From the state of Colorado, SSM’s new Theater teacher Director and Instructor, Anna Smith sat down with The Spectator to talk about her journey into acting and teaching.
Who knew that joining the Tech Theater program could lead you to an incredible musical journey? Ms. Smith had quit all of her sports at a young age and needed to find a new hobby. By joining the Tech program at age fourteen she was given the chance to build sets, move the props on and off the stage, do theater makeup for the actors, and get to see what happens behind the scene in a musical production.
During her junior year, she finally started to become more confident and began directing plays. In her senior year, she started acting. She attended The University of Northern Colorado to obtain her bachelor’s degree and later, a master’s degree in theatre education. “They are also a national rank teacher’s college, and I knew I wanted to be a teacher, so I went there initially to get my bachelor’s degree in English and got a license and started to teach right after college and later, a master’s degree in Theatre Education.”
She did community theater, professional theater, and performed in plays such as George M, Dining Room, Nunsense and many more. “The hardest part about acting is that you have to be very vulnerable,” says Ms.Smith. The best actors are like sponges and they have to take in the emotions of the people around them to be able to feel the part as an actor. Also that actors hearts have to be very open and that you have to feel emotionally available, because you have to give it all when you are acting. She is also a singer and does many musicals as well as plays.
Ms. Smith came to Shattuck-St. Mary’s to start a new adventure in her life where she could teach theatre education full time. She was ready to share her talents with a new school and to come do the whole boarding school experience and to live in Minnesota, a place she has never been before.
“You Can’t Take It With You” is the fall play for this year and is one of Anna’s favorite plays. She explains,“How family doesn’t have to be just the people we are blood related to, that anybody we choose is apart of our tribe. It’s just about being an individual, and being yourself, and following your joy and following your bliss and not caring about what society thinks you should do.” The message she wants to portray by doing this play is to just be yourself and not to care what other people think. However Ms. Smith says that, “One of the most important things about acting is that you have to be comfortable and confident about who you are and that it takes time to be able to feel like that; but when you do you will feel like the stage is your second home! The feeling of getting that applause from the audience is very addicting,” she says. Her plan is to help grow the musical program into a bigger and better environment for students to want to try and learn about how much theater open their lives.