Darla Smith: Former TRF GM is Looking For Her Next Placement

George Coulam’s efforts to find a successor to his empire led him to Darla Smith in HBO’s documentary series ‘Ren Faire.’ Darla was the influential soldier in the background when Jeff Baldwin and Louie Migliaccio were battling each other to secure the throne at the Texas Renaissance Festival. When George couldn’t tolerate Jeff anymore, Darla rose through the ranks and became the general manager of the TRF. In the months that followed, she was asked to craft a plan that would lead the “King” to the festival’s prospective buyer. A considerable period after the events in the show, Darla is not a part of the TRF now!

Who is Darla Smith?

Darla Smith’s life turned around when she left her home to cherish independence. Her ambition made her an elephant trainer who provided the animal with events and productions of varying kinds. The endeavor was successful, and her elephant started to become a key attraction of Renaissance fairs, which paved the way for the birth of Renaissance Rides in 1996. She was the founder and CEO of the company, which was based in Cut and Shoot, Texas. She displayed her entrepreneurship by running Renaissance Rides for over seventeen years. In April 2013, Darla decided to start a new chapter of her life.

Darla had to wait for three years for her next big gig. However, in November 2016, she was appointed as the vendor coordinator of the Colorado Renaissance Festival, which was located in Larkspur, Colorado. Based on a 16th-century Tudor village, the festival drew 250,000 individuals as attendees. She had to deal with around 150 vendors who took part in the festival. Her exhibition and facility management skills helped her keep her job for four years. The experience in Colorado was a stepping stone for Darla, who joined the Texas Renaissance Fair in September 2020 as the vendor coordinator.

“Meet the new TRF Vendor Coordinator, Darla Smith! She has been a professional vendor at Renaissance festivals around the country, including Scarborough, Arizona, Minnesota, and Kansas City, to name a few,” the TRF shared while announcing Darla’s appointment.

Where is Darla Smith Now?

As the vendor coordinator of a festival that drew around four hundred merchants year after year, Darla did her job exceptionally. It was during this period that George was losing his confidence in Jeff Baldwin, the general manager of the festival. As ‘Ren Faire’ depicts, the King was frequently offended by Jeff’s actions, which turned out to be a boon for Darla. She was named the general manager of the TRF in December 2022, more than two years after she was appointed as the vendor coordinator. One of her significant duties was dealing with George’s succession plans.

When Louie Migliaccio’s offer to buy the TRF was deemed insufficient, Darla had to talk to other prospective buyers, especially the owners of The Greek Agora, one of the food vendors at the festival. Darla was ambitious, but she didn’t aim for the throne. Rather, she targeted the position of the general of the next king. In the show, she assured one of the potential buyers of the festival that she would be happy to serve them, seemingly as the general manager of the TRF, once they close the deal to buy the company.

Meanwhile, Darla also had to serve as the mouthpiece for George while the latter was considering offers to sell the festival. She addressed the press and officially announced her boss’ decision against selling the company. During this period, George became unsatisfied with the work Darla was doing as the general manager. She ultimately had to leave the company in August 2023, nine months after she became the GM. Darla is currently looking for a new job as either a venue manager, vendor manager, event coordinator, director of special events, or operations manager.

Darla is based in Montgomery, Texas. She prefers to find work in either Montgomery, Conroe, or the Woodlands in the state. Even though she has yet to find her next big gig, she is not outrightly unemployed. She is the owner and managing director of Lotion Lites, a candle company she founded in June 2008 in Montgomery. As far as her personal life is concerned, Darla is extremely private, with little to no social media engagement in recent years.

Read More: Was George Coulam Married? Does He Have Kids?