He is funny. He is talented. He is handsome.
And that combination is serving Lynn’s Demetri Underwood well as he advances to new heights of popularity and recognition in the entertainment industry.
As he waits to hear about his status for a role in the Whitney Houston movie, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” that is being filmed in Boston, Underwood, whose stage name is Demi Woodz, is building an audience with his comedy videos.
Underwood, 29, son of Lynn resident Sabrina Underwood (“She’s my No. 1 fan,” he says), grew up in Lynn and attended the Robert L. Ford School before graduating from the St. Pius School. He attended St. John’s Prep (Danvers), where he played four years of football and one season of basketball, graduating in 2010. He went on to play football at Anna Maria College where the 5-foot-10-inch athlete earned All-Conference honors as a cornerback for the Amcats. He received his degree in Human Resources and Development in 2015.
He currently works as a case manager for homeless seniors and in security at the TD Garden.
A move to the arts
“I started taking my comedy and acting seriously in 2019,” related Underwood. “I just wrapped up an acting role as the lead in a short film, and I just received a copy, and I must say it came out pretty good. The film is going to be released soon and it will be in several film festivals all over the world, so that’s pretty cool.”
Underwood said most of his work is being done in comedy skits that are featured on social media.
The COVID-19 pandemic did impede his professional progress in 2020.
“I was doing standup comedy nights locally and hosted a breast cancer fundraiser before the pandemic, but then everything slowed down. I am starting to get back into live performances and I continue to focus on social media.”
Underwood said he is proud to call Lynn his home and is grateful for the support he is receiving from residents. “It’s nice when people in your hometown come up to you and say how much they like your videos and your work,” said Underwood.
He said his comedy is drawing fans of all ages. “My comedy is different in that leading up to the finish, it takes a detour and there is a circuitous road to the punchline – the end is never like what you’d expect, and that’s what is always the joke at the end,” said Underwood.
Favorites in the industry
Demetri Underwood said his favorite comedians are Martin Lawrence (“My all-time favorite,” he said), Mike Epps, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Griffin, and John Witherspoon.
His inspirations in acting are Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Jamie Foxx.
Underwood said it’s full steam ahead for his professional aspirations in comedy and acting.
“I hope eventually one day I’ll be able to focus on this full time and be able to generate some solid revenue so I can really focus on this,” he said.
He is extremely confident in his abilities, as one must be in the performing arts or any field, for that matter.
“I know when I have the opportunity to focus entirely on my comedy and acting career, I could really see myself becoming something big in this industry,” said Underwood, who is a member of Boston Casting. “I’m definitely seeing the results, and I just try to stay positive and keep going, because this is something that I always wanted to do. I’m just thankful that I just decided to go for it, and I thank God every day for the courage and strength to do it.”
In addition to expressing his gratitude to his mother, Sabrina, who worked for the Mass Bay Transportation Authority, Demetri is thankful to his cousin, Brianna Burton for her support. “She’s my cousin, but I call her my sister – she’s helped me out with a lot my comedy videos,” said Demetri. “My cousin, Andrew Burton, has helped me out with a lot of stuff, too.”