Levi Smith’s first experience with theater was trying out for a part in a play his sister was cast in with the encouragement from his mother, Candi Smith.
Although he didn’t make the cast, which the 10-year-old Smith was happy about because he wasn’t too interested in theater just yet, actually watching the play piqued Smith’s interest in theater and he has been acting ever since.
“My sister was acting in a play and my mom encouraged me to try-out for ‘Rapunzel’ when I was five years old so we could be in the play together,” Smith said. “I was excited when I was cut. I didn’t really want to be in theater. Then, I watched the play and was like, ‘oh, I like this; I want to act.’ The next play through Christian Youth Theater, I tried out and was cast.”
Soon after, Smith auditioned for Beauty and the Beast and was cast in five different parts like a teaspoon and a villager to name a few. From there, Smith has been acting in numerous plays and taking tap, ballet and voice lessons to continue to hone in on his theater talent.
The Kingwood resident was recently cast in the national tour of “A Christmas Story: The Musical” and will leave to perform across the country this month.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical” is a musical version of the timeless film A Christmas Story. The show originally officially opened on Broadway in 2012. A seasonal national tour of the show has run yearly since 2014. This tour begins with rehearsals in NYC and travels to 12 cities - from Worcester, MA ( Nov. 9 ) all the way to Austin (Dec. 31)
In “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” Smith is a swing cast member which means he has had to study all of the various parts for young boys and is ready to step in to the part should a character not be able to perform.
From all of the different plays Smith has had the opportunity to be in, he has learned to sing and dance which are his favorite things of being involved in theater.
“It is a lot of fun to play the different characters and transform into someone else,” Smith said. “For a couple of minutes, you are that character and in that imaginary place where the story takes place. Like in ‘The Little Mermaid,’ you are swimming underwater.”
Levi will continue to go through home school during the tour and there is time allotted each day for school. He will also work on the show six days a week with Sundays off for church and enjoying downtime.
“We are very excited,” Mrs. Smith said. “We will enjoy the tour, but also miss our family. We will visit via Skype and our last part of the tour will end in Austin which is closer to home than some of the other cities. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”
Smith wanted to offer a piece of advice to others who may be interested in theater.
“Don’t give up. It’s like tending a garden; you work for months and you may not see anything. But then, your garden begins to grow tomatoes, but they won’t be good if you stop tending your garden. You have to keep working and that is what theater is like. You always have to keep working and perfecting your skills. What I look forward to most with this tour is to make people happy, which is what I like to do and this will also help me get on to other shows in the future; this is a great opportunity,” said Smith.