Photo of Josey Miller
Photo of Josey Miller

Interview With Josey Miller – Casting Assistant/Assistant to the Artistic Director

Josey Miller is originally from Pennsylvania, however she is an NYC transplant who has spent the last 12 years working as a professional actress at theaters around the country.  Selected favorite credits include Mamma Mia (Donna), Oklahoma! (Ado Annie), Side Show (Daisy), The Marvelous Wonderettes (Betty Jean), A Christmas Story (Mother), A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Cratchit), Tokens of Affection (Claire), The Addams Family (Alice), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Prudie), Ring of Fire (Trenna), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Woman 2), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive), Grease (Marty), Pirates of Penzance (Isabel) National Tour of ‘Twas the Night (Swing) as well as the World Premieres of both Seasonal Allergies (Julia) and the Pittsburgh CLO’s Game On! (Natalie). When not on stage, you can currently find Josey in class at West Virginia University where she is a member of the MFA in Acting cohort of 2024.  She is also the Casting Associate/Assistant to the Artistic Director at West Virginia Public Theatre.  Josey’s hobbies include being the best auntie she can be to Myla and Lainey, bingeing episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and sending her boyfriend videos of cute animals she wants to adopt. @joseymariemiller

Interviewer: Good morning Josey! Thanks for joining WV Public Theatre today to chat about your work with West Virginia Public Theatre! What is your official title at WVPT?

Josey: Thank you! I’m the Casting Assistant/Assistant to the Artistic Director. 

Interviewer: Wonderful. Tell us a little about your background.

Josey: I grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania on a horse farm and discovered a love of music from a pretty young age.  After high school, I went to Seton Hill University and majored in Music Education.  While there, I got involved in theater and landed my first professional job in Virginia between my junior and senior years.  That was the experience that changed my life trajectory.  I shifted my focus from education to performance and left college in 2011 with a BA in Music and another professional theater job lined up.  Since then, I’ve been working around the country at regional theaters and on national tours as an actor, company manager, assistant director, and music director. For the past 11 years, I’ve been working on an average about 4-5 different professional shows a year and have been so fortunate to make a living doing theatre.  

Interviewer: Thank you! What brought you to the WVPT team?

I joined the WVPT as part of my graduate school assistantship while pursuing my MFA in Acting at WVU.

Interviewer: What project that you’ve worked on in the past have you enjoyed the most?

Behind the scenes, I’ve worked professionally as both an assistant director, acting coach, editor, and music director.  My favorite happened in 2021.  I had been offered a summer-long contract as an actor in 2 shows and music director in another.  This was my first live performance opportunity since leaving the National Tour of Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night in December 2019.   Obviously, many industries were hit hard by the Covid pandemic and the arts was no exception.  I was starved to get back into a rehearsal room and create.  I was so lucky to get to collaborate as Music Director with a very talented Director/Choreographer and friend named Justin Speck on a show called Altar Boyz.  Justin is a seasoned professional and we meshed so well together as an artistic team.  The show itself is campy and fun and I got to live my best 90s boyband fantasies with the music in the show.  It certainly didn’t hurt that the 5 actors cast as the altar boys were phenomenal singers, musicians, and actors.  Because the year and a half leading up to that summer contract had been filled with so much loss, I think none of us took for granted how lucky we were to be in that room together.

Interviewer: What project have you most enjoyed at WVPT?

Our staged reading of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.

Interviewer: You screen a lot of auditions, what are you looking for when you’re screening those?

I start with knowing the demands of the show I’m casting and if there are any specific things a director has asked for.  If I’m screening headshots and resumes, I look at what roles they’ve played before, where they’ve worked, and to see if they’ve worked with anyone I know.  However, when it all comes down to it, someone has to deliver in the room or on camera.  It goes beyond knowing the right words or singing the right notes.  You have to be able to do more than that and you can usually tell within the first 15 seconds of an audition whether it’s going to be good or not.  

Interviewer: What’s your biggest accomplishment at WVPT?

I screened over 3,000 applicants for our 2022 Summer Season and I can still see straight. 

Interviewer: Without giving away too much, what can we expect from WVPT in the coming year?

One of our most recent endeavors is collaborating with Oglebay in Wheeling, WV to provide some quality holiday entertainment.  We’ll be producing a show called Jingle That with artists from around the country at Oglebay in November and December.  Also, be on the lookout for another exciting staged reading and our Summer 2023 announcement.

For updates on all things happening at WV Public Theatre, follow us on social media platforms @wvpublictheatre.

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