You may know him from Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide but Devon Wekheiser isn’t in middle-school anymore, and he’s doing more than just surviving. On Sunday, August 14 Devon will be playing at The Bootleg Theater in LA for the release of his new album Prologue. (Get tickets HERE ). He has a successful YouTube series Devon’s Life Survival Guide (a play on his old show), a relationship to make any of us jealous and he’s in a genuinely good place.
Credit: Chris Swainston @swainstagrm
Why is Prologue unlike anything else you’ve done?
It’s the first full length album that I’ve ever put out. The reason it’s called Prologue is because it’s a collection of older singles; first singles I’ve ever released, new singles from my newer EP’s as well as something new for you guys, also acoustic versions of these songs. It really is unlike anything but it honors everything I’ve done up until this point.
Our generation knows you from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, have you found it easier to break into music after establishing a fan base?
(laughs) No. I haven’t. I would love to have a shortcut in that regard. I’m in two really difficult professions, acting and music. There’s rarely shortcuts. You have to be really good and work really hard and work consistently for a long period. On top of that, have lucky breaks and meet the right people and there’s no way around that, although it’s nice personally to have a fan base I can connect with.
Was it difficult to break free from people seeing you as Ned? You seem to have embraced the character through your new YouTube Series.
It’s definitely something – it’s a big part of my life and who I am, being on that show for 3 years ages 12-15. That really was my biggest start of the world I love, acting. It’s given me this amazing fan base of great kids. The fans are so gracious and awesome they leave me feelings so loved, I would never turn my back on it. It would be too difficult to resist. It happened, it’s beautiful. I want to be known for other stuff I’m capable of, but I’m okay with Ned being apart of that image.
Devon’s Survival Guide started because I had some free time and I’ve been talking with fans on Twitter, etc. I was wondering how could reconnect with everyone and do something positive. It’s been a dream come true, it’s incredible.
What’s your calling, acting or music?
My calling is to be a positive influence in the world; acting and music is apart of that. I really feel I need to make a difference in any way I can and do my best to empower, bring people together and be a voice of truth.
You’re from Atlanta and moved to LA to pursue your acting career, I recently did the same – what advice can you give people moving to chase their dreams?
It’s super scary. Day to day it’s scary. I’ve been here for 16 years or so and it’s still scary a lot of days. I face fears and doubts. You’re going to live on the edge when going for your dreams. But why not? You have one life. You might as well go for it. There’s so much growth and beauty for anyone who has dreams like that. Make sure it’s in service to the world or your growth. Make sure it’s not about fame or validation from other people. If your dreams inspire and scare you, go for them and understand you’re going to have to work hard. There’s no shortcut to working hard.
What’s your favorite thing about LA?
There’s a surface-y aspect to LA; there’s this world you can get caught in of surfaceness and superficiality. What I love about LA is the depth of the artistic community out here. How many people are out here living that life, hustling. It’s a town of a bunch of dreamers, working hard at their craft and bettering themselves. That’s magical. That can be found all over LA there’s so many different pockets; Venice, West Hollywood, DTLA, it’s an incredible city. It takes finding your people and your community. It takes finding that group of people who, when you’re around them you feel supported.
Seeing you and your girlfriend on social media, you’re relationship goals. How do you make it work?
We’ve been together for 2 years. She’s the love of my life. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s beautiful. For a while I had reservations about posting us on social media because the strange thing is I like being connected but some parts I want to keep private. Through talking with Sara and just what we’ve been doing, I’m happy to post it and honor her and also happy to spread that this is what a relationship can be. This is what it can feel like.
I’ll give you three. Almost Famous, About Time, and the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.
Favorite TV Show?
Game Of Thrones.
What inspires you?
So much. People overcoming hardships, ecstatic and inhibited love, artists who are putting out eccentric and beautiful art.
What can we expect from your show on Sunday?
To feel things. Some great spoken word poetry, that more of us need to dive into and be exposed to. It’s beautiful. There are great acts before me. As for my music, I’m not making music to fit any mold or try to be something I’m not. I sing songs from the deepest place in my heart.
Credit: Chris Swainston @swainstagrm
Instagram and Twitter: @devonwerkharder