Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaylen Davis.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jaylen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Belleville Illinois, November 8th, 1998 at 3:29 pm on a Sunday! How is that for detail! I was raised by a single mother, her name is Lynnette and I grew up with one sister, Shayla. I do have more relatives on my dad’s side I know to my knowledge I at least have four sisters all younger.
I don’t really know my father that much, he left when I was a kid and I met him around my sophomore year of college and I haven’t seen him since! I grew up in Belleville, it’s a medium sized town in southern Illinois. I consider it big because we had two Walmarts so take that! I went to school at Union Elementary School from Pre-K to 6th Grade and then I went to West Jr High from 7th to 8th Grade, then I went to Belleville West High School from Freshman to Senior year. I always could remember getting into something I wasn’t supposed to be doing! My mom always told me that I sometimes just liked making her mad. I think that’s true a little bit because it’s kind of funny! My mom worked a lot so I never really got to see her a lot in the day time of my childhood. I consider myself raised a bit by my older sister Shayla. She was like my second mom and my best friend at the same time. I remember a lot of times on the weekends our mom would give us chores to do and we would get paid fake money but the fake money could be redeemed to go shopping in the attic! I know it sounds weird but our attic was literally Toys R Us, there was so much stuff up there to play with that we would pay for it and bring it downstairs to play with! We would also be allowed to walk up the street to family video and rent games and movie and have movie nights!
Growing up wasn’t easy for me, I always wondered where my dad was and why he couldn’t come to the fathers day luncheons! I had a lot of anger as a kid because I was always bullied by the other kids at my school. I also never really fit into places. I never really had a group of people that I fit with. That’s pretty much all my life though. My mom saw my rise in aggression so she decided to put me in Karate. I didn’t really like it mostly because it was in a rundown basement in downtown Belleville. She then put me in baseball and football. I found that I was a lot better at football than baseball, so I decided to pursue that as much as I can. I joined the Belleville Little Devils 14U. It was my first and last time playing for little devils. That’s when I was told that I was really good at what I did and I should consider playing high school ball. Around the same time, I was also wrestling and it was such a great experience. I loved every bit of wrestling, it was a moment that I could just release my anger. High School was coming up in about six months and that’s when I had my first kind of glimpse of what I wanted to do. I watched the 2013 Baz Luhrmann version of “The Great Gatsby”. I think that was the first time I really wanted to be an actor. I ignored it though. I went on to high school and tried out for pretty much every sport that was offered I didn’t care if I wasn’t good I just did it! My freshman and sophomore year was pretty much a blur for me but my junior and senior year was when I really grew up. I had a select amount of people who really helped me become the person I am today at least mentally tough. Those people are; Cameron Pettus, Bryan Edgar, Richard Bass, Bob Flake, and Tommy Spillian. They were all my football coaches. In other words, they kicked my ass until I started to kick back! I owe a lot of the man I am from them.
After a lot of bad incidents happened my senior year of high school, I decided I did not really want to be in Belleville anymore. I had many options for football but, my coach always told me if you don’t love it don’t do it and I did not love football. This is when the acting thing came back in my head. I told my mom about it and she practically laughed in my face. She told me that that industry is just not really a guarantee and I have lots of talents I could fall back on! I agreed but I also really wanted to do acting. I got tons of emails from performing arts schools so I finally decided to respond to them. I started auditioning for the schools and I was getting acceptance at every turn. Around this time, my mom really started to come around and she saw I had some serious talent in acting. I decided I was going to move to Los Angeles, by myself! I…Was…… Terrified! But I knew it was something I actually loved. Then a movie came around which confirmed for me okay I want to be an actor, and that was Wonder Woman! After watching that movie and hearing the soundtrack and just building the confidence in myself, I finally moved out to LA to pursue a dream!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There will always be struggles in this industry. My main struggle was finding out how powerful I truly am! how inspirational my words can be! There is so much more to acting than just hitting a mark and saying a line. I know one of my main obstacles is battling depression. It started ever since I moved here by myself with no family! I also stand out a lot, I have a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities, I have been offered some opportunities that a lot of my peers want and that causes them to begin to hate me. I was struggling with a lot of hate and I still am but it doesn’t bother me anymore because I’m focused on my craft. I had to understand that people are going to hate what they don’t know for no reason. To battle that depression I started writing a lot. Then my thoughts became for and more detailed and I realized I can create stories and inspire people from my struggles. I found that Therapeutic.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Well, something that’s special about my brand or my type is I have this weird 6th sense around me where I can make anyone laugh. It’s actually quite funny because I have been told by hundreds of casting directors that I am a serious actor like the way I bring my “emotions” in the scenes are insane. Something that stands out about me from others is I feel like I always want to keep people surprised. One reason I did decide to come to this industry was that I was tired of seeing the same old ideas, I was tired of the creativity and originality of Hollywood fall. It seemed to me that everyone just was trying to find a way to make a quick buck instead of telling a story, a story that keeps all of us surprised. I wrote a movie called 2nd Generation, for the people that know me they know it’s actually apart of a timeline or cinematic universe called the 2ndGen Series.
