Past Dos Pueblos substitute returns to stardom

By Julia DeRogatis

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Dirk Blocker

Dirk Blocker as Hitchcock | Photo from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

By Julia DeRogatis | Editor

November 14, 2013

Dirk Blocker, a past Dos Pueblos substitute, recently rejoined the Hollywood world when he was cast in the television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a Fox sitcom starring Andy Samberg as an immature detective and Andre Braugher as his stoic and firm police captain. Blocker plays the role of Hitchcock, a humorous lower-rung detective who is often the object of Samberg’s jokes.

When Blocker got the news that he was cast, he was actually on the DP campus, where he had been substituting for around two years. For Blocker, substituting is the ideal compliment to his acting career.

“I really like working with young people and [substituting] affords me flexibility so that when acting opportunities come along I’m available,” Blocker said.

Blocker initially worked as a theater arts substitute but soon expanded to other classes as he became friends with the teachers and staff at DP. “Mr. Evans, Bob to me – he and I are friends – very graciously offered to have me sub for him. As I became better acquainted with Ms. Sanchez, a mutual respect and friendship formed,” said Blocker. “DP quickly became my favorite school to sub for.”

Blocker admires students and teachers alike at DP and enjoys the “caring and protective environment” of the school.

Marietta Sanchez, a member of the DP faculty, spoke fondly of her friendship with Blocker. “He is a wonderful person, very kind and caring,” Sanchez said. “Thinking about him makes me smile.”

Biology teacher Bob Evans shares her sentiments, holding nothing but praise for Blocker, with whom he and Sanchez remain in contact.

While Blocker loves subbing, he is having a wonderful experience filming Brooklyn Nine-Nine. “The actors are all supportive, generous, creative, and very, very funny,” Blocker said. “It’s a dream job. I’ve told friends [that] the biggest challenge is not laughing when someone comes up with or does something spontaneous.”

While Blocker was new to substituting, he is far from being a novice actor. “Next year marks my 40th year as a professional actor,” Blocker said, a statement supported by the long list of his roles on the Internet Movie Database.

He is also not the first actor is his family. Blocker’s father, Dan Blocker, played the role of Hoss Cartwright in the hit show Bonanza.

“When [Dirk Blocker] walked into my office,” Sanchez said, “[he] looked so much like his dad, Dan Blocker, that I called him Dan!”

Over the years Blocker has learned numerous important lessons about how to achieve success, both in acting and in other facets of life.

“There are no short cuts. Like anything else that you want to be good at, you’ve got to put in the time necessary [for] developing the specific muscles used in creating illusion,” Blocker said. “Be patient, work hard, and take the work seriously but not yourself. Diminish your own self importance and turn yourself over to the story.”

To see Blocker on TV, tune in to Fox on Tuesday nights at 8:30 to watch the cast on Brooklyn Nine-Nine bringing laughter to millions of viewers.

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