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The Highly Talented Leigh Smith From Australia

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How and when did you first get into performing?

I first began performing at a young age and my first lead role was in my school production of "Kids in Paradise" where I played a kooky witch Dr by the name of "Gunja". From there, I continued roles in High School such as "Godspell" and "Pirates of Penzance". Following this, I fell in love with performing when I undertook the "Walt Disney World" International Program. Working for the best entertainers in the world could not spur on and encourage my passion for performing any more. I then returned home to Australia and commenced intensive study in the field of acting and shortly after this, was a lead presenter on a network television show called "Media Strikes Back" as well as other smaller roles in major Australian TV shows such as "Neighbours" and "Winners and Losers".

Who were some of your biggest inspirations?

Being from a comedic background and loving the art of comedy, I have to say my biggest inspirations have come from strong female figures such as Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Leslie Mann. Their timing and abilities are something I aspire to reach. I feel that women in comedy have been under rated but with new pioneers such as the above they are finally being recognized for their incredible skills and unique flair.

What kind have training have you done?

The majority of my training was done at the Television and Film Academy of Australia (TAFTA) which is directed by John Orcisk. I have studied an immense amount of classes and workshops here and it has really changed the way I act. Focusing more on emotional capabilities than strict method, this institution really brought me out of my shell!!! Working with the best in the Australian industry as well as honing in on skills for the international market has only prepared me more for the challenges that lie ahead. I also gained invaluable insight into performing through my time at the Walt Disney World Resort - let's face it, the mouse will always be number 1!

What has been your favorite role to play so far?

My absolute favorite role would have to be "Mr Smith" a headstrong comedic character who basically has the shortest fuse known to man kind. Starting out as composed, the character then loses his cool before threatening to light everyone in the room on fire! However, in saying that my time as Lead Presenter on "Media Strikes Back" was also something that I can not impress upon enough. Interviewing the best of the best from Melbourne in the arts was something I am truly thankful that I got to do. It not only inspires you to keep going but makes you realize just how much talent is out there in a myriad of avenues.

What projects do you have coming up?

At the current time I am looking to get back into the hosting game as well as continuing to audition for roles locally. I also plan on heading over to the US to continue pursuing my career and play a multitude of roles that only this market can offer me.

Who would be your ideal co-star and why?

Without a doubt, this would have to be Melissa McCarthy....there is no other. Being able to act along someone with such amazing talent and humor would just be something else. I can only imagine what I could learn from someone with her skills. I also laugh at what could become of putting us in the same room.

What are your plans for the future?

Act, Act and Act!!! I plan on continuing to develop myself and really putting myself out there in the market. When you wake up every day wanting to do one thing, your future is pretty clear.

What is your advice to aspiring performers?

There is a quote which sums this up perfectly..."You were born an original, don't die a copy". Never change who you are, no matter how many people tell you that you need to do this to "make it". There is a place and a niche for everyone - never dull yourself down to fit other people's expectations.

For more on Leigh Smith, go to:

www.leighsmithactor.com

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