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Richard interviews “Inside Out” star Phyllis Smith about sadness & Show dancing!

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 4.42.14 PMRichard Crouse interviews “Inside Out” star Phyllis Smith.

“I started out as a professional dancer. A show dancer. No stripping, but there were plumes, feathers, g-strings and all that. I was also in two ballet companies, a jazz company. I studied modern dance. That was my passion. I always wanted to be a dancer. Not necessarily an actor. When I came to LA I had an injury and I knew logically it was time for me to make a switch in my career because I was getting older. It was hard to make that decision. For dancers at a certain age there is not a lot to fall back on. So I just did what I had to do to pay my bills. I worked as a receptionist. I worked at a movie theatre. I’d go to my nine-to-five job then I’d change my clothes and get to my movie theatre gig and work the box office until eleven o’clock at night. I did that for three years.

“Before I got to LA I worked for JC Penny in the warehouse tagging the merchandise. I don’t think they do it anymore. I used to stand there and tag thousands of fishing lures or bowling balls or roller shades, which were heavy as hell to lift around. The people were great to work with but the merchandise was a little challenging. I used to stand there, thinking about life, wondering what it is we all have in common because we’re not all given the same opportunity. Some people’s health is impaired when they’re born and they don’t even have that to start with and others are charmed with intelligence or looks or whatever they’re given. I thought, ‘There has to be something that we all have. A commonality.’ I figured out that it’s the ability to love. We all, in some form or another, to love and be loved. That was my big revelation. My lightbulb moment. Also to make sure if you’re standing on a concrete floor to make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes or you’ll pay for it later.”

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