Today we’d like to introduce you to Leeander Miller.
Leeander, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am from a very small town in West Texas. I grew up in a town with a population of about 3,500 commonly known as Big Lake. Growing up there, I had to find hobbies to constantly keep myself occupied. All throughout my childhood, I participated in sports such as baseball, basketball, and football. Eventually moving on to high school basketball and college team tryouts.
Another hobby I picked up along the way was guitar. I constantly begged my dad to buy me one at the age of ten but he wanted to make sure I was really going to practice and be dedicated to the instrument. I asked again and again and the answer was always no. I’m still so grateful to my dad for that because it made me want to play even more. Finally, with the help of a man named Ron Gore, I was able to purchase my first guitar on my own by trading him an old bass guitar with three strings and fifty dollars I had saved up. It may not have looked like much but that was the day where so much changed for me. From there on out, I practiced everyday for months. Utilizing Youtube tutorials and teaching myself practically everything I know.
As I progressed, a friend of mine named Marco Gomez also introduced me to pop-punk bands which heavily influenced my taste and style in music and in life. To this day, I have that guitar mounted on my wall and I still play it from time to time. It is a constant reminder of my humble beginnings and the individuals who helped me along the way. I still play my newer guitars everyday and hope to one day perform on stage with a band.
The reason I mention music and playing the guitar is the connection it has with my love for film and television. Movies were my escape from the world. If I wasn’t playing sports or playing the guitar, I was watching movies. Studying and admiring some of my favorite actors Christian Bale, Clint Eastwood and Shia LaBeouf. When I watched them perform, I knew I someday wanted to make others feel the way they made me feel. I knew I wanted so much more out of my small-town life so I decided to go for it. I wanted to be an actor.
With no experience and no idea where to start, I began researching some of the top acting schools in America. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts came up in my search and I eventually summed up the courage to send in a self-tape. With their extensive high-profile alumni and specifically acting focused curriculum, I knew it was the school for me. To my disbelief, I was somehow accepted. As working towards an acting career was not accessible whatsoever where I came from, I packed my bags and was off to Los Angeles.
I graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts at the Dolby Theatre in 2019 with my degree. Not only did that school give me so much knowledge, opportunities and confidence but also lifelong connections I will forever be grateful for. I know without the help from my family, friends, and teachers, I may not have had the courage to do it. I currently live in Los Angeles and am still pushing to get into those audition rooms. I know in my heart with patience and time, I will get there no matter what.
Has it been a smooth road?
A few obstacles along the way were being able to financially take on my Los Angeles lifestyle, leaving my family behind and finding jobs here and there even throughout COVID-19 to support myself. Right after graduating, I had to go home for a little while just to financially get myself back on my feet. I’ve always been really close with my family. They are definitely a huge part of my life and unfortunately, sometimes you just have to make sacrifices to someday maybe come out on top. They are my biggest support system and I am so grateful for that.
Living in LA now is definitely not an easy feat. Not only is it ridiculously expensive, but also extremely high paced. I know in order to keep myself refreshed, sometimes I have to step away and take a break from it. Whether it’s traveling home or getting out of the city just for a bit, is something that helps me keep pushing forward.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leeander_c.miller/
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Mayra & Manuel Cortinas (Reunite Entertainment), Molly Pan (Molly Pan Photography)