Letter to My Teenage Self: Marguerite Derricks

Few choreographers have worked on as many TV shows, movies and musicals as Marguerite Derricks. The Buffalo, NY, native’s recent credits include the TV shows “Bunheads” and “The Mindy Proejct,” the off-Broadway musical Heathers, Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” video and a bonus featurette for Disney’s Frozen.

Photo courtesy Marguerite Derricks

Growing up, Derricks attended summer programs at Canada’s National Ballet School and the School of American Ballet, and later performed in the TV series “Fame.” Her big break, however, came in the mid-1990s when she choreographed the first Austin Powers movie. She now has more than 30 credits—in film alone—on her resumé, and she’s the recipient of five MTV Movie Awards, three Emmy Awards and multiple American Choreography Awards.  —Jenny Dalzell

 

 

 

 

Dear Marguerite,

All the dreams you desire are yours as long as you believe in yourself. There will be people along the way who will tell you that you can’t. Don’t listen! You’ve been blessed with everything you need to make it. Sometimes your dreams will turn out differently than you imagined—better, actually. But keep in mind that hard work and sacrifice will never go unnoticed.

Learn to give back early in life. There’s a joy that comes from giving that no one should be without.

Try not to compare your career to other people’s. Everyone has her own path and timeline. You’ll learn that everything happens for a reason, and when you hear a “no,” don’t let it bring you down. Give yourself 24 hours to get over a disappointment, and then move on. You can’t please everyone, so learn to please yourself.

As your career takes off, try to stay in the moment and enjoy the ride. Be kind and collaborate—you can always learn from someone else. You’ll receive many rewards along the way, but always remember that the greatest reward is the work itself.

Love you,

Marguerite

Photo courtesy Derricks

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