What do theater and nails have in common? The answer: Doug Smith, a nail technician at Salon 5544 in La Jolla, Calif., and an educator for Creative Nail Design Systems (Vista, Calif.). Smith, who originally went to nail school so he could support himself during college as a part-time nail technician, was a theater major. Little did he know that his degree in the arts would eventually pave the way for his success as a Creative educator.

Smiths association with Creative involved being at the right place at the right time. He explains: “A video crew came into the salon where I was managing the nail department, and they used me in their recruitment video for nail school students.” In the video, Smith, who was also doing part-time theater work at the time, discussed job opportunities available for nail technicians. About a year later, Creative brought him aboard as an educator, and his full-time nail career was born.

Says Smith, “My professional theater background has helped me a lot with what I do now. For example, as a member of Creative’s Main Stage Team, I’m onstage at tradeshows presenting style trends or doing education.” Smith has also been in the spotlight at the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) as a member of Team NAHA, and as an awards presenter.

And his achievements don’t stop there. Smith has competed and has sat on the other side of the curtain as a nail competition judge. At a recent competition he judged, one of the competitors, who didn’t score well, became irate and asked Smith what his qualifications were to judge her nails. The disgruntled competitor’s remark got Smith thinking about competing again so he entered a professional sculptured acrylic nail competition and placed first. Touché!

When he’s not busy putting his skills to the test, Smith works out on his NordicTrack, which is about all he has time for since he is busy getting ready for travels with Creative. His next stops? Chicago, New York, Amsterdam, and Germany.

In June, Smith will be making the big move to Boston because, he says, there are a lot of opportunities with Creative in the Northeast. So what else does the future hold for this accomplished actor and nail technician? “To continue what I’m doing and to do a second cover for NAILS Magazine,” he says. Yes, all the world’s a stage for Smith.

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