English
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

BA in English

Scott Alan Smith, 1986

Scott Alan Smith

What work are you doing now?

I am in my eighth year of teaching acting and directing at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. I am also the associate artistic director of The Road Theatre Company--one of the best respected intimate theaters in Los Angeles. I am the festival director of our Summer Playwrights Festival--the nation's largest new play reading series. I still work in T.V. and film. Recent episodes include Scorpion, Rosewood, American Horror Story, Supergirl and the feature film, The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, which opens May 2016.

What do you like about it?

As a professor I get to help new theatre students take their first professional steps through intern positions at the Road Theater Company and by bringing them into the company as actors and directors. Two of my recent graduating students are working on their MFA's at the Tisch School of the Arts and Juilliard so that is very satisfying--to be a part of that growth. I also enjoy helping new plays make it into full production and our festival has brought over 25 plays from readings to production within the seven-year history of the festival.

How did your degree in the college prepare you to do this work?

I got my acting start at George Mason. It provided me with my first attempt at working in this art form and I fell in love with it there--even though I was not a part of the theater program. My creative writing degree gave me the confidence to write my own plays and one of them, King of the Moon--which was a co-writing credit with my fellow A.C.T alum, Adam Paul--went on to perform in New York and got to be made into a film for FOX Searchlab, which in turn premiered at the Tribeca film festival. That all started at Mason for me.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

Work with your classmates now and you will find that you will continue to do that throughout your careers. They are an immediate source of creative ensemble and you can all support each other in new endeavors because you share a common training and language. My other piece of advice? Never let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do...people do surprising things all the time. So be surprising.

 

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