Actor Justin Miller gets to bring his form of entertainment to Owensboro on February 18, 2020, as a performer in the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland” that will be presented as part of the Broadway series at RiverPark Center. This is Miller’s national tour debut, but performing wasn’t always his plan.
Miller graduated from Daviess County High School and then spent the next two years deciding if he wanted to go into theatre. Once he committed, he said he began auditioning for as many productions as his schedule would allow.
In the spring of 2016, he went to his first Southeastern Theatre Conference in Greensboro, N.C., where many theatre companies send representatives and hundreds of actors audition, according to Miller.
From that audition, he landed his first job at Central Piedmont Community College Summer Theatre in Charlotte, N.C.
“I had an absolutely wonderful summer there and that was kind of reassurance I needed to justify my choice of performing over teaching,” Miller said. “I ended up receiving my B.A. in Vocal Music from Western Kentucky University.”
Miller has performed in Charlotte, Bardstown, Ky., the Chicago area and now Pennsylvania where the company of “Finding Neverland” will do a 6-week run of the show in August. Then they will do a 7-week run in Ft. Myers, Fla.
After a holiday break, the company will do tech rehearsals and previews in New Mexico and then officially open the tour in Phoenix, Az. on January 10, 2020.
“I hope this will present me with new opportunities in the future but, as an actor, I can only continue to audition and follow whatever direction this path takes me,” Miller said. “I would be lying if I said I didn’t aspire to perform on a Broadway stage one day, but I honestly just enjoy the incredible opportunity to be employed and working alongside such amazing actors and directors every day.”
Miller saw “Finding Neverland” in New York City in 2016, and the beauty of the show was something he said he really wanted to be a part of, if he were lucky.
Miller spent a week auditioning for the tour in New York City through open calls, where an actor “shows up, signs in and waits to sing 16 bars of a song,” Miller said.
“If the creative team wants to see more of you, they’ll call you back. We had three days of callbacks,” he said, describing that one day was dedicated to dance choreography and two were for specific roles from the show.
Miller took to Facebook on May 21 and announced, “The contract is signed! I have been ready to burst with this news! I am over the moon to announce that I have been cast in the 2019-2020 national tour of Finding Neverland! I will be playing Mr. Turpin and covering J.M. Barrie and Charles Frohman/Hook!”
Miller will perform in the show for 38 weeks as part of the production’s cast.
“I am so excited to really dive into a show for that long,” Miller said. “One of the messages that I get from ‘Finding Neverland’ is that the world and your life can be all you imagine it to be, but you have to stay true to yourself. I think many people can benefit from hearing such an uplifting message, so that’s what makes telling certain stories like this one such an exciting part of my job.”
Miller said that through his career path, he has become very passionate about arts education. He said that in so many cities, arts programs are being limited or taken away, and he believes this is a disservice to those in the arts.
Miller was involved in theatre when he was in high school and he hopes that the same opportunities are available to young people.
“Some of these students only feel accepted and welcomed in an artistic community,” Miller said. “I would never have been in a place to be given the opportunity to work in the performing arts without a great deal of encouragement and guidance from my parents and teachers growing up.”