Derek Yates is a model/singer/actor who has been involved in films, commercials, and modeling opportunities. Mr. Yates was an excellent interviewee: he provided fast, timely responses and was happy to participate. He also provided me with one of his modeling pictures, which can be found after the interview. I encourage you all to check him out at his website and follow him on his Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, & Tumblr - Seriously guys, check them all out, it's good stuff!
1. Age? 29
2. Where are you from? Chattanooga, TN
3. Favorite movie? This is a tough one, but I’d have to say Moulin Rouge is one of my all time favorites.
4. If you weren't a model, what other career(s) would you pursue?
Outside of the entertainment business, I guess I’d have to say graphic arts. I have a bit of a knack for it. I do it as a hobby now, and also use the skills that I do know in it to help run my non-profit, 1N3, which deals with Alcohol and Drug Awareness, Addiction Recovery, and Grief Recovery.
5. Who or what inspired you to become a model?
Well, pretty much since I was young, I always had a bit of a drive to be in the spotlight in one way or another. Although I was a bit timid growing up in some ways, I always found myself wanting the limelight, not in an egotistical way, but more like a pull towards it. I originally wanted to model, and then I learned that I wasn't too bad of a singer. From there the acting bug bit me and the rest is history. So, I’m more of a Triple Threat now in that aspect. As far as what inspires me to do it all, I’d have to say the huge amount of support I get from my fans and supporters. I’m often told that I have “the look” for it all as well as the talent, so it only makes sense to pursue it and make my dreams turn into my reality.
6. What would you say is the toughest aspect of being a model?
The toughest part, for me is keeping the drive and motivation to look my best and stay in shape at all times. It is a lot of sacrifice compared to being “normal,” when while you are out to eat you see others eating a burger and French fries, and yet here I am eating my chicken and vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating healthy, but it can be a struggle at times to stick with it. And that goes for keeping my body looking good as well. I’m always striving to look better and be better. Time can make working out difficult, and sometimes motivation can be lacking at times. Just proves I’m human like everyone else. And even though I may have a bad day or two, or even sometimes a bad week of slacking on my diet and workouts, I still end up back in it all and striving for greatness.
7. What’s been the most rewarding experience as a model?
The most rewarding part is hearing how I inspire people. I’ll get random comments on my Instagram pictures, or messages on Facebook from people telling me that what I do helps to keep them moving forward and how they are not giving up on their dreams or goals either. Not going to lie, it does floor me a bit that I have that kind of impact on anyone, but it helps to fuel me and push me forward knowing that I have so many people looking up to me in that regards.
8. What’s been the most embarrassing experience you've had while modeling?
Hmmmmm. I can’t really say, as of yet, that I've had any embarrassing moments to happen to me in modeling. As a model, you kind of have to be open and ready for just about anything. So even if you think you might be embarrassed for a second, you just kind of brush it off and go with the flow. I will say, one of my most embarrassing moments in entertainment was when I went to audition for Disney World. I waited for hours, had my song prepared, but for some reason once I got in the audition room nothing went right. The accompanist played my song awkwardly, which really threw me off, not to mention I was a bit nervous at the time. After something like that happens, all you can really do it pick yourself back up, and move on to the next opportunity or audition. And I wish I could say I landed that audition, but I definitely did not, haha.
9. What is your favorite way to stay in shape? Can you also tell me about what your regular diet looks like? Do you ever find it impossible to pass up sweets or junk food?
I generally hit the gym 4-5 days a week. It has the most options for my goals for what I expect to achieve. My general diet right now is 5 eggs with a banana and peanut butter for breakfast, and for lunch and dinner I’ll eat grilled chicken and vegetables. If I snack I’ll eat some kind of fruit, a spoonful of peanut butter, or some sort of nut like cashews or almonds. Staying healthy is not easy, and keeping away from the bad stuff can be a challenge at times. Having a cheat meal or splurge day is almost impossible not to do sometimes throughout the week, at least once. Occasionally I’ll be pretty hardcore though, and I can withstand the temptations for a few weeks.
10. Which do you prefer: boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs? Why?
I’m more of a briefs guy. Boxers are too loose and bunch up too easily. I do own boxer briefs, as long as they are trunks style. If they are the long boxer briefs they tend to ride up my legs, which feels annoying. That’s why typically I’m in a brief because it stays in place, and I don’t look half bad in them.
11. Do you favor any underwear brands? If so, which and why?
I don’t tend to go for one brand over another necessarily. Each brand has its own design for comfort as well as style. I’m big on variety and like to keep things changed up all of the time as it is, so that carries over into my underwear as well. I will say that Baskit is a great brand that I’m really enjoying right now. I also just signed up for Underwear Nation, which is a monthly subscription for getting a different pair of underwear each month sent to you. I just received my first pair last week and look forward to seeing what I’ll get next month.
12. When you model underwear, do you have a say in which style you will model?
As a model, you don’t get much say in what you model or wear, especially if you land a paying gig. If it is for building your portfolio, then in that instance you do have some room for suggestions, but typically at that point I just bring my wardrobe selections and trust that the photographer won’t pick something that won’t make me look my best. So far that has worked out well for me.
13. What would someone find if they went through your underwear drawer?
My underwear drawer is also my sock drawer. So you’ll find them together, but my underwear is in one place and my socks are sectioned off.
14. Do you have any funny or memorable underwear stories?
Well, I can’t remember what underwear I was wearing at the time, but my pants had gotten a rip in the back pocket. My friend thought it would be funny to continue ripping my jeans, not once, but twice. So there was quite a large hole in the back of my jeans that day. I wasn't too happy, but I can look back and laugh now.
15. GQ wrote an article a few months ago stating that “tighty-whities” are stylish now. How do you feel about tighty-whities, & do you agree with GQ?
I can’t say that I would agree. To each their own is my mantra, however. I say wear what makes you feel good and what you feel you look good in. For me, I would not wear tighty-whities. I just don’t feel I would be confident in them for my body type or look. Of course I wouldn't turn down a job wearing them if offered to me, but I wouldn't purposely go out and buy any to wear for myself.
16. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about?
I can sound a bit like a pigeon/dove. It is more kind of silly than anything, but it isn't bad.