Editor’s note: Albany residents Laketa and Al Smith relocated to New York City last year to enable their then 9-year-old daughter, Cypress, to perform as “Nala” in Broadway’s “The Lion King.” Here is an update on the family’s show-business journey from Laketa Smith.
What a ride! It’s been a while since our family has checked in here at home because so much has been happening and the time is really flying. Cypress’s stint in “The Lion King” is winding down. It’s been 14 very interesting months. Upon her final performance in the show on Sunday, Sept. 27, she will have done 225 shows, fourth grade and part of fifth, all among rehearsals, publicity spots, auditions, recordings and charity work. I admire her so much for her courage and zest and talent.
Meanwhile, her little brother, Journey, who has always been articulate and musical but would much rather do math and play basketball, decided he’d like to give acting a try. He just walked up to me roughly three weeks ago and said “Mom, I’d like to try it.” Then added with a slight nod forward, clear eyes up focused on mine, “Acting – that’s all. No singing. I don’t like singing.” So I had him read for me and it turns out, he’s good at it. Very good and quite a natural. He went out on two auditions and booked both. Journey’s first theatre project will be as the “Prince” in an off Broadway (non-Disney) production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Rehearsal has begun and he’ll debut on Saturday, Oct. 3
The second project was a music video for a song by Italian singer, Laura Pausini. He had so much fun that day. Now, both Journey and Cypress have worked with Grammy Award-winning artists. I’ll be sure to share the video with you all once it’s released.
We all miss so much about Albany, but as you can see, we’re trying to make the most of our time here. Thank you all for your continued support of our family over this year. All the best!