Derrel Jazz Johnson spoke to singer, actor and musician Alex Martin about playing the role of New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter in Batboy (The Ray Negron Story.)
NYSD: How did you get involved in the play Bat Boy?
Ray Negron invited me to perform a couple of songs during his “Batboy” (The Ray Negron Story) play at the Brokerage Club in Long Island after hearing about me through a mutual friend. Ever since then, Ray created the “Derek” part for me and since then we’ve performed “Batboy” with just Ray and I in Florida and in an upcoming Easton, PA show on May 7 at the Leigh Valley Yankee Fan Club, which is the largest Yankee fan club in the country. I’m really looking for to it.
Are you a Yankees fan?
I’ve always liked the Yankees. They’re America’s team and one of the winningest professional sports franchises in history. I do have a soft spot for the Dodgers too because their story resonates with me with the whole cross country switch up. Now that I work with Ray, it’s a sealed deal. I’m a Yankees fan!
How hard is it to play someone like Derek Jeter?
After watching a lot of videos on Derek and learning about him through Ray, I’ve learned that he is very stoic in character. When it comes to playing the great Yankee captain himself, I’m just lucky to be in same ballpark.
What is the most challenging aspect about the role?
The most challenging thing about this role is convincing people I’m a singer/songwriter and not a baseball player. I’ve been confused as Derek in the uniform several times and people ask me off the bat (no pun intended) what team I’m on.
Outside of the play, what else are you currently working on?
I just released the “The Heard” clothing line, which you can access on my website along with all my other social media at iamalexmartin.com. London, New York City, and Florida shows are on the schedule. New music, collaborations, and music videos on the way! Fans can follow me on Instagram and twitter @iam_alexmartin . With me, it’s more than music.