Monday, May 7, 2012
Abby Miller: 'Justified' By Following Her Dreams
Anyone that has ever doubted the value of dreaming big and the value in seeing those dream come true should take note of Abby Miller.
From a small town in Nebraska, it was clear to her early in life that there was so much more for her to do in the world. At the age of twelve she found her calling. "The first play I was in was in was a musical," Miller said to me during our conversation. "It was over as soon as I stepped on that stage." It just felt right for her, and she knew that this was where she belonged. "Ever since then I have been very focused on acting, making it not just my passion but my career."
And what a career it has been. Abby Miller has appeared on popular shows on television such as Veronica Mars, Mad Men and most recently Justified, however, she has still pursued her other passions in life such as singing, songwriting and producing her own projects.
Knowing that many people are tripped up by the stumbling block that is fear, I asked her what kept her going throughout the challenges. "It helps to have people along the way who have believed in you and shared their stories with you," she explains. "I have learned what it means to focus on acting and performing in general." Miller says that other actors she has met and individuals from home have aided her in staying focus. She also has to remind herself of what it means to be committed to something. "It's a marathon, not a sprint," she says. "When you come from a small community you learn to hone your skills. At first it can be slightly overwhelming, but having inspirational people around me helps." She then added something that I think individuals of all walks of life with a dream should remember: "If you are doing it and serious then you are in it for the long haul. It was as a decision I made before I moved here, and it has helped with the longevity."
Because she has become known for bringing each character that she plays to life I was curious as to how she was able to do it so convincingly. "It's my favorite thing," she admitted. "It took me a little bit of time to embrace being a character actress. At first I was very focused on being myself, bringing my essence to the table. There was a shift about two or three years ago where it became a very exciting thing to play characters, become someone else. Now both in the writing and acting taking on a character is something I really enjoy doing." Abby then concluded that statement with this: "I hope to do it for the rest of my life."
What does the actress have to say about being true to you and not get sucked into the vacuum of the industry? It goes back to her support system. "I have an amazing community that is very supportive and rooting for me," Abby says. "It really helps you to stay grounded. I just remember what's important. I love the path that I'm on. I've been out here eight years, and I don't regret a single day, a single moment." She has also learned how to put everything in its proper perspective. "You have to focus on stuff outside of your career as well. You have to kind of let go at some point and enjoy the ride, enjoy the marathon. That's been part of my journey as well, finding that space in my brain where I can just relax and enjoy other things, not worrying about what comes tomorrow."
At twelve years old Abby Miller knew where her heart was and she has spent life and the opportunities she has been giving to follow it. So far her efforts have been justified not just her success but the lessons along the way. What does she have to say to all of you about your own purpose? This: "Be present. Don't worry about the future. Just believe that it's going to be great."
To stay abreast of everything going on with Abby Miller bookmark her website http://www.abbymiller.me/ and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/absmiller.