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 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:
How did you get into actin
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
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
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
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
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. ###