Derrick Levasseur has join legends such as Will Kirby, Dan Gheesling, Janelle Pierzina, and Rachel Reilly to become one of the greatest/well-known US Big Brother players yet. He won US Big Brother Season 16 without ever being nominated, which is quite amazing. Now, he has written a self-help book titled The Undercover Edge: Find Your Hidden Strengths, Learn To Adapt, and Build The Confidence to Win Life's Game. So, please take this time to get to know Derrick the person and why this book is the one you should read to improve your life--perhaps for this coming new year.
1. First off, what was your first thought when you heard Julie Chen saying your name as the winner of Big Brother season sixteen?
It was an unbelievable feeling. I knew my family was in the crowd and I had worked so hard to make it to the end. I went into the house to make a better life for my family, and at that moment, I knew I had accomplished my goal.
2. What made you decide to write this book?
I had numerous people suggest I should write a book about how I won Big Brother, but I didn’t want to write a book just because I could. I wanted to create something that could really help people—even if they had never watched Big Brother. This book takes the main components of undercover work, which are: observation, adaptation, and communication, and adapts them to work for everyone, both personally and professionally. This allows the reader to have the same success at work and at home that I’ve had using this same approach. Ironically, this is also how I won Big Brother.
3. What were the challenges you face writing The Undercover Edge?
There were many challenges. I love to talk to people but I’ve never been much of a writer. Sometimes I would know what I wanted to say but wouldn’t convey it correctly when I re-read the chapter. There were a few occasions where I didn’t feel I was providing information that was useful or explaining it in way that the reader would understand it. When those situations occurred, I would delete the entire chapter and start over. I never settled. I wanted every chapter to be something that would contribute to the overall approach, but also stand on its own. There was a lot of editing and re-writes, but I truly feel I accomplished that goal. If I hadn’t, I can promise you that it wouldn’t have made the book.
4. What was your writing habit when you wrote The Undercover Edge?
I’m a night owl by nature. I need it to be completely quiet when I write. So when my family was asleep, I would head down to the living room or the kitchen, grab a snack, and start typing. Sometimes I would write from midnight until my kids woke up. I would cook breakfast and then head to bed.
I had a general outline for each chapter. I would start with an overview about each topic and then dive into the details. I tried to support every tactic or technique I wrote about with actual examples to make the material more relatable to the reader.
5. On the subject of “sixth sense” from your book The Undercover Edge, give us an example of when you used it on Big Brother and which contestant was it?
The sixth sense encompasses a lot of different things. It’s a feeling based on rational thought, combined with the ability to process external factors logically. In most cases, that involves understanding human behavior. More specially, it involves understanding what is “normal behavior” for someone.
I remember a situation in the house where Caleb was telling us about how he attended West Point. Caleb was a confident guy and as he explained it to us, his body language was off to me. The facts supporting his claim were also inconsistent. I used those factors to come to the conclusion that he was being dishonest and immediately called him out on it. He eventually caved and told us that it was not true. It didn’t make the show, but the entire encounter is on YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, I love Caleb. He’s a great friend of mine. This was just one of those situations where he got caught and we all had a good laugh about it.
6. What would you want your readers to take away from reading The Undercover Edge?
Although I have years of experience and a lot of specialized training regarding undercover work and interview and interrogation techniques, the information in this book can be used by anybody. Whether you’re a college student looking to improve your interpersonal skills, an entry-level employee looking to build better relationships with colleagues and clients, a manager trying to find new ways to motivate your team, or just someone who wants to increase their social awareness, there’s something for everyone. If you really embrace the undercover approach, you will create a new way of communicating with the people around you that will increase your chances of success.
7. So have you now put the closet space project in your to-do task yet or is it still at the back burner (Pg. 90-91)?
Haha!! I ended up buying a portable closet from IKEA. It’s not as nice as a built-in closet, but it does the job.
8. On page 92 of The Undercover Edge you stated you love motivational quotes. Could you list your top three quotes that helped you become the person you are now?
Oh man… that’s tough. There are way more than three. But here are a few that I really like:
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today” - James Dean
“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” - Muhammad Ali
“Work hard in silence. Let your success be your noise.” - Frank Ocean
9. Besides your season’s contestants or the ones you are friends/acquaintance with, which Big Brother player would you like to sit down and get to know?
