Chad Eric Smith, a native of Washington, DC, is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, film director, and musician. Though he earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Smith was bitten by the acting bug while a student and performed in several stage productions (Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Grease, Noises Off, Mother Courage and Her Children, The House of Blue Leaves). A self-taught piano player, he was also a member of a student jazz trio entitled Soothing Sensations, which performed at the campus Coffee House regularly. When Smith graduated from college in 2008, he received the Westmoreland Cultural Trust's Service to the Arts Award.
After college, Smith played a variety of characters in close to a dozen stage plays in community theaters in and around Pittsburgh, including the internationally renowned Kuntu Repertory Theatre. In 2010, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the African American Council on the Arts awarded Smith two Onyx Awards, one for "Best Leading Actor in a Musical" for his role as Walter Lee Younger in the Kuntu Repertory Theatre's production of Raisin and the other for "Best Supporting Actor in a Musical" for his role as Wilson Pickett in the New Horizon Theater production of I Gotcha! The Story of Joe Tex and the Soul Clan.
In addition to theater, Smith has had leading, supporting, and featured roles in several independent films, including the superhero comedy Squid Man, the horror mystery thriller The Suffering, and the award-winning romantic drama Last Night. Additional notable credits include Nothing From Something, The Meek, and An Accidental Zombie (Named Ted). In 2015, he starred in the two-character, critically-acclaimed 8 episode web drama on YouTube entitled Counselor, starring opposite Curtiss Cook (House of Cards). For his performance, Smith received a 2016 IndieCapitol Award nomination for 'Best Supporting Actor'. In March 2017, Smith had his national television debut with a lead role in the TV One season finale of For My Man. In 2018, he starred in the short political drama Four Points, which will be hitting film festivals nationwide in 2019.
As a filmmaker, in 2014, Smith co-wrote and starred in his film directorial debut, the short vampire comedy Dark Therapy. For his performance as Erebus, a vampire with an irrational fear of blood who seeks psychiatric treatment, Smith received the Gold Peer Award in the "Acting on Camera - Fiction Male" category from the Television, Internet & Video Association of DC (TIVA-DC). In 2015, he co-produced and composed the original score for the silent short film #SeeTheBoy, inspired by the shooting of Tamir Rice.
In 2018, Smith hit the nationwide film festival circuit with his short film Rumination, which he wrote, directed, and produced via his newly formed film production company, MisterDuke Productions, LLC. The psychological sci-fi drama is about a heartbroken man who travels into the past for a second chance at a failed relationship. It was an official selection at over 30 film festivals, including the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival, the Boston SciFi Film Fest, the DC Black Film Festival, and the Indie Night Film Festival, which took place at the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Rumination also won 18 awards, including "Best DMV Film" at the Rosebud Film Festival, "Best Local Film" at the Capitol Hill Film Classic, and a Gold Peer Award in the "Directing - Fiction" category from TIVA-DC. In February 2019, Rumination will premiere on kweliTV, "an interactive streaming platform that shares the African Diaspora experience through dope, undiscovered documentaries, films, web shows, children's programming, news and more."
Additionally, Smith is a consultant for the national non-profit Men Can Stop Rape, where he writes, directs, and edits public service announcements, promotional videos, and documentaries intended for the organization's social media content and/or for third party stakeholders. He also provides technical assistance to Department of Justice grantees through their Office on Violence Against Women and mentors young men at several DC public high schools.