Meet Derik Shopinski

Palm Springs Profiles introduces you to people in our community who are making a difference but don’t often make the headlines. This week we introduce you to Derik Shopinski, making a difference through the arts.

The people who make Palm Springs like no place else

You may have never seen Derik Shopinski (picture above with actress Caroline McKinzie), but if you’ve ever been to a theater performance in the city you’ve likely seen his work. Derik has been designing costumes and working in the costume department at both Palm Canyon Theatre along North Palm Canyon Drive and the Palm Springs Follies at the Plaza Theatre downtown (help save it by going here) for more than three decades. It’s estimated that during the past 16 years he has costumed more than 150 shows just at Palm Canyon Theatre alone! Make sure to check out the costumes in the latest performance there — Shrek The Musical — running today and all next weekend (tickets are available here). And get to know Derik below

AGE: 51

OCCUPATION: Jack of all trades. I’m a Master Costume Designer, Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Hair and Makeup Artist.  There isn’t anything I can’t learn to do!


WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? I moved when I was in high school and found my “niche.”

WHAT KEEPS YOU HERE? First and foremost, the weather. Plus, I have an incredible network of family and friends that feeds my soul and keeps me grounded.

DO YOU HAVE FAMILY HERE? Not blood-related family, but my “tribe.”

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR IN THE DESERT? Winter, or what we get as winter.

HOW DO YOU BEAT THE HEAT? I stay in when it’s unbearably hot.

DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY BY WHICH YOU LIVE? “Can’t stop, won’t stop.”  I’m a huge believer in honoring your word and commitment.


WHAT’S THE BIGGEST ISSUE FACING OUR COMMUNITY? We seem to be so divided. Instead of recognizing and embracing our diversity and differences, we seem to villainize those who don’t share our views.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO OR PLACE TO GO IN THE DESERT? I don’t have a lot of free time, but I enjoy meeting a friend or two for a few drinks and dinner out.

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL PEOPLE ABOUT PALM SPRINGS THAT THEY MIGHT NOT ALREADY KNOW? There is something truly magical and spiritual about the mountains that surround us in the Valley. Any time I drive or fly in and out of the area, I anyways know I’m “home” when I see them.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? Anyone who knows me, knows I love getaways to Disneyland as often as I can. But even Disney magic doesn’t compare to the magic of the desert. It really is paradise! 

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