As a lifelong fan of superheroes, Devin Peacock has always been immersed in the world of spandex and capes. And as professional entertainer – with a growing portfolio of hosting gigs, music performances, and commercials – Peacock has decided to merge his love of superheroes with his unique approach to entertaining audiences by creating Unsung Heroes – an indie web comedy series about low level superheroes. Wanting to learn more about this series, Peacock was awesome enough to allow me to interview him about it.
Nicholas Yanes: Growing up, when did you know you wanted to become an entertainer?
Devin Peacock: Funny enough, I discovered late in the game. Most of the time when you hear a performer’s story, they tell you about “how they just knew when they were young.” I didn’t realize that I was meant for this until around 23. Before that point I did do musicals, a cappella groups and dance troupes but just as something for fun.
Yanes: It is incredibly difficult to make a living as an entertainer. What are some of the difficulties that you’ve encountered? On this note, any suggestions for people interested in becoming entertainers?
Peacock: The biggest problem for me is just having a clear plan for your career and staying on that plan. The longer you are working at your career, over time, your aspirations change. You have to be strong in your convictions/plan but also flexible enough to “roll with it” when you want to try something new.
Another difficulty is conviction. In this business, there are so many people who are going to have an opinion of your work, tell you that you’re wrong and that THEY know what THEY are talking about. It’s very hard to believe in yourself when you are told “NO” way more often than you are told “YES”.
My advice for anyone interested in becoming an entertainer, I would tell them to try to understand their aspirations as much as possible. If you are someone who wants to just do community theater but you’re a fire fighter by trade, that’s wonderful. If you are someone who wants to make a living as a performer be prepared for that level of sacrifice. It is a very hard and LONG road but if you’re heart is in it, it can be rewarding.
Yanes: When did you first become a fan of superheroes?
Peacock: I’ve always been a fan of superheroes and comics for as long as I can remember but it didn’t go into “full-throttle” until I saw X-Men: The Animated Series during the early 90s. It was if a part of me had been awakened and tell this day I am still obsessed with superheroes.
Yanes: What was the inspiration for your new web series, Unsung Heroes?
Peacock: As I stated before, I’ve ALWAYS loved superheroes. On top of that, I’ve always loved ensemble based shows like X-Men, Power Rangers, Justice League, Teen Titans, Avengers, etc. So as a performer, I wanted to do a project that would make viewers remember those shows and feel a piece of nostalgia. If I were going to marry two huge aspects of my life, I wanted to have fun with them and Unsung Heroes was born.
Yanes: There have been dozens of comedic movies and shows that deconstruct and satirize the superhero genre. Why do you think people enjoy these types of narratives?
Peacock: I think the superhero genre is riddled with expectations and guidelines, so it can become refreshing to see a “superhero” who doesn’t quite meet those expectations. By this I mean the hero who curses excessively, may not be polished, uses guns and bullets to seriously maim or kill, are thieves, don’t have active/impressive powers, etc. Great examples of this are The Tick, The Punisher, Kickass, Hancock, The Mystery Men, etc.
Yanes: On this note, how are you hoping that Unsung Heroes will differ from these other stories?
Peacock: Ultimately Unsung Heroes is different because it represents a group of people who may not have had the opportunity to “shine”. These misfit characters are ethnically diverse, diverse in background and have afflictions that hinder their transcendence into popular hero status.
Unsung Heroes also pays homage to nostalgic 90s “superheroing.” All of the other shows/movies previously mentioned are influences for this project and I really think audiences will appreciate campy light-hearted appeal, reminisce to their favorite superheroes of the past and will understand the adult situations that are mixed in.
Yanes: While developing and producing Unsung Heroes, how did you improve yourself during this process?
Peacock: Well firstly I looked at old production footage of myself and decided to keep the things that worked and improve from there, in reference to discovering Phoenix Black (my character). I also took capoeira classes and rehearsed fight choreography in New York City to prepare for the role, this time around.
Yanes: When people finish watching Unsung Heroes, what do you hope they take away from it?
Peacock: I hope they laughed, identified with the characters and want to see more. The goal of this project is to entertain and give an audience the chance to relax and decompress while watching.
Yanes: What are your long term goals for this Unsung Heroes? Are you hoping to leverage it into a project with a larger budget?
Peacock: Yes. As of now, we are uploading clips of the project every other Sunday until mid November but after that we want to crowdfund for this. We already have a pilot written, that will include more characters and help shape a new universe to paint a more complete picture of this city and its heroes.
Yanes: Finally, what are some projects you are working on that people can look forward to?
Well the trailer for Unsung Heroes can be found here but most things can be found at www.facebook.com/DPeacockFilms. Outside of Unsung Heroes, I am still a performer, singing in Larger Than Life: The Ultimate Boyband Tribute, I do commercials (when I get them) and I host special events on the weekend as an Emcee. This is because of my past as a host for Radio Disney.