Usually, Jayson Smith is a nice guy selling QMotion Shades and other items at his Atlanta business.
But look for him as a villain on television in Rectify, a new show to air on Sundance in 2013.
“It’s my first chance to play a bad guy on television,” he said enthusiastically from Atlanta Blind & Shade, the business he has been running since 1994.
The show is being shot this summer in Georgia, where tax incentives have brought in numerous television and movie productions. Within the past year, Cobb has played host to Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller’s Neighborhood Watch, Disney’s Let It Shine and a pilot episode with Kevin Bacon. This summer an episode of Haunted Towns of America will be filmed in Marietta.
“It’s starting to pay off,” said Smith, an advocate of the tax break.
Rectify is the latest in a series of TV and movie parts that he has snagged, including Coma, Drop Dead Diva, House of Payne and Footloose.
Since he does most of the work at Atlanta Blind & Shade, he has to juggle quite a bit to make time for his acting career, too.
But it’s in his blood. He’s been acting since 1973, when his mother encouraged him to try for his first role at the Cobb County Theatre at the age of nine.
“I did tons of theater in high school and later,” Smith said. “It was so much fun.”
He graduated from Georgia State University with a finance degree in 1986 and went into the insurance business, but he decided he wanted to become a professional actor. He tried his luck in Hollywood, supporting himself with a series of side jobs, including a stint hanging blinds and shades.
Eventually he returned to Atlanta, where he decided to open his own shade and blind business while still acting.
Smith has mingled the two together ever since, sometimes even acting full-time at a dinner theater at night and tending to the shade business during the day. At other times, he has zeroed in on the business, putting acting aside.
Marietta Businesses and Artists on TV
Miss Mamie of Marietta Square took her baking skills to battle on Cupcake Wars and came home a winner. Phillip "Pip" Arnold, 19, of Marietta was competing on NBC's The Voice. Marietta's Lori May, an interior designer, came out on top in HGTV's Design Wars. Marietta’s Justin Balmes found himself back on the Food Network; this time on Chopped All-Stars. Sarah Parrott, of Marietta, found herself on Fashion Star.
Filming in Marietta
Take a look at Let It Shine, which filmed in the Square and at the Strand Theatre. The film will premiere in June. Check out photos and video from the set of Neighborhood Watch, which will come out July 27. The trailer was released earlier this month.