Thursday, April 2, 2009

Q-and-A with former 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey


By: Eric Dresden

Issue date: 4/1/09 Section: Lifeline
Editor's Note: Staff Reporter Eric Dresden sat down with former 98 Degrees member and "Dancing with the Stars" winner Drew Lachey about his visit to Central Michigan University, his career in show business and his plans for the future.

Eric Dresden: So what exactly is the subject of your 'lecture?'

Drew Lachey: My subject is basically the ability of people to make their dreams come true whether it's through circumstance, opportunity or just hard work, there are different ways to make your dreams come true and a lot of opportunity for people out there, especially at this age and coming into the world. So that's pretty much what my 'lecture' is about.

ED: Why did you decide to get involved with public speaking such as this?

DL: I kind of got into the speaking thing because it's a way for me to kind of express what I've accumulated over the past 13 years of being in the entertainment industry.

ED: So what made you interested in coming out to CMU to talk?

DL: The fact that I'm from the Midwest. I'm from Ohio so people from this area are my people. I'm not a Northeast, Boston guy, I'm a Midwestern guy. So people in the Midwest usually share the same philosophy I do with family, hard work, focus and drive. So I think that is my tie-in with Central Michigan.

ED: Many people associate you with "Dancing with the Stars." Explain how that experience was for you.

DL: It was great. "Dancing with the Stars" was a great experience for me, it's hard to believe it happened three years ago now, but it was a great experience, a great way for me to let people see me in a light other than probably what they've seen me in the past, which is 98 Degrees, the boy band or Broadway performer for people that saw "Rent" when I was in it.

ED: You mentioned people being familiar with your days in 98 Degrees. Have you tried to maintain or shed your 'boy band' image?

DL: At the beginning the name 'boy band' had a stigma about it. I later learned to believe and accept that if you're in a boy band, that meant that people thought you were successful, because if you were termed 'boy band,' that actually means that 'Okay you've had some success.'

ED: You talked about 'Newlyweds' before, how was that experience for you?

DL: For me I kind of had the best of both worlds. I was able to be on the show when I wanted to and then I was able to go home and leave it there.

ED: Looking at some bios I realized that you did some work on Broadway. Why did you decide to do that and how was it?

DL: I grew up going to performing arts school in Ohio, a lot of what we did was theatre, live performance. That's even to this day what my passion is, is live performance. Broadway, to me, always growing up was where the truly talented people were, that was the premiere league, that was the top. You could not get any more talented or exceptional than people that did Broadway.

ED: What plans do you have for your future?

DL: I would love to do more Broadway, it's just a matter of the right show at the right time.