Amory actor’s drive helps land role at Ole Miss

AMORY – Chris Miller has stars in his eyes, a dream in his heart and plenty to sing about.

The Ole Miss sophomore had his acting debut in an Amory High School production of “Music Man” while he was in elementary school. It was his freshman year in a production of “Forever Plaid,” that he caught the acting bug.

“I saw an opportunity to create a whole new world for myself,” said Miller.

After a role in “The Wiz” his sophomore year, Miller joined the Tupelo Community Theater where he played Dean Hyde in the musical “All Shook Up.”

During his senior year at AHS, Miller landed the leading role in “The Phantom of the Opera.” The production was so well-received that the group was invited to perform at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis. This was the first time a high school had ever been invited to perform “Phantom” at the Orpheum, and it was a huge honor for Miller.

As a musical theater major, Miller spends his mornings in class, his afternoons taking voice lessons and his evenings in rehearsals. The process can be tiring and there is a lot to learn.

“It can be rocky sometimes. Sometimes you get really tired and run-down, but you keep pushing. But in the end, when it all comes together with the lights and the characters and you get that feedback from the audience, it’s so thrilling,” said Miller.

Miller most recently played Reverend John Hale in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” The character is dark and complex; a man torn between his faith and his belief in individuals.

In contrast, Miller is currently rehearsing for his next role as Bobby Strong in a production of “Urinetown,” a Tony Award-winning half parody, half comedy about government corruption.

“Reverend Hale is all business and theology. Bobby Strong is a man trying to listen to his heart. They’re totally different. I tend to lean toward the hopeless romantic parts like Strong, but playing serious characters are great, too.”

Miller’s future plans are to pursue television and film coincide with his next gi – performing at the 2013 Miss Mississippi pageant.

After hearing that Miss Mississippi’s entertainment director was looking for talent, he sent in videos and resumes. A talent scout was sent to his performance at the Miss Railroad Festival pageant and after watching tapes of his performance, he was invited to be a part of this televised event in July.

“This opportunity is so exciting. I’m just so thankful for God, my family, friends and this community for believing in me.”