"There were four sections or departments that I could choose from—visual, dance, vocal and theater—and I didn't like anything but theater because I kind of had that funny personality, and I was always that dramatic little boy," he says.
Davis performed in a wide variety of plays and musicals during his time at Power APAC. Then in 2013, his acting teacher gave him the opportunity to audition for the James Franco-helmed adaptation of William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury," which was partially filmed in and around Canton. Davis got the part of Luster, a young servant who looks after the protagonist Benjy.
"I didn't really think much about it too much when I got the part because I didn't think it was big until my first day on set, when I saw all these cameras and actually saw James Franco and all the actors," Davis says. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh. This is really happening.'"
Afterward, he got a call from Alexander White, a talent agent based in Atlanta who asked if they could meet for an interview and expressed interest in representing him. Ultimately, the agent told the young actor that he would need more experience first, so Davis got to work, appearing in non-speaking roles in "Get on Up" and "Fantastic Four" in quick succession and learning more about the filmmaking process.
"That's when I got on set and just communicated, talked to the directors, experienced everything on set, how it worked, the cameras and what they're doing, the (points of view), different perspectives and everything," he says. "Then, I finally got in touch with the agent again, and he liked that about me—that I don't just like having speaking roles (but also) love just being on set."
White took the actor on as a client, and Davis and his mother, LaShonda Dixon, moved to Marietta, Ga., in 2015 to be involved with Atlanta's film scene.
The move has led to small appearances in films such as "Ant-Man" and "Free State of Jones," and TV shows including "Hap and Leonard" and "The Carmichael Show."
Most recently, viewers around the country saw Davis in the TV crime drama "Shots Fired," which premiered March 22 on FOX. He appeared in six episodes of the 10-part event series, which follows officers from the U.S. Department of Justice as they investigate two cases—one involving a black deputy who shot an unarmed white college student, and the other, the overlooked murder of a black teenager.
"This role really hit me because I was like, 'Wow, I have the opportunity to portray this kid who's in the middle of this racial tension.' I know a lot of people who are this kid's age can relate to this, so if I actually do it right, if I portray it how people can relate to it, then I can be an (inspiration) to people my age," Davis says. "That's what really drove me to play this role."