SOULSPEAK Table of Contents
SOULSPEAK is a series consisting of 10 parts.
- SOULSPEAK: Interview With Dan McDonald
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Lori Painter
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Ben Macrory
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Amy Miller
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Gangaji
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Brandon Gilbert
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Gigi Young
- SOULSPEAK : Interview with Jon Gabriel
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Ben Stewart
- SOULSPEAK: Interview with Dr. Christiane Northrup
She is the Founder and Artistic Director at Transcendence Theatre Company, a group of professional actors from New York and Los Angeles that specializes in producing broadway musicals ‘under the stars’ along with community service , engagement and educational programs. Being a fan of Broadway music growing up I am so excited to witness this project being manifested. Their core message: “IF WE BUILD IT THEY WILL COME” Such an amazing troupe of visionaries led by an amazing woman. So blessed and honored to share this inspiring conversation with Amy to the world today.
Who is Amy Miller?
I’m an actress, I’m a singer and a dancer. I’m originally from Cincinnati Ohio. My passion is in Broadway musicals and musical theater. I spent a lot of time in new York City and around the United States performing. I was in the production of 42nd Street. I did over 800 performances of that. I spent a lot of time in regional theaters. The past number of years I lived in Los Angeles where I’ve been immersed in the TV and film world. Recently, over the past 3 and a half years we’ve been working on building the Transcendence Theater Company which is taking off in Sonoma, California, the heart of wine country in Northern California. We’re prepping for our first season.
Where I’m at in my journey is really bringing the vision that I have of this company to life in order to make an indelible mark in the world and touch millions of people’s lives through the immense power of theater.
Is this something you dreamed of as a child?
Oh yes… I’ve been in love with musicals and dancing and singing since I was 5 years old. My grandparents took me to the production of Music Man and I fell in love with it ever since. I always wanted to be a performer. I always wanted to dance on Broadway. That dream came true in 2004.
I always imagined having a theater company. I don’t think I imagined it when I was a little kid but here I am just building something… I believe that life is a work of art. It’s incredible to build a whole company and a whole life around theater. It’s been a passion ever since I was a little kid. I’m very lucky to be living that dream.
Tell me about the beginnings of Transcendence Theater.
It’s a very exciting story about having a dream and going after it. I had a vision… I think the year was about 2008. I had a great career in dancing, and doing musical theater, television and commercials. But I really was searching for a stronger way to use my art and move a community. So I had an idea and a vision for a theater company. One that was going to specialize in musicals in an outdoor setting and also one that was gonna create a healthy company culture for artists to be a part of. So I had this vision. I actually put it on a videotape and I shared it with five of my closest friends. Everyone was like “This is amazing. It’s like twenty years to build and ten years to find.”
I told the townspeople about it and they actually gave us the space for free which started our company in 2009 with a four month community service project and health project in Mexico and from there we went on a cross country research tour looking for a location where we wanted o build our company in. We settled in Sonoma California and then it took about nine months to a year of doing research in that area. I found that many of outdoor theaters actually started in state parks. Which started us looking into state parks. We found that 70 of them was on the closure list due to California State budget cut. So we hopped on a car, my fellow producers and I, to find land for our theater. Jack London State Park was the perfect location for us to build this company so we spoke with the people involved in the park system telling them an innovative idea that can help bring more people into the park and give them incredible experiences in it. We produced a concert last October that was completely sold out. We just got our contract to produce a summer season and here I am now just relocated from Los Angeles to Sonoma to bring this dream to life. It’s just been an incredible kind of serendipitous and synchronistic journey that continues to grow. That’s how Transcendence Theater came into being.
I love your objective: “To create moments of transcendence in people’s lives both on and off stage”.
There is a moment in dance I call ‘transcendence’. Especially when I started dancing in college. It was this moment when I felt completely free. I describe it to people as some sort of ‘runner’s high’ or what sports player call ‘in the zone’. It’s the state of feeling most alive. I would find these moments when I was performing on stage but then I would find them off-stage too… In moments of being with friends and just off stage moments of bringing community out together and singing. It’s just these incredible states, these heightened feelings of being alive and heightened feelings of love.
What we were aspiring to do is to create these moments that would in some ways explode people’s hearts and make them feel more alive. That’s what the feeling ‘transcendence’ is about. The word itself means excelling and passing or going beyond the usual limits. That’s what we’re trying to do with our company and our lives. That’s why I’m grateful that the vision has led us to actually being able to play a part in saving a state park from closure–That our art can play a part in that. That’s transcendent to me. It’s really beautiful. It’s awesome.That’s what transcendence means.
What motivates you?
What motivates me is being inspired by everyone that surrounds me. My family, my friends… The inspiration and drive to connect to many many people in a transcendent way. I’m very inspired by making people incredibly happy, inspiring people to live their dreams. I’m really motivated by making an indelible mark in people’s lives. in large ways and in small ways. Although it’s hard work building dreams and bringing things to life at the root I’m motivated by this capacity for wanting to connect to human beings in incredible ways. All of that motivates me.
Your major influences and mentors.
My grandparents were huge inspirations. They lived next door when I was growing up as a child. to live by. And they always taught me lessons to live by. They inspired me just like my parents had. They told me that anything was possible. That you could live your dreams.
