BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Peter Miller β a Musical Theater and Voiceover Actor Who Spends Time as a Theme Park Carnival Barker
With the current theatre world on hiatus, I have created a Spotlight Series of interviews with some of am the many talented artists who make our Los Angeles theatre community so exciting and vibrant thanks to their ongoing contribution to keeping the arts alive in the City of the Angels. And like all of us, how are they dealing with the abrupt end of productions in which they were involved?
This Spotlight focuses on Peter Miller, a Musical Theater and Voiceover Actor Who Spends Time as a Theme Park Carnival Barker
Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your own theatrical background?Peter Miller (PM): I've been doing local theater in LA county since 1984. I've also dabbled in stand-up comedy and I'm presently working as a voice actor. And I also run carnival games at a theme park for money.
(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?
(PM): I was not actually involved in any stage productions at the time as I had mainly been submitting voiceover auditions. There was a show set for this summer at Theatre Palisades, "A Comedy of Tenors" which was to feature members of their original "Lend Me a Tenor" production in which I participated as an opera singer. I had my eye on it and I had cleared my schedule to be a part of it, but who knows if/when it's going to happen now. I can only hope it's still going to get done. Unfortunately, that's not for me to predict. Maybe I'll consult my Magic 8-Ball.
(SB): I know you attend a lot of theatrical productions around town. Did you get to attend any productions just prior to the citywide shutdown?(PM): The night before it was announced, Susan Stangl (with whom Peter appeared in "Man of La Mancha" at the Westchester Playhouse) had invited me to her final dress rehearsal for "Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike" at the Westchester Playhouse and I almost didn't go. Thankfully my circumstances changed, I found someone to sit for my pet octopus, and I was able to go after all. And that was the last dress rehearsal and only performance open to the public before the production was forced to close just before opening. That and "The Full Monty" in Orange County were the last shows I saw before the shutdown.
(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?(PM): Well the biggest laugh I ever got on a stage was when I took my clothes off in "The Full Monty," but I'm not sure the internet is ready for that (you think Kim Kardashian broke the internet?). So I'm occasionally going live and reading excerpts from famous plays with some oddball casting. Last week I read part of "The Odd Couple" with Boris Karloff as Oscar and Bela Lugosi as Felix.
(SB): I am so sorry I missed that one. I am sure your impersonations were spot on! What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?(PM): While I haven't done a lot of stage work lately, I've been seeing shows almost every weekend before all this went down. Part of it was to enjoy a good theatrical experience but it was mainly so I could spend time with friends and loved ones. I almost looked more forward to the time hanging out with friends afterward than the shows.
All I'm gonna say is folks, once the proper authorities (and I mean the CDC as opposed to politicians) decide that it's OK to uhhh... (hey what's the opposite of Social Distancing?) ... well, whatever they wanna call it, once this is all over, don't be too afraid to go out and enjoy one of the best communal experiences in the world - live theatre! Trust me gang, it's worth it. All I can say is stay strong everyone; we will get through this!
Photo credit: Shari Barrett and Joy Daunis