Derrick McDaniel began his acting apprenticeship in 1990 at Theater East in Studio City, CA. This is where he honed the craft of acting and stage lighting. In 1992 he won the 2nd place position in the Inner City Culture talent show. Once of the prizes was a full scholarship to Lee Strasberg Acting Studio, where he studied for the next four years while playing many stage roles – everything from Felix in the “Odd Couple” to the title role in “Othello”.
Also during this time Derrick continued designing lighting for stage and started stage managing. A few of his lighting credits include, “The Godfather Workout” for the HBO comedy festival in Aspen, “The Quiet Room” at the Whitefire Theater, “Worse Than Murder” at the Ventura Court Theater, “Among The Thugs” at the Odyssey Theater, “The Mercy Seat” at the Ford Theater (inside the Ford) – and many others.
Derrick has designed several Buzzworks productions, including “The Bad Seed”, “Invasion of the Minnesota Normals,” “Munched” and "The Exit Interview."
Awards and recognition for a 2005 ADA and a 2004 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award for lighting; a 2006 Ovation Award nomination for lighting, for “The Shelter”, and another 2008 Ovation Award nomination for lighting “Lady”. He has earned critical acclaim, many times over, for his designs that have hung in theaters in Southern California and New York City.