Jan. 22, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Lights, camera, action!
Former Assembly Member Michael DenDekker is ditching his career in politics and returning to his roots in the entertainment industry.
DenDekker, who represented the 34th Assembly District for 12 years, said that he is now working as a film and TV actor and is also writing TV scripts.
The 59-year-old had represented Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and parts of Woodside and Corona during his time in office but has decided to move on from politics. DenDekker lost out to progressive Jessica González-Rojas in last July’s Democratic primary and his term ended on Dec. 31.
“I’m excited for this next chapter in my life, which really is bridging my knowledge of and work in the city and state’s political arenas with my passion for storytelling and entertainment,” DenDekker said.
The Jackson Heights native began life in the public sector in 1995 when he joined the Dept. of Sanitation. He moved up the ranks to become a supervisor and was then assigned to the New York City Office of Emergency Management in the wake of the 9/11 attacks before moving on to become facilities manager for the City Council in 2006.
DenDekker first began acting as a child and throughout his career working for the city and the state he participated in community theater. He also made appearances in hit TV shows like Law and Order, Elementary and Billions.
The former lawmaker was also in movies such as Miracle at St. Anna, Inside Man, American Gangster and Meet Dave.
DenDekker said that he is focusing heavily on writing TV drama scripts that will draw on his time in public life.
“Through my writing, I can bring these experiences out of the walls of municipal offices, television and film sets, and the halls of the State Capitol to a wider audience,” DenDekker said.
“I know people will relate to and appreciate the honesty, humor, and sincerity in the stories I am writing.”
DenDekker said that he has already penned a number of scripts and is in search of an agent to help him secure deals for his new writing projects.
The former lawmaker said that he has written a 44-episode drama based on his experiences helping the city respond to the 9/11 attacks.
He is also writing a political drama based on his time in the Assembly.
“Throughout my career, I have met and worked with so many fascinating people and personalities, and been a part of interesting situations and challenges that most people will never actually experience,” he said.