DCH Remix is blog series exploring the diversity of Dallas Comedy House. It consists of interviews of students and performers who identify as a person of color to learn about their creative journey at DCH.
A few weeks ago, I met up with Lexus Davis! She is 21 years old. She works at the University of North Texas in Denton and at the Dallas Comedy House bar. She's a part of Left on Read and LGBTQ+ group, Let’s Get Busy Tonight.
Tyla Gibson: So what made you get into improv?
Lexus Davis: I was taking acting classes and my acting coach told me that I need to build some confidence. She told me to try improv and I said ok and I took one of her improv classes. I liked it but the class was how to improvise in a written scene and I wanted a little bit more freedom. So I started looking up where I could take improv classes. There were some in Denton, but I didn’t really want to go there. So I came to watch a show at Dallas Comedy House. I was like, this is cool and that's what made me sign up.
TG: Do you feel like your confidence has improved since you started improv?
LD: Yes, definitely!
TG: How so? Did improv also help you be more open with people, on stage or in life in general?
LD: Throughout life, I think. Last year when I started taking improv, I was kinda of stuck and not progressing in life at all. Just going to work, coming home and going to sleep. Not hanging out with friends or doing any creative projects like I am now. Right now, I'm working on a film with Hannah Westbrook (that I met in improv classes at DCH). I’m really excited for that because it’s an all-female cast and it’s a sweet little love story. It’s exciting putting yourself out there and getting things you want to do done. I feel like that if I had never started improv and introducing myself to all the possible outlets in Dallas, I would still be stuck at that job and still going to work, going home, and going out only once a month. It’s not about going out but finding people that get you. Here at DCH, I found people that I like.
TG: YAY! I can relate because I was in that same boat, too.
LD: I was super scared to talk to anyone or hang out at anyone’s house until my 3rd improv class. That’s when I started hanging out with people to just hang out and not only do improv. That was a big moment for me because I’m used to being super shy and scared. It was cool.
TG: How did improv help you branch out? What other creative outlets do you want to do now?
LD: I’ve been looking into YouTube marketing and being more creative on Instagram. I have some project that I’m working on for Instagram. I just want to expand my art to every single hole that I can fill like with photography and videography.
TG: So you perform with an LGBTQ+ group, what was that experience like for you?
LD: That group is really fun and inviting. Their practices are at crazy times and my schedule is crazy, so I couldn’t fully commit to it. But I really love having a group so supportive. When we walked into practice, they were so supportive of everyone there and helpful teaching their formats and games. I’d never done short form and they taught us some games. I practiced with them once. I want to do it again and do another show with them in the future.
TG: Do you feel that everyone else at DCH is just as open or have you faced any challenges getting to know people?
LD: I feel like everyone is open and inviting, but I’m not super comfortable talking to everyone cause that’s just my personality. I’m picky and I’m niche with who I talk to. I’m just sensitive and if someone doesn’t get where I coming from, I can get so butt-hurt.
TG: That’s understandable and can relate to that too…..mmmm
LD: Yeah I mean, I can joke around with people but when it get to certain point I’m like “I’m ready to go home now and cry.” Luckily no one is like that here. That’s just the worst case scenario. Someone could be joking with me and legit doing a bit, and I get in my head about it like. "Was he/she forreal?” And I can’t ask if that was a joke. People would think that I’m a sensitive baby, which I am, but you can’t cry about everything so I just avoid it.
TG: I feel you. Does your family support you on your improv and creative journey?
LD: Umm, I haven’t invited my dad to a show because he’s very conservative. My mom is the opposite. She's very outgoing and tells me I can do whatever I want. My aunt on my dad's side has come to see a show. My mom comes when she can and my grandparents saw me graduate, which was a big deal. My grandma raved about one of the drinks she had during the show. My dad hasn’t seen me be my full self. I’m myself around him, but I'm much more comfortable around my mom because I was around her more growing up. My dad has a vision of me in his head and I can’t be that because that’s not who I am.
TG: Do you also feel that judgment outside of DCH? Like if I put myself out there, people are going to judge me if I do improv?
LD: I’m more open with it now because I work at UNT and everyone is a Denton person. “Denton is weird. Denton people can get down.” It’s like a little Austin. I haven’t invited a lot of people to shows. I’m not that comfortable yet. I met a girl at work who thinks like me. I can joke around with her and it’s nice having that one person in the office that I can somewhat can be myself with. It’s good to have that outlet.
TG: That is true. How do overcome your shyness on stage.
LD: I look at it as, this is me playing a character. It takes the pressure off of me. I mean I’m still little bit jittery, but being on stage with a supportive group helps with that.
TG: So, what advice would give to someone wants to overcome their shyness?
LD: No one ever thinks about you the way that you think about yourself. Like oh I have a stain on my shirt, no one is going to notice it unless you point it out. If you’re nervous and become sweaty, the more you think about it the more you will make yourself nervous. So, I just take a deep breath and calm down. Honestly I was very depressed before I started improv and I didn’t even realize it. Improv showed me that you’re sad and you need to do something with your life to face it and I did. Now I do all sorts of things like gardening. I’m more connected with myself because of improv. Whoever going through the same thing of being shy and uncomfortable, your journey might not be improv. But you do have to find the people that you can connect with.
Tyla Gibson is a student and performer at Dallas Comedy House. She has come out of hiding and is ready to take on the world!