The high school senior wants to become a costume designer for broadway in the future and his journey towards that has begun already.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on December 24, 2021. It has since been updated.
One of the highlights of life as a teenager is dressing up in the perfect dress for the high school prom. It's an important milestone for every young girl and boy, but not everyone can afford the dress they want.
In February 2019, Addi Rust, an Indianapolis high school senior, couldn't afford the dress she found and joked to her prom date and best friend, Parker Smith, that he should make it. The duo laughed about it, but Parker told her, "You know what, I think I could actually make your prom dress," reports Fox59. Smith actually took up the challenge, taught himself to sew, and made the dress in a few months' time.
At that time, he didn't know how grand a journey he would go on because of his efforts for his best friend. He started the dress by making a sketch, which he designed all by himself. Then, he taught himself to sew, with tips from his grandmother. He wanted to be able to finish the dress before the prom but the perfectionist ended up working till the last night. He wanted his prom date to have just the perfect dress after all. So, he redid many parts of the dress a couple of times.
Quite a journey, but the first thing I’ve ever sewn (a prom dress) has been finished, just in time for the ball! Not only did I get the honor of being the Prince Charming to the beautiful @AddiRust, but her fairy godmother as well, haha! I’m so thankful for her. (From scratch✨) pic.twitter.com/amr05PZBbp— Parker Keith Smith (@parkerkeithsmit) May 7, 2019
"I’m such a perfectionist that I was up adding more stones to the dress even the night before prom," Parker told FOX59. Thanks to his efforts, Addi looked like a princess and they went viral, which turned into a work opportunity for Parker, who wants to become a Broadway costume designer. He plans to study costume design and musical theatre in college.
"It was a totally bizarre never expected," Smith said of the media coverage, "I had only sewed two stitches before I did it. Every big moment out of it, we were just having fun."
feelin like a princess. thx best friend ✨💓 pic.twitter.com/usibFi4Odu— adrianna (@AddiRust) May 19, 2019
A few months later, he was recruited by Footlite Musicals in Indianapolis. Bob Harbin was directing their Cinderella show in December. He was friends with a teacher of Parker's. "He was looking for a maker of a dress," said the teen boy. "My teacher said I might know a kid." And that is how his journey began.
"She said, 'Oh you know that kid, that kid, who did that prom dress thing?' joked Harbin, "When you see the work, his sketches, the guy's got it or the guy doesn’t, and he’s definitely talented," said Harbin, who was the former head of casting at Fox network.
Parker got hired to make costumes for the Cinderella show. He made a peasant dress and the character's ball gown, and he made it in a way that one transformed into the other. "Through a series of tabs, spinning, and a magical actress, this can turn into this," he told Fox59. With this opportunity, he got a launchpad many have to wait years for.
Here’s the transformation aspect I made created for these gowns I’ve sewn up. Once again, THANK YOU, Cinderella! pic.twitter.com/JF2TUVT7yi— Parker Keith Smith (@parkerkeithsmit) December 5, 2019
His best friend Addi was there with him throughout the experience supporting him. After all, she gave him the first opportunity to turn his potential into reality.
Cover Image Source: Parker Smith