Curtain Call: Actor Austin Miller Comes Full Circle in Oregon Cabaret’s ‘The Full Monty’ – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Austin Miller as Ethan in “The Full Monty”, one of many unemployed steelworkers who decide to try a Chippendale-style act to raise some quick cash. Oregon Cabaret Theater photo by Steve Sutfin

Austin Miller is seen here as Henrik in “A Little Night Music,” starring Kristen Calvin Gordon in a 2020 Camelot Theater production. You can see him in “The Full Monty,” opening June 30 at the Oregon Cabaret Theater. Photo submitted.

Ashland actor Austin Miller is part of the cast of “The Full Monty,” which runs June 30 through September 4 at the Oregon Cabaret Theater. Photo submitted.

By Jim Flint

for Time

When Austin Miller was a kid, he played the kid (Nathan) in the musical version of “The Full Monty.”

When the Oregon Cabaret Theater’s production of the musical begins on June 30, Miller comes full circle as one of the unemployed steelworkers who tries to strip for a quick buck.

“Playing one of the adults on the show this time around is really special to me,” the 27-year-old Ashland actor said.

In the Cabaret production, Miller plays Ethan, not the sharpest tool in the box.

“He’s absolutely aware of how little talent he has,” Miller said, “but he’s always willing to try and strip down because what has he got to lose? He’s very positive, very kind and very dumb. I’m really looking forward to playing the part and the show in general.

The musical has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards and will run until September 4 at Cabaret d’Ashland. For tickets, go to oregoncabaret.com.

Born and raised in Simi Valley, Calif., Miller has performance DNA in his genes. Her mother is a choir singer and her father is a bluegrass guitarist.

“They encouraged my interest in acting early on and got me involved in local theater at a young age,” he said.

Occasionally, Miller would join his father on trips with his bluegrass band.

“I have memories of sitting around a campfire, playing with them on a violin, even though I was terrible,” he said.

“These memories stick with me because of the collaboration and harmony with other players. Well, not literally in tune!”

A bit of nepotism got him his first gig on stage. He was cast in a half-staged Christmas opera called “Amahl and the Night Visitors” in which his mother’s choir was involved.

“I played my mother’s child,” Miller said. “For a certain scene, the director asked me to pull my mother across the scene.”

When the time was right, he tugged his mother’s arm so hard that she almost fell.

“The director told me I just had to make it look like I was pulling my mom’s arm. That’s when I started learning what acting was.

Miller has been doing acting since she was 8 years old and attended a performing arts high school.

Miller’s college career was short.

“I’m very proud of the one semester I took at community college,” he said, “and the three courses I took. It was a formative period in my life, for sure,” he said, tongue firmly planted in his cheek.

Since then, acting has been his raison d’être.

“It’s the only thing I know how to do,” he said. “It’s been my life for as long as I can remember. It is the place where I feel fully at ease.

His first paid gig was as an extra on the Christmas episode of the TV show “7th Heaven” in 2006, singing Christmas carols. He and the other kids recorded their songs in advance in a recording studio, then lip-synced to their own voices on the day of filming.

“I always look forward to seeing the annual royalty check for that one: eight dollars. Yes thank you very much!”

When asked what kind of jobs he does between gigs, he said it’s probably more accurate to change it, with his theatrical work filling in the gaps between day jobs.

“I have always worked in customer service. I look forward to the day when these jobs fill the gaps between theater gigs, instead of the other way around.

One of his proudest accomplishments before coming to Ashland was originally a role in a two-man play adapting the works of Edgar Allen Poe, which resulted in an award nomination alongside Nick Offerman.

“Nick and I both lost, but we accepted that,” he said with a laugh.

Another memorable period was when he played Igor in “Young Frankenstein, the Musical” for the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center in 2014.

“While playing the dumbest character I’ve ever played, on the weekends I was simultaneously rehearsing during the week as Jamie in ‘The Last Five Years’ (about a troubled relationship), which contains some of the least silly scenes I’ve ever acted.

Playing Igor in “Young Frankenstein” was a challenge. He may be a silly character, but Miller describes the role as one of the toughest he’s tackled.

“I was the tallest cast member, playing the shortest character on the show,” he explained. “I spent the whole show hunched over to come down four feet tall. I had to do it by running, jumping and dancing around the stage. I left the stage at intermission and I lay on the floor, exhausted.

Miller moved to Rogue Valley about five years ago. He had visited Ashland several times as a child and then as an adult.

“I realized how much I click with the city and how amazing it is to have such quality theater in such a small community,” he said. “It was the right thing to do.”

In addition to his work at Oregon Cabaret, he has also performed at Camelot Theater in Talent and for the Collaborative Theater Project in Medford.

He’s open to almost any role, but there are a few on his to-do list.

“I’ve always wanted to play Jeff in ‘{show title}’, which is a musical that I find hilarious – and the scarecrow in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, just for all the jelly physical comedy involved.”

Offstage, Miller is an avid Dungeons & Dragons player, having run games for his friends for many years.

After running “The Full Monty,” he hopes to continue doing more work for the Oregon cabaret.

“I always enjoy my time at Cabaret and I’m grateful to be able to continue working with them.”

Where does he see himself in 10 years?

“I have cats who I hope are still alive by then, and I have a girlfriend who I hope is more than a girlfriend by then,” he said. -he declares. “And I hope that I will spend every day in a theater.”

Best advice for up-and-coming actors?

“I want every actor who’s unsure of their talent to remember that it’s enough to look like you’re pulling your mother’s arm.”

Contact Ashland writer Jim Flint at [email protected]


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