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Work Samples

Pompo

Z Smith performing Pompo and Pipo clown show
Pompo and Pipo - Solo show created with Jenni Kallo of the Kallo Collective. La Grave, France 2014 (adult audiences)

Pepito The Clown

Pepito the clown
Baltimore 2012. Performing three solo acts as Pepito, part of Mobtown Ballroom's Aerial Circus Burlesque Show (adult audience) Pepito is the primary character I have performed throughout my career.

Pepito's Puppet Act "Emily"

June 2019. Emily Shubert and I hosting a Puppet Slamwich at Baltimore's Black Cherry Puppet Theater (adult audiences)

Clowns Without Borders

Puerto Rico 2018 - A Clowns Without Borders tour in the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. (family audiences) As a direct result of this experience, my clown partner Molly Shannon and I shifted our focus from creating "The Molly and Z Show" to the more family oriented street show "Pepito Y Carmelita." After a fortuitous meeting in a small town square, cinematographer Karla Mi Lugo decided, impromptu, to follow the CWB Show and generously share the footage (above).

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About Z

Baltimore City

Z Smith's picture
Z is a stage performer and compulsive visual creator whose body of work is primarily devising, directing, and performing clown.  A collaborator and solo artist,  Z creates original productions each of which include improvisation and playfulness hung on a well-rehearsed framework of story and character.  Utilizing music, dance, visual arts and puppetry, Z makes comedic visions come to life.    Born and raised in Baltimore,  Z recently returned after spending most of her... more

2011 to 2020 - Christmas for Kids (Kids)

For each of the last 8 years I have created an original production as part of the Baltimore Choral Arts' Christmas for Kids program.  The goal of the collaboration is introducing children to choral music in a fun and interesting way.

2020 - COVID Pepito and the Snowy Christmas the FILM 
2019 - Baltimore Scrooge
2018 - Pepito and the Snowy Christmas 
2016/17 - Pepito and the Mystery Menace
2015 - Pepito and the Christmas Doll
2014 - Pepito and the Perfect Christmas Tree
2013 - Christmas Cousins
2012 - Pepito's Hidden Talent
2011 - Pepito met the Baltimore Choral Arts doing "walk around" in the lobby

I love classical music, and dream of making a show one day in a similar vein where Pepito performs a full length show with a live symphony.

  • Post Show

    clown plays with kids
    Before and after every show Pepito always has some fun and gets into some trouble ;)
  • Balancing

    Clown balancing a hoola hoop
    Pepito balances a hoola hoop
  • Pre-show Fun

    clown in audience
    Pepito playing with the audience in the Kraushaar Auditorium.
  • Pepito and the Magic Christmas Tree

    Z Smith, Sophie Hinderberger, and a Muse360 Arts dancer performing in Pepito and the Magic Chrismtas Tree Written by Miranda Hall and Z Smith
  • 2015 Pepito and the Christmas Doll

    Clips from Pepito and the Christmas Doll perfomed with Sophie Hinderberger, Molly Shannon, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Written by Z Smith, Molly Shanon, and Miranda Rose Hall
  • 2020 Snowy Christmas

    The is the clown portion only of the Baltimore Choral Art's Christmas for Kids program 2020. We normally create a live stage show mixing clown and choral music, but due to COVID19 we tried our hand at making a movie. You can see the full version with the chorus on their YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=JA1cecKEo3A&t=413s
  • Idea sketch

    All the work I create starts with some sort of sketched out storyboard. This sketch started the entire Christmas Doll plot. I jotted it on paper, texted it to Molly 3,000 miles away and we went from there.
  • Post show posing

    Molly Shannon (the Doll) and I, having some fun taking pictures with folks after the show.
  • The Baltimore Scrooge

    Christmas Clowns
    Pepito and Tilly (Molly Shannon) posing with a well dressed fan after performing The Baltimore Scrooge
  • 2012 Pepito's Hidden Talent

    Baltimore Choral Arts Society's Christmas for kids, Pepito's Hidden talent written by Bob Wilke

2018 to 2020 - "Pepito Y Carmelita"(Kids)

This was my primary artistic focus for 2018 and 2019.  It's divergent from my other work in that it is designed to be performed without any need for a stage or wings.  It also relies heavily on a recorded sound track which is something I have avoided in the past.

ABOUT THE SHOW
Fast paced and zany, Pepito y Carmelita (working title) features acts of original physical comedy, classic clown routines, wacky gags, and silly surprises.  

It’s an interactive piece of clown theater that is being  designed to play for the streets and festivals of the world; a visual, physical comedy journey that can be understood by  anyone, anywhere.

The audience themselves are part of the show, and acts are specifically crafted with the goal of participants experiencing  success and being celebrated.

