LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Laura Millar, Part 2: Stepping into Someone Else’s Shoes

Today I’m finishing my interview with Laura Millar. Laura grew up on stage. She was in her first production at the age of five and has performed in one almost every year since. She has acted and sung in both professional and community theater. Her favorite roles include Annie from Annie, Get Your Gun!, Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, and Maria in The Sound of Music. She also has taught drama and choreographed productions.

LeAnne: You have taught drama to kids. What draws you to teaching?

It’s my gift, and my passion is working with kids. I want to get the kids to love performing. I like to help them think about the motivation of a character: “Why is this character doing what he’s doing? Why do you think she said that?” Understanding why someone does something is the first step in being able to convey them to an audience. Stepping into their shoes, so to speak, helps in the communicating process of acting.

The discipline of getting something performance ready is very valuable. For children, being in a play is the perfect scenario. They are “playing” someone and it naturally goes along with what children do in their own play times. By letting them know it is an art and that is a creative, subjective thing, it takes a bit of pressure off of them and helps to make it more fun.

LeAnne: You’ve been performing for most of your life. What would you say is one of the most important things you’ve learned through acting?

As a Christian, and having the benefit of walking with the Lord a lot of years now, I look back and see the benefit of having to become a lot of characters. I think God uses this understanding of motivations on me. Many times He has reminded me to step into their shoes. It has enabled me to reach down inside and understand someone and thus be able to forgive them. Not that it is necessarily any easier, but it certainly convicts me quicker when I am not doing it!

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