Amanda Smith grew up in Orlando, Florida as part of a “Disney Family”. Amanda’s interest in visual story telling was highly influenced by her father’s career at Walt Disney World. As a child, she often visited her dad at his office behind the China Pavilion at Epcot which allowed her to see the creative work happening backstage that went into making the magic happen onstage. It was this insight into the work happening behind the scenes that greatly inspired her decision to be a part of the backstage magic too.
Amanda completed her undergraduate education with a BFA in Theater Studies and a Minor in Dance at Florida International University in Miami. It was her second to last year when the school hired a professional scenic artist to work with the students for a new production of Dracula. The play was set in New Orleans and the Set Designer, Craig Young, designed a beautiful courtyard dripping with age and texture. It was while working on this show that Amanda discovered she had a natural talent and passion for scenic painting and design.
After college she moved back to Orlando and worked at Mad Cow Theater Company. She painted many shows as the lead scenic as well as assisting in building sets, organizing props, and assisting the Production Manager. After a year at Mad Cow Theater she decided it was time to make the move to Los Angeles to work on her MFA at the California Institute of the Arts.
During Amanda’s time at CalArts, her vision for her career grew to include film work. In her third year she worked as Production Designer on several film shorts at CalArts and at USC. These shorts include: What to Bring to America which has won several awards, screened at various festivals, and was broadcast on Italian television in the summer of 2012; Homebody which has shown at the New Orleans Film Festival and Black Maria Film Festival; and Pearl Was Here which most recently played at the Slamdance Festival.
Since graduating with her MFA in Scenic Painting Amanda has had the opportunity to paint for many great theaters and set shops around Los Angeles including The Theater @ Boston Court, A Noise Within, Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival, The Geffen, Center Theater Group at The Kirk Douglas Theater, Scenic Highlights, and The Guild. Amanda continues her work in film and television having painted on ABC’s Wipeout and 101 Ways to Leave a Gameshow and for the YouTube Channel WIGS on the episodes Lauren, and Paloma. Her Art Department work most recently includes working as Production Designer for her first feature length project The Many Lives of Jovan Cornejo by Fighting Fox Films (currently in post-production), Art Director for the web-series Clandestine by Thousand Pound Action Company (also in post-production), and Production Designer for Herman, a Subway’s Fresh Artist project in collaboration with USC (soon to premiere in March).
Amanda is excited about her post-graduate life in Los Angeles and looks forward to all the adventures she will have through her work.