities to pursue his other major interests, journalism and international politics, to really focus on the film and television industry.
Deciding that knowing the technical side of production would better him as a writer Derek plunged himself head first into spending his college education in a than alien world of camera angles and lighting design to 3D animation and both linear and non-linear editing.
At first the least well versed on the technical side of the industry, Derek quickly began picking up the in’s and out’s of it all and by the end of second year he was quitting his short lived summer job stocking shelves overnight at a department store to sell his services making corporate and wedding videos.
Still storytelling remained his passion and Derek found his romantic comedy Love Squared, about a man who loses his girlfriend to the Rubik’s Cube World Champion, to be honoured as the first script to be unanimously voted into production by his peers. He would spend his final year of college directing the 74 minute long film.
Graduating Derek remained fascinated by continuing to learn different facets of the industry. Taking jobs as a production assistant on feature films, television series and specials, music videos, and commercials it was a passion for filmmaking that got him through many 20-25 hour long workdays. Taking on jobs through the next few years from Production Coordinator to Visual Effects Coordinator to Assistant Director, Derek continued to use his experiences on set to inform his own writing.
Currently Derek divides his time addressing notes and working on re-writes of a screenplay while continuing to tour his stand-up persona.