Since he first stepped on stage in kindergarten to be cast as White Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland,” Missouri Western student Sebastian Smith knew that acting was something that he wanted to partake in.
“I was 6 years old in early elementary school, and we where at an age where kids wanted to be an astronaut, a doctor or lawyer,” Smith said. “For me, I just wanted to be an actor, and it has stuck with me every since.”
Smith has been known for being involved in many Western plays. He has even caught the eye of Administrative Coordinator Kathy Kelly.
When Kelly saw Smith in the school’s production of “Arsenic & Old Lace,” she noticed Smith’s talent.
“I was able to watch Mr. Smith in ‘Arsenic & Old Lace,’” Kelly said. “He did an amazing job. I am a huge fan of the movie. I had high expectations when I purchased my ticket to see it on stage here at Western. I was completely impressed by Mr. Smith.”
The aspect of getting out of his shell seems to be one of the main things that draw Smith to acting. Smith stated that sometimes it’s good to act out a fictional and non-fictional character. It allows you to escape from your personal life for a while.
“Acting is a chance to portray something that you’re not,” Smith said. “In real life, people get stuck in their daily routine which consists of waking up, eating breakfast, work then eating lunch, then finally dinner and going to bed. When you’re acting, you don’t have to do that. When I act, it feels like a break from normal life.”
Friends of Smith have also admired his work ethic and passion towards acting. Jackie Perkins has known Smith for nine years, and his attitude towards acting has been the same since.
“I think he is really good,” Perkins said. “He has grown a lot since the first time I’ve seen him. Every show that we hosted in high school, Sebastian was in it. He’s a great guy, with a personality that fits acting.”
Perkins stated that Smith can make it far in the acting industry. She feels that Smith’s dedicated spirit toward acting will guide him to success, and she wants to be there when he makes it.
Smith enjoys watching actor and director Woody Allen and feels that he was one of his biggest influences in acting while he was growing up. Smith stated that Allen’s versatility as an entertainer is something that pushed him to go beyond acting and take up improv comedy.
“He’s one of my biggest idols,” Smith said. “His career expands past 40 years. He writes jokes, he acts, does improv and he directs. He’s such an incredible figure in the acting world today. It’s something to be admired.”
Smith has also worked as a performer at Worlds of Fun, and as of now, Smith does stand improv for a company in Kansas City named Comedy City. He noted that he will be performing with Comedy City at the Kansas City Improv Festival which date will soon be announced.
“I do two to four improv shows a weekend at Comedy City,” Smith said. “It’s something that I enjoy doing. I’ve been doing it for quite some time now.”
Comedy City (formerly ComedySportz) was also home to Jason Sudeikis (“Horrible Bosses”) who used to perform there in the 90s.
After Western, Smith plans on pursuing a full time stand-up career. He also plans to study up on more improv while venturing out to bigger places such as Chicago and New York.
“There are a couple of things that I want to do,” Smith said. “I would like to audition for stand-up and improv around the country and hopefully be a part of some of the bigger markets in entertainment.”