An Interview With F. Doryell Davis

By Staff
Tell us about your experience realizing that you had what it took to be a writer.
Even though writing has been a vehicle of expression for me since I was a kid, I compartmentalized it.  I used it as a way of releasing my feelings that were bottled up in my body .  The words would come spewing out like Coca Cola that had been violently shaken before turning the cap.  It wasn’t until I was preparing f0r a scene in an acting class where the students were assigned the task of taking an object and use it as something different in the scene.  After ending the scene with my acting partner and receiving positive feedback from the teacher, I began adding to and building out what I had just showcased in action.  It would not let me rest.  That’s when I knew that despite winning poetry and essay contests in school, writing a dissertation, or journaling my highs and lows of life, I realized that another God-given gift decided to rise up and take hold of me.
What keeps you motivated to continue your writing?
Two things – watching good shows that have great dialogue and scenes and the characters and stories that live in me that knock on my consciousness to be released.  I love watching television and seeing a good scene that has dynamic dialogue.  I view it as the thing I am seeing started as an idea, was put on paper, and has manifested before my eyes.  I am inspired by people like Lena Waithe, Issa Rae, Barry Jenkins, Mr. Tyler Perry, Misha, Green, Little Marvin, Courtney A. Kemp, Ryan Murphy, Janet Mock, and Steven Canals (A long but short list for me).  There’s nothing like falling into a good story.  Iron definitely sharpens iron.  They inspire me.  Which carries me to my second motivation – allowing myself to let go and allow the characters to live.  I become the scriber of the things they say, do, and think.  I can’t rest when they start their thing.  I have to release it…release them.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of entrepreneurship? 
I would say that the most challenging aspect of entrepreneurship was getting out of my own way.  There was a lot of fear I had to overcome. I eventually pushed fear to the side and gave myself permission to just do and erase the benchmark of perfection.  For me, it was the closing of my eyes, the deep breath, and decision I made to just step out and simply start.  I haven’t looked back since.
Tell us about a film project that you would like to create.
I don’t know how to answer that without presenting an NDA (laughing).  I love the work that Quinta B is doing with Abbott Elementary in the comedic space.  One of my favorite movies is Lean on Me.  I would like to do an updated version of that.  I know about school.  I’ve been a successful educator for over 16 years.  There are so many things that happen, so many things that people, inside and outside the building, deal with.  I think it would be great to capture that with a freshness.
What does success look like for you?
Success looks like so many things for me.  I am a man who went to the cotton field at the age of 15 and got paid 30$ a day and bought school clothes for my sister and me.  This way, we could start the year with new clothes instead of waiting for my mother to get her first check from the school in October to get us clothes.  I look where I was then and where I am now. That looks like success to me.  In regards to this work, success looks like people enjoying and being inspired by my creativity.  Success looks like people respecting my work and my work ethic.  Success looks like being recognized for my work and my family getting dressed up to walk red carpets with me for my premieres and at award ceremonies where I am a nominee and winner.
Where would you like to see your career in the next five years?
In five years, I would like to have the ability to pour 100% of my time and attention into my media production company.  I would like to have built a strong network of creatives who are like-minded, hard-working, and dedicated to creating quality content and stories which entertain and inspire.  I would like to have had multiple short films, feature films, documentaries, and other media platforms that are competitive and successful in festivals and viewed on screen and streaming services.


“If it is to be, it is up to me,” is a quote F. Doryell Davis lives by each and every day.  As a product of humble beginnings from “The Mississippi Delta” and the son of educators, Doryell understands the importance of not only obtaining an education but also the necessity of using one’s talents and influence to do what one is capable of making positive impacts in the lives of others and the community. Obtaining an education was a requirement for Doryell.  After graduating from Coahoma Agricultural High School and Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, Mississippi.   He moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended LeMoyne-Owen College and graduated with a Bachelor in Arts degree in English from the University of Memphis, earned a Masters of Arts in Education and Education Specialist degrees from Union University.  He graduated from the University of Memphis with a Doctorate in Education Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Memphis.

     After having been a successful and award-winning teacher and administrator, he continues to follow his dreams through acting, writing, and entrepreneurship through his production company, Crescent Media Productions.  Doryell has been a theater actor in Memphis, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, acted in a number of short films that have gone to be featured in film festivals and has been seen in the series, For My Man, on TVOne.  As the CEO of Crescent Media Productions, Doryell’s objective is to catapult his company through the means of creating stories that become the precursor to film and television products.

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