I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of Big Brother players. Although I’ve talked to him a few times on the phone and through text, I haven’t met Dan Gheesling in person in yet. We’ve tried to connect a couple times but it just hasn’t worked out yet.
10. Besides Cody Calafiore, who do you keep in touch the most from your Big Brother season?
I talk to a few of them a lot. I would say that I talk to Caleb, Frankie, and Nicole the most besides Cody. But I also talk to Brittany, Victoria, and Zach as well.
11. Can you give any update on your mentor and teacher Mr. Grenier?
Unfortunately I can’t. I believe he’s retired or changed schools but I can tell you that I use to visit him at the school he taught at when I was in high school. I know he was coaching college baseball for a while but I don’t know if he’s still doing that or just enjoying retirement. Maybe we’ll cross paths in the future.
12. Could you also update us a bit about Matt, the social worker that made an impact in your life?
Man, I really wish I could. I don’t even know if he would remember me. Our time together was short and he was counseling so many kids. I would love to see him again and thank him. Maybe this book will give me that chance. I left his last name out of the book intentionally but I still remember it so maybe I can track him down.
13. In one word describe how it felt holding the first copy of The Undercover Edge?
14. Now that you have finished with your first nonfiction book, would you tackle writing a fiction book?
Haha! I don’t know. I never say “never” but if I’m being honest, this book was the hardest thing I have ever done. My master’s degree was easy compared to this! I put so much pressure on myself and the level of internal scrutiny while I wrote this book was difficult, but ultimately allowed me to write something that I’m really proud of. I’m hoping that I have the opportunity to travel and talk about the book and help people utilize this undercover approach in their own lives. But down the road, who knows. Anything is possible…
15. What classroom reading recommendation did you recall reading as a student?
“Halfway Home” by Ronan Tynan. Really inspirational book. I strongly recommend it.
16. Last question, what has been the wackiest or unique gift a fan has ever given to you?
There have been a few things but I'd have to say the weirdest is probably a pair of women’s underwear. And yes, they were thrown in the trash…haha. But I do appreciate the love!
Anyone that is inspired to be and do greater things in their life should read this book. You truly wouldn't regret it. There are so many lessons that you can practice to improve on yourself. I really like to thank Derrick for sharing his knowledge and especially for accepting my request to answer my questions. Christmas is around the corner so here's a great (pre-order) gift idea for your family, friends, or anyone that comes to mind that might need a self-improvement book (especially those who are preparing for their new year resolution).
The Underground Edge: Find Your Hidden Strengths, Learn To Adapt, and Build The Confidence to Win Life's Game will be released on January 9, 2018 so you can pre-order it right now at Amazon or any book-selling websites. To know more about Derrick's book, go to his website: www.officialderrick.com/book/
Take care and I hope you all are having a beautiful, happy holiday season this year.
The Phantom Tollbooth is written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Pfeiffer has been optioned. TriStar pictures has chosen Matt Shakman, who has worked on Games of Thrones and Fargo, to direct the children's book. Matt Shakman has also worked on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as a executive producer and directed The Good Wife as well. Michael Vukadinovich and Phil Johnston are working on the screenplay.
So I hope you are looking forward to this movie adaptation. For now watch the YouTube clip on the 1989 adaptation of The Phantom Tollbooth. Take care and I hope you come here soon:)
I know this is a bit of a late blog but I had to post it. I'm very happy that Ian Terry won big brother over Dan for obvious reason. I guess i'm in the minority for not liking Dan's game play. Frank would've been my other choice to win the entire game but he won favorite player so i'm happy for that as well. ( i thought America would choose someone else but Frank was a great choice to win that money.) I only wished that the finale of Big Brother were like Survivor. In Survivor Jeff Probst takes the time to reflect on what happen on the season, he asks them a series of question before they close the show. Big Brother, however, does their finale in a hurry. I would like to hear what Jodi think about the entire show, I would like to hear what JoJo thinks of Willie now. I would like to hear whether Ashley might consider going out with Frank or Ian. Those kind of questions could be ask by Julie after the winner was announced. We'll never see these players again and yet we'll never know their thoughts about the game overall. I just feel like their finale is a finale ( hopefully i'm making sense to you.) Big Brother should take notes from Survivor. I hope next season would be different.
