We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Manges Smith & Stanley A. Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jill & Stanley, how do you think about risk?

We create stuff for a living, so from that standpoint, it is ALL a risk. As independent, freelance, creative folks there are some signposts and industry standards to follow along the way but other than that, it is all risk, chance, luck. Did I mention risk? I don’t think we have ever looked at life or our career choices through the lens of risk.  Everything that we have accomplished both personally and professionally was born out of experimenting, exploring new ideas and collaboration. Our mantra: “If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You, They’re Not Big Enough.” The element of the unknown always exists in life, so why not embrace it and take a risk? You never know what you might discover on the other side.

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?

We are artists first, multihyphenates, “multi-passionate creatives” (shout out to Joi-Knows-How for coining the latter), who began our careers in the music business as teens – performing, recording, writing & producing. When the opportunity to write music for Film & Television came knocking, it was the perfect fit, and we never looked back. Stanley Composing/Producing and Jill- Writing/Singing & Music Supervising via our Standard Music, music production co. & studio. Our work has encompassed everything from feature films, shorts, web series, commercials, docs, to hit TV shows & theme songs- translation: we help tell stories with music. What sets us apart, you ask- it’s a combination of things: our unique and varied experience as artists, our passion for the craft, authenticity, the keen ability to listen & collaborate (it’s a team sport), and most importantly, deliver! It has taken a lot of hard work, but it doesn’t feel like “work” when you love what you do. That said, as creative, curious, ever-evolving types- our latest endeavor and what we are perhaps currently most excited about is creating content and storytelling. An idea to produce a documentary passion project about Hollywood’s first Make-Up Women, featuring Dee Manges (Jill’s Mother), organically came about inspiring our Standard Entertainment, companion, film production co. Our “Make-Up Women-Glamour & Guts” doc, which is currently fiscally sponsored by the IDA (https://www.documentary.org/project/make-women-glamour-guts), while it is close to completion, we are still in need of finishing funds…welcome to one of the most significant challenges of independent filmmaking?! We also recently completed a hybrid-interactive short film- “One Theme”, and a Black Lives Matter inspired music video- filmed on the streets of our native L.A. Both shot by Jill (on iPhone), directed, produced & edited by Team Smith with Stanley as the featured artist. As we continue to hone our filmmaking skills, we are also very excited about a couple of television series ideas we currently have in development. Stay tuned.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

As Native Angelenos- yes, both of us! We go through phases as our unique & diverse neighborhoods ebb & flow. Our constant, however, places where food & culture meet and places to take in a view. Note: All suggestions contained within are “pre-pandemic.” DTLA (Downtown L.A.) a cross-section of historic architecture meets eclectic and world-class food. Brunch at Bottega Louie, the Old Bank District for Puffy Tacos at Bar Ama, strolling Little Tokyo’s Japanese Village for some Okonomiyaki at Chinchikurin. Visit an Art Museum-The Grammy Museum, CAM, The Broad- and maybe take in a concert at the Orpheum or Ace Hotel. The West Adams historic neighborhood is also an eclectic up and coming artist haven worth a peek. We would take our creative-artsy peeps to The Metaphor Club-Creative Lounge on Crenshaw Blvd. (Co-working, Creative-Podcast & Event Space) for a lecture or panel hosted by owner/author Lawrence Ross on any number of insightful & inspirational topics. Perhaps catch a Jazz concert across the street at the World Stage (also in Leimert Park) then head down the road to happy hour at Post & Beam. L.A. is also home to the original Bludso’s BBQ- Shoutout to BBQ King/Pitmaster Kevin Bludso (we family). A “pit-stop” (no pun intended) to one of Bludso’s restaurants for some serious “Q” would definitely on the itinerary. Seasonal faves include- summer at the Hollywood Bowl & Greek Theatre- both dreamy outdoor venues for taking in a concert and a picnic or kick off winter at The Grove with their Holiday inspired winter-wonderland…of course, hitting the adjoining Original Farmers Market on Fairfax for some grub while you’re there. Best for last, the Beach-Hard Stop. From Santa Monica- hotel Casa Del Mar bar for sunset cocktails anyone? to Malibu. From Venice to Long Beach- hop on PCH-drop the top, open the sunroof, roll down the windows & turn up the radio…our beaches don’t disappoint! (minus the weekend crowds). Pace yourself-we’ve got a lot of ground to cover!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

JMS: My Shoutout goes to my Mom, retired Hollywood make-up artist Dee Manges. An independent, fearless artist and trailblazer who never took no for an answer. While I didn’t follow my Mother’s career path-regardless, she taught me by her example. So grateful for all of her love and support!

SAS: I want to dedicate my Shoutout to my family, all of whom were musicians & singers. Most specifically my Mother, Bobbie “Honey” Smith (R.I.P.) who sang and played gospel piano for the church choir. Shoutouts to my older brother Steve Smith, whose footsteps I followed playing drums and the phenomenal musicians I came up with in Compton & L.A., including my college music professors and others who mentored me.

Website: https://www.standard-music.com/ & https://www.standard-entertainment.com/
Instagram: @superjillsmith & @stanleyasmith
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jill-jilien-smith-621b8513/ & https://www.linkedin.com/in/stanley-a-smith-3041555/
Twitter: @superjillsmith & @stanleyasmith
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jill.smith.9231712 & https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000149128056
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvGftUsDlrQ&t=12s

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.