Bailey Smith: Thunderbird, actor, singer, playwright, and “Lentil Queen of 2007.” Before enrolling at Southern Utah University, Bailey lived in Pullman, Washington, home of the National Lentil Festival; a fun-fact she frequently shares in personal and professional settings.
When Bailey first came to SUU she thought she would study international relations, but quickly realized she had a love for performing. As a junior interdisciplinary studies major, she has combined her passion for the arts and her interest for political science to obtain her degree.
“I think the arts are crucial to our society, and I want to change the world with comedy,” said Bailey.
Recently, Bailey was given grant funding from the Theatre Arts & Dance Department's Black Box Theatre Grant Committee for her independent project Breaking Bailey. Since obtaining support in November, she has been working on a one-woman comedic show.
“I believe that comedy is one of the best forms of communication at our disposal. This show is my opportunity to figure out how to navigate storytelling through humor,” said Bailey. “It is all original material that I’ve written.”
The title, Breaking Bailey, came from the thru-line of breaking form. Bailey broke form by having the show at 11 a.m. on a Sunday, not the usual time for a comedy show. In the show, she used different forms of comedy, from stand-up, to political satire, to improv. Thus, discussing a variety of different topics about her life and the world in general.
“This entire experience has been a unique learning opportunity for me and I have grown both as a student and as an artist,” said Bailey.
Melinda Vaughn was Bailey’s mentor for the show and encouraged her every step of the way. From taking all of Bailey’s thoughts and channeling them into a cohesive show, to challenging her to go out of her comfort zone. Not only has she pushed Bailey in the classes, but as a mentor, Bailey said Melinda has pushed her to be a better performer and professional.
“Southern Utah University cares about my future. Because of this opportunity, I have discovered that I can and will be successful,” said Bailey.
Bailey’s dream for the future is to make people feel things. She said she knows that sounds strange, but as an artist, she has the chance to really affect the people who come see her work.
“Whether it be through my own shows or Shakespeare's works or works that haven't been written yet, performing is such a special opportunity to connect with the human race on an emotional level,” said Bailey.