Friday Artist – Robert Smith |

Friday Artist – Robert Smith

What is your career and your current job title? Fine woodworking, chief sawdust maker.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. As a writer, I write songs, poetry, prose and plays. As a performer, I sing, act, do comedy and comedy improv.

How long have you been working in this discipline? Over 30 years.

Why do you do it? It’s what wants to come out of me.

What do you hope to accomplish? Peace, inner fulfillment and financial independence by next week.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? My writing usually has some messages about living life fully – no holding back. No wimpy wasting of our atmosphere allowed. (Wimps are the true cause of global warming.)

Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time vs. full-time status, art positions and where are your works are seen? Well, if I don’t manage to reach financial independence by next week, I will have to continue piling up the sawdust as my day job, (will you tell our readers that I have sawdust for sale?) and keep the performing arts as the thing I do as much as I can afford to. It costs a bundle.

I will be performing with the Pleasant Valley Pheasant Pluckers comedy improv troupe Friday and Saturday nights at the OFF Center Stage in Grass Valley the whole month of April. And I am producing and have a role in the hilarious Neil Simon play “Plaza Suite,” which runs the whole month of May at the OFF Center Stage.

What kind of special training did you take? I grew up in New York City where I studied acting, voice, dance and comedy improv at HB studios. I studied opera with the Roy Hart Theatre of France. And lots of other stuff.

What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? My favorite part of the performing arts is by far singing. When I sing, I’m in heaven.

What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? Moving the piano.

How many hours a day, or more appropriate, a week, do you spend on your work? Anywhere from 30 to 60 hours a week.

Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? I believe music and theater are for everyone. Luckily not everyone thinks they are cut out for it, so those folks get to come and enjoy us. It’s a win-win thing.

Any other comments you’d like to include? Seriously, the arts are extremely important to the quality of our lives. If more of us were doing the things we love, that would have a major impact on the world.


“The Artist” appears each Friday. To suggest a creative talent who should be profiled in this feature, contact Janet Lee at or 477-4203.

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