Why I do Living History?
My work as a Performing Artist of Living History started with local history. I love researching and immersing myself in the "pages of history" contained within a reference room of a library or at a museum's archives, looking at old journals, correspondence or maps which provide me with "a window to travel back in time" to get to know an individual and hear their words or to see where things were and how much has changed, or stayed the same. I am a firm believer that there is still history out there, waiting to be re-discovered.
William T. Davis
Staten Island naturalist, historian & co-founder of the Staten Island Museum
Staten Island’s History Now: William T. Davis - 2010 DCA Premier Grantee
The Staten Island Historical Society's 2010 Literacy Luncheon
“Ask the Historians Day” at New Dorp Moravian Church
The Staten Island Museums' grand opening of their Archives at Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Protectors of Pine Oak Woods Tribute Luncheon for Dick Buegler
Charles Rohlfs - American furniture designer
Performance for The Clarence Historical Society to celebrate Town Park Clubhouse’s Centennial
Vice-President Daniel D. Tompkins
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to assist celebrating the grand re-opening of Tompkinsville Park, which enhanced community awareness and their connection to the park.
Calvin Decker Van Name
Staten Island’s third borough president, as part of Fleet Week ceremony and celebration.
Staten Island’s first borough president, as part of Staten Island Borough Hall’s Centennial celebration.
Island Anthologies: A Living Tour - Alfred Napoleon Duffie
A full length living history play created, researched, written, developed and performed on site at an abandoned cemetery that promoted local history, attracted over 100 audience members, and increased community awareness of the non-profit group, Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island, and their mission. 2006 Junefest Grantee
Joseph Smith as William T. Davis at The Conference House.
Photo credit: Dave Vigdor
“Joe has blended together character, substance & humor to sculpt a portrait that is alive & moving.”
- Ed Wiseman, Executive Director (2008-2017), Staten Island Historical Society/Historic Richmondtown
"Joseph Smith is truly passionate about the history & "soul" of his subject. He is true to his cause of faithfully and consummately bringing his subject matter and character back to life so the audience will feel as if they really KNEW the character in their time of existence.”
- Rob, Teacher