Sarah McCreanor, also known with her nickname and stage name Smac, is an Australian artist who became worldwide famous as the most viewed audition ever for So You Think You Can Dance season 16. However, choreography is just one of Smac’s abilities. As she tells us, despite being in dance classes from a young age, her real passion has always been comedy.
Determined to express her true self, Smac combined her physical training and her dream of making people laugh developing a unique slapstick style. Through her physical comedy, Smac introduced a modern version of performance art or comedic dance to a new generation through social media and she now achieved going from “TikTok to fine art gallery” with her exhibition debut at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne open until 7th April.
To start, one couldnt really fit you into a box. You are an actress, a dancer, a comedian, a content creator, and a photographer. Is there a unique side of Sarah McCreanor in each of these roles or are you always performing as Smac?
I think no matter what category or medium I’m executing there’s always a reoccurring style that is authentic to me. Maybe only a little when I’m under the direction of other people’s visions, since I don’t always have creative say, but when it’s my own work I’m definitely delivering my true authentic tone which I think comes across in every category!
We mentioned both your birth name and your stage one. How did you come up with something like Smac and what is the meaning behind this name?
As an Aussie it’s in our culture to have a nickname! When I was young there were many Sarahs in my class so we were often called by our last name. But at around 8yrs of age I remember sitting down at the kitchen table, pen and paper in hand, coming up with a list of possible nicknames. Smac was Sarah McCreanor = Sarah Mac = Smac. I wrote it on all my school books and made my friends call me Smac and it stuck around ever since! It wasn’t until I moved to America that I found out it was also a term for drugs, people here loved telling me so, and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I started having other adults openly tell me they think it’s inappropriate and would refuse to call me Smac. Like in work emails and such, which made me laugh and sign off as Sincerely Smac in bold. Smac has so strongly been part of my identity for so long, I feel very non-Sarah-y.
You an Aussie girl, but you live in LA. Your home country is stereotypically known for dangerous animals, which one would you say is your spiritual animal?
I love Australian wildlife and the impact it has on intrigued foreigners! I’d be some type of Aussie bird like a Galah, for no particular reason, I just like them! Or maybe a Drop Bear.
Another thing Australians are famous for is their accent. Apart from your natural, charming one, what is the best accent one you can do?
Well I do have to do a standard American accent for some of my work! My first professional job I had to perform a 2hr show for years using an American accent which was fun! Naturally I find British to be comfortable and I love attempting the New Zealand accent.
Indeed, your Aussie charm is popular and always mentioned when talking about you. How do you make use of it in your art and why do you think is it so appreciated and affective?
Australian’s generally have a dry sense of humour and a carefree way of going about life. The  common Aussie phrase “no worries mate” pretty much sums it up. It’s simple, easy to digest and can crack a smile. That’s definitely the foundation to my approach to life, and maybe why I’m not a perfectionist. That way of thinking has always really helped me produce and create, simply and free of any major self doubt.
The slapstick and physical style of your comedy is surely a unique skill in todays scene! How did you become passionate about and good at this? Was it a natural process or did you learn and perfect it through your studies? Can you tell us about this process and give us an example?
This is a case of being in dance classes from a young age but having more of a passion for comedy. I was trained how to use my body but drawn to the idea of making people laugh so naturally combined the two. Heavily inspired by the physicality of Jim Carrey, Mr. Bean and Aussie legend Frank Woodley, but with the added bonus of my competitive dance training, I realised I had a good sense of body awareness and could mimic their style of movement. Physically I was strong and limber, had musicality and grace and once I discovered my sense of comedic timing, storytelling and character I was somewhat unable to not do one without the other. I was blessed with an environment where no adults around me gave me any limitations or expectations. I was encouraged to act a fool, experiment and play and then given a stage to perform. I think the moment it really hit me that this was a creative skill was around 10yrs old when I began to really create my own little productions and see results like winning competitions and making all the stage parents giggle. My process is simple, I think of an idea and do it, typically with no major edits, stress or hesitation and don’t think too much about doing it for anybody else’s sake. I’ve stayed in this youthful creative mindset ever since - It’s a bonus if anyone else is entertained by my ideas.
Your comedy is popular on social media, where you are an active content creator. Of your reels, the latest fashion one has to be my favourite! What is the craziest video you think you’ve made?
Over the years, particularly since 2020, I’ve made thousands and thousands of videos. I think that’s probably crazier than any singular video but if I had to make a list some of the top contenders would be: when I first mimicked a cat, danced as a drunk uncle in a 70s disco club, or imitated 178 emoji’s through performance art. I know the internet is huge and I’m merely a minuscule part of this creative era but part of me does sometimes think I’ve introduced a modern version of performance art or comedic dance to a whole new generation and that is absolutely crazy.
What is your favourite platform and why so? And as a content creator, I guess you’re also a content consumer. What videos are you currently obsessed with? Watching stuff getting pressed, watching bottles roll down stairs and breaking?
Instagram! I’m a day one diehard fan. I have thoroughly enjoyed the creativity from both a creator and consumer side through every era. Oddly enough I don’t really see or watch oddly-satisfying content! My feed is full of baking videos, rollerskating  and farm animals.
Going back to LA., of your numerous accomplishments in this city and industry so far, which one do you consider a milestone of your career, and which was the most fun work experience to memory? Tell us an anecdote!
Nothing will top the currently-happening milestone of having my performance art videos displaying in an internationally acclaimed contemporary art gallery! Going from TikTok to fine art gallery is insane, especially for my exhibition debut!
Hollywood is a ginormous and fun world! I’ve been lucky with all the Hollywood experiences I’ve had so far but ultimately most of them have been audition based. Meaning I’ve booked the role but had zero creative input. It wasn’t until 2019 when I performed my own dance choreography solo on So You Think You Can Dance season 16, that I saw the Hollywood and public response to my own creativity. It was my first viral moment, the most viewed audition ever for the show, and it was just me in my most authentic self performing comedic disco jazz. That was a milestone as it was a huge wake up call that I should push my own ideas out. The pandemic’s downtime allowed me to do so daily on social media, since Hollywood was on no-op, and that was when I began seeing an unexpected wave of growth, recognition and opportunity!
Who has been your favourite co-star, musical artist, and crew to work with? Who would you like to collaborate with next?
I loved working as a co-star on Liza on Demand with Liza Koshy, she’s a multi-disciplinary artist and creative that I really admire and would love to work with again! I also loved creating a performance art segment for Nickelodeon’s Face’s Music Party. That was so fun because the team gave me total creative freedom to just do what I do - that absolutely wouldn’t have been an opportunity if it weren’t for the visibility of social media.
Can you share with us what does 2024 hold for Smac McCreanor?
Who knows! I typically just keep creating and go with the flow. I have a long list of kooky creative ideas for projects and some upcoming work but for actual goals, the bigger things I’d love to find myself working in is children’s entertainment like having my own kids TV show, doing more interior design and builds, maybe starting a clothing brand and levelling up in rollerskating! I mean, it obviously would be insanely awesome to be in more gallery exhibitions!