Actors, actresses, television and radio personalities sometimes use stage names or on air names; some do it to keep their privacy, some feel the new name fits the image better. Why did Jamie Foxx (real name is Eric) change his name? Eric started performing as a piano player while in high school and was using his real name. His girl friend in college urged him to start doing stand up comedy. The year was 1989 and at open mic night at comedy clubs female comedians were routinely called on stage before male comedians; Eric didn’t want to wait around too long for his name to be called, if called at all because of the number of aspiring comedians; Eric decided to change his name to what sounded and looked like a female name – Jamie- and used the last name of his favorite comedian – Redd Foxx.