If this face looks familiar, it’s because he’s all over your television set. Currently, he’s been on CBS’s “The HACK”, HBO’s “The Wire”, and NBC’s “Third Watch.” He’s been nominated by BET’s Buff Brother of the Month for June 2003. Kelvin has been a model for almost 10 years including commercials for Nextel, Nike, and Old English. He appeared in a couple of videos including P. Diddy, SWV, and Lords of the Underground. Presently he is filming with Denzel Washington in an upcoming presidential movie. We ask Kelvin to supply us with some tips on acting.
WHO?MAG: For starters, how did you get into acting and how long have you’ve been doing it?
Kelvin Davis: Acting was part of my main goal as a kid. I had a couple of things that I wanted to do. I wanted to play football, model and act. So I played football. I had a 4-year scholarship to North Carolina University. I wanted to pursue that to a professional career by attending camps, but some injuries kinda pushed me away from that so I ended up playing some minor league ball. I did that for a while until injuries pushed me away from that again and more towards my modeling. Then after my modeling ambition, I wanted to pursue acting. And this is pretty much where I am now. It’s been a period professionally of over 10 years
WHO?MAG: How difficult was it to make the change from athlete to model to actor?
Kelvin Davis: Of course when I was playing ball I was a lot larger than what I am now. Maybe 10-15 more pounds heavier. One of the main things is even though you have different sizes and shapes; you still have to be very careful as a male model size wise. You don’t want to pigeonhole yourself as just a big guy or a muscle model. I had to restructure my whole body, meaning I had to change my diet, my work out, stop lifting heavy so I wouldn’t get larger. I just rely on my diet right now to keep me at a nice trim and comfortable level. Also for the camera because the camera puts some extra weight on you. With modeling, people really want their clothes to be seen, but if your to big or don’t look right, they are not going to book you. Positioning my body defiantly was the hardest transition.
WHO?MAG: Are there many differences between working for a cable network verses basic television?
Kelvin Davis: Yeah, one of the main differences is the language. There’s more flexibility on story lines on cable whether it be more controversial or highly graphic or language. When you’re doing HBO, you really don’t have to worry too much about the language. But then again, sometimes you do because sometimes they take that story and run it to a regular network so you have to go back and change some of the language in it. A network television, everything has to be toned down because of the kids watching TV. Although they watch HBO too, it’s not as accessible for kids. Otherwise, the acting is pretty much the same.
WHO?MAG: What is the difference between an agent and a manager?
Kelvin Davis: Normally, agent’s responsibilities are to get the headshots and information to send to the clients. Managers are more involved with your career. They kind of guide your career. Give you suggestions here and there. They’re more personalized. They usually work with a lot of agents.
WHO?MAG: What should upcoming actors look for in finding an agent?
Kelvin Davis: Do some research on that particular agent. There are a whole lot of people out here who are agents and there are a lot of agencies out there. It depends on how much experience you have. If you are someone just starting out, I would say start with a smaller agent and kind of get your feet wet and build your resume. But its really important to do you research because there are a lot of agents that will get you by charging a big registration fee. There are list out here that are available to you that you can call and ask how long they have been franchised with SAG. If you’re just starting and go to a larger agent, you might get lost in the shuffle. Some agents will give you a trial period where they send you out a few times and see how you do. If they like you, you might want to consider sign. Just make sure you’re with the right agency that works for you.