The passion and perseverance that has motivated those with a vested interest to succeed in America’s film industry now can flourish in the heady climate of opportunity that visiting Hollywood film crews are offering to Southeastern Michigan right now.
Playwright, actor, director and businessman Kamal Smith, can be counted as one of many determined to break into the notoriously cliquish Hollywood Machine. To make his mark, Smith plans to create “the only sitcom filmed and produced in Detroit.” The show is titled, “Because We Are Men,” and Smith is already shopping the pilot to local television stations.
“We have so much talent here, because I have seen it,” said Smith, 30. “This is all about catapulting Detroit to the next level. We (actors) have chances now for everyone to flourish.”
Smith, who is a graduate of Cass Tech and Wilberforce University, stumbled upon his film career while studying to become a professional singer. According to Smith, his skill to entertain using music was easily transferred to the world of dramatic arts.
Actor/producer/director/businessman Kamal Smith
“I majored in music theory at Wilberforce and I sang in the college choir,” he said. “Being on stage has allowed me to see different facets of entertaining. All of my life, I have been fascinated with art, but never in my life did I think that I would be an actor, producer and director.”
Smith, who also is a radio personality with 102.7 under the name Kontact, began in 2004 as an actor. Shortly after, he started to write stage plays like “I Remember Way Back When”, “Pictures on the Mantle,” “Rules to the Game,” and “The Representative.” Even though he was quite content with acting, he suddenly found himself honing his skills as a producer and director. Under his production company, Lynn’s Boys Media, Smith soon began to develop a sitcom that centers on the lives of three single professional Black men.
“The show is about what we do,” said Smith, “And why we do some of the things we do as men.”
The response was positive and even exceeded his expectations.
“Between You Tube and people contacting me,” said Smith, “the response has been great. It is really refreshing to know that you can put a product out there and people will love it.”
Even though it was a path that he had never expected to embark upon, Smith thoroughly enjoys his acting career and doesn’t see an end to it in the near future.
“I love acting,” he said. “I love the producing, I love the headaches. There is nothing about it that bugs me. I am anxious to see where God is going to take this. Hollywood is going to know about Kamal Smith.”