Britton Smith & The Sting For Fault Magazine


Photographer: Martin Brown
Fashion Editor & Prop + Set Stylist: Chaunielle Brown
Grooming: Emily Amick
Stylist & Prop/set Assistants
Latrice Cole
Anna Khitrina
Jennifer Laurantius
Melissa Mitchell


Collectively and eclectically draped in talent with a consistently full plate. Britton Smith oozes with a folk soul, brilliantly charged with a desire to evoke change through artistry. There is an energetic beat that invites us along Britton’s creatively charmed transformative rhythm. We caught up with Britton to learn a little more about the dailies and inner workings of such a multi-talented gent.

When and what came first for you? The singing? Dancing? Or acting?

I grew up in a super religious household in Texas. My mom didn’t play. We weren’t even allowed to listen to music that wasn’t gospel so I found total joy in singing in the church choir. I was in every choir I could be in. Youth choir, young boys choir, young adult choir, the youngest in the adult choir and an occasional men’s choir on special Sundays. I found theatre in high school. I was always the class clown and would make up catchy fun songs. Eventually, a friend of mine, now in Hamilton on Broadway, encouraged me to join her so junior year I got into theatre. That same summer I received a full scholarship to a summer intensive in Colorado where I proceeded to introduce myself to students and instructors as “big money.” I made that name up. No one had ever called me that before but it seemed easier for me to hide behind a persona than to come to this new place away from Texas without much acting experience. It took me until college to learn that putting up a guard was bullshit and only useful in character work in performance. I still use theatre and the arts at large to teach me about myself and about humanity. I received a BFA in Musical Theater at Pace University. I graduated in 2013.


What is the broadway advocacy coalition? How long have you been working with them and what do you hope to accomplish? Tell us a little bit about how you fell into this?

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition is a non-profit that is dedicated to building the capacity of artists, lawyers, educators, and organizations to effectively use the arts in their pursuit for social change. The tools of artistry have been used to shift communities, mobilize movements and bring people together for centuries. When I was in Shuffle Along on Broadway, I decided that it was time for me to figure out a way to contribute in the creation of a more just society beyond the stage. I didn’t know what tools or skills I had for this journey but at the height of the Black Lives Matter Movement, I felt a rage in me that needed to learn. A group of friends and I partnered with Columbia Law School to produce an event that brought together leaders in the arts, higher education and policy to have a dialogue around performance that educated, empowered and mobilized the community into action. I was hooked and inspired to continue figuring out where change needed to happen and how I was uniquely positioned to participate. As President of the organization, I aim to support the mission and the people dedicated to the mission of giving interested persons and organizations a framework for how the arts can and should be placed at the center of their change initiatives.

You have a very full plate lately, lead musician of britton and the sting, president of the broadway advocacy coalition and ‘jake dillinger’ of the recent broadway opening be more chill…how do you manage day to day?

Well, I tend to overbook and overwork myself but my love for community and passion for collaboration really support my drive. I never feel alone in my efforts. When I think about my work on Broadway, in my non profit and the band – I acknowledge the exchange that is happening between myself and the other parts of the puzzle that make the experience full and I aim to value and honor the pieces of the puzzle as equal to mine. It’s much easier to work hard when you feel like you’re not working hard alone AND when you feel like the people you’re working hard with are depending on your good energy to continue producing what needs to be produced. The morning is really important to me. I dedicate my mornings for the spirit and I allow myself to surrender daily to what is needed and try to notice what I’m holding onto that I do not need. I also encourage myself during this time to be radically grateful. I have a habit of forgetting how far I’ve come because my eye is always ahead and towards the purpose but when I create time and space for gratitude, this supports my day with a sense of ease and joy. I also eat well and try to laugh a lot.

Take us through your typical daily / week routine?

Mondays are supposed to be days off where I aim at laying around all day to restore for the 8-show week ahead but that never happens. I have a voice lesson with Scott Flaherty. Try to do some self care moments like a massage or sitting outside alone with a book and headphones. The actor is always on the grind so even though I’m in a Broadway show, the next gig is already rearing its head so I’m preparing and auditioning for what’s to come I’ll work on some BAC work and try to catch up on emails with our Executive Director on Tuesday then a performance that eve. On Wednesday we have two shows so there’s not much I can do but I’ll often have a meeting between shows or a short rehearsal with my band MD or arranger, as I’m in the studio working on the debut album. I also have come to enjoy a good 30-minute nap. I’m in the gym five-to-six times a week so by Thursday I’m feeling my Wakanda and am feeling great. So I’ll try to be create and write or rehearse alone before the evening performance. Fridays, the same. Saturday two shows. Sundays, I’ll try to make church and prepare meals for the week before the matinee performance. Then rinse and repeat. Now, what I don’t get enough time to do is talking to family and going out with my husband. I’m working on it. I’m getting better at both but I can improve in finding more time for sure.

Now, after the opening, how do you feel? What changes have you experienced, or what has now changed for you?

Now that we’ve opened, I feel an incredible sense of ownership. I’ve truly made my mark on the Broadway legacy and will forever be remembered as Jake Dillinger in Be More Chill. On the page, on the album, in the press, in the photos and it’s legacy. This is my third Broadway show but first principal role. During the rehearsal process I put a lot of pressure on myself to be excellent and this pressure stifled my freedom and made me less available to the emotional life under the text. I had to mediate daily and affirm myself to find the peace that I needed to believe in my work and in the moment. Opening night after the curtain came down, got into a corner in my dressing room and cried out to God in gratitude for bringing me through this doubtful forest as victorious and wiser and stronger on the other side. I’m more aware of my power and from where it comes from. I’m not saying I will never doubt myself again because I think it’s human and apart of the journey to overcome but I will always remember the work I had to do to affirm who I was and what I was destined to do in this lifetime during this process with Be More Chill.

What can we expect to see in the next six months? What are your hopes?

In the next six months I’m hoping to afford a new couch! I’ve been waiting for this moment for years and am grateful that its time. I’ve never bought a couch and, damn it, we deserve it. I’m also expecting some great fun during awards season for Be More Chill. Our show is doing something very special and very specific and I’m expecting our hard work and creativity to be noticed in the months to come. I’ve been writing music my entire life truly. I can’t help it. I’m a songwriter above all and this debut album is about my relationship to music and its pull on my life. I’m excited to share it and I have things ahead that I can’t yet talk about but… yeah, life is good and I’m prepared to receive it all as it comes. I am also excited for the work that BAC is doing. We truly have started from nothing and are making major waves in the advocacy spaces here in NYC. The Broadway Advocacy Coalition launched a course at Columbia Law School that brought together previously incarcerated individuals with law student and Broadway artists to learn our specific gifts and experiences could not only support one another but also can support meaningful creation from social impact. This course was hugely successful and will enable a new set of initiatives and funding in the coming months. We’re started a series called “The Community Gatherings” that aim at empowering artists to see their role in advocacy spaces more clearly. These gatherings will involve performance and dialogue around specific issues like educational justice and criminal justice reform. Our first will feature the work of the Bronx defenders who are currently leading the charge in the closing of Rikers Island.

What song best represents you? You can give us three if you can’t choose one.

I have a song on my EP called James. It’s about my relationship to music and how it’s guided me to realizing who I am. It reminds me that in every lesson, traumatizing experience, heart break, triumphs etc. have all served a specific purpose in my like and calling as an artist.

Lastly, tell us, what is your FAULT?

Honesty and laughter in the room is my fault. Coffee mugs on the dresser near the TV are my fault. My future is my fault.