We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeffrey Smith, EdD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeffrey, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My wife and I were educators who had found ourselves at a crossroads. We had a long discussion one Christmas discussing what we really wanted to do–stay in education or pursue a different course. Without hesitation, I told my wife what I wanted to do–renovate and operate the Isis Theatre in the Fort Worth Stockyards. To my surprise, my wife did not miss a beat and said okay. The next day we incorporated and the pursuit that turned into the beautiful building we have today began.
What should our readers know about your business?
Jeffrey has had a long and storied career that took him through restaurants, Theatres, and classrooms. Foodservice is what supported him through college and his early career days working with companies like Chili’s, El Chico, Wendy’s and Culinaire International (aka Dallas Market Center Food and Beverage).
Earning a Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Theatre Arts and Communications, life took a turn to professional theatres on the East Coast. His time in theatres coincided with a passion for learning, which led him to become a teacher, administrator, and principal of a high school.
Jeffrey spent years in the classroom as a theatre teacher, building powerful programs of live theatre in various high schools in the Metroplex. Looking for opportunities to grow and build strong connections with teachers and students, he moved up into administration serving as a House Principal and Principal. His focus has always been on improving performance in the classroom for both teachers and students. During his tenure, Jeffrey was also given the opportunity to work as a Theatre Arts Consultant on multiple new constructions as an advisor to architectural companies for their design and build of Performing Arts spaces. He also continued to work with theatre companies throughout the state of Texas.
Jeffrey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Texas Tech University, a Master’s in Education Administration from Lamar University, and is graduating this December with an EdD in Learning and Organizational Change from Baylor University.
As evidenced throughout his life, Jeffrey has been actively involved in building, running, directing, producing and performing in theatres–both in front of the audience and behind the scenes—for over 45years. He has run a community dinner theatre from inception to sale, served as a guest clinician for performance groups, Technical Director for regional theatres and TETA, a state theatre organization, and theatre consultant to industry leaders, educators and performers throughout the past 30 years. His theatrical and educational experiences make him uniquely qualified to be the orchestrator of this exciting project.
Throughout his career Jeffrey has performed the role of Actor, Technician, Producer, Director, Theatre Manager, Consultant, Clinician, Stage Manager, Coordinator, Facilities Manager, Teacher, student, Principal and mentor. Jeffrey considers himself a life-long learner, advocate for students and the Arts, and everyone’s innate ability to create positive social change.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Obviously taking my best friend on an exclusive tour of the Downtown Cowtown at the Isis Theatre, grabbing a drink from the bar then watching a classic movie would be the first day’s activities. Of course strolling through the entirety of the Fort Worth Stockyards, stopping to visit the Stockyards Museum, a rodeo at the coliseum, a visit to the John Wayne Museum then a bit to eat at H3 Restaurant would end the day.
Next I would take my friend to the visit the #1 Zoo – Fort Worth Zoo – with a drop by to the Log Cabin Village. Eating at the Ol’ South Pancake House while we are in the area is a must.
Then we would walk around Sundance Square, getting a drink or two at the Flying Saucer (aka 8.0) then catch a modern movie at the cinema downtown. At some point in the day, we would take a tour of the oldest cemeteries in Fort Worth.
Other options are renting a boat on Eagle Mountain Lake, catching a musical performance at either Casa Manana, Bass Hall/David McDavid Studios, Fort Worth Opera, or find a little place to eat like Dos Molinas on N.W. 25th Street.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife deserves the most praise in this process. She was my encourager, supporter, instigator, and partner throughout this process.
Altre Media – Martina & Victor Trevino, Sr.