Who is Deric? Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am an Actor originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. I’m two minutes older than my identical twin brother, Deven Augustine. I began my acting journey at a young age in theater and also did print and catalog work. I’m ambitious, hard working and dedicated to my craft. I am a firm believer that everyone can be successful at his or her deepest passion but it takes time and dedication to reach your destination.
How did acting get started for you?
My first big theater role was “The King and I”. I was twelve years old when I was blessed to be apart of that production. After that I knew I wanted to be an actor for the rest of my life. I continued to do plays and twin brother and I did multiple commercials and print jobs at a young age. We had to take a break from the industry when or mother fell ill but I made a return a couple years after. I took theater and drama classes while attending the University of New Orleans. After graduation I moved to New York City and continued my studies at Negro Ensemble Company. Negro Ensemble Company is a New York City-based theater company established in 1967 who’s alumni include Angela Bassett, Keith David, Samuel L. Jackson, Laurence Fishburne and many other exceptional actors. My training at UNO and Negro Ensemble Company built a strong foundation in my acting career. I continue to study with my teacher, Kim WestonMoran, at Negro Ensemble Company whenever I need her expertise. I also continue to take classes and workshops whenever I’m not working on a project.
What was it like being born and raised in New Orleans?
New Orleans made a big impact on my life. The city is rich in culture, brilliance and charm. I am well traveled and I have never encountered a place like my hometown. I was raised with true Southern hospitality. I am well educated and well mannered. My mother and grandparents had a huge impact on my upbringing and characteristics. I was taught to hold the door for my elders and women, always say “Yes, Ma’am and “No, Sir” to my teachers and authority figures, and other southern manners. I was also taught the importance of being ambitious and goal oriented because I knew how important it was to leave New Orleans when it was time to chase my dreams. I’ve spent the majority of my professional career in New York and Los Angeles and most of the people I encounter know that I’m not a local because of my southern charm and hospitality.
How did your upbringing influence your career?
My mother was a huge influence of my acting career. She made my twin brother and I model and take acting classes at a very young age. Unfortunately my mother had a stroke when I was thirteen and I had to put my career on hold to take care of my mom.
Can you share some insight on your upcoming role in the TV series “Cloak & Dagger”?
I play a character named Rockwell, he’s a close friend of Cloak (Aubrey Joseph). I wish I had superpowers but I don’t, yet. Maybe they will give my character powers in the future.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
My favorite role today was for the hit show “Queen Sugar”. I had the opportunity to work with Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey who are phenomenal at their craft and exquisitely talented. Being in their presence alone was a great experience.
What character do you most relate to that you've played?
I just finished a football film called “Its Time” - the Chuck Mullins story, where I played one of his best friends; “Deano Orr”. It’s an inspirational story that portrays brotherhood and the bond of true friendship. I put on about fifteen pounds of muscle and toned up for this role. I played football at the “University of New Orleans” so the character was the most relatable thus far.
What are you most excited for this year?
I’m making my debut at Pasadena Playhouse on a brand new production of Thornton Wilder’s classic drama Our Town. The play will run from September 22 through October 26, 2017. I play a character named George Gibbs, and I’m really excited about this. I also had to learn sign language for the role, which was a new challenge for me.
What is your dream project?
My favorite movie growing up was BLADE. I would love the opportunity to be in the next Marvel’s BLADE project. I heard that a BLADE project is in development so I’m speaking my character into existence. I want to play Blade’s son or his protégé. If it’s in God’s plan it shall happen.
Top 3 favorite films?
2. The Lord of the Rings
3. Forrest Gump
Top 3 music in your playlist right now?
1. Kevin Gates
2. Bryson Tiller
3. Carla Bruni
Book you’re currently reading:
I’m currently reading “The Twelve” by Justin Cronin. It’s the second novel “The Passage” trilogy mostly about a post-apocalyptic world. I read the first novel in the trilogy “The Passage” in two days. It’s a phenomenal trilogy. It is currently being developed into a TV series so maybe I’ll get a chance to work on it one day. I am also reading “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. The book is a first-person narrative of spiritual awakening.
Currently binge watching...
I just started watching Games of Thrones. I was tired of being left out of conversations about the series so I decided to give it a try.
Any advice you can give to any aspiring artists out there?
Acting is a great career path to embark on. The journey to become a working actor is not easy— it takes time and dedication. Training and constantly challenging yourself is vital to your success in the industry.
Who is your favorite actor?
That’s a very difficult question to answer. There are so many talented actors and actresses in the industry. My favorite actress is Helena Bonham Carter. She is well known for her role as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films. But I know her from her earlier work. She is my favorite actress because she’s a phenomenal character actor. Portraying a character out of your element is a special skill. My favorite two actors are Will Smith and Chris Pine. Will Smith because I grew up watching Fresh Prince and he grew up without his father in his life just like I did. Chris Pine has really surprised me as an actor. I first saw him on “The ER” as a small guest star and now he’s the lead of one of the biggest films of all time “Star Trek”.
If you’re going to have a book, what title would it be?
I am currently writing a book at the moment. My twin brother and I decided to collaborate and together we are writing a nonfiction book about our lives. We have a powerful inspirational story to tell about our trials and tribulations and how we rose above adversity to become the successful young men we are today. The book is called “A brother’s Journey”. We are both writing about our journey through life told in three stages. The first stage revolves around our lives after our father passed away and before our mother fell ill. The second stage revolves around us dealing with our mother’s illness as teenagers while dealing with everyday life. The last stage designates around our journey as young adults and how we dealt with our mother’s death and life after our lost. It will be a total of three chapters. Each chapter will have two sections describing each brother’s different journeys.
What are your plans for the future?
Within the next few years I want to take my career to the next level. My goal for this year is to book a season regular on a TV series produced by a great network. I will continue to train and perfect my skill set every year. My training goal is to enroll in the summer program at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I will continue to work on films as well. Hopefully I will get a chance to partake in a film that gets entered into Sundance film festival and go on to win an academy award. I am also writing my own scripts and looking to get into producing. I think it’s a strategic move when actors produce and write their own projects. I think it’s the right path to build longevity in the business.
If you will be given the chance and opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?
After my mother passed away I moved back to New Orleans for six months to take care of her estates. While I was back in my hometown I decided to become a mentor with the New Orleans Alternative to Detention Program for young juveniles and the Boys & Girls Club in New Orleans where I served as a positive role model to the youth. I would mentor young kids and tell them my life story. They looked up to me because most of them were going through the same situations I went through; single mother household, who worked multiple jobs trying to provide for her family. Most of them didn’t have a positive male role model in their lives so I decided to step up to the plate. In a few years I want to develop my own philanthropy geared toward single parent households who are dealing with medical expenses. The funds will be used for children who are dealing with a single parent that’s been hospitalized because of a stroke. The funds will be delegated for education, medical bills, housing funds, daily necessities and other expenses.
Photography FRANCIS GUM