Former Steelers running back Carey Davis has always had an interest in the movie business, taking acting classes in both high school and college and even doing some theater productions while still at the University of Illinois.
But football was a passion of his, and when he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2004 and later went on to play three seasons for the Steelers (2007-09), acting was placed on the backburner.
Now that his football career is behind him Davis is pursuing a career in acting, and will be among 22 current and former NFL players taking part in the second annual NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, from March 11-15.
“When I got done with football I was weighing my options and thought acting would be a good opportunity for me,” said Davis. “I was always interested in theater, film and movies. I never really had the opportunity or time to focus on that aspect because of football. When you are playing football that is your main focus and your main goal is to train and prepare for blitzing linebackers. That is where my focus was. Once I got done playing there was an opportunity and I jumped on it.
“This boot camp is the type of deal where they are helping the people who are looking to expand their career or go in a different direction other than football. I am pretty excited about it.”
The boot camp, which is being conducted by NFL Player Engagement and Film Life Inc., a New York based film production company, will cover a wide range of topics relating to the movie industry, including screen writing, directing, producing and film financing.
“I definitely believe those aspects will help as far as acting goes,” said Davis. “It’s always good to know what the director or coach is looking for so your performance on screen can be better. I am definitely going to look into that and learn as much about that aspect, as well as the others. It’s an opportunity to do something you love.”
Davis has some commercial appearances to his credit, including one that is currently running for Sylvan Learning Center that he has received a lot of feedback on. He has done print ads, including a brochure for Extended Stay America, and is excited about a recently completed independent movie he has the lead role in.
“Hopefully that will be coming out soon,” said Davis. “We are working on the distribution of it now and trying to get it in different places like Redbox and NetFlix.
“My ultimate goal would be to be in films. I enjoy the craft. I enjoy being able to portray different characters. It’s always exciting to see how a role can change in film or TV. You have characters that start out one way and by the end you are looking at them in a different light. I like to portray different characters and have fun with it.”
Among those conducting sessions at the boot camp will be director/producer Peter Berg, writer/actor/director Robert Townsend and Legendary Pictures partner/producer and member of the Steelers ownership group Thomas Tull. Davis has already had meetings with Tull about his career, and is looking forward to learning more from him.
“He was asking me what I wanted to do as far as acting,” said Davis. “He knows where I want to be and what I want to do. It will be exciting to have more time to talk to him and pick his brain about the film industry.
“He has told me to just continue to push forward. He has given me advice about talking to casting directors and making sure you form a relationship with them. Hard work is one of the main things he told me. There are a lot of people in Los Angeles that take things for granted. If you are willing to work hard and put in the time you can be extremely successful in this business.”
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