Brian Michael Smith

TK Actor

I began training with Terry nearly 10 years ago during a summer intensive. I had no idea how transformative working with him would be for me. I feel like I learned what it meant to be an artist over the course of our work together. 

Brian Michael Smith was born in Ann Arbor, MI, and is known for roles in The L Word: Generation Q., Queen Sugar and 9-1-1 Lone Star. He is currently based in Los Angeles.

Smith became the first out Black trans man in a series regular role on 9-1-1 Lone Star in his role of firefighter Paul Strickland after his role as a transgender police officer, Toine Wilkins in Queen Sugar.

Other TV Credits include Chicago P.D., Girls, and Homeland.

Brian studied theatre and film production at Kent State University, and continued training in New York with Terry in the Meisner work. He discovered the importance of community and visibility while he worked with queer youth at the Manhattan LGBT Center, and has since hosted the first ever online Pride Virtual Rally on June 26th 2020 during the pandemic. 

It’s hard to put into words the impact my time with Terry has had on me professionally and personally as a teacher, a guide, and a mentor. I began training with Terry nearly 10 years ago during a summer intensive. I had no idea how transformative working with him would be for me. I feel like I learned what it meant to be an artist over the course of our work together. 
Terry has been my guide me through a deep process of self-discovery through the work. Where I’ve learned to trust myself, value my ideas, honor my creative impulses and infuse every moment with truth. What I love about working with Terry is that there’s always more. I’ll think I have something worked out and he comes to the table with just the right questions and ideas that lead to discovery. He helps me find connections to the material, tap into my creativity, and feel confident in my creative choices. He challenges me to stay out of my comfort zone and elevate the material.
When I’m blocked on a scene I can turn to Terry to help find whats exciting for me in the material and craft performances that I can be proud of. I appreciate that there is no hierarchy with him. I’s always a collaboration. Our sessions feel like two scientists in a lab pulling from all kinds of sources to find what will create the most powerful, interesting and most importantly, authentic reaction.
His approach to the work makes me feel wholly supported as an artist and a human being. He not only pulls from his deep well of knowledge theatre and film history but his understanding of the human condition. His eye for truth and specificity is exceptional, he tailors his approach to who you are and what you need to develop as an artist.
Training with Terry equipped me with the tools for artistic self-discovery, an appreciation for my uniqueness, and a high standard for my process and performances. He’s truly a gift.