From the Army to acting: Atlanta’s Dwayne Boyd helps others find their place in Georgia’s film industry
Dwayne Boyd spent seven years serving in the U.S. Army. But a childhood love of TV and movies led to his true calling – being an actor. His favorite movie growing up was “The Empire Strikes Back,” fueling his dreams of one day appearing in the “Star Wars” franchise.
“I’m excited just to be able to be in the realm of possibility,” Boyd said. “Which is very real now because Disney owns ‘Star Wars’ and they’re making tons of ‘Star Wars’ movies now.”
Boyd is based in Atlanta, where he says the burgeoning film industry brings him steady work. He’s also started — and maintained through the pandemic — a small business, helping other actors in Georgia perfect their craft.
“I’ve seen a lot of actors who are now fully sustaining themselves just acting here in this market and that was something that was unheard of at one point,” said Boyd. “A lot of my actors are series regulars on shows now and they’re really making a living doing what they’re doing.”
Boyd says he originally had visions of being involved in music management in Atlanta. But then he started taking acting classes just as Georgia lawmakers ok’d the nation’s most lucrative film tax credit.
“It was like the perfect meetup at the perfect time,” Boyd said “I just knew I wanted to be around the energy of Atlanta. I thought it was a great place to be, there was a lot of things happening in the city,” Boyd said. “Then all of a sudden the tax incentive came here and that’s when all the films and TV shows started to come here.”
Boyd counts among the highlights from his acting career being in movies alongside Al Pacino and Nicolas Cage. He also counts actor-director Robert Townsend as a mentor and friend.
Boyd says his time in the Army helped him in the early days of acting when perseverance is key.
“A lot of things I learned in the military is how to be self-disciplined, how to have that drive and that focus; attention to detail, following instructions — that’s something I teach my acting class, and I teach my actors,” said Boyd.
Like many small businesses owners, Boyd had to adjust when the pandemic hit in March 2020, switching to online classes and maintaining connections through social media.
“It was frightening, I’m not going to lie to you,” said Boyd. “I felt like at the time when it happened none of us were prepared.”