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Meet Leeander Miller

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.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Actor story. Tell us more about the business.
In 2019, I graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts with my performing arts degree. As an actor, I knew training was an aspect of my craft I was not willing to overlook. I really wanted to elevate my knowledge and develop a true skill. Through obtaining my degree, I feel more prepared to step into the audition room with confidence. As a young adult growing up in a small town, I knew I wanted to be an actor but I had no idea where to start. This is an issue so many creative individuals face. I wanted to go after it but no idea where to start. There weren’t any opportunities available to me in my small town, so I took to the internet. I did my research, studied my favorite actors and took a chance. Sometimes that’s all it takes. I knew to truly pursue this challenging and exciting career, I had to be in the place where it all happens. Attending school in LA was the perfect opportunity to gain more knowledge, establish connections, and truly make friends who love the craft as much as I. After recently moving back to LA, I’ve been able to establish more of a home here and through hard work support myself financially. LA is not the easiest place to live but in order to go after the dream it’s absolutely necessary. My friends and family are definitely a huge part of what I do. I honestly don’t know what I would do without the people closest to me in my life. Creating a support system is an aspect of the craft that is often forgotten.
As of late, I have been fortunate enough to find growth during these trying times. I was recently signed with The Wayne Agency across the board and have already submitted a self-tape for an upcoming feature. My goal now is to keep pace with my submissions and pour as much effort as I can into my work. I figure even if I’m not offered the role, I was given an opportunity to practice and get in front of the camera. I’ve always had a fascination with photography and videography. I’ve invested a large amount of my time and money into those particular skills as I know it can only benefit me in the long run. I now have a professional self-tape set up I have built over time in order to make my tapes look as professional as possible. As I truly want to stand out from the crowd.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I honestly believe self-tapes are going to be more popular than ever. With new technology, It has become easier and easier to audition from the comfort of your home. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic filming self-tapes regularly is the new norm. I feel as if actors will stop going into the audition room as frequently because it has really become no longer necessary the first time around. Now is the time to really get those self-tapes on lock, especially now having extra free time. From what it looks like for now, actors will be auditioning from home.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Mayra & Manuel Cortinas (Reunite Entertainment), Molly Pan (Molly Pan Photography)

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