Even though this story has been in my head for quite some time now, I think moving out to LA on my own really helped me establish what I wanted to do with the series. I believe the reason I found success with the movie is that I’ve made it so relatable. Like when the movie comes out, I want people to watch it and be like holy crap that happened to me too or wow I know that feeling. I like that because I get to pull the audience in for an adventure and borrow 2 hours of their lives to show them my story which is the best feeling ever. I try to keep everyone on their toes when it comes to my films. It’s so funny watching people read it and they think they have the whole movie figured out and I see them fall into my trap and get completely taken away. Only two people out of the 11 that read 2nd Generation knew where I was going with it so I find that a success! The movies I am currently writing are of course the 2ndGen Series: 2nd Generation, 3rd Generation, 4th Generation, Generation V, Lucid, and The Next Generation! The other screenplay I’m working on is The Pathological Liar and EndGame. I have written a musical about my good friends Sydne Lyons called The Lyon’s Den, which I’m still writing music and lyrics for. So I’m always doing something!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I think a person that I really have to thank is my mom Lynnette Day for giving me birth and really sticking by me when I really had no one else! My sister Shay Berry who practically raised me when my mom was working and she has been my best friend since day one! Sydne Lyons who I met at my college was pretty much the person that helped me realize the potential I had and the talent I had and to not be ashamed of it. My college is a very toxic place for me strictly because of the jealousy I have to face against me every day and Sydne was the one that was always there to pick me up when I fell every single time. I have to thank Gloria Mamurov and her husband Max for really being the only family I have in LA. They really have been my main supporters and I do look up to them as human beings because they are so loving and kind and all they want to do is help me grow which I love so much! Angel Hart who is my personal voice coach is helping me hone my voice and really own it! She is helping me record my own songs and music and works tirelessly to make sure my voice is always sharp and ready to go and she makes sure after every session that I know I can sing! I love it.
There are so many people that’s helped me on my journey that I can’t tell every story or we will be here all day trust me but I will name them all! So we have, Devon Alexander Fuller, Helena Latulip, Bella Fuson, Tyra Balagot, Drew Trevino, AJ Mitchell, Addison Mitchell, Tia Hall, Xavier Lewis, Emma Toureau, Kyra Grace, Kenrock Chambers, Alyssa Park, Emma Morris, Destiny Finch, Sydney Huggins, Rafa Gonçalves, Jordan Desantis, Charlotte Wallace, Christopher Nolan, Abbie Yi, Alexis Jones, Brittney Dixion, Natalia Becerril, Soyana Pigniat, Emily Otten, Bob Flake, Cameron Pettus, Edwin, Michael Fuller, Jasmin Singh, Shawn Magac, Fiona Whiston, Emily Valenzuela. I can’t remember anymore off the top of my head but I know there are more! so if you have affected my life just know you’re in my heart still!
- Website: www.JaylenDavis.com
- Phone: (323) 762-6265
- Email: Jaylen@JaylenDavis.com
- Instagram: @ImJaylenDavis
- Facebook: @TheJaylenDavis
- Twitter: @ImJaylenDavis
Maxim Mamurov, Shay Berry