HISTORY OF MOLLY & Z
Pepito y Carmelita is a creation of Z Smith and Molly Shannon.  The two met as students at the San Francisco Clown Conservatory in 2004, and were founding members of Circus Finelli, an ensemble of four female clowns based in the Bay Area. They worked together for years in San Francisco, and then for years lived on separate coasts.  Now, carbon footprints be damned, they are working together again!  They utilize theater, circus, music, and  dance to create original works of clown comedy.

A SHOW IN DEVELOPMENT
Molly and Z began a residency on Vashon Island to finish The Molly & Z Show (working title) in January of 2018. But, they were almost immediately offered the opportunity to perform with Clowns Without Borders in Puerto Rico.  On their return, they decided to put The Molly & Z Show on the back burner and focus on making a street show with the characters they had used in Puerto Rico: Pepito Y Carmelita.

In October 2018 they were offered another chance to perform with Circo National de Puerto Rico, again through Clowns Without  Borders.  On this tour, they were able to try out elements of the show they were creating.  They performed 30  shows for more than 5,000 people.

Inspired by the Clowns  Without Borders mission of bringing laughter where it’s needed most, they continue developing a show that can be performed anywhere and will be used as a platform to spread joy and collaborate with other artists: clowns, circus folk, musicians etc. 

Special thanks to: Arturo Gaskins, Mark Jaster, and Dan Griffiths for helping to shape the show

  • Bienvenidos!

    Trying out new material in Puerto Rico thanks to Clowns Without Borders and Circo National de Puerto Rico. Arturo Gaskins/Z Smith/Becca Bernard/Molly Shannon
  • Pepito in Baltimore

    clown and fire truck
    Donating a performance to a block party in the Harwood neighborhood
  • Kids Thank You Card

    We LOVE all the thank you cards we get :)
  • Opera Diva

    The show has three audience participation numbers. Though the chances seem slim, somehow we meet a new and devine Opera Diva every time!
  • Pepito Y Carmelita

    Photo by Phil Clapham
  • Audiencia

    payasos y escolares
    School Audience in Puerto Rico
  • Pepito Y Carmelita

    Payasos Pepito Y Carmelita
    Pepito Y Carmelita, Chihuahua, Chihuahua MX
  • Safe Space

    We believe in always holding a safe and supportive environment
  • Umbrella Act

    payasos y escolares
    Audience participation umbrella dance at a school with Circo National De Puerto Rico

2017 - "The Molly and Z Show"(Adults)

The characters being developed in this piece are not the "red nose" clowns that holds such a loaded stereotype.  Molly Shannon and I are designing this evening length piece to be performed as a whole, or broken into several stand alone acts.  We are creating something to appeal to adult audiences in a European Variety Show setting. 

Working in NYC in the fall of 2017, with direction from Joel Jeske, we hashed out the bare bones. We had gotten as far as three 20 minute rehearsal shows (one of which was adapted for a children's audience) and were starting a residency in 2018 to complete the project, when it got pushed to the back burner by our other collaborative project "Pepito y Carmelita."  

We would like to find residencies and funding to further develop this project.

2009 to 2020 - The Wiley Sisters (Adults)

The Wiley Sisters Family Roadshow is an ever evolving framework to play on and meet new characters.  Doorleen has performed solo and with many new friends, relations, and lovers. The concept of the Wiley Sisters (Doorleen and Larva lee) and their tumultuous relationship was created with Luz Gaxiola and Molly Shannon.

The Wiley Sisters have performed together and apart in many configurations including an edu-tainment piece at the Seattle Science Fair teaching folks about the workings of the theremin, and making a music video of Brendan Bob Bowers original song "Chicken Bread" which can be watched on YouTube with this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7I48VDufmE

  • Looking for a MAN...

    Doorleen Hosts a Black Cherry Puppet Slam Solo 2011
  • Found a MAN!

    When performing Doorleen Wiley as a solo number (without my sister, Larva Lee) I usually use some sort of partici-tainment approach, like creating a band with people I find in the audience.
  • Doorleen Wiley

    2011 Doorleen performs solo at the DC clown cabaret
  • Chicken Bread (Music Video)

    The Wiley Sisters
    A screen shot from our music video "Chicken Bread" filmed in Tacate, Mexico and the nearby California desert. YouTube links don't appear on my Baker Artist page, but if you would like to watch it you can go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7I48VDufmE
  • Whiley Sisters Traveling Family Road Show

    Baltimore Creative Alliance 2011. The second half of CLOWNdemonium Revue was a musical variety show by the Wiley Sisters Doorleen Wiley (Z Smith) Larva Lee Wiley (Luz Gaxiola) Arleeta Mae Wiley (Molly Shannon) and special puppet guests by Anna Fitzgerald.
  • Udder Butter

    Doorleen presents her own Udder Butter as first prize in the game show "Who wants to be a Dairy-Queen?" as part of The Black Cherry Puppet Slamwich, early 2020.
  • Slow Motion Fight Sequence

    While hosting a Black Cherry Puppet Slamwich in early 2020, Carl Karl Jr. (Emily Shubert) and Doorleen Wiley (Z Smith) get into a scuffle when Doorleen finds out that Carl Karl, a life long proponant of the dairy industry, has been drinking Oat Milk.
  • Swamp Bottom Jamboree

    Wiley Sisters
    Doorleen performs with her sister Larva Lee (Luz Gaxiola) and cousin Arleeta Mae (Molly Shannon) at the Swamp Bottom Jamboree on Vashon Island, WA 2013
  • Doorleen goes off script

    Performing at the Hinge Gallery on Vashon Island, WA 2018. Orchestrated by her Meemaw, Doorleen is married to an audience member before the show is over.
  • Martiqua The Cow

    Cow costume
    Martiqua is a two person cow puppet that I made. She has performed with Circus Finelli as well as the Wiley Sisters.