So congrats to Ian!!! Frank would've been my second choice. And as for Dan, you should never misuse the bible just to make a quarter of million dollars (It isn't worth it). Dan crossed the line with using his grandfather's cross and I agree with the way Ian acted (at the final speech in the last episode) when he got upset with Dan by this. I don't think Will would've gone as far as Dan went in his deception (although i give Dan congrats on his funeral speech. That's his only shining moment). As for Danielle.....man do i have alot to say about her game play. She really mess herself up in truly trusting in Dan especially when there were only four players left in the house. She let Dan decide the final three!!!!!! (that was her worst decision and hence the reason why she didn't make it to the final two).
So another season gone, and a long wait for the next players.....oh yeah one more thing Big brother should do a WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Episode for Big Brother. I know i (as well as other fans) would like to know how the previous players are doing in the real world. So that's all i have to say about Big Brother. Sorry for the late posting but better late than never right?.......I hope you all have a great week, and thanks for reading my rants as always:)........oh and one more thing QUACK, QUACK.......
Well she is gone. One of America's favorite player is out of the house. I really didn't like the decision to make the coaches as players especially this soon in the game. Once i saw that she was on the block i knew she was going home instantly. She was too much of a popular player to stay that long in the house. I wasn't too thrilled about her departure but oh well the game must go on. Mike Boogie did an excellent job in rescuing Frank once again. He knows how to talk to people into doing his deeds. I do believe that letting Janelle leave this early might, or rather, will hurt Brittney's game in the long run since she's the only girl coach there. She's an easy target for the guys to point to and get her out of the house (as soon as the secret alliance get rid of Janelle's teammates of course). It looks like Mike might actually win this game again (a surprise to me, might i add, since he already won the game before.). I think Frank would be a hard person to get rid of. Their chance to get rid of him is long gone and if Frank is smart he should get rid of people that could beat him in competitions. So sad to see Janelle leave this early but she seems okay by her depature so no harm there. But something tells me that she isn't really gone. Maybe big brother producer has put her in sequester house. I think that America might have a chance to put her back in the game after the number dwindled in the house.
Olympics is coming to an end pretty soon. The games were great. There were some surprises, some disappointment and some triumph but overall it was very entertaining and everyone should be proud of their country for giving all their effort (whether they succeeded or not). It was just great to see everyone united in such a friendly competition. I love when the winner (and losers) appreciates each other(hugging or patting each other's back or shaking hands) at the end of the game. They know how each of everyone of them practice to their last breath to be there and hopefully win a metal ( the gold metal of course was their main goal). London Olympics was excellent and i can't wait to see their closing ceremony....it would be sad when it airs on television. The summer of olympic are always special and aren't like any other summer. It would be sad to not see them again for another four years.
So the second houseguest to leave the house is the beautiful and classy Kara:( I'm not shocked that she left since the house is gunning for willie to go home and willies's numero uno enemy is Frank for exposing his plan. My goodness this is week one and the house is already having a huge fight about who should be evited. I don't think the game has ever been this argumentative before, this early. I guess the coaches are really bringing in the drama (nice decision big brother producers). I never would have thought that the house would turn against someone, this early. After watching the fight between Frank and Willie, i thought that Willie wasn't a great social player (and he still isn't). But as a coach Britney shouldn't have told him about the coaches having the possibility of entering the game in the future. As a coach she should've kept that information to herself, knowing that she wasn't 100% certain of this. So as a consequence of doing this, Willie brought the whole houseguest to his HOH room, minus the coaches (which got Janelle upset for yelling at her and the other coaches suspicious) and decided to tell all of them what Britney informed him. My goodness didn't he (willie) realized that the other houseguests would probably twist what he said to their advantage whether it's true or not. So Britney messed up her own game and for that the whole house is against willie and now they see him(willie) as a bully. I'm not a fan of Willie either but ganging up on someone isn't really pleasant to watch but oh well, that's the game Willie.