My other mentor was my dance teacher as well as my high school drama teacher. I’m still friends with them to ths very day. And they’ve always inspired me.
In terms of theater influence there was a man named Harold Clurman who was a legendary director of the group theater in the 1930s. It was a very innovative theater troupe that left a legacy on American Theater. I’ve really immersed myself in the studies of his work as well as writings because he developed a group theater and that really inspired me to bring the transcendence company to life.
Those were some of my very big mentors. But there are many other people in this world… from the success world its Tony Robbins , in the Nutrion world David Wolfe, that have really really inspired me along my journey.
One more that I wanted to add is Success Ultra Now … Michael Mackintosh and Nick Good have really inspired me. They do wonderful work. I’ve really been immersed in their work for the past number of years and they work closely with David Wolfe.
I looked at this question and said, well I don’t have any regrets. But if I had to think about it closely the one is regretting just not to enjoy every single moment. There are moments in this fast paced world that we don’t surrender to the peace of life. Sometimes, especially being an over achiever, and especially when I’m trying to build things I just regret that I didn’t take time to breathe and smell the roses. But I’m getting much better than that and just kind of enjoying the magic of life and surrendering to the process as the dreams come to fulfillment.
What have you learned from yourself from this experience?
I learned this, and definitely want to share this with everyone… To believe in the power of your own imagination. To have ideals and dreams and to work towards them. Often we think that things are impossible. There are times in my life that I thought that things were impossible too but sometimes it could start with just writing an idea down on a notebook or paper and you can believe that it can come true and work towards that. That’s what I’ve learned from this whole experience. There is no dream that’s too big. Pick dreams that are gonna push you to your full potential. I’ve learned to continue riding that journey so you can make an enormous contribution into the world. I just believe that inside of us we are powerful beyond measure. As I’ve synchronistically watch this journey unfold and realized all that within myself. It’s been an incredible journey for me.
What have you unlearned?
I’ve unlearned the blocks in our phsyches that tell us that things are impossible. I’ve learned that there is an incredible supportive universe around us and that impossible dreams can come true. Sometimes it takes a bit of unlearning and releasing those blocks that hold us back as human beings. If you can transcend those blocks you can achieve those seemingly impossible feats. You can create miracles in your own life and in the lives of others. It’s just been incredible how much you can give to the world if you release those blocks within yourself.
What keeps you centered and balanced?
I spend a lot of time in Nature. I have a very strong meditation practice. I’m very much into good food and optimum nutrition. I found that all of those things keep me in balance as well as really establishing close relationships with my friends and with my family, and always knowing that that’s of utmost importance as I work towards building this.
Some of the wonderful ways to relax besides working out and everything is dance. Dance keeps me very focused and very ground. I think the people around me in my life…My family, my friends, my husband… They keep me balanced and they keep my heart in the right place.
If you were a super hero and could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would love to remove fear. I think fear stands in many of our ways. It’s good in some ways but if you can remove the fact that things are impossible and transcend that we would be able to step into our own and work towards things that are seemingly impossible. Especially in our world… there are so many people that tell other people they can’t do something instead of encouraging people that anything and everything is possible in life and people can live their dreams and make enormous contributions to the world. I would change we would have a more encouraging society around us, to really help people live their dreams. Being around an encouraging environment will encourage people to go after the seemingly impossible. Impossible dreams can come true.
You’re face to face with your 10 year old self, what one piece of advice would you give you?
If I was looking at myself as a 10 year the one piece of advice I would give is to enjoy the adventure of life. To really enjoy the entire journey just as much as you enjoy the destination. To know that it may have highs and it may have lows but it’s all an incredible adventure. Your life is a work of art. Just enjoy the moment. Be present and LOVE everyday. Love life, love the people around you, love your dreams, love your goals love every single second of the day because every single second is the best ever.
What is LOVE?
My favorite definition comes from a place I love, Hawaii. ALOHA means “Love is to share in the happiness of the breathe of life.” To me that’s what it is. Sharing everything in life.
What’s next? What’s in the pipeline?
The Transcendence Theater is launching their inaugural season this summer. It’s very exciting. It’splaying a part in preserving Jack London State Park and Jack London was one the great adventurers and dreamers of our time. We’re producing a summer theater festival that’s gonna include 4 Broadway Under the Stars concerts. Having performers from Broadway and Hollywood come to sing and dance and open our theater. There’s a total of 14 nights of performances , Broadway tunes… Our festival is also going to include a number of community service projects that we’re working on as well as a children’s theater camp. It’s gonna be a very big summer for me. I’m very excited and hope to inspire over 10,000 people’s lives this season.
Your ONE MESSAGE to the world.
Dream the impossible dream. Keep working towards ways to make an indelible mark on the world and touch many people’s lives.
Dream the impossible dream because all things are possible.
For more on Transcendence Theater Company
and their events visit
Read more stories by Juno: http://junocristi.blogspot.com/2011/10/soulspeak-cup-of-warmth-wonder-from.html
All articles written within the period of Oct 2011 through present. © Juno Cristi 2011-2012, All Rights Reserved.