We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Matthieu Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan Matthieu, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The majority of my success stories all begin with my innate ability to take greater risks than most. Creating a path for yourself in the Arts requires fearlessness. Coming from a place of vulnerability, transparency, and a place that is uniquely ourselves is very difficult but also vital. I typically only move in one direction, forward. I use this tenacious momentum to conquer every obstacle. I’ve been able to experience and succeed at my many adventures because failing at something is never an option. In business, love, relationships, and art be willing to risk it all. Because the alternative to that is really the failure. Not every venture gives me the outcome that I hope for, but every single one definitely teaches me something for the next opportunity. Life is short. Create more art. Take greater risks!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an Indigenous Two-Spirit Artist with twenty years of international experience creating for Film, Theater, Print, Commercial, Television, and the Circus. I am a Production Designer, Art Director, Costume Designer, Set Designer, Set Decorator, Set Dresser, Properties Designer, Wig Master, Makeup Designer, Writer, Director, Producer, Actor, and Performer. I am a Renaissance Artist. I grew up in Oak Cliff and my adventurous spirit has taken me all over the world. I’m always keen on learning a new skill and starting an exciting venture. My focus in the near future is creating and polishing a new Circus act that I hope to travel the world performing. I am speaking that into existence now!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I grew up in Oak Cliff and love to show off my hood! This would include a visit to Odom’s Barbeque for the best loaded brisket potato in the city. A stroll over to The Texas Theatre for a cult classic film, usually followed by an after party behind the big screen. And finally a nightcap, a game of pool, and some karaoke at Barbara’s Pavillion! This is my ideal day in Dallas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout goes out to every individual who has ever taken a risk on me. Much of my success is owed to some great friends such as Jac Alder, Terry Dobson, Rene Moreno, Kyle McLaren, and Ash Christian. All of whom have already crossed over to the Great Beyond. I hope that I continue their efforts by consistently taking risks on burgeoning artists…the wild cards!
photo by Raymond Govender