I often wonder what I’d have done if Twitter existed in the early 90s. Then I met Derek Zagami. Derek, a Boston High Schooler with Big Apple Broadcasting dreams, has made a name for himself tweeting, meeting, and filming reality television stars. The Derek Z show has a steady following helped along by huge supporters like RHONJ’s Kim DePaola (Kim D). Of course it takes guts and lots of talent to gain the respect and trust of people twice your age. I caught up with Derek to find out more about him and bring him to all of you.
TBB: How did you begin filming reality stars?
DZ: I started when I was 16. I was doing a little show out of my basement. I love reality TV so I thought, “Why not reach out to these people and interview them?” My first big interview was with Vicki Gunvalson (RHOC) I was able to network to her. I went to a red carpet event in Atlantic City. It was the Real Housewives Live tour in 2011. I interviewed Vicki, Cynthia Bailey (RHOA), Luann De Lesseps (RHONY), and Caroline Manzo (RHONJ). That event opened some doors for me and I got to do things with some of the cast from Style Network’s Big Rich Texas. I also worked a lot with Katy Boyd who had the Boston based show Wicked Fit also on Style.
TBB: The first that I knew of you was when I saw an interview you did with Kim D in her store. Exactly how long have you been airing the Derek Z show?
DZ: I started my first year of high school so about four years now.
TBB: Being so young was it hard at first to get these people to take you seriously?
DZ: At first yes, but I learned that being at events with people older than me I had to present myself in a different manner. I learned to be confident and not nervous and I truly think that’s how I’ve succeeded. Famous people are people just like me. I don’t stress about interviewing them, I have fun with it.
TBB: What are your future plans?
DZ: I’m going to NY Film Academy’s Broadcast Journalism Program in September. I’d love to be an E News correspondent or on Access Hollywood interviewing at special events.
TBB: How supportive have your parents been?
DZ: My mom and dad have been very supportive. I live with my mom and she often travels to events with me. They’ve both help to keep me on my feet!
TBB: What would you advise other people, young and old, who are reading this and impressed with your accomplishments and determination?
DZ: To know what you’re dream is and don’t stop until you get that dream. Also never underestimate the power of social media, it’s made me what I am today!
TBB: About how many people currently watch your videos?
DZ: I’ve had a total of 90,000 views on my site. When I interview the Real Housewives I get 5,000-7,000. In the end I do it because I love it. If I have one view, if I have 50,000 views it doesn’t matter. As long as someone is watching and I get a message across to one person I’ve done something great!
TBB: You are hosting an event in Boston with special guest Caroline Manzo. When is it and how can our Boston readers attend?
DZ: It’s this Thursday, April 25th from 5-10pm at The Royale 279 Tremont Street in Boston. It’s called Fun Girl’s Night Out. A portion of each ticket will be donated to One Fund Boston to assist those affected by the April 15, 2013 Marathon tragedy. Hope you’ll join us.
* Recently Derek and I were both at Kim D’s birthday event. Below is Derek’s coverage of the party!
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