2014 - Popo and Pipo (Adults)

This show was devised in France with Finish Director, Jenni Kallo of the Kallo Collective.  Created not long after my mother passed away, and colored by Jenni's darker take on clowning, Pompo and Pipo follows a clown who has lost someone in a tragic accident and is living in a junkyard.  A Clown/Theater piece, the 4th wall is lifted and lowered throughout the show as Pompo swings between a rich imaginary life and the harsh realities of the present situation.

The first (and only) version of this show was performed in 2014 as part of the New York Clown Theater Festival.  I am currently looking for funding and residencies to further develop it.  I'm particularly interested in exploring surprising set designs and further developing the shadow puppetry and object manipulation aspects.

"The more you make the audience laugh, the more you open them up to experience deeper emotions"
- Jenni Kallo, Director

2011 - CLOWNdemonium Revue (Adults)

Directed and performed in this one night, cabaret style, performance at the Baltimore Creative Alliance.  Collaborated with partners from Circus Finelli (Molly Shannon / Luz Gaxiola) and The Canary Theater (Anna Fitzgerald / Sophie Hinderberger)

  • Flier

    CLOWNdemonium Revue at the Baltimore Creative Alliance.
  • Madam DeSoleil

    Ringmaster of the show played by Sophie Hinderberger
  • Meemaw

    Doorleen's Grandma making a cameo
  • "Blue Cheese"

    puppet and blue cheese
    The puppet Paul (Anna Fitzgerald) posing with his beloved, song worthy, blue cheese.
  • Pepito's Clowndemonium Revue Clips (5min)

    A selection of clips from the first half of the show in which Pepito (Z Smith) assists the emcee (Sophie Hinderberger) and covers scene changes with the puppet Paul (Anna Fitzgerald)
  • Whiley Sisters Traveling Family Road Show

    Baltimore Creative Alliance 2011. The second half of CLOWNdemonium Revue was a musical variety show by the Wiley Sisters Doorleen Wiley (Z Smith) Larva Lee Wiley (Luz Gaxiola) Arleeta Mae Wiley (Molly Shannon) and special puppet guests by Anna Fitzgerald.
  • Beef Stroganoff

    Pepito has invited the boss to dinner but.... they have no food. Pepito and Paul make a plan.

2010 - Pepito's Big Date FILM (Adults)

This was a project my friend and I worked on to keep my mind off the fact that my mom was battling cancer.  We were on vacation at a rental beach house.  The clown nose is a tangerine, my make-up is her sisters, the costume came from the local thrift store.

2008 to 2010 - Vegetable Party (Kids)

This show combines two of my loves: clowing, and urban vegetable gardening.  I made the props, costumes and set for this traveling show (except the marionette Blinky Winky, created by Tania Esmeralda Padilla)

Luz Gaxiola and I were commissioned by a California non profit, Arts Change, to create and tour a show educating East Bay preschoolers about healthy eating choices.  When I moved to the east coast,  Anna Fitzgerald and I created a new version of Vegetable Party but we never got any traction in Baltimore City. 

When the right opportunity arises, I would love to pull this show out, dust it off, and give it another life in Baltimore.  

I now run a community garden in my neighborhood of Waverly, so maybe someday when COVID is over it will play there!  IG @old_york_farm

2005 to 2011 - Circus Finelli (multiple shows: Kids/Adults)

Four clowns from different parts of the nation... and the world, converged at the San Francisco Clown Conservatory in 2005 to form Circus Finelli. They named themselves after beloved teacher and
new Circus Pioneer Judy Finelli, and set off across the Atlantic to debut at Czech clown Bolek Polivka’s theatre in Brno, CZ.

Since then they have been performing, traveling, and aspiring to new heights of the stupid and sublime through music and mischief. They perform at theatres, festivals, and variety shows in Mexico, Europe, and throughout the United States.

It is with Circus Finelli that I developed the character Pepito which I still perform today. I left Circus Finelli in 2011 when my mom got sick with cancer and I moved east to help care for her.  I still delight anytime I am able to work with these past partners.

All Circus Finelli shows were collaboratively devised, though the last two I was involved with were directed by the fabulous Micheal Gene Sullian of the San Francisco Mime Troupe.