Derrick Michael Tennant
- Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities
Derrick Michael Tennant made the most of a tragedy in his life by creating an opportunity for a career. As a promising athlete Derrick suffered an injury that left him in a coma. After brain surgery, years of rehab and life in a wheelchair; he ultimately got on his feet again. Despite the very limited use of his left side, Derrick loves life and “looks on the RIGHT side” of things. He communicates the importance of shifting obstacles in life, work or business into opportunities. He worked hard to overcome physical challenges and now works just as hard to help others overcome trials through his comedy, magic and inspirational speaking. Derrick formed BLEEPFREE Comedy where you can catch respectably clean shows in clubs across the country. He also landed a role in the upcoming Jeff Foxworthy movie “Crackerjack”. He plays a one armed softball player named Lefty. “Don’t get excited”, Derrick says. “I’m just a featured extra. I think that’s like getting an F+”.
From SUBWAY, AFLAC, CHICK-FIL-A, SOUTHERN COMPANY to MEDIACOM and the ATLANTIS in the Bahamas Derrick brings the funny even in a tie! When it comes to Corporate entertainment it’s important to find an act than can both makes you laugh, and effectively communicates a powerful message. Having overcome a lot in his life, Derrick is just that act. Bringing his message of turning “Obstacles Into Opportunities”. Derrick inspires, motivates and energizes his audience and keeps them smiling all along.
He had undergone what doctors would later term “random bleeding from point ‘x’ for an unknown reason”. Paralyzed and in a coma, Derrick underwent brain surgery from which he became unable to move the left side of his body. It would take years of therapy to re-learn the basics like walking, talking and simple daily tasks. Derrick is still unable to use his left arm and he walks with a limp, but he has learned a lot through this process.
Derrick credits one thing for his ability to make it through this process not only alive, but also learning and growing: LOVE. Receiving love from his family, his friends, and his God combined with learning to better demonstrate love in the midst of difficulty were essential to Derrick’s survival.
With years of therapy and hard work, Derrick eventually was able to return to the court. In 1993, he played basketball overseas competitively. “You should have seen me when I had two arms,” he says. Derrick now travels the world sharing his story and encouraging others to use “obstacles as opportunities”. “If God were small enough to be understood,” he says, “then He wouldn’t be big enough to be worshipped. My job is simply to trust Him and to LOVE.”
Although his own personal experiences have been great teachers, Derrick’s family and the hardships incurred have provided life’s greatest lessons. Derrick’s mother, Barb Tennant, had an incredibly difficult childhood — a childhood in which her mom actually told her how she tried to abort her. Seeing Barb LOVE her mom despite all this deeply affected Derrick’s perspective on love AND life. He will tell you though, that nothing has taught him more about LOVE, than knowing his beautiful sister Julie. Julie is 33, successful, single and a beautiful young woman who embodies “love”. She has never met a stranger with her smile that literally lights up any room she enters. Julie’s gift is definitely something we should all learn from.