LTC Alumnus Grabner Pursues Acting Career
Lincoln Trail College graduate Derek Grabner is pursuing his dreams of acting in television and movies in New York City.
The 2009 graduate spent time both on the field and on the stage while he was a student at Lincoln Trail College. Grabner, from Ft. Wayne, IN was recruited to pitch for the LTC baseball team. Inaddition to playing baseball, he moved forward in his dream of a career in theater and acting.
“Doing both things, it was really stressful. When I was done with practice, I was going to rehearsal and then having weekend shows and the exhaustion that comes with working on plays while at the same time working on being a productive member of your baseball team, it was very exhausting. I look back and I was able to do both pretty well and was able to move on and keep going,” said Grabner.
In addition to his time in the theater and on the diamond, Grabner was an excellent student. He graduated with high honors with a cumulative GPA of 3.91.
After graduating from LTC, Grabner transferred to Ball State University where he continued to act and play baseball. Grabner stated his time at Lincoln Trail College helped prepare him for his future. “I remember coming out of high school and going to Lincoln Trail, I knew that this place would allow me the opportunity go forward, and it totally did. I worked hard in school and graduated in two years with my associates’ degree. Everything prepared me for the next step and I’m really grateful for everything I learned and being able to use that going forward.”
Grabner now lives in New York City and is working on his career in acting. In November, he had a guest star role on CBS’ Elementary. He was with family when his episode premiered on November 27. “It was shocking at first because once you shoot the scene, you never know how it’s going to be cut together. There’s so much that happens in postproduction with editors coming in and the director and really finding the story they want to tell, so you never really know what is going to be shown in the episode.”
Grabner appeared with Aiden Quinn in the episode. He says when he watched the episode, it was hard not to look back at the eight hours he spent filming and critique his own performance.
Since then, Grabner continues to audition. He was recently cast for a guest-starring role for a future episode of Madam Secretary. He’s also working with his agency to prepare for the pilot season in hopes of landing more roles.
Grabner says his dream is to someday reach the point where he can produce and star in his own work. “I want to produce and star in material that I really want to work on and tell stories that I find interesting, but that’s a luxury in this business. I think deep down, I have certain tastes and certain things that I like and I don’t see those represented as much as I want.”
He says one of his bucket list items is to play a villain in a superhero series. He would also like to do some stage shows and have complete control over his career, but he also knows that will take time and a lot of hard work. At the same time, Grabner says he’s ready for the challenge.
Looking back, Grabner says his attendance as a student at Lincoln Trail College was special. “I enjoyed my time there. Robinson will always be special. It’s an interesting place and I really enjoyed my time there. I got a chance to get out into the country and had the chance to see how people can be all over the United States and that this place is just as good as any other place.”
“I also liked that I was able to take care of a lot of my core courses there,” Grabner said. He had no problems transferring the credits from his core courses to Ball State University and they got him ready for his next step in academics. “Those courses will help you prepare to move on to a four-year school.”
He also says Lincoln Trail College can be a great stepping-stone for anyone that attends the school. “This place is here to help you get to where you need to be. If you give it the attention and the focus that the teachers are expecting and the administration is expecting, you can move forward and you can achieve your goals.”