Overall Kara is gone. I'm kind of happy that it wasn't Frank because Frank being in the house means more tension and guess what??? After the HOH competition, guess who won??? Frank!!!!( i was totally happy). Now the very person that Willie wanted out is the HOH. Things are looking pretty interesting so far. Janelle seems to keep her distance away from Frank when they celebrated (smart move Janelle but my guess is that she was totally happy inwardly). Willie is going to have a heck of a week and maybe an argument or two would be brewing soon. The coaches are definitely affecting the houseguest decisions. Again great choice producers of Big Brother( although i hope that the coaches wouldn't be part of the game because that would be totally unfair to the other houseguests). So that's my little chat about the Big Brother Game. I really like the twitter addition they had at the evition ceremony ( a bit of a homage to The Glass House might i add:) a rip-off of Big Brother.I hope it continues. Now i bet there are alot of houseguests (especially brittney's team) brown nosing Frank right about now:). Anyhoo thanks for reading my post:)
Big brother 14 is drawing close:) I've seen the cast for this season and so far i thought they did a great job. I'm happy to see that there aren't anymore returning members of big brother( not to say i didn't enjoy last season, i just want new faces instead). Here are the list of cast member for 2012.
Jenn Arroyo, 37
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Current City: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Occupation: Musician, former bass player for the female metal group "Kittie"
Joe Arvin, 41
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.
Current City: Schererville, Ind.
Frank Eudy, 28
Hometown: Marion, Ark.
Current City: Naples, Fla.
Jodi Rollins, 42
Hometown: Englewood, Colo.
Current City: Calipatria, Calif.
Occupation: Restaurant server
Willie Hantz, 34
Hometown: Vinton, La.
Current City: Dayton, Texas
Wil Heuser, 24
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
Current City: Louisville, Ky.
Occupation: Marketing consultant
Ashley Iocco, 26
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Current City: West Hollywood, Calif.
Occupation: Owner of a mobile spray tanning company
Shane Meaney, 26
Hometown: Bennington, Vt.
Current City: Bennington, Vt.
Occupation: House flipper
Kara Monaco, 29
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Current City: Los Angeles, Calif.
Danielle Murphree, 23
Hometown: Grant, Ala.
Current City: Tuscaloosa, Ala.
JoJo Spatafora, 26
Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.
Current City: Staten Island, N.Y.
Ian Terry, 21
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Current City: New Orleans, La.
Occupation: Engineering student
I wonder who is going to be the next Rachel or the next Jenelle or the next Will ( those who've been watching big brother know those names). Or maybe someone will blow all those name away and become the new favorite of all time. I don't know how i feel about Russell's relative coming to Big Brother. I know Russell Hantz was quite the character in Survivor but i don't think that his relative would be the same as well( i.e his nephew who i thought was a better person than Russell and i thought that the way he dissed him in the finale of Survivor was cruel and uncalled for.). I just hope that Willie Hantz will be himself and not be a Russell wanna-be because there's only one Russell and that Russell should stay on Survivor. As for the rest of the cast i just have to watch the show before i decide which is my fav and which one i don't want to win the game. Thanks for checking out my blog and i hope those who haven't yet read House Trap are doing so. You can also check out Stained at amazon. Remember to read the excerpt first before deciding to pay it or not. Ciao and until next time.
Just watched a preview to the upcoming science fiction drama called Terra Nova. It looks very interesting and I hope it is as interesting as it appears to be. The concept is good but i think the plot seemed to be similar to the video game Dino Crisis 2. I can't say that the concept is original because it reminded of that game but i think it would be a good show. If it's as good as i think i would be then i pray that it gets high ratings and wouldn't be cancel like Invasion, an excellent show that got cancelleda few years ago. I hope those reading this post would check this show out on Fox this coming fall and inform others to watch it as well( even if they like science fiction or not). It seems lnteresting and might be the next LOST (but hopefully with a better conclusion when the series end.) Here is the plot from wikipedia:
The show begins in the year 2149, a time when all life on planet Earth
is threatened with extinction, (suggested in trailers to be due to
dwindling worldwide air quality). In an effort to save the human race,
scientists develop a portal allowing travel 85 million years back in time to prehistoric
Earth. The Shannon family (father Jim, his wife Elisabeth, and their three
children Josh, Maddy and Zoe) join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to Terra
Nova, the first human colony on the other side of the temporal doorway.
However, they are unaware that the colony is in the middle of a group of
THE SHOW WOULD AIR ON MONDAYS, FALL 2011 on FOX
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