LimeLight Profile: Mr. Kendrick Smith




C-47 Houston first met this actor and marketing/promotions professional in September. While talking over coffee and listening to Mr. Smith as he spoke about his acting career and the projects that keep him occupied, it was evident that this guy was serious about his profession. Moreover, it was clear that Mr. Smith knew where he wanted to be and how he was going to get there. A graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee, Kendrick came out of college with a duel degree in Biology and Chemistry. Moving to Houston, Mr. Smith was inspired to attend the Houston Academy of Dramatic Arts. His resume is impressive. In film, Mr. Smith has worked on the feature film “21 Grams”, “American Cartel”, “Rent A Car”, “On Time”, “American Dream” and “Hustle & Flow” and other films. In television, Kendrick is a host on “Brother 2 Brother TV Show”,  Co-host on “American Soul”, has played parts in “Diamond Jack Casino”, has been in numerous commercials including “Hurricane Beer” and “Canyon Café”. In print he has been on advertisements for “Miller Lite” and “General Mills”. Mr. Smith is currently represented by the A+ Actors of Texas here in Houston. 

C-47 Houston was lucky to meet Kendrick and talk with him for a bit about his acting career and some of his thoughts regarding the television and film industry here in Houston. C-47 Houston magazine is proud to introduce:

 Mr. Kendrick “KD” Smith

C-47: How did you get into actin g?

Mr. Smith: A friend of mine by the name of Dale Walters, from Memphis, had asked me if I had an interest in acting, but at the time, “an interest” was like being in training and the interest in acting for me was there, but, he gave me that extra push toward that direction. Growing up and going to school, I have always been the “class clown” and Mr. Walters always told me that I had a talent that should be utilized. From there I stepped out on the stage and tried to do the best I could.

C-47: Do you have an Acting style?

Mr. Smith: Well, currently I am working on a more “method” acting style. Personally, I enjoy “improv” acting because it gives me the opportunity to step outside the “box” of acting and to be able to interpret a piece of work without being limited and restricted but to be able to create an inner monologue within myself and act the way I can see it. 

C-47: Being an actor in Houston, do you have a primary job or is acting something you do on a full time basis?

Mr. Smith: I am a freelance independent marketing and promotions contractor. I am trying to make acting my full-time career, but it’s hard, here in Houston, to make acting my primary support.

C-47: How does Houston or Texas compare with other cities in other states when it comes to acting?

Mr. Smith: My feeling is this: if one is not willing to be self contained and one is willing to take the time to go to other cities and states for an acting job, then, if you seek - you shall find. If you wait for a project to come to you, you may be waiting for a long time. I think you should go out there and get it. If you really want something bad enough then you should go for it.

C-47: Are there any particular roles that you would like to tackle that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to play?

Mr. Smith: Wow! Just recently, I just had a wish fulfilled when I got a part on the feature film “American Cartel” in San Antonio. I got to play a high profile lawyer. That was a chance for me to do something different other than a gangster and show a different side of myself. I would like to be cast in a roll like a promoter or a doctor.

C-47: Are there any particular roles that you would not take?

Mr. Smith: LOL! Let me put it like this: I wouldn’t go to the degree or to the point where I would feel like I would be degrading myself. I am open to any acting roll as long as it is not degrading.

C-47: Okay, let me ask you this, being an African-American, would you take parts that tend to stereotype? Like playing the pimp or the gangster?

Mr. Smith: That’s a hard question, but let me say this, I would do it to a certain degree but I wouldn’t want to continue to take rolls like that as a career choice, at the same time, if I am going to get paid an extreme amount of money to take a stereotypic part, I will do it if it’s going to give me an opportunity to get an Oscar or an award. But, more importantly, I would like to show that I can do different rolls. I just don’t want to be typecast. But, if the money is right, I will do it, unless it’s degrading.

C-47: As far as Houston is concerned do you find that this city is conducive for acting?

Mr. Smith: I think Houston has a lot to offer and this city has a lot of “old” money but I personally think this city is scare to allow Hollywood to come in and open it up. This is a metropolitan city and I can guarantee you that all our producers and directors here in Houston and in Texas will benefit from competitive incentives that are geared to keep and bring in filmmakers to create films here. And, of course this will keep our actors here, as well. Generally, I think it’s a long road before this city brings in actors.

C-47: Do you have upcoming project that you can talk about?

Mr. Smith: Well, like I said, I just finished working in San Antonio on the film “American Cartel” directed by Jesse Estrada. Currently I am in the process of working with Greg Carter and Shaun Maclin on a film called “Elbows and Vogues” which will shot here in Houston sometime in October. Also I will be working on a film produced by Susan Nwokedi called “Cruel Men of New York”. This film will also be shot in Houston. And, I am working on the “Brother 2 Brother” television show. This production is through FahTru Media. This is a syndicated show that will be airing in Europe and in 17 different countries with over 10 million subscribers already committed to the show and to the network alone. 

C-47: Any advice for those actors coming up the ladder?

Mr. Smith: I would say, no matter what anyone says, don’t let anyone stop you from living out yours dreams. I believe you should continue to work when there are down times and stay relevant and hone your skills as an actor. Don’t get discouraged because if there is a will there is a way. You are going to go through a lot of stumbling blocks but just remember you have to walk by faith and not by sight and keep going.

C-47: Who are your mentors that have had the most influence in your acting career?

Mr. Smith: I believe the road you travel is filled with people that help you along the way, so it’s hard to single out a few when so many have contributed.  But in my acting career, I would say, Dale Walters, Michelle Coopwood from the Houston Academy of Dramatic Arts, Deke Anderson, Rochelle Stevens, Carrington Xavier and of course my family.

C-47: Thank you Kendrick for your valuable time in speaking with us.

Mr. Smith: It was my pleasure.

Kendrick is a versatile actor and is dedicated to his craft. He believes in keeping as busy as possible to improve his acting skills and never letting anyone discourage him from achieving his long terms goals. His training includes classical, improv, monologues, voice and film technique. Mr. Smith has been and continues to attend acting classes from some of Houston’s best coaches including Michelle Coopwood, Deke Anderson, Steve Fenely, Barbara Brinkley and Brad Maule. Kendrick has hosted television and internet video shows. He plays a variety of sports and is trained to do stunts. If you are interested in Mr. Kendrick Smith contact the A+ Actors of Texas Talent Agency.  ###