Julisa Smith
Julisa Smith Courtesy Photo

When the big Hollywood stars arrive on the red carpet Sunday for the Academy Awards, Longview actor-comedian Julisa Smith will welcome them.

Smith, a veteran of the Longview-Kelso theater scene, moved to Los Angeles in 2008 make acting her career. A year ago, she jokingly vowed she'd be at the 2011 Oscars — and tomorrow she will, as one of about eight Kodak tour guides working as ushers.

"I'll try not to make too many eyes at all the big stars," an excited Smith said Saturday.

"I got to see little rehearsal yesterday," she said. "The stage is gorgeous! Oh, my God, it's an amazing set design. It's the Oscars, hey!"

A 2002 graduate of R.A. Long High School, Smith has been a Kodak Theatre tour guide since August. Last month a reporter for Valley Scene Magazine described her as "Carol Burnett on Red Bull."

"They said, ‘You are a crazy firecracker,'" Smith said, laughing. "I said, ‘I'm just doing my job!'"

At the Oscars she'll wear "a nice, cute little black dress" and start her 12-hour shift at the Kodak around 11 a.m., ready to take on whatever duties she's assigned.

"We'll probably be going in and out," she said. "I'm not sure if have to just stand by the doors. I'm kind of feeling in the dark, not having done it before."

She said her duties will probably include stopping people who try to sneak in without a ticket. She might also be watching for empty seats as people leave for the restroom or refreshments. No one is allowed to leave until commercial breaks, and about 150 to 200 people will be standing by ready to fill vacated seats, she said.

"I'm very excited to see how this all turns out," she said.

Smith just finished a play, "Caught in the Net," filmed a movie for some friends on Saturday and is working on a Web series in March. She also wrote, acted and directed a short film, "Dear Hollywood," and is getting frequent work in commercials.

"I'm busy living the dream."


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