Comedian DeRay Davis discussed such heavy subjects as male and female relationships, family relationships and drug abuse during his DeRay Way Tour, which made a stop at the Pittsburgh Improv last month.
“I don’t want to bore the audience or myself. Pittsburgh is a cool city and I want to come back,” Davis said.
From the way the audience responded to the comedian’s performance, Davis will get his wish.
Davis realized he was funny after watching comics who played at a club where his uncle worked as a bartender.
“I would visit him and I would watch them and I knew I could do it,” Davis said. “I was always silly,” said Davis, who hails from Chicago. He was married at 19 and divorced two years later.
He got his big comedic break at Atlanta’s Laffapalooza Festival. Soon after, he packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of his dream.
In 2002 he landed a small roll as Rayford “Ray Ray” the Hustle Guy in “Barbershop” and then again in “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” along side rappers Ice Cube and Eve.
“‘Barbershop’ was shot in Chicago. The director saw me and offered me the role,” Davis said.
To prepare for the role of Ray Ray, Davis based the character on someone in his family.
Following his “Barbershop” days, Davis landed parts in several movies including “Johnson Family Vacation,” Scary Movie 4” and “The Seat Filler” alongside former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland and Duane Martin. Most recently he starred in “Semi-Pro” with Will Farrell and in “Imagine That” opposite Eddie Murphy.
When asked how he felt about hob-nobbing with the rich and famous, Davis takes it all in stride.
“It’s strange working with people. ‘The Seat Filler’ was an independent movie that we did. It was nice. Kelly Rowland was sweet and Duane Martin showed me how to handle my acting. I enjoy making movies because you get to be someone different for a while. It’s like Halloween. Eddie Murphy was exceptional. To be that rich and that cool is great,” Davis said.
Although he has starred in several movies, his heart still belongs to stand up.
“I like the freedom of stand-up. It’s all me and my individual thoughts,” he said.
Davis hopes to land a role in the John Singleton-directed, “Abduction” which stars “Twilight” star Taylor Lautner. The movie is scheduled to be shot in Pittsburgh in July. Singleton will also direct Davis’ concert film, which will be shot in Chicago.