Paul Detjen

Biography: Picture this. An everyday teenager goofs around with his friends on the weekends and one day they decide to capture their shenanigans and playfulness on film by picking up a video camera and recording random skits and sketches. They take this footage of their now immortalized youth and get a series of their own on the local cable access station. After 3 years of this they think their run is coming to an end as they all leave for different colleges. Out of the blue a simple phone call is received and suddenly the everyday teenager and his friends find themselves on national television, sharing their shenanigans and playfulness with the nation for forty episodes. It may sound far-fetched, but this is what happened to Paul Croghan Detjen. Raised in Winnetka, IL., Detjen, 19, was a cast member of the short lived �The Brendan Leonard Show' which aired on ABC Family. Detjen met Brendan Leonard, 19, the creator of the show, in high school. Detjen says he had always had an interestPicture this. An everyday teenager goofs around with his friends on the weekends and one day they decide to capture their shenanigans and playfulness on film by picking up a video camera and recording random skits and sketches. They take this footage of their now immortalized youth and get a series of their own on the local cable access station. After 3 years of this they think their run is coming to an end as they all leave for different colleges. Out of the blue a simple phone call is received and suddenly the everyday teenager and his friends find themselves on national television, sharing their shenanigans and playfulness with the nation for forty episodes. It may sound far-fetched, but this is what happened to Paul Croghan Detjen. Raised in Winnetka, IL., Detjen, 19, was a cast member of the short lived �The Brendan Leonard Show' which aired on ABC Family. Detjen met Brendan Leonard, 19, the creator of the show, in high school. Detjen says he had always had an interest in film, shooting things with his friends and siblings in grade school, and that when he and Leonard met they were a perfect match. Starting their freshman year of high school, Leonard and Detjen along with several other close friends, began taping the Brendan Leonard Show (affectionately called �the BLS' by fans) and it was aired on the local cable access station. "The show itself is practically impossible to describe, but if I had to put it into words I would say that it is a teenager's view of the small fun things in life and just a bunch of goofy guys having a good time." Detjen says. The show aired for 3 years but soon the friends found themselves heading different ways to attend various colleges when one day Leonard received a phone call. " After we had gone to our separate colleges, one day an executive at ABC Family got a hold of one of our tapes from an old friend whose niece was our friend from high school," Detjen says. "She told him that ABC family was looking to set up a teen block during the summer afternoons and that they were interested in our show." After one season, forty episodes long, the show was cancelled but Detjen says he can't complain. "It was one of the best experiences of my life." Currently attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Detjen was a premed student but decided to put that on hold. Instead he is considering majoring in math. Outside of school he says he is motivated by creating things. "I love to play music, film movies, or even help build things like school projects because I usually enjoy the process of creating it." Aside from filming, Detjen says that there are two things that are a big part of his life that he indulges in during his free time, one of which is sports. In high school he played soccer and wrestled and now plays rugby at Georgetown. "I really enjoy being on a team," he says "and it's a nice break from school to go out and practice and have games." The other creative tool that Detjen says is a big part of his life is music. It is a big part of his family and he has played music his entire life. He says he started on the piano and shortly after picked up a guitar. "Both have been really fun," he says. "And I hope to play for the rest of my life." Detjen's influences relate to his two passions. He says one influence in his life would be some of the musicians he looks up to. "I am a big fan of the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews and Phish. They all speak to me with their music in different ways and I really appreciate their work." He says he is also influenced by all of the coaches he has had over the years. "They have taught me many lessons not only about sports, but also about life in general." Detjen says that two of his heroes are his two younger brothers. "They are my best friends and just embody everything that I think is important in being good people." He says his other hero would be the character of Jack Bauer from the television show �24' which he says is the best television show ever. Detjen says that right now life is good and that he is happy with what he is doing in school. "Although sometimes I wish I didn't sleep as much as I do." He says his goals for the future are to have a lot of fun, no matter what decisions he may make concerning his life and to not get caught up in the "boring normalcy of adulthood." He says he does not have any big dreams at the moment but he would love to continue doing movie projects and maybe in the future create a real film of his own, possibly with the aid of his friends from the BLS. Detjen's plans for the next 15 years are simple. "In 5 years I will be figuring out my career, maybe making movies with Brendan, in 10 years I will be retired living on a beach because our movie hit it big, and in 15 years I will be coaching grade school football, and hopefully winning the league championship." Detjen has accomplished more in his life than many people his age. Having such a large and impressive chapter of his life come to a close may leave people thinking he has nothing left to dream for in the future. On the contrary his philosophy in life proves only brighter things lay ahead for him. "My philosophy in life is to just keep things simple," he says. "And smile the whole way." Expand