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New Orleans Actor Frankie Smith is Making His Mark On Hollywood In "Sacrifice"

Photo Credit: Photographer Ryan West

YVM: Describe yourself in 3 words

The 3 words I'd use to describe myself would have to be Honest. Motivational. Confident. I'll pick motivational and elaborate on that. I say that I'm motivational because I love to hear people's dreams and aspirations and encourage them to go after them. I love that after motivating a loved one or stranger, seeing them prosper in the dreams they shared. Many of my closest friends are actors so they understand the ups and downs of this industry and I'm grateful that I have people who can motivate me when I need that extra push. Sometimes people share their dreams and people start telling them about all the ways their dream isn't going to come to pass, it happened to me or how hard it's going to be, sowing seeds of negativity, so I like to encourage them to believe in themselves and go after what they want as long as they're not harming or misleading anyone. We could all use constant motivation 24/7.

YVM: We understand that you have a passion for influencing the younger generation in your hometown, New Orleans. Tell us about some things you are involved with.

Before the pandemic, a friend of mine worked as a High School drama teacher and I'd go and visit her class and speak to her students about acting, share my experiences in filming and act alongside them for fun. I like to show them that someone in their hometown is growing in their career here and that if it's possible for me, then it's possible for them. I want to get more involved in inspiring the youth at a larger level. There's a young man by the name of King Randall who has an all-boys school in Georgia that I'd like to contribute to at some point and try to have something similar to that set in New Orleans.

YVM: Why do you think it is important to have these conversations with the youth?

It's important to have these conversations with the youth because the saying is true, they are the future. I want to make sure that the future leaders of this world have the proper guidance to be able to lead and that starts by planting seeds of greatness and confidence in them at a young age.

YVM: Tell us about your hobbies, how did you get into photography, swimming, and bass guitar?

I honestly got into photography because I kept seeing an ad for a professional camera so I felt compelled to buy it lol. I took my camera everywhere with me and I loved being able to capture a moment in time.

I have a little cousin who's a swimmer and I'd go to his swim meets so watching him swim got me interested in it. I took swimming lessons a while ago but I plan on taking some more to reteach myself and learn new things. It'll also look good on my resume but besides that, it's great exercise.

I got into the bass guitar around the time Rock Band came out. I took that game VERY SERIOUSLY with my family and friends and if there was a weak link in my virtual band, I would yell at them and kick them out of the band lol. But playing Rock Band gave me a new appreciation for music and how if you take one instrument out of a song, it just doesn't feel right. I loved listening to the intricate basslines of some of the rock songs and fell in love with the low tone of the bass. One day my father surprised me with a bass guitar and I've been teaching myself ever since and sometimes I make music with my friend Albert who's a saxophone player, flute player, and music producer.

YVM: What is your favorite Nina Simone song and why?

Now that's a hard question to answer and I don't think I'll be able to give you one lol. I've been listening to Nina Simone since I was a child and the music that I grew up listening to still moves me the same way to this day so it's really hard for me to have a favorite. I can share some of my favorite songs and one, in particular, is a poem she turned into a song called "Compensation" AKA "Compassion" No matter how I'm feeling that song always calms me down and I keep it on repeat. I love her song "I Hold No Grudge" the lyrics are words that I live by, I forgive but I don't forget. Her song "Poppies" is a song I make my nieces and nephew sing and her version of Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb Blues" makes me feel nostalgic and she arranged it so beautifully. One of her creepier songs that I love is "Dambala" which I and my friend, Bree always listen to whenever we're hanging out. It's very haunting. I can go on and on about Nina Simone. I annoy my friends and family with how much I listen to her lol.

YVM: As a self-described foodie, what are some of the most interestingly great dishes you have tried.

This past summer I tried octopus for the first time on a set and it was really good! Everyone else was grossed out by it but it had a nice texture to me and the sauce that was on it gave it a nice kick. Another good eat was at a steak restaurant. I ordered Who Dat Shrimp which is crab-stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon. Being a New Orleanian I feel that I'm naturally a foodie because food is such a huge part of our culture, especially seafood. The first time I went to L.A. my friends introduced me to Tatsu Ramen which is a ramen restaurant on Melrose and I immediately fell in love with it. It's one of my go-to places whenever I visit L.A. I even asked the manager to open a restaurant in New Orleans cause I loved it that much.

YVM: Do you ever see yourself leaving New Orleans? Why or why not?

Yes, I can see myself leaving New Orleans but I don't feel compelled to now. I've been able to book substantial work here but should the work take me somewhere else, I am open to that. My mindset is that I will live wherever I am working consistently. If and when I book a series in L.A. then I'll gladly pack my bags and move on. I've also yet to film outside of Louisiana so that's a goal of mine to eventually film outside of my state.

YVM: Your sister sparked your interest in acting, now you are working together. How is that experience? Is she a big sister on set, giving pointers, or is she just a coworker?

Unfortunately, Lindsey and I weren't able to share any scenes together because our characters are in two different time periods. Lindsey's scenes were set in the '80s and all my scenes are set in the present. Lindsey plays Paula Patton's mother who dies in the late '80s and I play Paula's younger cousin so essentially my sister is my aunt in the show.

Lindsey and I do give each other pointers when helping with auditions and we actually both coached and taped each other for our auditions for Sacrifice.

YVM: You are interested in playing a psychological villain one day. Tell us your origin story as this villain. What would be your super-power and why?

Oh, that's a great question. I feel like my origin story would be "A young man from a powerful, wealthy but unloving family shows sociopathic signs at a young age and tortures animals and gradually works his way up to torturing humans. He kills his parents and all his family members to become the head of the powerful family.

I feel like my superpower as a hero would be Storm powers cause I think Storm has the coolest powers but as a villain, I would have to have psychic powers like being a telepath and an empath. I can make them feel and think what I want them to, make them feel unbearable pain, create illusions, turn off their brains all with just a thought, and be able to read their thoughts.

YVM: Tell us about the toughest part of acting and why is it tough for you? And what do you like about acting the most?

I wouldn't say 'tough' but I'll say challenging and what's challenging is keeping my energy levels as high as it is in the first take to the 50th take of the same scene. As actors, we do scenes over and over and over again and while I find it all enjoyable, it can become exhausting, depending on the scene, but rewarding when we get the right take.

And what I like the most about acting is being creative and bringing a character to life. It gives me a chance to turn Frankie off and become somebody completely different from me and playing Chauncey in Sacrifice, he is the most different from me than all of the other characters I have played which made it a joy playing him.

YVM: One thing that comes to your mind when I say: Fashion.

Image. My image is what I think about when I hear fashion. I care about my image and how I present myself to the world. Through my fashion, people can learn a little about me in how I carry myself.

Photo Credit: Photographer Ryan West


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