Last Sunday, July 14th, 2013, I graduated from the Joanne Baron (pictured above) and D.W. Brown Meisner School for Acting. I completed two years of acting training and accepted my certification in traditional Irish dress of kilt, stockings, belt, and sporran. I'm Scot-Irish with a heavy leaning to the Irish (a sober lean, I assure you), so I wore the Irish national tartan. It was a truly amazing ceremony. We were addressed by the brilliant William Esper who tried not to allay our fears but to strengthen our resolve. If ever I live in NYC for any period of time, I must make . And our surprise guest speaker was introduced by his reel, a voluminous compilation of clips covering an entire spectrum of work across multiple genres, yet we knew from the first shot the identity of our speaker. A pilot walking to his jet set against an orange and crimson sky. Tom Cruise had entered the building. Senor Cruise talked about how he had gotten his start and how once he got started, he never stopped. Has not stopped. He stressed the importance of not being a diva or having an ego, but to familiarize yourself with everyone around you on a set. They are not the sedan chair and we are not the prize, but we are all supports for the greatness of the project, the play, the film...the art. The stronger we support each other, the higher we lift our product.
Now that I have finished my schooling proper, I am hungry to begin the next chapter. There are so many things happening right now, but that is always the case. I am on the hunt for representation. I need access to auditions beyond the SAG-deferred Student Films, and the projects that film but never finish in post. My hat's in the ring!
With western martial arts classes by the Academy of Universal Martial Disciplines now every Tuesday & Thursday, I have returned to a focus on physical training and combat systems. Training with martial artist Steve Huff in hand to hand and knife is an incredible experience. I haven't had this level of enjoyment and learning in a regular training environment since high school when I trained with the incomparable Sensei Richard Elizondo and equally amazing Sensei Rob Acox. Additionally, I have begun to direct and choreograph more fight scenes and am currently in talks about a very exciting opportunity.
Doing what you love is gratifying. Getting someone to pay you for doing what you love is priceless. I know not when I shall live stable, yet I shall thrive whilst I am able. Long ago a desire kindled in me to unite my love of acting and my thrill for combat. While I have not made it, I am making it. And I improve every day. It is a thrill to live this dream, knowing that the journey will be made all the sweeter by the triumphs over travails.
Keep the faith and seize the day!
Hunter C Smith
P.S. Cheers to Tarnue Massaquoi (above), the Othello to my Iago. A friend, indeed!