John Smiley was born and raised in Phoenix, New York. The youngest of four, he surprised his family as a “happy accident”. Growing up John spent lots of time shoveling snow, playing baseball and doing community theatre in Syracuse. He attended John C. Birdlebough High School and was active in art, chorus, drama, athletics and student government. He was the first in his family to attend college. After graduating cum laude with a BA in Theatre and English Literature from the State University of New York at Oswego, he moved to New York City with nothing but a suitcase.
New York was a major life change for John. Moving from the quite shores of Lake Ontario to the bustling city streets was a culture shift and he welcomed it with open arms. Within the first month he was auditioning and landed his first gig out of town as “Smudge” in Forever Plaid at the Mount Gretna Playhouse in Pennsylvania. John has continued to work in regional, touring and summer stock productions. He has worked at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre, Mount Washington Valley Theatre Company, Provincetown Theater, and the Zach Scott.
In 2008 he landed the role of “Mudge” a kid loving, ball chasing, singing canine who loves to roll over in Kerrigan and Lowdermilk’s Henry and Mudge for TheatreworksUSA. This production also marked John’s membership into the Actor’s Equity Association.
John received his MFA in acting from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013. Roles at UT included “Russ”/“Dan” in Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer Prize winning Clybourne Park, “Lopahkin” in The Cherry Orchard, “Don Adriano de Armado” in Love’s Labour’s Lost directed by John Langs, and “Mr. Marks” in Intimate Apparel directed by Melissa Maxwell. Besides acting John has served as an Assistant Vocal Coach for several undergraduate productions and taught Training the Speaking Voice and Fundamentals of Acting at UT Austin.
When he is not performing John also likes to direct. In the fall of 2011 he directed Things We Want by Jonathan Marc Sherman for Bohemian Sunrise Productions and in 2013 he directed West Texas Beehive in the Cohen New Works Festival. Other directing credits include: Grease, Graceland, Poe, The Photographers Nightmare and Steven Dietz’s Dracula.
In his leisure time John enjoys getting lost in literature, writing, being outdoors and NCAA sports. His favorite team is the Syracuse Orange. GO CUSE!!!