We had the good fortune of connecting with Doryell Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Doryell, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am going to answer this question in two ways: The broad answer is ‘everything.’ I am a creative to my core, so that means that I am inspired by the colors of the leaves in autumn, a kind gesture between two people in the supermarket, or a song. It’s really all about the impact it has on me. Based on that impact, it charges my creative juices and when I go with it and allow it to just be, manifestation in whatever form happens. A more specific, but still kind of broad, answer has to do with people. The way people interact that I see as a viewer or even as a participant. Those interactions create stories in my head and also serve as lessons for the way I should or shouldn’t interact with others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A collaborator in the work often calls me a “moralist.” I believe that art has the capacity to inspire life as it is also a reflection of it. While there are dimensions I can go to in my art, the majority of it or what comes easy for me is the intentionality to motivate and inspire through art. It is to tell stories in a way that reflects the life we live…the way we are, where we’ve been, who we can be, and even who we should be. If the content gets more “heated,” it’s because I decide. I haven’t crossed that bridge yet though. I’m extremely excited about my upcoming project that has been in the works for some time now. I’ve been collaborating with Frederick Taylor who is the owner of Tomorrow Pictures, and I see more projects on the horizon through this relationship.
As far as my work, I’m balancing two worlds right now – education and creativity. When I was young, I used to watch BET, Guests would be interviewed on those shows and I learned that many of them would have had a career before having a singing career or career in music. I have a Doctorate in Education and have been an educator for 16 years. While I have done theater, tv, and film as an actor, the onset of the pandemic offered me the time and assignment to do something more regarding my art – outside of the classroom and school building. It isn’t an easy task to balance both worlds and to be effective in both, but it necessary for me right now because one provides the means to fund the other for the time being. It wasn’t easy stepping into this roles of adding writer, director, and producer. I had to definitely quiet some noise in my head that said, “You can’t do it,” “You don’t know enough,” “No one will support it,” and just jump in it by faith. One day, I sat down at my computer, threw perfection the garbage, and just wrote. But, God has been there with me every step of the way and makes moves for me that I can’t make for myself. It’s quite miraculous.
Along the way, I’ve learned to be true to myself and to stand on what I believe. I also learned that everybody is not rooting for you, but when you pray to meet the right people, to join in making your dream come true, He will make it so. I want the world to know that I am a work in the “process” of reaching my “better” with the intent of helping others to reach theirs through storytelling and different forms of expression.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My friends know that I am a homebody, but I would of course oblige my friends and family with visits to the city’s staples: take pictures in front of the Outcast Mural, visit The Aquarium, The High Museum of Art, The World of Coca-Cola, The King Center, and Ponce City Market to name a few. We would eat in the Sweet Auburn area, or at one of my favorite restaurants – Under the Cork Tree. I’m a kid at heart, so we would have to go to Six Flags before the trip’s conclusion, and we must go shopping Phipps Plaza, Lenox Mall, and The Buckhead Village.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe a shoutout to so many people because I am here because of the many people who supported me along my journey. I must acknowledge my family who supported me financially and emotionaly during the times I needed the assistance. I appreciate the lessons that my grandmother shared with me as in the den as my grandfather blared wrestling on the television. Those teachings passed to the generation of my mom and her siblings and then to my siblings and me. Its the type of lessons and wisdom that stick to your bones like creamy grits and biscuits made from scratch that I share with my household, with my students, and with strangers given the circumstance. They encourage me, they pray for me, they stand in the gap for me, and they definitely ride for me.
Linkedin: Doryell Davis
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