Within the seven years after HBO’s “The Wire” ended, actor and D.C.-area native Tray Chaney, who performed drug dealer-turned-shoes salesman Malik “Poot” Carr on the award-winning sequence, took to the streets of downtown D.C. to promote music and movies he produced via his impartial enterprise, Chaney Imaginative and prescient Leisure.
He mentioned he did so after Hollywood executives, writers, producers, and administrators had been not calling his telephone.
At a time when social media had grow to be a big advertising device, Chaney constructed grassroots attract round himself, all whereas sharpening his performing abilities beneath the auspices of Hollywood actress-director-producer Tasha Smith, auditioning for tv and film roles, and even showing alongside rapper Meek Mill within the movie “Streets.”
That groundwork, he mentioned, paved the way in which for the bevy of distinguished tv and film roles he’s taken on as of late.
“I took benefit of all of it, whether or not folks supported it or not. So long as you’ve seen me, and so long as I used to be in a position to be proper in entrance of you,” Chaney mentioned. “It did nothing for me however assist as a result of the extra folks had been speaking about it, whether or not they [asked] if I fell off, it was nonetheless bringing consideration, and that spotlight led to the suitable consideration.”
Through the latter a part of June, Chaney will seem in Keyshia Cole’s Lifetime biopic, “Keyshia Cole: That is My Story” as A&R govt Andre Lee. That function follows his appearances on Starz’s “BMF” as Bleek, a drug kingpin who rebuffs the Black Mafia Household’s try and collaborate.
One other function of observe for Chaney is that of Kent, a personality in Janine Nabers and Donald Glover’s “Swarm” who strikes up a dialog with Dre, performed by Dominique Fishback, in a strip membership. TV aficionados may acknowledge Chaney as Gordon Hawk, a narcotics job power member on the HBO sequence, “We Personal This Metropolis.”
Final 12 months, Chaney landed the function of Bleek on “BMF” after the discharge of his music, “New Heights,” during which he asks BMF director and hip-hop artist/entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, “Once you gonna put me on the BMF display?” In the identical music, he referenced George Pierre, a casting director who later referred to as Chaney in to audition for season 2 of “BMF.”
As Chaney defined, the remainder was historical past.
Chaney and Pierre’s relationship goes again so far as 2015, when Pierre referred to as Chaney, who he met throughout his audition for “Stomp the Yard,” to look in BounceTV’s “Saints & Sinners,” a primetime tv cleaning soap opera in regards to the members of a Baptist church in Georgia. Pierre wished Chaney to play the function of Kendrick Murphy, the son of Rex Fisher, performed by Clifton Powell and Woman Ella, performed by Vanessa Bell Calloway.
Upon accepting the chance to audition for “Saints & Sinners,” Chaney renewed his registration with the Display screen Actors Guild. Quickly after touching down in Atlanta, Chaney clinched the function and later appeared within the “Saints & Sinners” season 1 finale. Producers later requested him to play Murphy all through the remainder of the six-season tv sequence.
For Chaney, “Saints & Sinners” modified the trajectory of his post-”The Wire” profession. For one, not solely did he get to work with Powell, Calloway, and Christian Keyes, he additionally reunited together with his “The Wire” co-star J.D. Williams.
On the behest of his spouse, Chaney later moved them and their son to Atlanta, the place he had already spent a lot of his time on the set of “Saints & Sinners.” He mentioned it was in Atlanta, also known as the Hollywood of the South, the place he’s gotten to flourish as an actor.
“It’s good for someone like myself who’s already a hustler, Chaney mentioned. “I imagine in manifestation [and] being in the suitable rooms, being round the suitable folks making connections. Being a mover and shaker out right here, it was like I introduced my hustle from Forestville, Maryland.”
By way of Chaney Imaginative and prescient Leisure, Chaney has produced a number of movies, the newest of which being “The Naughty Christmas.” On the music entrance, Chaney has proven his lyrical prowess on albums titled “The Curriculum,” “S.A.M. (Strictly About Music), and “Chaney Imaginative and prescient Goals Vol. 1.”
Alongside the way in which, Chaney continues to work with David Printis Jr. and Torrence “Oogie Leo” Corridor Jr., each of whom posted up with him promoting merchandise early on in his journey. Chaney additionally acknowledges his enterprise associate, Brett Rosen of RB Capital Companions, Inc.
In talking about his work ethic, Chaney pays homage to D.C., a metropolis he says that, as soon as it hosts the manufacturing of the suitable blockbuster movie, can grow to be a media powerhouse for homegrown expertise.
“D.C. is already a mecca. It simply hasn’t been totally tapped in all the way in which to the purpose the place main productions are coming in to movie all native expertise,” Chaney mentioned. “D.C. is a kind of cities you may establish [a person from there] in the event that they transfer to Atlanta, New York or Los Angeles. It’s the way in which we stock ourselves. I converse from expertise, as a result of that was actual life for me.”