busy making her mark in academe, playmate crystal smith has her eye on postgrad goals
Puzzled as she may appear on our cover, Crystal Smith is way ahead of the game when it comes to putting her life together. A 20-year-old senior at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Crystal has definitely decided where she wants her college radio-TV major to take her -- straight into the entertainment media. Since her sophomore year, Crystal, a native Kansan, has geared her college work and extracurricular activities toward that goal. "As a freshman," she admits, "I was really involved in campus social life -- the whole pompon girl, sorority-fraternity party scene. But then I took stock and realized I was here to get a useful degree." To break into films, TV or the theater, she says, "you can't be a unitalent anymore. You have to be able to do everything -- dance, sing and play musical instruments. Right now, I'm concentrating on my voice and opera classes. The dancing I've been doing all along. Two summers ago, I was a Rockette in Radio City Music Hall and now, during the school year, I'm operating a dance studio for girls at the U.S. Army Special Services Youth Activities Center outside Manhattan. Not only do the classes make me practice my dancing but teaching those little kids is really fun. Plus, the lessons have helped pay my college tuition." Crystal also taught classes this summer, driving more than 100 miles to Manhattan from Kansas City on her one day off from modeling assignments and her job as a Playboy Club Bunny. (She appeared in our Bunnies of 1971 pictorial last month.) "It was a hectic schedule," she says, "but I've always been happiest doing several things at once." If all goes well, Crystal's postgraduation days will be as busy as her college ones. "I'm planning to move to Los Angeles, where I hope to land singing and dancing work in films or television," she says. "And, if I'm lucky, maybe someday I'll have my own TV special!" Whether or not she gets her big break, we think Crystal is already special.
Photography by Dwight Hooker