By Stevie Rodriguez
Clifton Smith is currently starring in the play “Kindred” at East Los Angeles College, directed by Daniel Keleher, which runs on the weekends of May 16-18 & 23-25.
Smith has acted in three other plays but this is his first lead role.
Smith’s character in Kindred is Joey, whom is a prisoner facing a life sentence.
Smith grew up in Altadena, California and attended Pasadena High School.
Smith decided to retire early from Edison after 25 years and since then has been acting for the past six years.
Smith attended University of California, Santa Barbara but said he feels that among the Junior Colleges ELAC is the best for him.
ELAC offers the most dedicated Theatere of Arts Department with the best quality from the experienced actors and staff to the set up crew.
With this, Smith was inspired to become part of the Theatre Department.
Smith said that he was impressed with the staff and how they relate and communicate with the youth.
He feels that it is important for young actors to a positive enivornment to learn in.
Writing plays is what initially inspired Smith to become an actor.
Smith has written plays in the past, but felt acting would give him a personal perspective on how to write better.
Smith said acting was like a different world.
While he is in character in front of an audience he can’t help but feel bare because he taps into his most raw emotions.
Smith also said that Rocky Carrol from NCIS is one of his greatest inspirations and someone he looks up to.
“Carrol is an actor of great quality and tends to play older characters showing that he is wiser beyond his years,” Smith said.
This is a respectable quality that Smith can relate to.
While preparing for any role Smith said he looks to his family, life tragedies and experiences for past emotions in order to duplicate them as best he can.
When Smith needs to express sadness in a role he thinks of his deceased mother.
When he needs to show fear he can do so by remembering his father’s disciplinary punishments as a child.
When he needs to express happiness he can do so by thinking of his three children, whom he wants to make proud.
Smith’s goal is to eventually have his own plays published and see where it takes him from there.
He currently has one play completed.
Smith said that he hopes the play and all the performances of the actors leaves the audience speaking about it for months, because it something the cast and everyone involved accomplished.